Catastrophic Reactions

I learned a new term yesterday: Catastrophic Reactions, defined as ‘highly emotional over-reactions to relatively benign issues.’ This simple, but powerful term, captures SO much of my mother’s irrational behavior. Everything from coming unhinged because she wasn’t handed a paper bag, to snapping at people when they don’t instantly respond to her, to, most recently, freaking out at one of the dining room staff because the poor child didn’t know mom (supposedly) had her own wine in the kitchen refrigerators. This last event was so egregious that mom doesn’t get to have (or think she has) her personal wine put by in the kitchen any longer. She gets to pay $7.50 per glass or not drink at all.

There has not been a day in as long as I can recall where mom hasn’t had a catastrophic reaction to something. Now that I have this term, it’s easier to see these reactions as one thing, the same thing. What she flips out about ceases to matter as much. It’s just another reaction.

The doctor is going to try her on some meds to see if they will help with this irritability… Perhaps it will smooth her own rough edges that she seems to bruise herself on as she ricochets against the denial of her disease. Fewer growls, less obstinacy, more acceptance and happiness would all be wonderful. I’ll take what I can get.

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