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Is frustration an expression of grief?

There’s nothing to report. Same old same old. Mostly I’m here because I haven’t updated in a while.

One day not long ago I heard a woman say on a podcast that she realized that her irritation at her parent’s repeated questions (they both had dementia) was what she called a “grief trigger.”

That really got to me. Was that what was happening with me? Was my grief over slowly losing my mom disguised as frustration?

I had to think on it for a while. I had to experience some more frustration. I’ve had A LOT of opportunity to experience frustration.

And the answer?


Not grief. It’s just plain old frustration. Frustration, irritation, aggravation. I’ve got it all, except for grief.

There are days when I have more patience than other days. Sometimes I can answer the same question a dozen times in a row and never waver from my attitude of, “she thinks this is the first time she’s asking.” Then there are times when that ninth or tenth time sets me off and I have to tell her, “I have lost all patience for your repeated questions!” That silences her, but I don’t know if she knows she’s been caught or if she is baffled because she thinks it’s the first time she’s asked. Sometimes I cannot help but think she’s doing this because she knows it gets my goat and she’s trying to make me insane. Other times I think she’s a giant baby who can’t accept the answers she does not like. We have this on-going war where she does not believe I’m telling her the truth anytime she doesn’t like the answer to a question. Except she claims she can’t remember. Sometimes it genuinely seems as if she’s trying to be stupid, dumb, irritating, annoying, and whiny. IT MAKES ME CRAZY!

Crazy is not grief. Crazy is me not being able to handle her sometimes. Crazy is me not having enough patience to soothe her anxiety because all I want her to do is shut up and do what I ask her to do so we can get out the door on time. Her asking me for the thousandth time if I know where we are going and what we are doing is not helping! Put your shoes on, leave your purse at home, pick up your sunglasses, leave your money at home, believe me when I tell you that everything is paid for, go to the car and wait for me for the thirty seconds it’s going to take me to manage EVERYTHING that must be managed before we leave. Yes, we have a house key. Yes I know where the park is. Yes there’s a cane in the car. No you don’t need your purse. Yes I know where we’re going. No you don’t need to take any money. Yes everything is already paid for. Now repeat those answers and a dozen more a billion times in ten minutes and you have my life. I cannot handle it and it is not grief. It is definitely not grief over losing her. It is madness is what it is.

Dementia is madness, but mostly for the caregiver.

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