FCC Week 1

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Lesson tags: Centering, lesson 1, video 1, what is validation

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  • The most stressed I have during two or three periods when my wife stayed up most of the night and on a few occasions, all night. She has always stayed up latter than I and generally there is no problem, it was her personal time. But on this occasion she came into our bedroom at about 3:00 AM and shouted, Bob, how can you sleep when I can not. Disturbed out of a sound sleep I became angry and shouted at her. It went worst from there. Mostly because of my harsh voice, she throws thing and says we should divorce.

    Every time after that when she woke me up it triggered immediate anger which was hard to control, I was afraid to go to sleep before her. I started staying up all night with her, talking, making her something to eat.

    I now try to make her relaxed near bed time, ask her if I turn off lights and ask her if we should go to bed. Every night I have to reassure her all our doors are locked (repeatedly) only after which she goes to sleep.

    Conclusion, Centering before approaching the problem would have ended the situation before I allowed it to escalate. Also, even in this first week, the knowledge that what I believed to be true , reality orientation, lying and diversion are inappropriate when working with my wife is life changing.


  • I feel stressed when my mother asks to do things at inappropriate times. For example, she demanded a shower at 11 PM, even though she had been doing nothing (just sitting on the couch watching TV) for the the last 6 hours. It was time to sleep, I was exhausted. If I refuse, she throws a fit slamming doors and screeching and cursing and wakes everyone in the house. If I comply, I don’t get to bed until 1 AM, leaving my well dry for the next day. When I try to circumvent by offering a shower earlier in the day, she refuses. She also does the same thing (ask for shower or food) right before her bus arrives to go to the adult day program. Then she will say “I refuse to go unless you shower me.” At that moment, the bus driver is there waiting and she is throwing a fit. If I say, ok, and send the driver away and give her a shower, then the rest of the day she is angry and volatile because she didn’t go to her day program. It often seems like there is no way to actually make her happy, no matter what road you go down, the end result is not satisfactory to her.

  • I am looking forward to my learning experience in this course.
    It is difficult for me, when after spending a few hours together with my mother suddenly her perception of me changes and becomes suspicious of me, when I give her her medications, and becomes very angry towards me and others.

  • Validation might be termed how to listen so people will talk. Some of the stories in the Validation Breakthrough book by Naomi Feil & Vicki de Klerk-Rubin, 2012 (not our text) sound miraculous. Today, I noticed that my mom is struggling with change. I will be away for two weeks. Tomorrow I will center myself before talking with her and try to understand her feelings.

  • Hi everyone. Great to be taking this course with you and reading your responses. Apologies for my delayed input; I had technical difficulties with the website. All seems to be in working order now:)

    I feel most stressed when I’m juggling responsibilities at work as well as responsibilities for my mom (transportation, managing her finances and medical care, running errands, preparing food, cleaning her apartment, etc.). At times, all of the “to do’s” are overwhelming and don’t feel I have the capacity to be really present with her and enjoy our interactions. I’ve been her primary care-giver for almost 5 years and I am just so tired.

    When I am especially tired, I find it hard to stay patient when mom asks the same question over an over (sometimes 5 or 6 times within 10-15 minutes). I try very hard to be kind and non-judgmental, but I do not always succeed. At those times when I am not as kind with mom as I want to be, I feel extreme stress and guilt.

  • I feel stressed and totally helpless and useless when my father is unhappy with his current situation (which is almost all the time). It often goes with anxiety and wanting to leave, so I often get myself caught up in therapeutic lying or diversion. I hate using diversion because I feel I’m cheating him. But I have mixed feelings about therapeutic lying because sometimes I don’t see the point in not telling him what he wants to hear. Also, since he thinks I’m someone else, it’s very hard not to fall in the trap of lying because it makes him so happy to have been reunited with his « old time friend » !

  • I feel stressed when the multiple demands on my time are already on overload and Mom asks me when I’m coming back to see her again. For over three years it was easy for me to answer her question since I was there several days a week. Even after we hired and trained our aides last summer, I continued to be hands on several times a week… until I got an upper respiratory infection. My immune system was so weakened that it took me two full months to recover. I couldn’t go over to Mom’s for eight weeks.

    I also feel stressed when Mom doesn’t want to eat, and I know that she hasn’t eaten for awhile.

  • You all are awesome to have signed on so quickly to start the course. I would say ditto to everything (acting things out, conflict more stressful, conflict avoidance). My mother has a favored son who has convinced her that other family cannot be trusted so I’m fighting that also. I’m looking forward to finding my way through that hard spot.

  • I feel stressed with most of my ineteractions with my husband now. Speech is difficult for him, he loses his train of thought and often is hallucinating so I don’t understand him. He does not understand me so I try to act out things so he can understand. I have tried the things that the video says don’t work and at best they barely work at this stage of his dementia which is very advanced.

  • I find conflict situations to be especially stressful and have always tried to avoid losing control of my temper. This often results in my bottling up negative feelings and later replaying the interactions in my mind, which just adds to the stress. This was an unfortunate aspect of my job prior to my retirement and led to sleeplessness and other physical manifestations of stress. I am anxious about the potential for conflict as my mother and mother-in-law continue along the course of their dementia.

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