Buddha Quotes

Sunday, September 16, 2012


For those of you who have been reading my blog about our family's experience with early onset of Alzheimer's and Bill's eventual placement in a nursing home, thank you for your support. Recently I shared on my posting about Grandpa coming to visit . Grandpa does not believe his son has Alzheimer's. Grandpa does not believe Bill needs to be in a nursing home. I have a boy that is a senior in high school. Our boy, Jack, has been overwhelmed with the loss, the mental trauma and continued struggles with his father, our 25th anniversary, his 18th birthday, and the visit from Grandpa. He has been riding on an extreme roller coaster in emotional outbursts and has experienced extreme hopelessness and a desire to die several times in the past few weeks. His girlfriend has broken up with him, and he feels so betrayed. We have been to intake at Horizons, and he is on a list to be seen by a counselor in mid October and a Psychiatrist in November. Please send positive energy and prayers toward my son. Our home is open to receiving blessings. I will keep you informed through links on my blog. Thanks you.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


How on earth the folks at the nursing home can keep up with all the need to be useful and keep their sanity, I do not know. God bless them. Bill has been out of our home, now, since February 6, the day after his 57th birthday. I am still making repairs on his "tinkering" with the mowers, lamps, furniture, windows nailed shut, and so forth. God bless the nursing home staff.

The visit from Bill's father is over and the intense presence of negativity has lifted from my heart. I have had an epiphany. Sharing from the heart:


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Grandpa

Grandpa came to visit. It was painful- poisonous in fact. He's lost in his own stages of grief over the illness that has taken his only child, his only son. He stayed in a cottage at the nursing home. The visit made it clear to Jack and I that we have not only lost Bill. We lost part of our family. Grandpa was critical, angry with us. How could we do this? Bill doesn't have anything wrong with him. He doesn't belong here. Jack, you should visit your father no less than twice a week.... your mom is wrong, wrong, wrong...The guilt flowed freely on Sunday as my family gathered around with us for support as we celebrated Jack's 18th birthday at Bill's nursing home.

Of course Grandpa wasn't there when we went through crisis. When Bill would refuse to listen and take the car and be missing for hours as I waited for the police to knock on the door- which did happen... he wrecked, putting innocent people in the hospital. Grandpa wasn't there when Bill's disease decided Jack was the enemy, physically threatening, emotionally raping our baby boy. The very presence of Jack would turn Bill into a jealous raging maniac. I sent Jack to friends' homes for two solid months prior to moving home. Once back home in Kansas when Bill would become hostile towards Jack I could turn to family for support. Jack had no home for over a year.

Grandpa doesn't see the grief and the guilt we live with, the times Jack weeps and wants to die because he misses his daddy, the sadness, anger, grief I feel as my guts turn inside out... he's not there when I hold my huge baby boy and tell him it's not our fault, it's not his fault... we have to make it together. He's not there when Jack talks about the old times when daddy liked him...

I've thought about bringing him home. I have. It always comes back to this: What if he has another episode where he decides to end it all, to take us all out. Would I ever sleep again? Would I have to hover over Jack to protect him.

I made the right decision. I did. I hope you find peace, Grandpa. I hope you can forgive us. I wish you would stand by our side, to help us, to support us, to make us feel better when we are sad, scared...alone.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dreams

‎"There is only one way to happiness and that is to stop worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will." - Epictetus - What a nightmare. Or would I call it a dream? It took me a couple of hours to remember the actual dream. I was too busy dealing with the physical results. I woke sitting straight up out of bed this morning, heart pounding, sweating, feeling a pounding, smothering pressure. Ah, so this is the proverbial elephant on your chest I have heard others speak of. Truly, I woke struggling to catch my breath. After washing my face and getting enough control of my shaking legs to actually walk down the stairs without falling, I made my way downstairs. For a brief moment I forgot the feelings that were overcoming me. The coffee tasted delicious as I sat down to begin my day.It is my usual fix for emotional overload. I'm a suppresser. Emotions- extreme emotions- are beyond my comfort zone and this day was going to be a whopper. Tears fell freely, anger flared, I actually considered eating my first born. There was a fog that enveloped me throughout my morning- actually throughout my whole day. It was funny when it dawned on me what had caused my dark mood. The memory was gone and suddenly it was there again. The dream. Flashes come to my minds eye. He's with me. He's out of control. I chase frantically after him as he acts out impulsively. He runs left, he runs right, he runs in front of cars... a crowd... he disappears in the crowd... where is he... oh my gawd, he has the keys. He has the keys. We are at a gas station where he overpowers me and takes the keys. He gets in, hits the gas, screaming out of the parking lot without removing the gas pump hose. I see the hose pull, the gas pump sway back and forth, tipping, tipping... the car, watch out for the car... that's when I woke, sweat dripping from my body, fear writhing in my body. How do I keep him safe? He's going to kill us, to kill somebody else. I was reliving my fears before putting Bill in the nursing home in February, seven months ago. Man, it pisses me off when I hit these funks, these momentary lapses in feeling safe, of feeling like I have control of the situation. The triggers just appear. This week is full of triggers.
My fear will be gone for weeks at a time, then suddenly reappear. Most of my stress and fear seems to come out in my dreams. I know there are literally hundreds of studies on dreams and suppressed emotions. I could be an entire study. The triggers? Daily life. Today is my mom and dad's anniversary... I miss my father so much after dying unexpectedly two years ago. I can still hear is laugh, feel him hold me. Such a daddy's girl. Tomorrow is our anniversary. Twenty five years. And this week is also the 18th birthday of our son, Jack. Jack is our miracle baby. He was born despite my having cancer and undergoing almost two years of chemo and radiation. The miracle baby that saved our marriage at the time turns 18. It should be a significant event for all of us, right? So much responsibility, figuring out where to have the party so we can include his dad... worrying about how to keep us all safe, make it a celebration, I see the wedding pictures every day. Those along with all the other happy family pictures are stacked up against the wall upstairs. I don't know what to do with them? Hang them? Pack them? Do I put these away and pretend they don't exist? Is it fair to Jack to just erase those phases in our life? Doesn't he have a right to remember even though it's so hard on me, so contradictory to the emotions I feel, the memories that I hold in my heart. It's so unfair. He's so nice to those in the nursing home and I know it appears to them that he is the victim here, that he has been abandoned by his wife, by his son. It's so hard to go, to visit, to answer his questions about when he gets to come home. Do I give him hope? Do I tell him the truth? The truth didn't work out so well for us in the past. It was like living the movie the first fifty dates over and over again except ours was the nightmare version. You can't drive. You can't teach. You have Alzheimer's. Watching his denial, the grueling emotions of anger, pacing, writhing, and finally coming to the conclusion to end it all- for all of us. Ok, so I made it through another day- this one not quite as easy as others, but I made it. We made it. Dreams....