Thursday, April 6, 2017

Anger. Guilt. Pissed off. Disappointed. Hurt. Grief.

Anger.  Guilt. Pissed off.  Disappointed.  Hurt. Grief.

Those are emotions I feel right under the surface of my every action.  They are just deep enough that I can ignore them, hide them, cover for them and use every excuse in the book not to feel them.  The interesting part of that cover up is that the people who are closest to me and really care see right through it. 

Today, a very dear friend pierced the emotional veil and helped me see that I feel all those things and that I am not facing the fact that I feel them all and that my excuse of "feeling obligated" to take care of Gary is a load of crap.  I sobbed.  Finally.  The emotional purge was short but effective. Boy, it sure hurt getting to that point, but he is right.  I don't feel obligated....not really.  I don't know what I feel.

I know that I have been married to Gary for 31+ years since I was a very young 22.  I loved him that entire time and we had a magnificent life.  Adventure was always at the forefront of life.  I know that Frontemporal Dementia is a disease and he had no control over his body when it came to him showing symptoms.  He has a disease and he can't help it.  Frankly, I am so angry about it that I have manifested it into being angry with him.  That is unfair but that is how I feel.

I love the man who was.  I love a man who is no more.  He is a shell.  The man I loved and treasured is gone.  That makes me angry.

"Ada, you are about to go through a major life change."  How true.  However, I would like to point out that I have already gone through a major life change.  I don't have a husband in my home.  I no longer have the man whom I could call at any hour of the day and hear a comforting voice.  I don't have my life partner to share ideas, snuggles, laughter, torment or daily life challenges.  That makes me sad and angry.  I have no control over what happens with Gary's mind and body.  So, I wait.  I wait for it to be over.  I wait for him to not suffer.  I wait for death.  I wait for that new life. 

I make feeble attempts at starting a new life.  I've lost weight (40 more pounds to go), I bought a new car (after totaling the old one), I bought a new wardrobe, I've made new friends and I've been traveling.  What more can I do?

Its been said, "Ada, you know what you want.  You are refusing to see it."  For now, I don't know what I want....maybe it is deep inside me and I just can't see it.  I do know that I want happiness again.  I just don't know how to define happiness anymore.

Meanwhile, Gary is in Memory Care sleeping, eating, peeing, pooping, staring and living his life through caregivers.  It is a miserable least from this viewpoint.  He can't communicate so I don't know what he is thinking, if anything.  We will never know. 

So, Ada stays numb most of the time.  Its easier than dealing with the above listed emotions that lie directly beneath the surface.  One day, I will have no choice but to deal with them.

Anger.  Guilt. Pissed off.  Disappointed.  Hurt. Grief.


  1. If anyone has ever done it, it speaks to the possibility that it can be done.

    It's no surprise you're feeling sad, angry, frustrated, guilty, confused or almost anything else.

    You youngsters were lucky to meet and KNOW your destiny. You leaned in to build a life and buoy each other in life, work, travel, other relationships and so much more. You had just as much impact on Gary’s happiness as he's had on yours. You’ve always been the brightest light in his sky and twinkle in his eye. It's this amazing life that you've lost. Yes. You've already lost it.

    Ada, I know that's really hard to face, but you know I'll call it as I see it, even if that's unpleasant. You know I love you dearly, so please take a deep breath and stick with me.

    Your wonderful, intentionally built, life was with a worthy man who loved every-little-pinch of you with every cell in his body. Gary’s been at your side for your entire adult life; how could you imagine buying a home, traveling the world or anything else without him? You had a collaborator in making your life a living work of art. Even the rough parts were a gift of transformation. Many people NEVER have that. All of this IS worth loving and grieving when it's gone.

    But that isn't the end of this story. There is more loving and letting go, forgiveness, confusion and reimagining yet to do. You'll be up and down, privately and publicly for awhile. You’ll think you’re over it when a holiday, song, scent, fabric or some small comment will drive you back for more resolution. It will be awhile before the day you realize you haven’t felt horrible recently.

    Here’s the good news: You know how to create a beautiful life! You’ve seen and done things you enjoyed and didn’t. You’ve stepped in potholes and learned to step around them. You’ve seen what makes you happy & healthy and what to avoid. You have good judgement, values, vision and follow-thru.
    Your experience is still yours and you will use it to create the next chapters of your life. You’ll do everything needed to reinvent your life. You’ve never had to rely completely on yourself, but you can do this. Gary will be by your side in a different way than in the past. As you relax, you’ll feel him there. He’ll always be with you. And you know, with God, you’re never alone.

    Hang in there Ada. The future is so bright you’ve gotta wear glasses.

  2. Thanks Cass! You are so right.

  3. That woman is so right - some of us have never experienced what you had with your husband Ada, and we probably never will. True,this is a horrible end to your relationship, and you are entitled to feel everything you're feeling, but some day I hope you will look back and feel extreme gratitude that you had that one great love in your life that so many of us are denied.

  4. WOW..... this is ME except my husband is still at home with me. As for RIGHT now I can't bare the thought of him in a care center, although more times than not it is getting closer. I just PRAY he passes before it gets to that point... Crazy though his body is so incredibly HEALTHY go figure !!!! 24/7 and I know it will be the WROST~BEST day of my life when this ends !

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.