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Meditations for Carers
21. Ouch! I’m trying to help . . .

Romans 12.18

I saw a woman in the supermarket yesterday. She had the generally washed-out look of the over-exhausted long-term carer and was hurrying to get her shopping done. Then I noticed the tell-tale too-pale make-up on her cheek where she was trying to hide a bruise. Sometimes the ones we’re caring for don’t have full control over their limbs and an arm or leg too easily makes sudden contact. While unpleasant, this is readily forgivable (on our better days!). But sometimes, sadly, a stage is reached in the illness where outbursts, accusations of stealing and evil intent, and actual violence make life even harder to bear.

It’s not easy to remember, when faced with verbal or physical abuse, that it is usually even more horrible for our loved ones who are lashing out in wordless fear and anger at their own illness and disability. We just happen to be the closest. Turning the other cheek, trying to maintain peace and harmony, is difficult but trying to respond to the underlying feelings rather than to the bizarre or unpleasant behaviour will help you to get through...

Taken from One Day at a Time: Meditations for Carers by Dorothy M.Stewart
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