I'm Angry!


I keep telling myself my life could be worse (and it could). That doesn't stop my feelings of anger. I'm angry with being confined with a husband who doesn't talk much, watches TV all day, watches me doing all the work (meals, cleaning, laundry, bills, and on and on) Although all my kids are aware of the situation, they don't just pitch in and offer to take me to lunch, or take him for a ride, or even regular phone calls. I don't feel like I should beg for help from my own family. I am thankful that I don't have to clean up bathroom messes, etc. yet. I guess I just need a change and can't figure out how to change anything. I say the Serenity Prayer daily.

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Let's see. Your life has turned upside down. Now you are doing all the work you used to do, the work your husband used to do, and the new work of caregiving. Triple the old load, no new resources.

The love of your life, your soulmate, is no longer your partner but your dependent.

Intimacy is no longer a source of joy but another issue to be dealt with.

The children and grandchildren who have always counted on you cannot be counted on to see your needs and help.

Angry? The real question is how do you manage to not feel angry all the time?

Come here and tell us about your anger when it feels overwhelming. Most of us understand. Some of us have been there. It is safe to vent here.

I'm sure that your adult kids have many noble and sterling qualities. How could they not, being your kids? But one quality they don't have is mind-reading. They "should" see what needs to be done, of course they should. But they see that you and Dad have each other, have always been resourceful, and surely if you need anything you will let them know.

So ... let them know. Specifically. Not "I'm having a hard time with household maintenance." But, "With your dad so sick we need some help with household maintenance. Jimmy, could you figure out among the family who might be able to clean the gutters this weekend?"

Maggie said it well. "Asking for support is not begging for help." And from the kids' perspective, being asked to do something is not interfering in your life (which they might be reluctant to do.) Maybe in spite of their genetic heritage and upbringing you got a batch of duds. But before you conclude that and add it to your list of things to be angry about, give them the chance to respond to specific requests.

If the anger bursts out often and gets in the way of your normal functioning, you might want to bring it up with a therapist. But your run-of-the-mill ARGH! I CAN'T TAKE THIS ANYMORE, WHY ME? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS occasional rants are just par for the caregiving course.

Bad things have happened to you. If you didn't feel bad about that once in a while, and even mad about it, I'd be really worried about being out-of-touch with reality. Not everyone would understand that. We do. Rant here.

Asking for support is not begging for help. So get that thought right out of your head. Ask for what you need. How else can a mom lay on a good old-fashioned guilt trip? ;)

Sunny has some great suggestions. I'll add that hopefully you have a few friends. How about a once a week lunch rotating between them? How about a book club thru your library? A bible study through your church? Having your kids over for dessert now and then? Taking a daughter to lunch?

You've got a tough row ro how. Don't make it tougher by becoming a martyr. ASK your kids for what you need. You gave them life after all... ;) ;)

I'm not sure what happens when many kids and grand kids grow up. We have given them birthday cards and gifts since the day they were born, but they seem to forget their grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. The same goes for Christmas. I'm not sure how some are left out when it comes to thoughtfulness, generosity, and caring. There are a lot of caring people on this site though, so I know they are out there.

Thanks, MGGE! I very rarely feel this angry, but today I just had to "spout off." All of your suggestions are good ones. I do go twice a week to an Arthritis Water class, which gets me away and is a good social connection. I do have lots of friends. I guess mostly I am angry (when I think about it ) that my kids and grandkids aren't more attentive. Thanks for listening. Tomorrow will be a better day!

There are also places that offer respite care. Not for him but for you. Your husband could go there for a short period throughout the day and that will give you a few hours to yourself.

Oh, I forgot to add that maybe an Independent Living facility might be an idea. That might be a place that you could get out of the apt every day to join other people for socials, movies, trips, etc. See if someone could stay with your husband while you do this.

Your feelings are understandable. Do you have any friends to talk to? I know that my parents have a lot of friends, many from church, who they talk to, in addition to family.

I have discovered that with a lot of family friends, their adult children are not very helpful. In fact, they are often ignored, except for holidays. The adult kids don't volunteer to do anything for them and some are widows! I can't figure it out. I'm always doing things for and with my parents. I guess people get caught up with their own issues and don't think of how much their own parents need them.

What if you made a list of a couple of things the adult kids could do on a regular basis? Like washing your windows, cleaning the yard, washing the care, etc. Sometimes people have to be told what to do.

I would also start researching the options for caring for your husband. Do you have Durable Power of Attorney, Healthcare POA, etc.

What services will be available to come into the home to help you when he suffers from immobility, incontinence, etc.?

Is a Memory Care facility an option? I'd explore all that now, so you aren't met with a crisis situation. I wish you all the best.

Oh, you might also check to see if you are suffering with depression. Don't forget to take care of yourself!

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