I have read about girls not being trained to handle anger.  When they become women and recognize that they do feel anger from time to time, they have no way of dealing with it.  I have no way to deal with it successfully.  When I was younger, I struck out physically when I was frustrated, annoyed, angry; eventually I learned that was not appropriate.  As I grew up, I didn’t know how to deal with anger in business situations or personal relationships.  I didn’t have the tactics, words, or awareness about how to express anger.  It didn’t help that women weren’t supposed to express anger anyway.   If I used physical exhibitions – like slamming my hand on the desk or throwing something, I was deemed crazy.  If I used strong language – profanity or not, I was considered a bitch.  If  tried to smother it – I was perceived as weak.  There was no way to win and I was still angry.

Now I am in a situation where I am angry most of the time.  My anger is not directed at the one I love, the one who is suffering much more than I am as we struggle with his dementia.  My anger is much more widely scattered.  Frequently, I am angry with the disease itself.  Why does he have it?  Where did it come from?  Why can’t science fix it?  Why can’t I fix it?

Then my anger follows other tracks: Toward the doctors who dismiss his symptoms because they know they can do little or nothing to help him as they only offer rather ineffective medicines and group meetings.  Toward the friends who are well-meaning but misguided, when they tell him they are the same as they also can’t remember why they walked into the kitchen.  Toward the uncaring and oblivious waitstaff and customer service reps who treat him with impatience and disdain because he can’t make quick decisions or concise statements.

Mostly, my anger is directed toward myself because I cannot muddle through the everyday situations that require more calm, more patience, more awareness than I have.  This situation has been going on for years now and is not getting better.  I should know better.  I should cope better.  I should be better.  I am not and therefore, I am angry.

image credit: engin akyurt on Unsplash

One comment

  1. Oh, my dear, I wish I knew the right word or magic trick to make it ALL better, but I’ve read that seldom are there simple answers to complex problems, and those solutions are obviously way too simple anyway. And trite. You are faced with a challenge that most of us cannot even comprehend, let alone offer wise counsel, unless we’ve experienced dementia first-hand. Fortunately, I have not, so for now, I’ll simply remind you that you are deeply loved and admired–angry and confused or not. You’ve got what it takes to overcome each setback and save the day for you AND your loved one. After all, you’re a Williams girl–smart and lovely; witty, wily and strong-willed. Dig deeper, little one, and don’t give up. You’ve fought difficult battles before–and won. Always remember (to paraphrase Pooh), you’re so much stronger than you know. Call me ANYTIME you need to talk, vent, joke, weep, or wail. I’m forever yours.


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