Caregiving is not an easy job. It’s mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting. With that exhaustion comes a lot of feelings – feelings of anger and resentment in some cases. Dealing with Anger as a Caregiver
Anger and resentment can come from many causes. For some people, it’s because they feel their parents did not care for them well enough as children. They feel as though they are doing a better job as a caregiver to their parents than they did as parents. This loss they feel turns into anger and resentment because they feel as though their parents don’t deserve the care they are receiving from them.
Some caregivers are angry and resentful because they believe their parents have caused the situation they are in at the moment. For example, their parents may not have any money, which makes caring for them expensive for the caregiver. Or the parents may have done something unhealthy such as smoked for 30 years, and now they need special care due to those effects. Many caregivers feel as though it’s not fair their parents have had fun throughout life or put themselves in dangerous situations, and now the consequences end up lying on the adult children.
Another cause of anger doesn’t have anything to do with what the parents did – it’s towards the disease or illness they are suffering from at the end of their life. Those with parents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are often upset. The disease can make it seem as though a person has left his/her body. This is heartbreaking to a caregiver, and a caregiver often deals with the stages of grieving even before his/her parent has died.
It can be easy to place blame on your parents or the disease they are dealing with because it’s an outside source for your pain. Consider not doing that and instead think about how good of a person you are for doing everything you are doing. Bring it inside and realize you are a strong person for doing everything you’re doing, despite how unfair it may be for you.
Often times, feelings of anger and resentment intensify was you do more and more each day. Take a break away from caregiving. Find some help from friends and family members to ensure your parents are taken care of, and also use them for support. It can be good to get away from it all, so you can calm the fire burning inside of you.
You do a lot for your parents, so you probably don’t do as much for yourself. Take time to treat yourself the way you are treating your parents. You deserve to be rewarded for all you do, and if someone isn’t rewarding you for it, you must do it yourself.
Anger and resentment can imprison you. Don’t allow that to happen. The most freeing thing you can do for yourself is to let it all go. Take some time each day to close your eyes, breathe in and out a few times, and allow yourself to just release the anger and resentment inside of you.
It can be difficult to deal with caregiver anger and resentment on your own. You need help to cope with these feelings. Holding onto them is not fair to you or your family.
Dealing with Anger as a Caregiver Dealing with Anger as a Caregiver Dealing with Anger as a CaregiverDealing with Anger as a Caregiver Dealing with Anger as a Caregiver Dealing with Anger as a Caregiver Dealing with Anger as a Caregiver
I’m Kendall Van Blarcom, the founder of Van Blarcom Consulting. For over 25 years, I have provided personal consulting and counseling to over 1,000 clients around the world.
I am a licensed marriage and family therapist (MFT) based in California. I have decades of consulting experience and a genuine desire to help my clients.
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