I am ashamed of myself, truly absolutely ashamed. It seems that my capacity for acceptance and patience has done a nosedive, and for months now my main emotion has been anger. The only difference to the way I am feeling is that the anger either smoulders or erupts into fury. It must be time to sit and contemplate my navel (if I could find it) for a while, and to search for the calm.
The greatest difficulty facing me is how to rein in the anger, to turn it around or turn it off. Look, I understand why it has me in its grip, but that isn't helping me in the slightest. It all started quite a while back when I became convinced that my husband was in the early stages of Alzheimers. At that point I began an even stronger campaign to get him to think, and to use his brain instead of just vegetating in front of the television. The latest crosswords were bought in magazine form, and I introduced him to Sudoku. Believe me, he got such a shock because he blithely dismissed Sudoku (he is/was brilliant at maths), but when he tried to do a game he became amazingly unstuck.
That worked for a while, and then I think became boring, as did the crosswords. You could actually see him improving as he exercised his brain. And I am not kidding, the improvement was marked. I bought him a big jigsaw as he likes to do them - it is still in the box over twelve months later. He just seemed to come to the point where he didn't want to bother.
It is unbelievably difficult to accept that the person you have known for 30+ years has changed to such a degree. So hard to accept that this isn't the man I married. I pushed and pushed to get him to think, to even take on some of the responsibility for paying bills and managing the money etc. He wasn't interested and would infuriate me by acting as though he was a feeble old man. Yeah, yeah, I know he is 76 but he has never been feeble and never acted like an old man until now. At the same time he will come across all "macho" about things, and say totally stupid things about, for example, Sid Vicious. He said he "should go around there" and that if he did Sid Vicious "would never know what hit him". God, it just makes me shake my head. This is the man that now weighs only 50 kilos (or thereabouts) which is not quite 8 stone, or 110 pounds. I doubt whether he could take on a bandicoot and win
His downhill slide, which is accelerating, and his severe deafness means that we don't communicate properly any more. And whatever we do talk about he forgets faster than you can snap your fingers. It makes him uncertain and I am sure he is afraid but won't admit it. It also makes us both very lonely, even though we live together still. All of this makes me rage inside as well, because I firmly believe that most of his mental problems were so very preventable. If you use it, you don't lose it.........
Now the anger is compounded by my own illness, and that fact that I
brought it on myself. So there is anger upon anger upon anger. Sometimes I
feel I am going to fly into pieces with the fury inside me. It is like a huge
bubbling, seething, boiling sludge. The hardest aspect of this is that whenever
my poor daughter visits us I feel I can let go a little and the result is that
I tend to fly off the handle at him and generally speak to him in a nasty
fashion. Lately my poor daughter is less of a daughter and more of a referee
and mediator, as well as someone we increasingly depend upon for most things in
our daily lives. This makes me angry as well. She shouldn't have to be in this
situation. She is fine with it, but I am NOT.
There is a book I am reading, trying to get a grip on all this. It is called "Change Your Thinking", by Sarah Edelman PhD. The awful part of it all is that no matter how much I follow her help for anger management, I remain angry. I honestly believe that this is more than a small part of the digestive problems I am experiencing. If I internalise everything 90% of the time it has to made acid inside me, surely?
This is my current battle. To accept the things I cannot change. Gracefully or not. To move forward instead of anchoring myself in the puddle of my own self-indulgence. I can see it being one of the biggest battles of my life.