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Since my last daylog, I spent another weekend in my daughter's shoes, while my husband went off to the Zoo. Hockey tournaments for two of my three grandsons and a blast from the past, having rotating 16 and 17 year old guys in the house. Ignoring sprained ankle, I cooked numerous feasts at three hour intervals, not including snacks they made themselves, with the accompanying dirty dishes, strewn about the house like future rose petals, if they take my old grandma advice. Which they don't, but are honest about their confusion. God, I love them all.


I asked one thing from my husband's daughter, to please contact me prior to driving him home, since I didn't know when the hockey tournaments would be over and would not be at our house. So, on Saturday night, after leaving several messages on her phone, I received a call from my husband, locked out of our house. He always takes his keys, but didn't this time and had to rely on his pipe-cleaning penknife to basically slit a screen and break into his own home, in the dark.

I went from Grandma to Furious Wife in seconds, then asked if his daughter was still there. Thankfully, she was, and I told him to have her and her boyfriend drop him off at my daughter's. And that's what they did, drop him off. No stopping in, no making sure I was there; he just appeared, tired, confused, and hungry. I made him food; he joined the movie-watching contingent, then fell asleep, safe.


This is not intended as a rant, nor a pity party. This is entirely new territory for me. I'm trying to navigate with as much grace, intelligence, and humour as possible. I've found talking and writing not to be especially cathartic for me, so I hope my ragtag record of Alzheimer's events will possibly help someone else. Since I still don't do Facebook or a blog or twitter, this place is it.


Arriving home, my sons got the 2 day version of the flu. I got the full-blown-think-I'm-gonna-die-ten-day version. I forcefully recovered to accompany my husband to the gala, which was so over-the-top, in terms of decadence and chandeliers, too much light and cell phone bidding during dinner, chateaubriand and escarole salad, dessert chocolat-mousse-plated with two blackberries avec a drizzle in the shape of a raspberry fractal. Open bar, which while I was in the ladies' room, my husband procured two rum and Cokes, with invisible Coke. Fuck the meds; this was his night.

My efforts to get his original writing in the program brochure succeeded, so it was known that he has Alzheimer's. It was very touching to hear people tell him how he had quietly and profoundly changed their lives, concerning the environment, beyond their own problems. At one point, I felt as though he was attending his own wake. My elder son accompanied us, which turned out to be very helpful, since the large crowd and my adverse tendency towards noise, too much light, and too many people tipped the balance...and I had two glasses of red wine.

At one point, my husband said to a small group of people, "If it wasn't for my wife, I would be wearing a weird oufit, since I'm color blind as well. Isn't she beautiful?" For most of our marriage he didn't compliment me, thinking I would become over confident and have affairs, based on my looks. Twenty seven years later, I reminded him of our vows. Forsaking all others. For better or worse. In sickness and in health. Til death do us part.

For some reason I felt like coming here tonight. Maybe it's because I've been feeling more put together lately, and I first came to E2 when I felt I'd fallen apart. It doesn't seem right to just leave my username hanging without an explanation of what has happened.

I've been going through a rough patch. That may be evident in some of my writings, many of which are struggling towards authenticity. I haven't re-read them, nor do I want to, but it's reassuring to have them as proof of my progress. I don't think I ever explained my actual problems. How do I describe life with depression without being depressing? I wish I could bring good news, like how I got this fantastic new job, or am buying a house, or have a new boyfriend. It seems that's the sort of news that is expected of me whenever I visit family or see old friends. I don't know how to explain to them that my progress is internal, not external. I don't explain this to anyone. Partly it's because I fear their judgement, partly it's because I shouldn't have to explain to anyone why I am the way I am unless I feel like it.

It has been difficult to acknowledge that my upbringing wasn't normal. It's like in the book Among Others by Jo Walton, where a girl struggling with grief can't talk about it. I don't have a dead twin sister, nor do I have a mother who plays with witchcraft, nor do I see fairies flying around. However, I felt a connection to the main character. She didn't talk much about what had happened with her, even though it affected her deeply. It was strongly implied that her mother was mentally ill and took things out on her daughter, but nobody in her family spoke about it. On top of that she had a family member who denied that anything was wrong.

 

Through therapy, I have learned that my mother probably has an undiagnosed mental illness. I would have never thought of that on my own. Enough people have suggested it, including my own therapist, that I now believe it. She took things out on me and still sometimes does. Not physically or sexually, but emotionally. She was sneaky about it. Nobody in my family talks about it.  

That might not sound like a big deal, but it has occupied much of my mental space and caused a lot of stress while I figure out how to deal with it. It has forced me to look inwards and find something I didn't know was there before. Maybe that sounds cryptic. I'm not ready to share my spiritual beliefs. This might not be the best place to be going into detail on that. I only mention it because I could not have gotten through this year without it.

Anyway. I'll leave it on that note. Some other potentially good stuff is happening, but I'll save it for next time.  

 

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