|Newburgh, flotsam on the beach|
One ill-thought out action,
one unsteady step
sends you flying back, back, back
into the bath
twist and snap and water fountains,
sprays you and dilutes my patience.
Apathetic lost soul you are
I have to figure out how to get you out
as you flounder wide-pleading-eyed,
Me, endurance fraying at the edges,
mind all messed up,
sick to death of all of it and
at this very moment
I have had enough of this caring stuff
and want to drown myself in alcohol.
This poem represents a true event of and the frustration of an early evening late January. Even the most cheerful optimists have an occasional bad day and that day was one of them (for me) and oh how so much I didn’t need my handsome one to (unintentionally) dive back into the bath… writing the above proved cathartic.
And apart from the dregs of in a box of Christmas wine – there was no other alcohol in the house… C'est la vie.
(Did figure out how to rescue my handsome one (tap impressions in his back but mostly his pride injured) – wedging with quilts pillows etc. to raise him to the height of the (interior) bath, a thick sofa cushion (to raise the height of the floor) and with the kind help of a wonderful next-door neighbour yanked my main man out.)
In my workplace the subject of non-visiting relatives sometimes crops up and it is at these times I use my experience to aid my colleagues in understanding why this is. The life of a carer of someone with dementia or profound enduring mental (or physical?) ill-health is a lonely one. Friends and indeed close relatives gradually cease to visit…
You become increasingly isolated and in the case of dementia your soul mate/mother/father eventually becomes a stranger to you and more often than not – a stranger who is more dependant on your time (and more trying on your patience/sanity) as the days slowly pass. You cease to love the one you loved – for they are no longer that person.
I also understand burnout as occasionally I come very near it myself – and I guess in view of this I can understand elder abuse too. How often it may be that we are at our wits end, with no-one to turn to and although I am able to keep my frustration to muttered words – I can understand why some snap and hit out under the interminable pressure of caring. (I understand it – but firmly believe I would never reach this point – but I could be wrong.)
And so it is for some of those with dementia who enter a care or nursing home – friends and indeed close relatives gradually cease to visit…
(I must add that I am still in love with my handsome one – but accepting one day I might not be and then will (probably) resent his very presence in my life…)
Poem entered at OpenLinkNight at dVerse hosted by Joe Hesch – thanks Joe!