Stars in the Ceiling
Have you ever looked up at your ceiling seeing stars?
I’ve found when dealing with my spouse in second stage Alzheimer’s that I spend a lot of time looking up at the heavens, biting my tongue and waiting for my internal storm to pass.
It doesn’t work getting angry at them, losing your temper, or even saying something and then apologizing for it later.
I’ve found that on certain occasions when we’re working together as a team, the only way to stop myself from ‘snapping’ is looking up at the heavens or the ceiling not for inspiration, but to keep myself from saying something we’ll both regret, now and for in the future.
Temptation is a a terrible thing. That feeling that you want to give into because it’s easier, feels freer or even makes you feel better.
Don’t do it. It’s a trap set up by your emotional self telling you to be self-righteous about what you’re doing at the expense of your spouse who doesn’t always understand, grasps the concept, or take that connection that isn’t there anymore.
Yes, it’s frustrating.
Yes, you want to shoot them.
Yes, hit them.
But you don’t. Besides being civilized, one just doesn’t abuse one’s spouse because it will make you, the caretaker, feel better. Remember there are always consequences for the acts you perform at or toward your spouse.
Remember too, that, they don’t even remember what they’re doing wrong because they’ve forgotten about it five minutes later.
It’s a hard world out there for caretakers especially if you’re taking care of your spouse. remember too, that your spouse has a doctorate, a masters, tested out genius lever, ran a corporation, oversaw an office, made death-defying decisions, so they’ve been there as well. It’s just that they’re not there anymore.
At least not the way you remember them. In an old comic strip from the 40’s, Lil Abner, the bumpkins from the South are changed from skinny bumpkins to weight-lifting men. The women wanted this, but their personalities inflated along with their new bodies and strength. The women asked the wizard to change them back. The wizard said: “I can’t. You can only move forward.”
And that’s the way it is with Alzheimer’s patients.
You can’t go back.
Their personalities change.
Their language changes.
Sometimes they remember. Most of the time they forget.
They say things that get under your skin and you want to lash out, but you can’t.
The only thing you can do is gaze up at the ceiling or the heavens and look for the stars that only you can see.