Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Changeing Stressful Relationships

There have been many posts over the past few weeks, months, and even years about some of the absurd things other families will go to make your life living a hell.

We all have them. The ones who are never around, and yet know everything. The ones you couldn't please if you tried.

We have them in our family, and the strange thing is it has always been these few who seem to stick together, through thick and thin. One will lie, the others will swear to it.

Back in the day, or back before I was diagnosed with Early On-Set Alzheimers, I let their nonsense roll off my back. Didn't give them a second thought.

They were and are drama queens. It's always about them, and they do nothing to help anyone. When something happens to them, they always add their own flare to so its much more dramatic than it would be if they told the truth.

They would never consider helping you in anyway when it comes to the issues of caregiving. Yet, like I said, they are like the Michael Jordon of caregivers. Have done it all.

What to do with people, family...like this. I can tell you what I did. And this doesn't mean that anyone should follow suit.

When I was diagnosed one of the things everyone who was important told us that I had to stay away from stress. Stress of any kind. I would have to retire from my career. I would have to make changes in my life starting immediately.

And they were right. Most people can and do put up with a lot, especially from family members. Well, that for me was about to change.

I ignored the ones who thought they knew everything. That worked for a couple of years than it happened. They did something that my wife and I neither could put up with. I won't go into details, but it was horrendous and no one should treat another human being as they were treating this one.

We have washed our hands of these people. And we are better off for it. They are never going to change. They have been ignorant their entire lives and what one doesn't think of the others do.

What I am trying to get at is, when you have dementia you simply cannot put up with the nonsense. The stress that some family members will bring to the table.

You as a caregiver and your loved one as a patient are under an enormous amount of stress just dealing with dementia. Throw in a couple of drama queens, a liar or two, someone who knows everything and does nothing, and those who just live to make your life miserable and you have a recipe for disaster.

Some of these can be brothers and sisters. Some can be parents. Some can be cousins, or just good friends. But whoever it is and however they have been, after one is diagnosed with dementia it all changes.

I simply don't have the time nor the inclination to deal with some people. I would never go out of my way to be mean or hateful to anyone. But when we have endured what we have from these people, we had to draw the line.

Now when or if we see them, they look the other way. Which is good. I suppose they know with my track record they really don't want to push what has happened.

You cannot change people. And if they are family, that makes it even worse. Your number one concern is for your loved one. And if you are a caregiver God knows this takes up 120% of your time.

You can try to sit these people down and be rational about your feelings and how they are treating you, but the bottom line is, most will never change.

Again, I am not promoting family break ups here. I am saying that when I was diagnosed and since then, things have changed. I was told I need to stay away from stress, which is almost impossible.

What they mean is, keep your stress to a minimum. And drama is not what anyone needs. Sit back and think to yourself, "What has these people done for me anyways? What have they done to make this journey with me or my loved one any easier?"

Most answers will be the same. They have done little, to nothing. And in all honestly they have made the situation worse by their childish ways.

Again if you can come to where they understand that it has to be your way, they that is a good thing. Chances are they won't. They are not capable. If they were they would have changed already.

Change your life for the better. If that means making changes with the people who are in it, well so be it. You will be surprised how much better you will be. With all the negativity out of your life.

You will still endure stress. Just not stress that is brought on for no unearthly reason....sometimes it just takes someone saying, "It's alright to say what you are doing to me is not right, and I am not taking it anymore".

© 2016  Rick Phelps