Letters from Madelyn – Chapter 3
“Fire! Fire! Madelyn Gets Mad”
My mother was not a saint. Like most people in a similar situation, she often experienced caregiver anger. She wrote this letter after Dad got involved in putting out a wheat field fire the first summer after his stroke.
She believed he’d suffered the original stroke as a result of working too hard and getting too tired. She was afraid if he pushed himself to the limit again that he might have another stroke. She knew it could kill him. On the other hand, she knew it might not. If he had another stroke and it debilitated him to the point that she could no longer care for him at home, she knew she would be forced to sell homesteaded farm ground to pay for his care. That would have put my brother, who farmed with them, out of business. It would have also meant that there would not be any income or assets that could be sold in the future to pay for her care, should she need it.
I think you’ll understand why she got angry, and I’m pretty sure you’ll forgive her for blowing up. I just hope you’ll be able to understand how fear, fatigue and frustration can contribute to a caregiver anger, and that you’ll cut yourself a little slack the next time you lose it.