Few people know this but you are not a disease. You are a collective of symptoms which describe the diseases which cause you. The term dementia is attributed as a summary of the effects. Unfortunately, you are an inevitable part of life on a global scale. And while everyone’s experience of you is different, you often change personalities. Causing an inability to communicate, create delusions and hallucinations, and give problems when judging distance and speed.
In 2011, Dementia you changed my life. You infected the one person I could always talk to. The one person who I have always admired. You changed her so much that now she does not know who I am. I have gone from the person who would sit for hours listening contently to her stories to simply a woman. I no longer share an attachment to her like I used to.
Everyday I visit her is a never ending cycle of small talk and silence. It is ground hog day. We have the same conversation over and over, repeating the same emotions like a wind up doll.
The life she had once lived is now forgotten.
Her sons have not been born. Her daughter is now her aunt. She was never married. She hates her closest friends. She takes care of children and animals who keep her up at night and create an abundance of mess in her house. She picks thorns from her arms and swats the swarm of flies that bite her.
And through all this I can only stand by and watch her deteriorate.
You make me so angry.
When she does remember who I am she talks openly about how she’s feeling crazy and confused. We explain to her where she is and what is happening. She states how her brain has deceived her. How naughty it is and how it is not doing as she tells it. And sometimes a little glimmer of her retreats from your dark depths.
There is nothing about you I am grateful for. Many people try to take lessons from you. They tell themselves that you taught them how to be grateful of people and life. But all you’ve taught me is how destructive you are. Not just to your host but to everyone who plays a part in your chess game. It is a game of moves and counter-moves but you always triumph.
So if you do come for me, I hope they shoot me like they do race horses who can run no longer. I don’t want to be a shell where I resort back to the dependent baby I was once. To know no one and be able to do nothing is not an existence. While many can live a full life with dementia I’d rather not put my family through the turmoil. My mind is the only part of me I want to hold on to until the end.
I hope to never experience you again..