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Slapped in the Face

Updated on December 19, 2009

I realize this morning she had been through a personal ordeal, because of her deep modesty, something she has had all her life, but that slap in the face she gave me and telling me to "get the hell out of here" was very hard to take.

It brought back some more memories I have kept within myself, only because I had no reason to think they mattered to anyone, or even to me...I mean we all go through things during our life time and some are just either too painful or just seem less important.

My mom did have a hard time growing up and suffered from an abusive first marriage, and I am thinking perhaps now in her Dementing stage she is reverting back there, back to the times she so dreaded, the times she just didn't want to wake up.

Being very difficult to understand , I do know she must have felt her privacy was being invaded, and the caregivers are so very well trained and handle these things way better then I do. However her cleanliness after using the toilet was an issue, and needed to be taken care of right then and now. She cussed at them and cried and sobbed and then was exhausted so went to lay down for a rest.

Shortly afterwords, I arrived for my visit; and was immediately informed about the situation. So as I entered her room and found her sleeping I simply asked God to give me the strength to know how to re-act to her and to be patient.

When she later opened her eyes and began to focus on me, she gave her smile and I walked over to her bed and kissed her and mentioned that she had a rough morning, and she nodded her head in understanding. I tried to sit down on the bed beside her, she jumped up and yelled at me to "get away, leave me alone, damnit!"

Clue # 1 she was not over the traumatic experience from earlier. I told myself to be patient and follow her lead slowly, and caringly. She promptly went into the bathroom and sat on the toilet. Done, she stood up, and pulled up her long johns and pants, but had forgotten to pull up her Pull-ups and therefore walking was dangerous, and nearly impossible.

 I asked if I could show her why she was having a hard time and she let me fix the problem, gave me hug and I felt good. Her blouse was rolled up under her sweater (she is always cold) and so I went to pull it down to make her more comfortable, when she reared her hand back slapping me hard in the face and told to get the hell out.

In utter shock...not another word did I speak, I left the bathroom, got my purse, her gift and walked away. She however is quick on her feet and was ahead of me in the flash of an eye, and walking towards the recreation room. Which is where I was headed. When I arrived she was talking to another resident and turned around and saw me, and as usual came cheerfully to see me, as it was all forgotten in her mind.

We sat and listened to the Piano entertainer and then she had her snack and water and we worked on a few puzzles, well I did... she just likes to watch and then take them apart.

The difficult part came about that time; when the physic doctor came to me and wanted to discuss her behavior over the last 6 or so months. There have been other times when she has been difficult to handle and they want to give her some medicine to help calm her down, of course with the approval of her medical doctor.

Thoughts are many and I researched the meds and they are not addictive, don't make them sleep and a very low dose. My conclusion is to give it a try, so long as the medical doctor agrees.

The real point to this writing, is to try to keep my peace of mind, especially this time of year and for her sake and safety. (We went for a ride to see all the Christmas lights then back for dinner, which she ate readily and then to get her P.J's on.) It is a tough road watching your mom (or any loved one) with Alzheimer's Disease.

I ask God for strength and wisdom everyday and try to learn all I can, but there are some things only experience will teach you...and today it was "the slap in the face" , which did hurt...not only my feelings but my skin. So to anyone else out there dealing with things as I am, "they do not mean it, they do not really understand what they are doing"...let it go, just let it go...Live in the moments as best you can, cause one day you won't even have that...:O) Hugs G-Ma


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    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Hugs right back to you, G-Ma, I'm sure you need a few extra hugs, and deserve them too.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Well Thank you my dear Dolores...We all need to know we are not alone in the events we must endure through life...if it helps even one it makes me glad...God Bless :O) Hugs G-Ma

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      8 years ago from East Coast, United States

      G-Ma, it sounds like your mother was reacting to you putting your hand up her sweater, an instinctive movement on her part. You have written so many hubs about dealing with your mother, I am sure that your stories have helped a lot of people who are in the same position. Sometimes it feels a little better when you see that you are not the only one. You are dong a real service here. God bless you and your mother.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      8 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      Not as strange as you might think my dear. they were raised about the same time my mom is 90 so just 4 yrs ahead of yours. My mother is also meek and mild and her first marriage was an abusive one...I know she was hurting or upset with the caregivers, she hates it when they have to help her with her underwear, and she is very bashful about private things. Just she doesn't understand why they need to help....Again My Prayers sweetie...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      8 years ago from US

      So strange we both have Alzheimers Moms but exact opposite stories, my Mom is so meek and sweet and I wish she would slap the ---- out of someone, lol. Well but of course not me, but although my Mom wasn't abused she was a servant wife of old schoolad my dad was always insanely jealous and he was the cheater, at least for a time.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      It is a sad disease and we are morning their death daily...My prayers to you and your family as well as to anyone else going through this...God Bless...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I know what you mean GMa. My Mother in law has been bedfast for a little over two months now. She went downhill fast. She is hateful with Pam and Jacob nearly all the time. (((((hugs)))))

    • Money Glitch profile image

      Money Glitch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      I lost both my parents rather quickly and missed out on the care-giving years. But, based on what you have written so eloquently, and what other friends have told me; I can only imagine that what you are experiencing are very difficult times.

      Writing is good therapy for what troubles the soul. So, keep writing G-Ma and I like others will be back to read, pray, laugh, and console you during these times. Thanks for sharing!

    • feeweewv profile image


      9 years ago from Between A Dream And Reality

      G-Ma, My heart is with you. I have worked in the nursing home type setting for nearly 9 years now and though each resident is different, there are some tricks that usually work for most. I have found when dealing with someone, doing something they don't like, such as toileting... It is a good idea to talk to them for a few minutes first and get them involved in a conversation about something they enjoy. This is a good way to lighten the mood, lower their stress level and start the procedure on a good note. If you can continue the conversation through the process, it helps. Sometimes though, they just have to get used to it. Routine is a really good thing for dementia/ alz heimers patients. It may be hard for them to get used to the fact that they need help but some/most (in my experience) get used to it. I think a lot of the anger comes from frustration in dealing with feelings of not being able to do the things they used to do. A cheerful attitude works best from all the caregivers. When a traumatic experience occurs... you should try to move on with a lighter, happier moment.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      EUROPEWALKER....RAVEN KING...GIFTEDGRANDMA... Thank you ever so much...but it is people like you that keep the wheels turning...God Bless and MERRY CHRISTMAS...:O) hUGS g-mA

    • GiftedGrandma profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      God's blessing to you for understanding your mothers situation and sticking by will be rewarded.

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 

      9 years ago from Cabin Fever

      Thanks for taking time out of your busy day to read my poem. :)

      P.S. I don't how you do it but you are an inspiration to us all.

    • europewalker profile image


      9 years ago

      I can relate to what you are going through. Hang in there and take care. I am also having a difficult time with my mom.

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      You are all so very kind...and I do appeciate you, very much....

      However, it is difficult NOT to remember the hard times I did give my mom, especially as a teenager and even a few years afterwards. Seems I just could never be who or what she and my step-dad wanted me to be...We all like to place the blame on either someone else, or something else and only in our hearts do we really know what we may have caused.

      Now that she has Dementia it seems so unfair-and yet fair. She is in no real Pain, lives in a happy place I think...her own small world where she can believe what she wants or remembers the way she wants and no worries about the everyday tasks performed by so many caring souls.

      I just pray for self control, understanding and Love...God Bless...:O) G-ma Hugs

    • Tatjana-Mihaela profile image


      9 years ago from Zadar, CROATIA

      G-Ma, I am so sorry. Your Mum´s past but unhealed traumatic experiences are certainly reason she is reacting on you as she is.

      Unhealed traumas stay "written down" in the brain, and much more then this: it is possible to spot them on CT of brain. If there are many of them, they cause dementia for sure. All cases of dementia, or Parkinson I researched had unhealed traumas in the background.

      Please do not take this personally. This has nothing to do with you.

      A lots of love and many Hugs.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      G-ma, it helps to write about it, doesn't it? Gives you a little distance and perspective. You just hang in there my friend and have a wonderful Christmas. :)

    • profile image


      9 years ago


      My heart goes out to you. I pray God's blessings will abound to you and that in Him you will find your affirmation that I am sure you would like from mom. You are an amazing person and love such as you have expressed here is the real kind that we read about in 1 Cor 13. bless you dear one

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      I have to admit..I wanted to yell at her but I kept my composure,walked away and left the room...she however is very fast on her feet and passed me up to go to the creation room for the Pianist that was there playing.

      when she turned around and saw me her smile was there and she was so glad to see me...though 5 min. ago she slapped me in the living in each moment is all I can do..God Bless and Thanks everyone...:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • eovery profile image


      9 years ago from MIddle of the Boondocks of Iowa

      Grandma is back. We missed you.

      Sorry to hear about your mom.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      That would be hard to deal with. I am sorry you have to struggle with this. I hope you have a good support system to talk things over with and you are doing the right thing by writing about it as it is very healing. Believe me, I know all too well about struggles. Take care of you!

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 

      9 years ago from Cabin Fever

      I would have cried. G-Ma you are very strong. GOD BLESS you.

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

      Many HUGS, lady G-MA

    • profile image


      9 years ago


    • Alissa1985 profile image


      9 years ago from Arkansas

      You are a very strong person. You will get through this!

    • G-Ma Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      9 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      AWWWWW...THANK you are such a help to me in my sobbing and feeling sorry for me...when she is the One I need to be caring about...and I DO I DO...May God Bless you all and a very MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR...I will survive...I will hold strong..for ever so it takes:O) Hugs G-Ma

    • Just_Rodney profile image

      Rodney Fagan 

      9 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

      Love you G-Ma and all your writings.

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines


      You're a tough cookie and with God's graces, nothing can ever go wrong. Love light and peace to you and your family! :D

    • Candie V profile image

      Candie V 

      9 years ago from Whereever there's wolves!! And Bikers!! Cummon Flash, We need an adventure!

      Ah, my dear friend, you wrote this out so very well and your heart shines throughout this hub. God bless you G-Ma!! Much love!!!

    • Jackwms profile image


      9 years ago

      My good thoughts to you and your mother. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • profile image

      Jack Williams 

      9 years ago

      My good thoughts to you and your mother. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • VioletSun profile image


      9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      G-Ma: My eyes got wet when I read this. I am all for natural healing and such, but in certain cases such as your Mom's, medication is the kindest thing you can do for her. My Mom was given medication which helped her calm down as she too would get aggresive. I doubt she slapped you because she is angry at you, she slapped you because she is not well, but... I know it has to hurt! Hugs and a Merry Christmas to you.



    • Ivorwen profile image


      9 years ago from Hither and Yonder

      Hugs, G-Ma. I saw my grandpa go through Alzheimer's, and now my grandma. You are in a difficult place, but I believe you will triumph. I have seen both of my grandmothers improve greatly with some medications that helped them to even out. They have both began to enjoy life again.


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