Wednesday, 15 June 2011

I Am Dementia (Three)

The Shell

The potential is there
The predisposition
Security once breached
A portal for malware.

Its object lays hidden,
But not its objective,
Its mission subjective,
Its outcome predictive. 

With one clever foot in,
A foot in the backdoor,
He enters unbidden,
Slinks in her shadows
And takes residence there.

A thief in her night
Slowly but surely,
Devoid of all pity,
He begins to dispossess her
Of all that is her.

Now fast infector,
The resident virus
Accesses systems
And deletes all the files.

Her shell is now empty,
Her memory banks vacant
Her identity stolen,  
She is neither living nor dead.

Anna :o]

This may appear a morbid post and perhaps it is, but that is not its intention.  As we are now living longer it becomes more probable that more of us will come to know dementia on a personal level, that is, a family member (including ourselves) or someone close to us as in relative, friend, colleague or neighbour.

Dementia is a terrible thing – although a lucky few sufferers remain content with their life despite their failing memory.  Family members suffer too in different ways; some (most) 'joint' friends cease to visit and eventually cease to be friends and often extended family members withdraw too and the carer is left isolated.

I really can understand this, for it is difficult, very difficult to continue to love - or remain friends with - someone who becomes a stranger to you and indeed, deal with the hurt that you are a stranger to them.

It is time, well past the time, that as a species we 'grew-up' and dealt with and removed the stigma of mental ill-health.  None of us, I repeat, none of us, will breeze through life without being touched, in one way or another by mental health 'issues.'

Let's break down the barriers now!

With thanks to Tess at  Magpie Tales for the inspiration.

Links:  I am Dementia  (One)        
           I am Dementia  (Two)  "Look At You!"


HyperCRYPTICal said...

PS The blog is experiencing its own 'issues!'

Multiple images appeared - but I can't get rid of the second (and lower) one! Bloggie would not even allow me to add this to the post!

Anna :o]

Isabel Doyle said...

Thank you for posting this Anna - you have prepared a sensitive and realistic poem on an issue that does touch us all.

Sorry to read that you too are struggling with Blogger's mental health issues ...

Old Ollie said...

You took this to a deep level...nice.

Helen said...

Your poem is in no way morbid ~~ this is a 'must read' for all of us.

Beautifully written with great sensitivity.

Monika said...

It is a sensitive subject and you presented it with utmost care to a new depth. Beautifully picturised, expressing pain, opening the ways to learn and more importantly battle. Admirable!

Everyday Goddess said...

I like how you bring this subject out for our consideration. Very well written!

Lena said...

My aunt had dementia. I'll never forget the memories of this crippling condition. You've creatively managed to open our minds to what's going on in theirs. Well done.

jabblog said...

I read One and Two as well as Three with great interest and sympathy. My mother-in-law is affected and declining quite quickly.
If anyone with this condition can be thought 'lucky' it is the people who remain happy despite their loss of memory. The saddest - for everyone - are those who become aggressive.

Lyn said...

Just when we think it's safe to go back in the water, things shift.
It's being a stranger to "them", that hurts. No one is saved from the ebb and flo of life.
So well thought out!!!

Anonymous said...

Very nicely done

Laurie Kolp said...

Wow- love your unique take on the prompt, Anna. It is indeed a sad situation for all involved. My grandmother suffered from it. I hope researchers can learn more about this lonely disease.

Natasha said...

I think this is actually quite a refreshing take on such a serious subject. You have found the poetry in the pain...I've seen this happen to loved ones, and as unfortunate as it is, it is the reality. It's not something we can shy from, and I think your poem has expressed that beautifully, and truthfully.

Lolamouse said...

Not morbid at all. Very sensitive way to deal with a subject many find difficult to discuss. Good for you for taking it on. And a beautiful poem to boot!

MorningAJ said...

I watched the Terry Pratchett documentary last week and it was brought home to me exactly what a devastating disease dementia is. I always assumed that it would be worse for the people on the 'outside' but now I guess not.

Thanks for tackling the subject.

Tess Kincaid said...

This is a subject most sensitive to all of us. Beautiful poem.

Jingle said...

love the insights in it.
well done.


HyperCRYPTICal said...

Thank you for your kind comments folks.

Lena, Jabblog and Laurie and ?possibly Lyn - thanks for sharing. Dementia is indeed an awful thing and hopefully one day a cure might be found. It is sad that it is hidden and misunderstood as if folk fear it - and truly I can understand why they do.

Anna :o]

Friko said...

I have a 'friend' who is far into the last stages of dementia. For more than a year now I have been unable to spend time with her or her husband. I can't bear the drooling, incontinent, physical and mental wreck she is now; she neither knows me nor anyone else.

What would you have me do?

HyperCRYPTICal said...

Hi Friko

As said in the post and the two previous dementia poems – I can totally understand why people, including relatives, do not visit those with dementia.

I felt pure coldness towards my mother as her dementia progressed – no love, no affection, the only emotion was of that that I wished she would go away (as in die).

Now the problem is even closer to home and I still have love and affection towards that person – I find myself – apart from my lovely adult children and ‘my’ female friends – totally isolated. Joint friends and (his) friends no longer exist; his siblings rarely (once a year the norm – at Christmas – but last year not even that) visit nor even phone (ever) to enquire as to how he is.

All I want is proof of caring – even if from a distance – and this caring to be of both of us. A simple phone call asking how he is and I am, simple honesty about why they don’t visit – which I understand – and I would be happy.

His siblings promised support at the very beginning which has never happened. Now, if I see them at an odd family wedding etc, they promise to visit and they never do and I even say to them “You won’t, will you?” I don’t want empty promises – just an enquiring phone call now and again would make me happy.

Just a little phone call is enough.

Anna :o]