4,000-5,499 SparkPoints 5,182

Put on The Life jacket and Be a Survivor

Friday, September 27, 2019

I've written about inner strength and having to save myself before, but I got another reminder that I need to be the one to put on my own life jacket and take care of myself. One of my parents had yet another tirade at me. I suspect this is an early sign of dementia. While the parent always had some issues with anxiety and anger management, they have become more extreme with age and stress.I am also seeing a more extreme version of Jekyll and Hyde. During good interactions the old rapport and friendship we developed is there, on bad days i am a verbal punching bag. It is clear stress level sets it off, but at this point I walk on eggshells.

I have been called so many names in the past year and shrieked at so many times I have learned to when possible keep a calm voice and call out bad behavior. As I set boundaries this time, I was called "selfish" over and over. That is benign as compared to the other things that have been said.

It felt like someone was verbally trying to drown me, so I put on my life preserver and swam away from the roaring tide. I continue to exercise. I continue to eat right. I have found a therapist to help me navigate. I know I have the support of my husband and friends. Those things lift me and help me stay afloat, but I do not ever want to expect them to save me. I have to save myself.

I am scared of turning into a monster when I age and I am determined to do everything in my power to avoid that. One can do all the right things and still develop age related cognitive issues, but I have got to at least do whatever I can in my power to slow things or avoid it. I need to exercise and shake things up. I need to eat brain healthy foods and keep my social support network. I need to keep learning new things.

It's a frightening thing when somebody I used to consider part of my support network can so easily flip and turn into what is eating at me. It throws so much off course and can be disorienting, but in the end I have to be my own best friend. I chose to stay above water and swim. I chose health and wellness.

**Blog is personal and may be taken down at some point.
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • SPICY23
    emoticon Keep swimming!

    1CRAZYDOG's comment: "dementia of any kind magnifies the personality that was already there, so that said, if trouble w/anger management was part of the psyche, it will be magnified." scared the heck out of me. I am already concerned and afraid of becoming 'my parents or grandparents' as I age. My parents were adamant when they were my (current) age that they didn't want to be like their parents (my GP's) but by the time they got to be the GP's age they were just like them. The point about anger management - well, I am slow to anger but when I do get there - watch out. What happens when my 'filters' (gloves) come off? What hope do I have?

    I can only hope that I will choose and follow a different path and do what I can to make choices that help with that intention.

    Peace and Care
    59 days ago
    Sorry you have to endure this. Your approach seems AWESOME!!!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    62 days ago
    I can relate to so much of what you are experiencing! Let's keep up our self-care. Your Life preservers analogy is exactly right! We gotta keep swimming! emoticon
    62 days ago
    It is frightening. After over half a century, the person I married has slowly disappeared. The good days give false hope and the bad days are almost intolerable. The support from your husband and friends are good things. Therapy should give you some ideas on how to cope.

    Be your best friend and take care of you. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    68 days ago
    69 days ago
    Glad you feel free to let go here. Thinking of you
    69 days ago
    I'm glad to hear you found a therapist. You're going through such a challenging time in your life, and you've done a great job staying on top of it, but why not give yourself a break and get a little outside help in dealing with it.

    My mother's aging was the opposite of yours, she had an explosive temper most of her life that waned as she got into her 80's, as if she just didn't have the energy any more. But there was no cognitive decline, so it was not comparable at all. I have a friend who's 68 and recently found out, from an MRI after a car accident, that her brain has started to show early signs of dementia. There's a possibility that it won't progress, but her mother had severe dementia and she is so worried. She's seeing a neurologist and doing various cognitive exercises, but it's scary and I don't know what to tell her except that she still seems the same to me.
    69 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/27/2019 8:20:44 PM
    i am so sorry it it so hard to see our parents when they go through dementia or o emoticon ther things
    69 days ago
    How very difficult for you to have to endure all of this. But I would like to congratulate you for understanding and continuing to take care of yourself! All these things that you are doing now will surely help you to maintain your health - both physical and mental - in later years. As I look back I do wish I had figured it out a bit earlier but I figure it's never too late!
    69 days ago
  • LIZZIE138
    I can’t imagine how hard this is to experience. I’m glad you have a support system to help you navigate this difficult time. emoticon
    69 days ago
    I am so sorry you are going through this. I had my dad---burst out right out at me because of differences of opinions. His nature was always quiet so this was a complete shock ... like Jekyl and Hyde for sure. I just sat there when he unleashed on me---and stayed quiet. When he saw I was not responding in a mean way, his rant stopped. ... I hope things do not worsen.
    69 days ago
    I'm sorry you're watching your parents go through this. Being a caretaker is not easy. It's great that you are also taking care of yourself!

    I've read some articles recently that discuss the links between insulin/inflammation and cognitive decline. Part of my motivation to eat healthy and exercise is to keep my brain healthy as long as possible.
    69 days ago
    So sorry, this is very difficult. Continue with caring for yourself. emoticon
    69 days ago
    My dear, I saw so much of what you’re talking about w/my parents towards the end and had that very thought . . . what if this is ME later in life??? I hope not and like you, doing what I can to prevent it. One thing I will say is dementia of any kind magnifies the personality that was already there, so that said, if trouble w/anger management was part of the psyche, it will be magnified. We can only do our best. Good you have someone to guide you thru this and that you have support.

    And having that guidance and support is helpful to AVOID what you're seeing, or at least make it less.

    (((HUGS))) Hang in there, sweetie. Don that life preserver for sure.

    70 days ago
    Awesome work!!
    70 days ago
    Doing the hard work
    70 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.