I have been thinking about yesterday's posts... a lot. I know that I have a problem with the anger that I am feeling in this situation. And I am very angry. I believe that some of my anger is justified. My family and I should not be in this alone. I have siblings that should do more. I am broke and scared that no one will want to hire me when this is all through and I won't be able to dig my way out of this mess. I am angry at this disease. It is evil. It has devoured, or at least snacked on, every area of our lives. I am angry that my children will remember me as a basket case... as someone whose moods jump from anger, to despondency, to silliness, in a blink of an eye. At any given moment, the don't know who their mom will be. And I am angry that my health has suffered from the stress. I don't want to be a statistic is this journey. I want to be here for my kids.
But, I think the worst anger that I feel is the one that isn't justified. I am angry at my mother. I know that anger is part of grief and we are certainly grieving. But, normally, when there is anger during grief, it is aimed at someone who is no longer here and can't be hurt by the anger. It is a phase of grief that we tend to work through and let go when we accept that the person who is gone, in most cases, did not choose to leave us. But, Mom is still here. And that in itself makes me angry. Why is she still here? Why is she made to suffer and live like this? Why does she have to be the center of everything in our lives? There is no decision that is made that she isn't the primary concern. We don't/can't even use the bathroom without considering whether she will need it or even wake up when she hears it being used. Reality tells me that my anger should be reserved for the disease, but I am angry with her nonetheless.
Before things became really bad here, one of my daughters was very snippy and rude to her grandmother. It wasn't like her and it wasn't called for. When I asked her about it, she cried and said, "I guess it's easier to be angry at her now then to hurt when she's gone." And there it is. I think that anger is an easy emotion. It is so much easier to be angry than it is to feel the pain of loss.
I will be working on the anger. It helps to understand it. It helps to stop using it as an excuse or justification for poor actions. I know I won't fully erase the anger, but I can choose how I handle it. I cannot change Alzheimer's. I can choose how I respond to its challenges.
“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.”
- William Arthur Ward