Have you known someone who likes to dump their frustrations on other people through unkind words or actions? This was NOT true of my first husband, Wayne, and also is Not true of my new husband, Bob. Wayne must have experienced much frustration; as he watched his body deteriorate step by step. Yet whatever frustration he may have experienced, he did not use that as an excuse to dump on me. Although lethargic at times, he was kind and gentle in his interactions with me to the end of his life.
This is not true of all care-giving situations, however. Because of my interest in family care-giving, I have heard of situations where the loved one will dump on the very ones who are caring for them. In some case this is caused by dementia. The person is frightened by the changes that are going on in their bodies and/or minds and take it out on the people who loves them most.
Whether it is a care-giving situation, or another situation altogether; anger, hostility, or unjust criticism often is an overflow of that person's own hurt. Their harshness is often due to their own insecurities, fears, and desperation for love; and it may have little to do with the person to whom it is directed.
It is difficult to accept this kind of angry words and actions. Although I did not experience this in my former care-giving situation, I have experienced this kind of anger directed towards me in my life. I am sure we all have from time to time. If we think about the vulnerability of the other individual and remember that the person's anger has to do with their own hurts and disappointments and very little to do with us, however, perhaps we can deal with the situation with a more Christ-like understanding and attitude.
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