Coping with anger

Hi all, feeling a bit low tonight as I have just snapped at my partner who has MS and needs help with just about everything. I work 4 days a week in a stressful job while carers come in to help at home, then I am on duty Fri-Sun, and every bedtime. I had all sorts of plans for little things I wanted to do this weekend, and most have been scuppered by caring demands. I find it’s the little things that are the last straw, the constant demands for me to pass something, plug something in, check a toenail, come and look at this, I need a whatsit, no don’t do it like that, could you just…… Well I was really resentful and sucked it up all day today and then I just lost it and was quite cruel and now I feel crap. There just seems to be no way to change the situation, I just have to learn to deal with it.

Hi Nicky
Hard as it is, don’t beat yourself up! You are remarkable, doing all you can, and even a saint has a breaking point. Sounds like you need some ’ me time’ and not work related. Any chance of getting any?

I guess it would be wrong to say that we all do it, as some of you may be better at holding your tongue - but I certainly do - there are things that I can’t let pass and I will have my say - she may not want to listen, but she can’t exactly run away. :slight_smile:

Let it out Nicky, but try and be constructive about things at the same time - that’s what I try and do, (rather than just ranting), it still goes in one ear and out the other when she’s sulking, but hopefully she gives it due consideration later.

Being a carer doesn’t mean giving up you’re sense of self and becoming a doormat - or at least not all the time :smiley:
Carers can still say No, or Not right now, or one thing at a time
You can still talk to her about how you feel, how things can be arranged so you are not running backwards and forwards and how you can get some quality time to yourself.
MS is a dreadful physical disease but she is still an adult human being and can act and be treated like one.

Sounds like you’ve both lots sight of yourselves beyond the illness.

Practical suggestions for those angry moments
Say you are angry
Go for a walk
Go to another room
Punch a cushion
Daily exercise in the fresh air is a good all round mood improver


This is my problem , the constant demands, can you do this, can you do that, all the time , I am trying to get something done in another room, why can’t they just wait for 2 minutes. NO they can’t things need to be done now, I am sat there 2 hours with them, no requests, as soon as I go out the room, the requests start, as if they can’t bear to be on their own.

And I think that’s part of the problem, they don’t want to be on their own, I appreciate similar to your caree, they cannot do anything so need everything done for them. But jobs need doing around the house washing up etc.

You need some me time, time to yourself away from the caring situation.

There seems to be 2 sorts of anger, I find. The one within myself that has developed from the ‘entrapment’ nature of being a carer and the other is from outside sources including the one you care for, who can’t see the other anger.

Following heart failure at the end of 16 years of caring, the house is quiet now after my indifferent siblings have all gone home. While here they’ve shown theor anger to 91 year old mom and in turn have behaved realy badly to her resulting in one sibling saying they’ll never come here again. Between them they’ve left a lot of bad odour from their selfish behaviour which has worn me down. This was supposed to be respite. If it is I won’t be bothering with them again. They’re all nurses ironically.

Now I see my caring ‘future’ hasn’t changed at all and I’m back with mom, who can’t see and chooses to stay in bed in a darkenned room all the time. She too calls every so often for small and big things and she’s already picked up the tone of my voice.

The anger seeds itself in the plain frustration of the situation. Being responsible for another pretty much all of the time. The feeling of there being no one else. Mom doesn’t want to change anything. Then, I’m supposed to be resting from heart failure and can’t anymore. I’m back to where I was before but at least without chest pains and odema.

When you consider the balance of demands on you as a carer, versus what you can actually do, it will always feel impossible. The one thing that I try and be guided by is caring with a degree of dignity, but as you’re the only one there the dignity thing has to also apply to self if we’re to avoid feeling bad when the pressure bites.

Leaving the room for ten mins. Breathe in some fresh air. Focus on something outside the house (neighbours here have ducks and chickens). The biting sense of anger is totally natural but passing it on to another who doesn’t understand or create the anger in the first place isn’t good.

I knew someone who every time he lost the plot would put a coin in a jar. Months passed and he ended up with a tidy amount enough to order some food in, converting the anger into something much more positive as the coin and jar took the angry focus away from the bod he cared for.

It’s all very personal. What works for one doesn’t always for another. But anger is natural. It is possible to manage it before it leaks out. Acknowledging it helps towards thinking about changing the way it affects a situation as I am doing right now.