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Dementia -merely human.

“I think that the only reason people hold onto memories so tight for so long is because memories are the only things that don’t change, even when people change..”   Unknown

This is a post that I  have wanted to write  for some time but my heart is still raw with pain. I’m comfortably numb as the song goes . No words I write can do justice to what this illness does to people we love.

We have had the plague

Chicken pox

Aids and HIV

Cancer.

The new cowboy in town in Dementia.

He has all the traits of the best cowboy in town

  • A steady hand

  • A look that says so much but not something you can be sure what it is thinking

  • It is true to it’s word

  •  It takes Pride in his work

  • A true perfectionist 

It doesn’t mind who it  consumes and takes out it the process.

This year DEMENTIA AWARENESS WEEK May 15-21  focuses on confronting your fears about Dementia.

The Alzheimers society is reaching out to give you support and information. You don’t have to fight this alone.  REACH OUT

I found this  – it captures how I feel whenever I see my Gran  and how helpless I feel.

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I’m going to show you some pictures of someone who has loved me for a long time.

But first

I must close my eyes

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AGE : 15.

STATE: awake

LOCATION : Kitchen ( Gran’s home ) South Africa

Gran comes shuffling in to the kitchen

“Que ce qui pas?

“Can’t sleep”

“I will make you a camomile tea” in her French accent .

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She spent a lot of time and money putting me in rehabs and looking after me when I was growing up.

I am possibly the  first and only person to have seen my Gran cry  that I know of — I’m not proud but honoured she trusted in me.

AGE:18 years

STATE:  possibly drunk or hung over

LOCATION: Gran’s Bedroom France

Grandpa was  not doing well. My Gran broke down.

All I could do was hold her.

She knew Cancer and Chemo  was going to be the   un-doing of him.

 He still tried to look after his ‘Trois filles’ ( me, Mom and Gran) until his last breath.

The greatest love affair ever!  ❤

What a pair they made.

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Grandpa got a massive contract with Loreal in the 1950′ -1960’s . He was the main sales rep for promoting the  Loreal brand  in Africa.

They travelled everywhere

Madagascar

Zimbabwe

South Africa

to name a few.

Gran had spent most of her life travelling. Her father was a general in the army. Her step father some sort of captain and she spent a few years in the cote de ivory and other places.

They had 6 children together

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And two other sons who I don’t have pictures of. She was and still is the queen of the family.

So much elegance ,grace and charm. She suffered a lot of heart ache in her life. Lost love, her mother was jealous of her as were her two step sisters.

She was kicked out of her home when she was 16 years old and pregnant. She went on to become a femme de menage and a beautician to survive the streets of Paris..

When she met my grandfather she never had to worry about love or  money again. Even when he passed on  from Cancer. Her twin sons and my own mother  still  after her.

The relationship she had with my mother was unbreakable- even now. My Gran  still demands my mothers time and is happier when she has her to herself.

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This last picture was taken in 2012 -four years ago.  My Gran’s 79 th birthday

She loves to laugh and is still a social butterfly just like my Bella Bee-

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Alzheimers and Dementia does not discriminate.

A cold and bitter night in the U.K..

 The Wind screeched out  a name

A lady manages to fumble with the keys to a door and lets herself out. 

Where is she going?

No shoes,

a  flash of car lights, 

 Great big BULGING eyes

FLAP ,FLAP

 a night gown whips around the lady’s ankles 

She couldn’t live on her own any more. She was find walking the streets in her night clothes, by her carer ,at the time on the coldest night the U.K. had in 2013.

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Gran in her new home – the first of three new care homes she would move to until the present.

This was a place with bells and whistles on. It was like a 5 ***** hotel.

In the few months she stayed here.

She was found sat in bed  drowning in her own piss.

She had spread faeces all over the walls and under her nails.

The home said she was too much trouble.

Funny, they didn’t have a problem with taking our families money for the few months she was there.

New home – two days until Gran’s 80th. Her twin sons came out to surprise her

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The day my Aunt died of lung cancer . My Mom got a call from her care home to say Granhad broken her hip. She spent 12 days in a normal hospital ward.. Always calling out. Neglected.

WAS THIS WHAT SHE SAW?

We thought we were going to lose her.

Three nurses,

A grand daughter,

A daughter.

a sedative

2 -3 hours

a struggle

Another sedative

FEAR

SCREAMS

SWEAT

PORES

TEETH EXPOSED – FERAL

EARS POUNDING

THIS SOUND      – my idea of Dementia raging  in audio.

She couldn’t speak but she could scream and lash out.

 I don’t  think I slept for 2 days after that event.

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Christmas 2009.

Gran  in hospital . The last time she would ever walk

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Gran loved to walk

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Gran will never walk again.

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She had to be moved to another  home that could meet her needs. No fancy hotel .

Gran’s 81st birthday

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I go see my Gran every week with my Mom. I take my daughter. I don’t want her to forget my Gran.

She went from speaking two languages, walking, laughing, taking pride in her appearance to this person.

To being a person who would blanche if she knew what she was like now.

Maybe she does and that is what makes her so angry still. 12728922_10206394372312168_9205953428105637055_n

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Yes, she screams and she can’t talk and she scares me sometimes because I don’t know what to do to help her; but she is still my Gran and she has a mental illness. 

IT IS NOT HER FAULT!

Her home she lives in now have really put quality over quantity. It;s not a show home -it is a home -home -check out  ROBERTS TOWN CARE HOME FB PAGE  .

The only people who have got my Gran to a place in her illness where she is  probably going to be able  to come to my wedding ceremony in June.

May is# MAKE MAY PURPLE   month.

Across the world May is the month for creating mental health awareness.

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Confessional poetry

Loss of control
Increased numerical equation
Detract from the value of self-worth.

Mind full
Mindful

bloated

Aspirations snipped loose by an unearthly, scale driven puppet master
Reduces an entire psyche to a chemical embarrassment.

Good mood desires nourishment
the live to eat philosophy
A heavy burden the beast bears herded in.

restricted to forage on cashing out a societal life policy.

A one manned island
ravaged
to its hunger

The authentic order

Be authentic 👏and keep writing , expressing yourself, pushing out of your comfort zone, getting back on the wagon , dealing with regrets with advocates/friends.

No person’s life is perfect. Many days a tough and unbearable however there are days when we can push ourselves to places we never imagined seeing or experiencing.

Challenges make us stronger even when they feel like they are destroying us at the time; albeit second, moment, hour, weeks, months…

Recovery has no limits-

if you have hope or can find a match or a flint or even be thrown a lifeline of light to help you guide yourself back to shore.
Don’t be ashamed to use the lighthouse. A metaphor 😉

I’ve leant on many people – strangers and family alike. People who were there short-term or long-term.

Not everyone is 100 percent helpful. Learn what you can from your experiences- good and bad . Set your boundaries. It takes a life time of changing them and setting them.

Don’t knock yourself for having to hit your head against a wall trying to learn the same lesson multiple times –
The aim is to keep your eye on the long goal.
👏👏👏
Have hope.
Be as educated as you can on yourself
Use others to lean on without abusing their time
Learn to take accountability for your life
And live.
Live.
Live
Drop down,
Stumble,
Fall if you you must..
Sleep

Just get back up and remember to look after yourself. Basics – hair , teeth , bath , clean clothes.
Open the curtains, make your bed even if you get back into it 5 mins later, get out walking even for 5 mins.
Feel whatever you feel and notice it and listen to others even if you want to hurt in & disagree…
That’s it from me.

Prompt the order of the dog

Hangman’s noose -Don’t give in

Never give up!

Nina sang it well: it’s a new dawn, a new day….
When you look at yourself straight on in the mirror – chant his name three times.

The Grim Reaper is more likely to pay a visit and say ‘wassup?

Thinking about all those folk who want to live. Don’t have a cat’s chance or a lucky clover to pray over.

Last night, life became mission impossible. If you read it – I’m free flowing this to say:

Don’t give up.
Don’t give in.
When it feels like you are at the end of Hangman’s noose about to kick the bucket from under your feet

that’s the moment we’ve the opportunity to reveal our true soul’s pathos.

Don’t you think the cloaked hooded figure has a lot of soul collecting to get on with?

I’m not saying that what we feel at the time is an illusion.
I pointing out -change is the only constant
That can lead to desperate ,devastating confusion.

Inside – I’m trembling worrying , wondering. What am I gonna do? Can I do this?

Question after question more questions fogging up my third eye- it’s enough to make any mind spin.
Stop. Hammer time.

Warped sense of humour.
Effective
Enough to keep all the rattling bones and bolts inside me cast a  glow over my demeanour.

Hope.
Look around. You see a flower wilt or bloom inspite of his brethren humming out sad tunes.

Hope.
That’s Life continuing in spite of all that strife.

Hope .
One.
Seed.
Of.
Hope.

Get through this second,hour, this evening

Take the seed, germinate it, nurture it, feed it, love it , talk  to it.

Take the time – make it thine.

Watch it grow into a mighty oak – proud and on display.

Seems impossible to define.
Plant it. Don’t throw it away.
Keep a hold of it. It may be the one thing that  carries you over the struggle D-day line.

On the surface – flowers, trees, icebergs – all look fantastical – magical even.
Look below the surface.

There is a formula – you can build on that too –
No magic. No miracles.

Approach thyself with an examining eye.

Make it  your number one priority to get to know what makes you  tick.

If heart’s Hope stops make it your priority to know where to go to get a battery replacement. Get it resuscitated.

Know what makes you well
Reach out to that alien.
Get out of that comfort zone.
Scream ,yell, type, don’t bottle it  up .

We have the technology – make a call -pick the phone up.
We have a voice – use it. Listen..
Sweet melodic freedom – we’re the only ones with the unlock and escape from our own self made prison key.
Hope.
Never give up.
Life gets difficult
Life gets complicated.
There is more to this space than a  one-dimensional prism.
I know it’s scary – to feel caught up in that schism.

Pieces of the mind caving in -thoughts toppling over like being a Chilean miner being held hostage underground.
Two months of no light . A sorrowful plight.

It’s dark but you are still breathing. You may be the only one but time is not about to start giving in.

Chin up. Keep looking for a strategy.
An exit route.
Use that sombre time to recollect . Hell, soak up the dramaturgy.

We come into this world kicking, screaming, wondering, possibly even believing. We mustn’t give up unless time says  ‘okay enough’.
So, I say go the way you came in . If it is not  our time – fight with every muscle. All the nerve you can summon up.
Truth  or  dare?

I  have truth spilling out of my aura like pennies falling into the slot machine- the one in  working  order.
Dare to have. 
Slip on your shades if you have to – things might just get a little brighter.

You might levitate – feel lithe even a little lighter.

Don’t be afraid to succeed.
Don’t afraid to be happy.

You don’t need to go to the dentist to get your two front teeth divided so you can look like some Go  Lucky Gappy.

For the doubters..

If it you could see what others do. You have always let doubt confuse your idea of who and what you are capable of.

I have always known you to be beautiful in all ways and I have learnt and felt you loyalty pride and strength of character. We some how picked one another and I drew a good hand.

You are the best kind of romantic and that quality needs to be nurtured and not be exploited by those who don’t understand your story and how you got to the person you are today. There are plenty of people who are not worth the bother, believe me, don’t believe me. I think you know that.

The past is way back over there. These are exciting times. Now,the future. Some of the best years of your life are waiting to be lived. You can afford to be picky. You deserve someone to ‘hug you so hard they will put all your pieces back together’.

Don’t let ass holes or wankers ruin today and the future for you. There is a lesson to be learned from everything we do and experience.

Yes, it is easy to pick out the negatives but on the plus side -you are free, you have been incarcerated, masks has dropped revealed the truth that cannot be covered up any-more, don’t take it personally. You were honest form the beginning. Take pride in that. Hold your head up high.

This is a new page, a fresh book even. You need as much light and love as possible to create the magic you want. You have not wasted time if you have taken some time to do a bit of searching within and decided what to take with you into this day and what discard what has left you high and dry in the past. I read somewhere that the thoughts we think are mantras and a form of prayer.

Be aware of what your thoughts are saying they may just turn into your reality. Take the time to find out what you are wanting from your life.

There is so much out there. There is something so rare about you. Life can be cruel but you have remained gentle and kind and it shows. You are one of the toughest people I know.

Please do not be mistaken that I think you are weak. Far from it. We are making good experiences and only the best people should be allowed to come on that journey, don’t you think?

Don’t shun all people thinking everyone is like the last person you shared your heart with. Don’t harden -don’t clam up. You are able to re define your world on your terms.

Love as much as ever. To love is never a fault. To love the wrong person is easily done when some one is not upfront with you from the beginning or who breaks your trust.
BELIEVE!

Believe that there is magic and you are creating it. Shake off the doubts and smile, glow, be who you are.

There is no fault to be found in you. I I have so much repect for you and admire you.

So many really do BELIEVE! do what must be done so that you can close this door and open to a new day.

The one where I said f*** binging

it’s a funny life, innit?

So, I’ve been doing a few courses to keep me going with the pandemic and to keep my mental health in check. I’ve just completed a 6 week drama course and for the final week we had to perform a monologue that started out as a few questions about our favourite scripts, actors, the masks we wear in real life. The course is an online one and its free to enrol – it is called ‘Being Different Together. Last week we had to read out our drafted monologues. I was so inspired by my fellow peers work that I decided to push myself -creatively and have my character speak more colloquial. I found my character from my initial draft spoke too eloquent. This monologue is based on true events. It has helped me come to terms with an experience I had in May 2020.

Thanks for reading, take care.

CAST MO – Maya’s husband and daughter to MIA
MAYA – mid 30/40’s mother and wife to Mo
MIA -young child-daughter

SETTING
(MO lying on what could be a sunbed /hospital bed. Spotlight -Bright lights -glaring down on her. Darkness all around her)

MO: There’re so many ways I could start what happened that day, so many ways… Sometimes, I think the best way to start is at the end -the tubes down my throat, the experiments, the torture (beat) or at the middle: You’re mad in the head, you are. Summit wrong ya. We filmed it. Caught ya red-handed, silly bint. (beat)
What happened? She didn’t! I’m calling the coppers. Then I think to start at the beginning but my mind -it struggles- it’s addled -it struggles to find an entry point that can start linearly if ya know what I mean. … A beginning that will justify, lend a decorum of (hesitates) credibility for all those who was involved in a moment that changed me Mo and Mia’s lives for… at least a few weeks.

I’ve never claimed I was perfect or do I wanna be. Always say..Well- not always, Its not summit I say. Its a motto -like something I’ve adopted as my own. Who doesn’t know the lyrics to Bob Marley’s Tune? (sings) I shot the sheriff but I didn’t shoot no deputy -ooooh ooooh ooooh. To get back to what I was on about. I’m not perfect, yeah. Mo mask ever is. I stick my hand up whenever I (have gone) wrong in my life. And I sure as hell will say when I’m not.
Them lot. Them next door- Neighbours supposed to friendly like – not mine. They refused to take responsibility for the barrage of abuse on their part. Harassing me like I was the only one in the estate doing cuckoo shit, man.

They didn’t see me get abducted by them aliens -Truth: Illegal aliens. They weren’t imprisoned by our laws. These lot they didn’t want me to come to this world even when I begged them. Well, I could only blink. They could hear my thoughts. They knew I had been tossing a coin over the worth of my own life for many a year. The day it all kicked I was trying to be on my best behaviour- not screw things like I usually do. It was a proper sunny day, I had my bikini on, Mo blew up the pool. We sitting in the garden. I had a few drinks and summit snapped in my head. I thought right I’m gonna get on the phone to my regular geezer and score me a hit. Mo comes into the kitchen knowing full well summin was up, so I just said my usual spiel and before he could answer I flew out the door and ran over to his car. I turned around to go back to my house and there she was. Number 1 -Miss neighbourhood watch or should I say miss curtain twitcher filming me. Things had been building up in my head for a while, the pressure, my mind felt full of cottonwool most days.

I wasn’t happy. I didn’t think about it and before I knew it: boom, the glass window -her glass window shattered and…I was holding this great big hunk of Yorkshire stone in my hand. It took both hands to hold it. Shit hit the fan and police sirens were whirring, Mo said summit about getting Mia up to my mom’s house. They arrest me in front of her. She was crying. I was begging them to give Mo a chance to take her around the corner. Cos of Corona like we had to wait for 5 hours to get me booked in. My brain snapped in that cell. The police thought I had ADHD. I screamed for 4 hours. I was restrained by 5 police officers. I screamed until blood was coming out of my mouth.

The crisis team was called and they said it wasn’t there are. I’m well known to them -my social worker said -Well, I can’t remember but everyone was passing the buck from one Flippin pole to the next. I got cautioned and was told by the copper to come back in a week. The next day Mo went to work on the day shift, Mia well. she was staying with my mom and I knew I had enough to do it. Do it properly. I had read the manual, it might as well have been titled ‘How to escapy Plent Earth’. It was informative. I bought it online.

I bought myself a one-way ticket to another realm. that was it for me. I followed t every step of the manual and then I blacked. Found myself strapped to a bed with aliens looking down on me wearing spacesuits. It didn’t stop. The torture didn’t stop. I even started to pray to a God I don’t even believe in. It was hell.

I thought to myself. This is it. I screwed up again. Its never going to end. The strangest thing was I kept on seeing this image of my mom. I tried hard to keep the image of Mia and Mo in view but it was my Mom’s face that I could focus on.

One minute I was trapped in this spaceship and the next I opened my eyes and I saw all white, even the people and no they weren’t aliens with big eyes and scary faces, they were smiling and perfectly human just like you and me. I tried to move my head to the left and there on a table, I saw a picture of Mo, Mia and.. my mom. 11 days later Mo was allowed to check me back into a familiar place: Earth.

He was mad at me for disappearing like I did but soon after he hugged me and we had a right giggle about me trying to convince him I’d been abducted by Aliens. Cos of Corona it turns out that the aliens with their headgear and silver suits on were people. They weren’t aliens, I mean they were strangers to me but… they weren’t trying to suck out my brain: my thoughts, my feelings, you know? They weren’t trying to take my life
They were trying to save me.
It’s a funny life, innit?

Nature is immortal

*Image prompt*
Swinging beneath the oak tree
I hear the tinkle of her laughter

I feel the breeze light
Peek through the tops of branches, undiluted sunshine ☀️flashes
it’s eyes looks down upon me.

Free,
In awe,

The sight of the flowers so striking

I remember them so vividly.

My gaze momentarily suspended
My heart
beats blessed to be in this moment.


Mother and child together preserved in this portrait

My memory states nature is immortal for eternity.

Blanch Guts

I may not be anonymous

I’m predisposed to mostly white.

Paled by charming powder puffs

Under any paltry day or night.

I may not be anonymous

I may appear big, small heavy and then light.

one little line of chronic

then it’s down & up 1000s hillside slopes to cut the gluttonous lust.

It grows in fervour

Diminishes all care.

If time is money (Wutang)

then it’s wasted to card dealing chancers

who think it is fair in the twilight

to fight this addiction to an eating disorder.

Sizes me up

Rounds me in

Heard in

cattle calls

Not time to feed but blanch Guts away to her final slaughter.

Why do I want to change my hues?

Tie Dye?

Or maybe these words are a whitewash of denial or a statement covering up a fat lie.

(May 2019)

Instinct -don’t know how to be


Instinct them there eyes that sit on the side of your face

where your ears shoot up from the top of your head.

Primitive- does it have a capacity to learn?

What is instinct?

the ability to know if something is a good idea or bad?

Is it just leftovers from another former homo sapien – who didn’t get the Darwinian letter notifying us to change?

Second guess it –  

Third time make a mess of it.

What about those who have been conditioned by torture?

How do they know if their instincts can guide them to shores of safety?

Mothers instincts – is it the same as caring?

The instinct to repeat the same mistake –   short circuit -rewiring alert .

Instinct tells me I am fucking it up.  

I lie typing furiously trying to have my way.

I paid to be happy and don’t tell me I’m wrong,

instinct tells me this already.

Inside there is a stubborn overgrown tree – happily rooted-

Oh what a character!

It takes over me. Seen those shows when a person is hypnotised?

Never been hypnotised but…. I can imagine that worst case scenario is wanting to do something or not wanting to do something but having this entertainer conjure me to do the opposite of what I want.

What I say I will make me happy.

The rules is I am in a theatre of sorts – being watched, performed on .

I’m paralyse, can’t move -yet still I get to see all my actions performed for all to see.

I’m compelled to just let it be.

I was born with an inherent instinct to destroy every opportunity to feel a laugh leave my throat or a smile find it’s way curving upwards.

what is in me?

Who put it inside me?

I was pulled out with forceps and a low tolerance for people –

Did I get put on the wrong planet?

was I a botched experiment from a distant galaxy that needed terminating?

Who in their right mind throws away happiness like a blossom tree losing her flowers in autumn?

I don’t have that much to give. I did at some point but…. now that seems like a far away – old shedded skin

Creativity comes from within.

Instinct compels me to sin and win

LittleBee I failed you…

Can’t finish this… it is glib.

I can’t forgive  me.

I’m a monstrosity.

DOn’t say those words daisy or you will become what you think you are.

True but I’ve forgotten how to be I am , I are, I will ,I think…

Don’t know how to …….