Do you wish you could stop crying?

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by jc141265, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    This thread is inspired by a new member who private messaged me (and I'm so sorry I accidentally deleted your message when I deleted others and now I don't know how to PM you again until I see you online once more) and apologised for not being bright and cheery (or words to that effect).

    I wanted to say to this member and any other member who gets tired of, or frustrated with, always feeling upset, sad, down, teary etc, please, please don't feel bad and don't feel you need to apologise, I even dare to say celebrate it, it means you are a caring human being! (as others here have said to me you can't ever be too emotional). It doesn't mean you are weak, pathetic, not coping (and all of those other words I've thrown at myself when embarassed at my habit of crying at the drop of a hat in recent years).

    In fact I'll give you some good news about all this crying and feeling like you are the only one who can't handle things, ....I reckon its both good for you and good for the person you are caring for. (the reason I say celebrate it)

    I'm not saying bawl your eyes out in front of them, I mean its good for them because by you being able to let your sadness out on a regular basis means that you aren't holding things in, so you are a lot less likely to yell at them, get angry, be mean, resent them and so on.

    Its good for you because, its never healthy to hold in emotion over a long period of time (and this disease can mean a long time of holding in) and because I've found at least in my experience it can help you come to terms with each stage of the disease, and the grieving. I cry and cry and cry and then I am calm for a long while until Dad again slips further down that trail of stages. Then I cry again until I am calm.

    For quite a long time I worried about my inability to 'cope' why was i always crying when i thought of Dad, or of the past when things were normal. I was so worried that eventually I went to a counsellor to see if they could help me to stop crying. This is what the counsellor said to me,

    "Natalie, your father is dying, he's been dying for a long time now, you see a little bit of him die everyday, and you have to watch him go through things you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy, should be crying."

    Even then I still tried to argue the point and she just repeated,

    "Natalie, your father is dying, he's been dying for a long time now, you see a little bit of him die everyday, and you have to watch him go through things you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy,.....its normal to be crying."

    I must say here though that there will be those of you who feel that you can't cry yet, because you are scared that if you cry, you may never be able to stop and you've got too much on your plate right now, caring for your loved one that you can't afford to fall apart just yet. For you, I hope that this post will help you feel okay about 'falling apart' if it happens to you, or you feel you can't keep the act up anymore.

    One more thing on that celebrating thing, I celebrate my crying because it re-affirms that I am a caring person and most of all because by leting all my sad emotion out I find when I do spend time with Dad, I can just sit there and love him, and love him and love him.

  2. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    Hi Nat,

    Whilst I would agree that crying lets out a lot of pent up emotions, (and goodness knows I've done my share), I would also add that there are times when enough is enough, and it may be time to seek some help. It's one thing to be upset (how inadequate that word seems here), but copious crying, especially when you're on your own, can be self-destructive and, just as you went to see a counsellor, sometimes we need support to 'put a cap on it', so to speak.

    I know my Mum cried buckets over my Dad, (I'm sure she still does occasionally, and still will, there's no such this as 'all-cried-out' in this illness), but I would be concerned if she'd continued being utterly distraught for too much longer. As it happened, she started to relax after the first few months of Dad being in the Home. I know she will never get used to it in lots of ways, but there's a level of crying that is unsustainable for too long before something gives.

    I'm pleased that looking at your crying positively has helped you, and will no doubt help others, and I would in no way try to belittle your grief, but just wanted to say that sometimes there's a need to find some assistance to stem the flow a little!

    Best wishes,
  3. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    #3 jc141265, Sep 19, 2005
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
    The crying thing

    I agree Hazel, thus the mention of the counsellor I saw, hoping that pointed out that,that is also 'acceptable' in this society of ours that tends to not want people to admit to their personal needs for outside help...mind you perhaps I'm speaking from the Australian you are very much shunned and pitied if you show grief, and gawd forbid if you need to see someone about it, never admit that, you might even have people questioning your ability to function at work if they knew!

    As for crying too much, I understand your viewpoint, but I really really wanted to let people know that they don't need to worry about the crying if they have just cause, which as my counsellor pointed out, going through the alzheimers experience is just cause. I found I was constantly teased by my family about my crying, when in reality it did not affect my ability to function in other areas of my life and in fact their harassment, caused me unnecessary stress when already I'm stressed to the maximum.

    I find that I cry over heartlifting news stories just because I think its so wonderful for someone to have things going well, I cry over sad movies especially if there is someone dying in it, I cry when my Dad's asleep because I sit there and look at him so vulnerable when I remember him once being so strong. I never used to cry like this and so easily and I feel its my body's way of letting the pain go. I remember after watching the movie big fish which I didn't actually find amazingly touching I got up from the couch after crying over it, I continued to cry while I walked outside and as I hung the washing out, I still continued to cry and I'm not ashamed of that, point is, it didn't stop me from doing the daily chores.

    Naturally if the crying is affecting your work or personal life you really need to see someone for help about it. But as I finally said to my mother one day when she got all worried about my crying, 'I'm crying, so what? Is it stopping me from being all I can be? I work full time (and get extremely positive ffedback about my contributions), I attend Uni full time (and pass with flying colours), I visit my Dad on a daily basis, I'm about to get married, I'm a good step-mum. Just let me cry, its not hurting me, I just miss my Dad, so I cry'. Again I reiterate though, I am able to control this crying, no one at work or University sees my crying, but when I'm with family or friends, I cry sometimes, so what?

    I'm just saying to those that do cry, don't stress, you just do things differently.
  4. daughter

    daughter Registered User

    Mar 16, 2005
    I do understand what you're saying, Nat, and I agree wholeheartedly, but I just wanted to make sure that anyone who is crying and despairing knows that it's ok to seek help. It's the stiff upper lip here in UK too, so the not accepting counselling etc. is also quite prevelant.

    There's so many different angles to cover here!

    From another angle, it's also hard for people who are watching the 'cryer' (for want of a better word). There was a recent thread, with lots of good comments:

    I felt that Sandy's story about when her daughter was young is a particularly helpful way of looking at it. Mothering instinct tells us to stop the crying and make it all better, it's harder to just let them weep. This is probably going off the point a bit but I thought might be worth mentioning because you said about your Mum worrying about your crying.

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your posts, keep on crying! ;) keep on posting!
  5. Bets

    Bets Registered User

    Aug 11, 2005
    South-East London, UK
    I am 67 and my husband has vascular dementia. I have cried more in the last five or six years than in my whole life before then. I understand what the counsellor said about you having the right to cry because your father is slowly dying. I feel I am in a state of ongoing bereavement. Although I find I cry less often than I used to, and I don't lose it so completely when I do, I still reckon that a good day is one when he doesn't get angry over something and I don't cry at all. The hard thing is crying so that he doesn't see or hear, not always easy when it's not that big a house! I do so wish for the support he would always give me at difficult times but, of course, it he could give me that support now, I wouldn't need it, would I?
  6. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005

    Bets, what can I say, wish I could offer a hug. It is terrible that you have to go through this and your husband too. My Dad too could be so mean (he hasn't been for a long time now) he used to be particularly mean to family members too which we always found weird, the meanest to my Mum. As you know I guess you just gotta keep seeing it as the disease, not him...doesn't mean it doesn't still hurt though.

    Have you thought about seeing a counsellor, the one thing good about the one I saw was you could say all those things about how mean he can be how, in some ways you are angry at him or the world for having this happen (no matter how irrational you know the feeling can be) and the great thing about a counsellor is, that if they are a professional, they will just let you vent and not make you feel bad about your emotions, explain to you that it is normal for such emotions, and for me calm me enough to be able to just take one day at a time.

    Wishing you comfort.
  7. Rosalind

    Rosalind Registered User

    Jul 2, 2005
    Why don't I cry

    I can't understand why I don't cry about my situation, with husband with VaD. I well up every week watching the X factor when someone gets picked, and have been known to become emotional over a high value estimate on the Antiques Road Show, but despite often being utterly miserable about our situation, and how different it is to years gone by, don't cry about it. I get angry, but not weepy, and don't even feel that it is all stored up behind a dam.

    Odd, isn't it?
  8. jc141265

    jc141265 Registered User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Often not in touch with the source of my crying

    Hey Rosalind,

    I find that most of the time I cry, I search inside of myself to see if I'm crying about the Dad situation but I can't feel it. However as I cry more often now than I ever used to, I am guessing that nevertheless it is about him, even if I'm not really in touch with the feeling. The only times I know I'm crying about him is now when I'm with him and he's sleeping but this kind of crying has only come now he is so close to the end. Before I was crying over all sorts of other stupid stuff.

    Oh and as for anger, my gawd yes I'm angry! Perhaps that too is why I cry more than others, I've always had this annoying habit of crying when I'm angry which does nothing for your credibility in an argument, believe you me! I'm so angry and at the same time confused. I alway felt that there was a God or some higher being that ran things and looked after us all, but now I can't work out how they heck he/she/it could have let this happen to Dad, I can't see the good it is doing anyone, and it is the most terrible cruelty. At the same time, how can I let faith go? Because if i do that, what is the point? Really why do we bother?

    If this is just some really big lesson, I don't appreciate the way it is being instructed, I say to the gods/god whatever, find another way to teach me this. You shouldn't be doing this to anyone.

    I recently went to an Aunt's funeral and there wasn't room in the church, but my sister and I agreed it was probably a good thing because we'd probably be struck by lightning for the anger our hearts hold toward the almighty if we were inside his house!

    Am I being blasphemous? Apologies if I offend anyone.
  9. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Oh boy Nat, include me amongst "those of you who feel that you can't cry yet, because you are scared that if you cry, you may never be able to stop and you've got too much on your plate right now, caring for your loved one ..."

    Sometimes you guys do SO hit the nail right on the head.

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