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Things are just as bad as before since my last post. Wife had a fit over something over summer and tried putting her head through drywall. Sounds like she even unloaded about me to her doctor...who sent me a message saying..."I don't know if there is she can do to help save the marriage"

I'm struggling just to keep head on straight. I have completely withdraw from friends...deactivated my Facebook account. I couldn't figure out why I did that, then it hit me a couple of weeks ago...I couldn't stand seeing everyone else happy and full of life knowing how I feel. About the only thing keeping me going right now is running. Finally starting to loose the weight I put on the first couple of years after her stroke. But I don't know how long that will keep me going. But..nothing changes. Hell, her doctor called me a Saint for staying with her this long. Good to hear, but doesn't help. Most of this is just rambling since I have no other outlet. Just don't know anymore...

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Being a caregiver is hard,  everyone seems to blame you for everything but it is not like that really as a lot of people will be thinking how great you are doing. If anyone compliments you treasure that and store it against the bad times as there will be many. I don't have any new advice. I found myself hobbies, deliberately took time out even of it was ten minutes. I got carers in sometimes. I joined a stroke recovery group on real time and on here.

 

Somehow I managed to find the energy to look after Ray for 13 years. It wasn't what I thought our life would be like but it wasn't all bad either. You have choices but unfortunate they all have consequences. Hope you can work things out.

 

 

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HI Jim, sorry to hear that things are not improving. Sounds like you need to find a way to kick start your confidence. Withdrawing from your friends is probably counter productive, do you have a friend you would be comfortable opening up to about how you feel and what's going on. It's OK to lean on people. If you don't feel you can ask a friend or family member then please connect with a social worker, psychologist or similar. asking for help when you are not coping is a sign of strength not weakness. Maybe the doctor your wife spoke to is a place to start.

 

We here are also happy to help with advice but it sounds like you need something more than us at the moment.

 

Hang in there it's not as bad as it seems, especially if you have been living in your own head with negative self talk and doubts.

Hugs

-Heather

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Hi Jim

 

I may be way out of line being proscriptive, but what the heck, here goes.  Feel free to ignore this and to tell me to shut up.  This all assumes that things are salvageable (and there is probably no harm in assuming that).

 

First, try (if you can and she is receptive) to let her know that you understand that she's upset, under pressure, and that you are trying to change how you live your life and how you interact with her.  See whether she is prepared to open a dialog about what needs to change, what the priorities are.

 

Linda and I do this from time to time.  It's made difficult because of my memory issues (anterograde amnesia), but we try to settle on one thing to concentrate on at a time to try to break old habits and behaviours or to form new ones

 

Another thing that helps is doing some things apart.  Linda cycles with her friends, I run alone or with a group.  She has her friends, I have mine.  We socialize both jointly and severally.

 

From my experience, I'd say that maintaining friendships outside the home (even if just phone or Skype) is quite critical for well-being and also for relieving some of the burden that your wife probably feels.  Spending time apart from each other following your own interests is important (this also applies to people without stroke).

 

Or take up a hobby that you can do without her, whether writing or gardening or painting or ...

 

>> keeping me going right now is running

 

I have found that running is critical to my well-being.  I don't run far any more, but I make a point of running regularly.  If I skip more than 1 day, I start to get cranky and irritable and depressed.   When I'm feeling OK, it's a short-is run, enough to make me work.  When I'm feeling miserable, I push myself until I am totally exhausted.  I guess any form of exercise is good, running works for me.

 

And another good thing is to take on household chores (if you don't already).  I do almost all of the laundry, most of the cooking.  Linda manages the finances, grocery shopping. We do the garden together -- Linda does the planning and planting, I fo the digging and clearing and any other heavy lifting.  Cuts down on the resentment of feeling burdened.

 

In real life, things are not as idyllic as they may sound, we still have tensions and spats and other upsets, all exacerbated by COVID, but it all helps to defuse some of the tensions.

 

Good luck, and keep talking on the board.

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it's bad enough that i've fought depression my whole life... and this happens.  All the stuff she has said/yelled at me has me questioning everything about myself.  Right now i'm full of self doubt.  i've talked to social workers, checked myself into psych ward, was referred to an Alzheimer's support group... none of that helped at all.  i'm to the point of ... sick of trying to get help.  just ready to crawl into a hole in the ground and disappear.  I've thought many times of just flying to alaska and walking off into the wilderness and never be seen again.  All of this and I get yelled at for not trying to help my wife's confidence and boost her spirits. I have plenty of hobbies... live on a working farm, but that is not my full time job.  All the people who i thought where her friends have totally and completely abandoned my wife.  Only my family comes to see my wife... nobody else. She is an only child and nobody on her side of the family even comes to see her.  Outside of her mom living with us (that is a whole other story with problems there) we are on our own.  I've done what I can to give our 2 kids a normal life and friends and freedom.  Which just leads me to just leaving everything inside to build up inside me.

i feel horrible for her but i'm so miserable ... just a vicious circle of events every single day. She wants to be the wife that she was and she physically can't.  I don't hold that against her, but she wants it so bad, and if I don't agree with her or don't give in to her, she takes that as rejection.

We have tried sex... but physically because of her leg just makes it so hard and almost impossible.  The last time we tried... i thought i was going to kill myself the act was so hard.  I just got to the point that i had no way to enjoy it. No i haven't cheated on her and no plans on it either.

I'm to the point now... i don't know if I'll ever see myself happy again, but none of that is fair to her. I would be dis-owned by my entire family if I left..... so... i'm left with what?

.... run time... more after lunch maybe...

 

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Yours is a toughie.  I can only think of a couple of things that you might want to consider  : You need a therapist for YOU!!  Not because there's anything wrong with yo

u, but you need to have someone in your life you can dump on, and who will listen to you . That person cannot help your wife, because her problems are neurological, and that kind of problem can't be helped with "talk therapy". So, please try to see a therapist for your benefit alone. Maybe in talking with you the therapist will come up with things that you can do to help the situation. Maybe not, but the important thing here is for you to be heard and understood.

My other idea is probably harder to swallow. The next time she starts one of her rants, put a set of ear plugs in. If you can afford it, get a pr of wireless that you can hear music through. If she says anything about it, just tell her that if she wants to talk to you, she needs to lower her voice and stop calling you names and stop criticizing you.

 

There is no point in letting her verbally abuse you. It serves no purpose. Good luck with everything.   Becky

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Oh Jim. What a dilemma you are in.

 

Definitely need Me Time.

 

You know, I'd probably have a go, if it was me. You totally do not deserve to be treated badly.  Sorry, I think your wife is behaving like a spoiled brat and she needs a wake up call.

 

I reckon you could do a list of pros and cons of living with this. Some people will learn the hard way that they are doing the wrong thing.  I also think your kids would want you to be happy.

 

Glad you have gone off Facebook. Besides the fact it's a timewaster, there's not many people who are brave enough to live their true life on their timelines. We only see what people want us to see.

 

Is that what's happening to you? You only want people to see a certain amount of truth?

 

Open up to trusted friends. Go to counselling. Save your soul.

 

We all think you are worth it.

 

💚👑 

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I've been doing a lot of ... not sure what you call it... self discovery or... self reflection.  As I mentioned before i've been fighting depression for most of my life.  Over the first year or 2 after her stroke... i felt so... hollow and empty and miserable.  Took me a while to realize, i lost more than my wife.  I realized that the relationship between us was so much more.  We both had things where we didn't have a lot of confidence... but we complemented each other.  She made me feel amazing and always was able to find a way to get me out of the dumps, and I did the same thing for her.  All of that is gone now.  She saw a Neuro-psychologist to determine the mental aspect was affected.  So, loosing all use of her left arm, hand, leg and foot, mentally she lost reasoning  and logical thinking.  The other thing that has changed is... her emotional aspect (?) is almost like a teenager. the first 6 or 8 months when she got home from in-patient therapy ... she thought I was sneaking out of the house in the middle of the night and cheating on her... and i was laying beside her in the same bed.  I was working from home, in our basement.  The only place i went was to run or to the farm. Hell even going to the farm, we have a bunch of cameras up over there so we can watch our cattle and equipment... and she could watch me... so it's not like she couldn't see me.

after all that has happened... i am now questioning everything about myself now. i'm finding myself now... just wanting to be alone... i don't want to be responsible for anyone's happiness ... just want to be alone so i don't have to worry about letting anyone down anymore, even though i know i didn't do anything wrong in the first place.

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I almost feel like a broken person...or spirit or motivation...just everything....sucked right out of me. I can't even ever see myself happy again. Then it comes back around to...what the hell 8s the point to even try or put effort into anything. I can't even act the way I used to. We were always joking with each other always having fun and being goofy in what ever we did...that is all gone. I say anything just slightly joking with her, she takes personal and starts crying. Ive talked to my dad...ive told him I can't live like this. His response is what do you want me to do. He is very very old school,no emotions you do it like it or not, because that is the way it is. But I'm not built like him.

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Jim. You are definitely in a bad situation. 

 

I'm just sorry you find yourself in the middle. 

 

We sign up for certain things:  sickness and health,  good times and bad, richer or poorer...

 

We don't sign up to be treated so badly, it affects us emotionally.  We don't sign up to be miserable. 

 

I'm not a caregiver, I'm a survivor.  I'm grateful every day for my husband and children. They are amazing. 

 

Other caregivers may say different...but what's keeping you from going?  Love? Happiness? Commitment? Hope?

 

If you can find good reason to keep battling along, grab it with both hands and seek lots of help.

 

If there's no reason to keep being treated badly and being miserable...

 

💚👑

 

 

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oh my goodness.  Yes, there is NO reason to be treated like that. That being said, it sounds like you're grieving as well. You often here about the stages of grief, well, to me, it sounds like you are perpetually in the stage of anger.  Now I'm not exonerating her from her actions.  But I can see how that would exacerbate you already depression.  Have you, and I'm sure you have, brought this up with her neurologist?  I mean yeah not only damage to the brain but maybe she isn't on a medicine that could help or one is making her act this way. Either way I hope that things start to get better.  Have you talked to someone about your depression? With the stages of grief, they aren't in a particular order or time frame. 

 

 On a side note about the sex.. I commend you for trying but there are different ways to go around the issues with her leg. You not having an interest, I can understand although she may see that as " he doesn't want to be with me. I'm not attractive anymore ' and she be acting out as to that but then again I have no idea. Please send me a message if you need suggestions or questions.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm turning into a vegetable.  it's starting to affect my work now.  I've informed my dad that... something has to change. She keeps texting me about what was it that caused me to turn against her.. and i'm like.... like i've told her a million times before, nothing.  almost feel like a mental break down is on it's way.  i've informed everyone that i'm leaving sunday to disappear into some mountains, unplug and try to get my head back on straight, just not sure how long that will help.

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Fingers and toes crossed Jim that a break helps. Mountains definitely help. I've been in our mountain retreat since Sunday. so much more incidental exercise and much better sleep. I'm feeling much more positive. As someone said the other day running to is fine, but try to avoid running away. In my view running away for a little while can help work out where to run to, so go for it.

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