What just happened?

Things have been going well this week, and I felt great although still fragile. Had a good conversation with one of our authors, and went off to a caregivers’ lunch. We talked about secretly hoping our partners would get better, even after all these years. We traded experiences and thoughts, including, ironically, a discussion on triggers and how they are embedded so that your mind has little control over your reactions, until you really work on it, perhaps through tapping or some other therapy.

I was somewhat reluctant to leave that pleasant atmosphere and head off to see Don, and in fact took the long way round, in order to get my head into a better space. I thought i had succeeded, but now I wonder if I triggered him or it was vice versa. Actually there was really no reason for me to go at all. He had been visited every day lately but I was just feeling obligated.

When I got there, he was not welcoming, complaining, although about what I never could figure out. He was just kind of bitter, uneasy, angry, unhappy. “Can’t you see?” I couldn’t divert him for more than a few minutes, although one of the aides succeeded with a happy little dance and hug.

Eventually Don said angrily, the first clear words in an hour,  “I’ve had enough of this. I want to go home.” It has been so long, many weeks, since he took up that refrain and I was a bit stunned. He continued, “Oh you can go on and do whatever you want. I… I will just smash it.”

I left quickly, not being able to stand those kinds of words, and came home in tears, thinking, no more reasonably than he, “You already have. You have smashed everything.”

Definitely “I want to go home,” coming from him, reminds me of all the years I listened to that refrain, and resisted moving into his home, the backwoods of rural Ontario. And that reminds me of all the rest of the trouble and trauma of our relationship, before and especially after he got sick, and before I understood the disease. Powerful and disturbing memories, emotional dependence, lurking, wanting to crowd out the present.

I don’t think I will visit him so often, maybe just two times a week. We’ll see.


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5 responses to “What just happened?

  1. kathleen kinasewich

    I understand your words

    Liked by 1 person

  2. tressbackhouse

    I do not know how to respond to this ! just ” I hear you” is the best I an do! but with affection. Tress ​

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jean Manness

    I was there for supper on Sunday eating with Ken. I heard the aid coaching Don. Please eat a little for Delores? I promised her I would take care of you. Then she kept at it encouraging him as I guess he slowly ate. (it was turkey delicious!)

    Finally I heard her say, well Delores dropped it off especially for you to eat! So come on eat just the meat! and so on.

    So they are very caring and resourceful at CVSV!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim - Resident Care Coordinator, CVSV

    Sometimes we all need to have a safe “venting” place – for you, maybe its friends or your blog. For Don, its you! You are his safe person to vent his frustrations, his wishes, his anger. We only hope to be Don’s safe people to help ease his transition into care here, but ultimately, you are his wife, his trusted companion. Its very natural for him to vent his frustrations to you…. he does want to go home, he does miss you, he is angry or frusterated at the losses he (and you) have faced with the life change of dementia and coming to our home here at CVSV. He loves you. The love you two share radiates from you when you are together: in his eyes, your eyes, and in both of your body language. Just my thoughts. Big hugs to you Delores. xox – Kim LPN @ CVSV

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have read and re-read your comments, Jeanie and Kim. They soothe me and amaze me both. Thank you so much. d