Catharsis

Ok, so, um, I’ve always sort of put myself out there. Way before I ever had therapy or was interested in psychology. It just is my temperament. And, not only is it my temperament, but it’s been something of a defense mechanism. If I put myself out there, then people can’t hurt me with any secrets because I have no secrets. I’m like, “Yeah, so what of it.” I’ve always been that way, since I was a little child. Always been WAY open.

My name is Kitt Kathleen. Kitt is my full first name. Kathleen is my middle name. Redundant name. I love it. My Aunt Kathy. My Aunt Kathleen, I’m named after. She’s my godmother, also. I got a bonus godmother in that my mother’s friend, Annette, best friend, Annette, stood in for my Aunt Kathy during the ceremony, during my baptism. So, I have two godmothers. My sponsor, my aunt, and then my stand-in, Annette. So I’m doubly blessed.

But, anyway, back to my name. Kitt Kathleen. Both names are derived from Katherine, which comes from… Sorry for the background noise. I’m driving with the windows open in order to dry my hair. Anyway, Katherine… Catherine derives from catharsis, which is, you know, change through emotional, well, okay, I don’t have the definition in front of me right now, and I’m a little scattered, but think catharsis, think Kitt, you got it. You know, change through an emotional outpouring, through cathartic, through catharsis. So, Kitt is cathartic.

So, here I am. I’m driving to have lunch with my parents. I’m apprehensive. It’s challenging seeing my parents. They’re not happy with the decisions I’ve [we’ve] made for them. They want to be back in their home, which is in escrow [has since fallen out of escrow]. But, they’re not able to take care of themselves. And, I’m not able to take care of them either.

I know they had wanted us to stay in their house, to have us take care of them. But, I have bipolar disorder. My son gets migraines and has social anxiety and depression. My husband would do anything, is willing to do anything. But, I don’t think it’s good for him either to be put in the position of taking care of everybody. He’s got some anxiety himself – claustrophobic, and he’s an engineer, so he’s a little tightly wound.

None of us is kind of chill. Let’s just put it that way. None of us is chill. We’re thoroughbreds. We’re tightly wound. We’re a little over-bred for intelligence. You know, sort of the Jack Russell terriers of the world. Anyway, I guess that’s it for now. A little cathartic sharing.

Caregiver’s Bill of Rights

National Aphasia Association logo

National Aphasia Association Caregiver’s Bill of Rights

I have the right to take care of myself. This is not an act of selfishness. It will give me the ability to take better care of my loved one.

I have the right to seek help from others even though my loved one may object. I recognize the limits of my own endurance and strength.

I have the right to maintain facets of my own life that do not include the person I care for just as I would if he or she were healthy. I know that I do everything that I reasonably can do for this person and I have the right to do some things just for myself.

I have the right to get angry, be depressed, and express difficult feelings occasionally.

I have the right to reject any attempt by my loved one (either conscious or unconscious) to manipulate me through guilt or anger.

I have the right to receive consideration, affection, forgiveness, and acceptance for what I do for my loved one as I offer these attributes in return.

I have the right to take pride in what I am accomplishing and to applaud the courage it has taken to meet the needs of my loved one.

I have the right to protect my individuality and my right to make a life for myself that will sustain me in times when my loved one no longer needs my full-time help.

I have the right to expect and demand that as new strides are made in finding resources to aid physically and mentally impaired persons in our country, similar strides will be made toward aiding and supporting caregivers.

Quoted from http://www.aphasia.org/aphasia-resources/caregivers-bill-of-rights/

Freaking Out

Once again I accidentally skipped a medication dose. Thursday evening I forgot to take my divalproex (used to treat seizures, migraines and bipolar disorder), making me less stable, more irritable, short-tempered with my husband, overwhelmed, emotionally fragile, raw and vulnerable. F*ck. So that’s a bit of background for how I felt Friday and Saturday.

Am I doing right by my parents? Am I failing myself and my son?

Friday Texts to Owner of Board and Care

Kitt: My mother’s speech therapist told me to work with my mom daily. I’m not up to that b/c I have bipolar disorder and my son gets sick, migraines, depression & anxiety. I must protect myself and my family’s well-being. I do not think that the caregivers are up to speech therapy exercises. Maybe I underestimate them.

Owner: Hi, Kitt, I completely understand your concerns & your concerns for your family. I agree with your assessment that caregivers are not really well qualified to do that, but they can try doing it, & we will see how it goes. It will get better.

Friday Texts with My Sister

Kitt: FYI, the speech therapist today said I should work with mom every day on speech therapy exercises. Staff at board and care are just “caregivers.” They cook, clean, help with bathing. I talked dad into showering today with mom’s help. Mom refused to shower.

Sister: I wonder why mom won’t take a shower? You do not need to follow the demands of a speech therapist. You can do the speech therapy exercises when you are available. They will not control your life. You will control your life and time.

Kitt: This is what she wrote. Do not know what she meant.


She is having trouble with receptive speech, with understanding what is said to her or asked of her. But she knew we wanted her to shower b/c she gets gestures and if restate putting in context.

Sister: Do you think she needs a chair in the shower?

Kitt: I bought one. It’s in their shower.

Sister: Maybe she wants it out then? Or she’s worried dad is going to jump her? 😳 love in the shower?

Kitt: If she wanted it out, she could take it out.

Sister: Yeah. Probably more the second idea?

Kitt: Thanks for the smile. I’m pretty stressed. I know you are, too. On the positive side, she made huge strides after one session with this guy.

Sister: Good!

Hope that Speech Therapy Books Will Help


Purchased these books online. Hope that I can delegate exercises for my dad to do with my mom. He has moderate stage dementia, so not sure how it will go. I know he wants to help, though. It will give them something to do together that will benefit them both cognitively. Obviously, I’ll have to break it down simply. Will get them a calendar with instructions (page x in book y),  shower schedule, and physical therapy and speech therapy schedules.