Thursday, 11 November 2010

I am Dementia (Part Two).

Look at You!

Look at you!
I used to love you!
You loved and guided me
Through my childhood.
Ooh! That warm embrace,
The hug of hugs
That made wrong things right!

A hug:
A mothers elastoplast on
The wounds of life.
What skills you had!
A child cherished,
Wrapped in the comfort of
Unconditional love!

You gave me
All of you -
I took, but hope to God
I gave back.
I think I did.
I hope I did!

The pinny!
The cooking lessons!
Dusty flour on
My face (my nose!) and scuffed on
Everywhere imaginable!
That was life then
And girls were girls!

But life moves on
And things change.
You have changed
And no longer
Offer me hugs.

You are an empty shell!

I do not know you!
Who are you?
You have taken up residence
In my mothers body
But I don't know who
You are!

I hate you
For taking her away from me!
I hate you
For saying
"Look!, this is who she was
But I own her now!"
As you thrust
That empty shell
Of (who was) my mother
In my face!

Look at you!
You were my mother.
I idolised you!
But not now!
I no longer love you
And wish you would go

It is
So difficult
To gaze on someone
You loved so unconditionally
Who still lives
But no longer



Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

it is a very moving poem, clearly from the heart. Thanks for posting it.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks Dr Phil,

Writing the above was a cathartic experience - I wish I had done it sooner, but the inspiration(?) wasn't there.

Physically, mum died six years ago, but the essence of who she was, died several years prior to that.

I can totally understand why many do not visit a relative who has been 'destroyed' by dementia; for they are visiting a stranger and it is so difficult and heart wrenching. Not wanting to visit is very hard to come to terms with. The guilt of abandonment is there.

I still find it hard to shift the memory of what she became, instead of focusing on who she was.
Dementia is very destructive to all involved.

Anna :o]

Alcoholic Daze (ADDY) said...

Oh that is so sad. In many ways it sums up exactly how I felt about Greg when he was ill and before he died. It is also why I cannot grieve for him now because the real Greg "died" many years ago. Alcoholic dementia or plain alcoholism makes that person so different and you wish they were not around any more, as it is so painful to watch their demise. I am sorry you went through that with your mother - it must be even harder to watch a parent who cared for you once turn into something so different. Hugs.

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks Addy,

I too could not grieve for dear old ma. I did cease to love her and in fact, became quite cold towards her. I found this strange as I have strong feelings towards those I care for with dementia. But I guess, if it is someone close to you - it is different, as you knew them before dementia took hold.

Thanks for the hug!

Anna :o]

Jobbing Doctor said...


I enjoyed the poem, which encapsulates my clinical experience.

Fortunately, Dementia is not a feature in my family, but I observe its shattering effects on most days.


HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks JD,

I have read your blog for well over a year, and know from your posts on the elderly and dementia, that you are thoughtful, kind and understanding.

As health professionals, how ever much we think we understand dementia - we never truly do, unless someone close to us is stricken by it.
I am pleased that you have not experienced it so close to home and hope it stays that way.

I am comforted to know that doctors such as your self give their very best to those with dementia and their families.

Anna :o]