Finding meaning in the face of hostility

At the time, finding meaning in hostility publicly directed to you, at someone you love or towards something you represent, is not easy. Add in a diagnosis of dementia, and it is almost impossible, and seriously impacts ones ability to ‘paddle‘. In my case this also impacts the ability to speak as the PPA component of my dementia has worsened again in the last few weeks. In fact, a week ago, one evening, I could barely speak at all, and naturally am quite worried about what is ahead. My amazing husband is also very concerned about it, rather understandably.

Anyway, today after being defamed publicly again overnight, my speech has almost disappeared again, so I will stick to typing today, at least until my pain levels get too high to keep going. The Fentanyl patches I was prescribed last Monday are not yet working, so I’ll also need yet another appointment with one of the ‘fake’ doctors who prescribed them…

Always, after time, one can find meaning in bad things, including personally directed hostility, a crisis and even a terminal illness. But last night was the last straw, and the lesson I’ve obviously not learned well enough yet, but realised when I woke up today, is that my list of people who I have had to block in order to protect myself and especially my health, still needs to grow. I’ll of course look hard in the mirror again, as seem to keep attracting mean people in my life. I also hope this person will ask a few honest questions about herself after dishing out more of this challenging behaviour.

Currently, I’m still looking for the meaning in this last burst of hostility… especially as it has taken over 4 hours to write this short blog, and my energy and ability to do much else now, has also been sapped.

I can hardly wait for Jonathon to fly home.

48 thoughts on “Finding meaning in the face of hostility

  1. Take care, Kate. You’re a wonderful person and deserve far better.
    It may help to think that the person has a lot of hostility that had to be let out and you happened to be there.
    The hostile person may be angry with herself or her partner and acting it out. Its hard for you to have to hear it, but it isn’t meant for you, if you know what I mean.

    • This person fluctuates between public love and support to public hatred and defamation. Not my monkey, no longer my problem, has to be my lived motto now. I’ve given a lot of support, which is conveniently forgotten when I’m attacked but then bullies never stop and think first. Maybe bipolar or some other condition is responsible as I think it’s far too extreme for ‘carer stress’

  2. Kate I am sorry you have had to put up with such hostility. Thank you for your writing and your honesty. So many of us have huge respect for you and do care how you feel xx

  3. I agree with all the other blog followers, you are too “soft” and too “generous” to so many people who take you for granted and don’t say thank you for all the wonderful work you do, and i hate how they expect you to always fix the situation-they should ask someone else for assistance-not you. You deserve a week or two being selfish and putting YOURSELF first-you are such a giver. I too get sick of people who don’t appreciate people efforts. I always say “it costs NOTHING to say thanks”. Take care xx

  4. Oh Kate, i feel for you reading this and i am so sorry to hear that you are experiencing hostility and your Dementia has worsended-sounds like you have had an awful week. Hostility is awful and those who take advantage or are mean to my Grandad i no longer trust them but i still do respect them though. Mean people are awful and a waste of space and i agree with you to block them-bully’s are awful especially those who don’t understand that people are experiencing misfortune. I blocked my dads friend who is obsessed with my medical history last year from facebook and i dont regret that choice at all. One tip about attracting less people in your life is if you have heard really negative things about them or make inappropriate comments block them or don’t let them follow your blog-i have unfriended a few people due to meaness and weirdness before.I completely understand the impact those cruel people have had on your health and self esteem. I hope the appointment with your GP goes well-most GPS are really nice and hospitable-my one is-and i hope they find what’s wrong and there is a successful outcome-sending positive healing thoughts your way. Those horrible people need to think before they click and i am sick of so many people not understanding terminal illnesses-a family friend who has kidney failure posted about her health issues on facebook and her sister and sister in law wrote “you are going to beat this” when she hasn’t beat it yet and still hasn’t got a kidney transplant. People are so cruel towards those who have terminal illnesses. I am grateful for the wondorous, wonderful, caring, kind, and empathetic people in my life who understand my Grandads illness-i only chose to have nice people in my life(outside of school obviously). A further tip-only have wondorous people in your life who understand the extent of your illness. I hope you have a better day tommorow-thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You are fantastic the way you are Kate, and you are so selfless and you give alot to other people(some i’m sure who are undeserving and don’t appreciate your efforts)and you are kind, caring, and an inspiration to me with a heart of gold. You are amazing and how you have coped with your Dementia is amazing and a credit to you. You do SO much more than the average woman for other people. You have achieved MUCH more than the average woman-a credit to you. Remember Kate, be proud of who you are and be proud of yourself that you are still able to write those wonderful blogs, many people with Dementia are unable to do that-my Grandad can’t. You deserve a holiday and be selfish for a few days and do something YOU want to do because you deserve it. On a more positive note, me, my Dad and possibly my Sister are doing a walk for Dementia next month to raise awareness for it and because we have been affected by it. I am looking forward to doing it. Another big positive, i love reading your blog posts and love being able to communicate with you on here, and you should come to New Zealand for a well deserved holiday. Take care, blessings, and lots of love from New Zealand xxx💖😘

  5. Fellow traveller and friend Kate – My strategy has been to reach for the “smaller glass” – one full to the brim with “quality” of life, excluding, not only those things I can no longer do, but also such people, or places, that may diminish, demean or defeat me.My advice is to “banish the bullies”. Live your reality, not theirs; and give as much loving care to yourself, as you give to others. A few lines of Emily Dickinson come to mind:
    “The soul selects her own society,
    Then shuts the door;
    On her divine majority
    Obtrude no more.” . . .

  6. I’m so SO sorry Kate …. I wish we could all be there with you! I hope that the pain will ease quickly & look out for an email I just sent you. PS – hope that the GP appointment went well and you have an answer about the Fentanyl patch.

  7. It’s amazing the impact that stressful relationships can have on making our mental function decrease… I’m so sorry for the stressors and the struggle it’s made feel bigger… On the flip side, it’s amazing the influence that a little kindness can do to free us up, encourage us, allow us to rest. I so hope that you can read the above comments and that the kindness WAY overrides the stressors. I for one so appreciate your courage on many levels.

  8. It is so hard to just put it behind you – my husband says ‘You can’t unring a bell,’ Benefit to dementia, I often forget who and what someone said but I have also had serious reaction to someone who I felt tried to harm me. Love and care, Myrna

  9. So sorry to hear Kate…I reckon don’t bother looking in the mirror you’ve got enough to deal with, instead hold it up to them…Really hard to understand people like this?

    Just so you know you’ve been a tremendous help and encouragement to myself and Barbara not to mention thousands of others.

    As we say in NZ “Kia Kaha” “Stay Strong”

    Keep Lookin Up

    Jack

  10. That’s awful. Whoever this was sounds unfit to be a carer of anyone, especially a person with dementia. I feel really sorry for the partner!!! Glad my wife’s not like that.

  11. Dear Kate, I can’t even begin to imagine how painful this is for you to write about, let alone have to listen to someone who doesn’t like a different / potential new world order i.e. people living with and beyond dementia, having a voice. Just finished reading 5 Dysfunctions of a team and one of the things they ask is,’who is your first team?’. I’m fairly sure that you know who your first team is… they are the most important people around, and for You. It blows me away (in a good way) to see what you are individually and collectively achieving for people living with dementia and that you write about it. Bullying comes in many guises and the #metoo campaign highlights this. I hope that you will bounce back and that you are able to gather your first team around you for more fantastic emotional, intellectual and physical support. Don’t let these people shout you down! Hugs to you from Melbourne.

  12. Hoping that positive messages from folks who only want the best for you and are edified by your ability to share your experience will help you overcome the hostility you have encountered….as we often refer to ourselves when we are critical….perhaps holding that mirror up to the one who is attacking you will be more enlightening than you looking in to it…….

    • I use that ‘mirror’ technique often, as painful as it sometimes is. One thing my husband said yesterday, is I am too ‘soft’ and too generous to far too many people who 1) don’t appreciate it, and 2) appear to expect me and DAI to fix all of their problems.

    • The Fentanyl is just not working – e.g. not helping the pain at all. I’m back to see my doctor at 2:30 today. It is also the only narcotic that I am not allergic to, so running out of options if it turns out not to be suitable. Re the others, it is my reaction to them that is my issue and which I am workign on; I’m not sure anyone can change or even help this person.

  13. I am sorry sorry to hear that you have had to face this sort of hostility.

    It is hard to be a public face, as there will always be people who, for whatever reason, want to put you down. We can say it is out of ignorance rather than pure aggression, and maybe this takes a bit of the sting out of it. Still it hurts!!!

    You are a wonderful educator and an amazing advocate for people living with dementia. Please take care of yourself; your own health and wellbeing must always take a priority.

    Thank you for everything you do.

  14. Kate,

    While I understand people not agreeing with everything that you say I do not understand hostility. People, like yourself, who have opinions and ideas that do not yet form part of the ‘norm’ are so needed in this world. If the ‘norm’ is not challenged the world will not improve in the way that it needs to.

    Be encouraged!

    Geof

    • Great reply.
      Unfortunately the world is full of bullies. Stay strong.
      On occasions I have used this to keep me strong “will this mean my husband and children will love me less’ and if the answer is no. I’m happy!

    • Great reply Geof
      Unfortunately the world is full of bullies. Stay strong.
      On occasions I have used this to keep me strong “will this mean my husband and children will love me less’ and if the answer is no. I’m happy!

  15. Oh Kate, I don’t understand people at all especially ones who do attack others and I’m sure if at any time in their lives someone had pointed out bullying behaviour they would be the loudest yelling “I am not” , yes looking in the mirror is always a good option but rarely taken by many. Love you

    • Definitely, and yes, this person claims not to be a bully, just like my ex husband did. Sadly, I never thought I’d ever put them in the same sentence though, and under the same label.

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