How Do You Manage Your Caree’s Anger?

punching-ball-172x300Last night, one of our visitors (Kari) shared a comment on Friday’s How Was Your Day? post:

I’ve been caring for my fiancé for about 8 years since he had a failed back surgery. He now had intractable pain, which is constant severe pain. The hardest part for me is dealing with his anger toward me and the world for not helping him get better, and causing him to get worse. I clean up lots of messes and still can’t keep the place liking amd feeling nice. I get overwhelmed with all the work, just cleaning up after him. I often think that I would trade places with just about anyone. I hope this site can help , I just needed to vent. Is it the average that the sick person gets so angry at the caregiver?

What’s your experience in managing your caree’s handle? Do you feel like you become the target for the anger?

Please share your experiences in our comments section, below.

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3 Comments on "How Do You Manage Your Caree’s Anger?"

Profile photo of ejourneys
Jan 8, 2014

First off, to Kari et al.: Your emotions are valid. Being a target sucks, and we are targets because we are there. That’s all it takes.
I keep reminding myself that it’s the disease talking. I also remind myself — and my caree — that all I can control are my own responses.

In my case, I found that the more I tried to please my caree, the greater her criticism and anger became. I had to detach (easier said than done, but the skill improves with practice) and turn that around. I asked myself: is this something I can really do anything about? Will it really make a difference? If yes, then I acted accordingly. If no, then I treated her anger as noise. Without having her anger fueled, she became calmer and her mood eventually improved — until the next outburst.

At first I felt as though I were being heartless, but I realized how important it is to defuse a situation, often by not responding to it. Anger can also exacerbate pain, so a time-out can also have physical benefits. Sometimes, also, my caree just needed to vent, which meant that all I needed to do was be her sounding board.

Jan 9, 2014

I am so happy to have found this site. My husband has ‘episodes’ where he gets in a terrible mood for several days during which he becomes verbally abusive and hyper critical of anything and everything. The last time this happened I ended up in tears. I try not to take it personally but sometimes it’s hard. When he gets in a better mood I try to talk to him about it. He usually blames chronic back pain but sometimes he completely denies the things he has said/done. He refuses to go get help. This past time I was even planning an exit strategy for me and my four children because we just shouldn’t have to put up with this. When he is in a good mood, everything is fine and we can function together as a family. Until the next time and I never know what is going to set him off…. Not sure how to handle situation. The older children retreat to their rooms and computers to avoid him, I hate that. :(