Outrage is one emotion that appears to be missing in my repertoire of emotions now. Maybe this shows again the individuality of the dementia experience. The emotion I feel in abundance though is sadness. This appears to have superseded all others. Situations that would once have annoyed or outraged me are now replaced by making me sad – tears flow more easily than before. I seem to feel just 3 emotions now; happy, content or sad.. They are very basic emotions but highly emotive and decisive in highlighting how something or someone makes me feel, be it a situation, person or object.
Last week, as many people will know, I was missed off as a speaker at a conference. I was due to open the afternoon session and was forgotten. The omission was outrageous and unforgivable and the chair should have apologised as soon as she realised or as soon as she was told of the omission by the organisers. However, I would normally have felt outrage and anger but all I felt was sadness. I left the building bewildered and simply feeling sad. I didn’t feel anger, I didn’t feel annoyance at the long journey I’d made, I simply felt emotionally sad.
How strange to have ‘lost’ emotions as well as memories. ‘Lost emotions’ has taken me by surprise and not something i was looking out for or have read about in the raft of symptoms we can experience. I can’t imagine any other cause but that of the dementia….
For those of you curious to know the outcome of the omission …….. I did recieve a voicemail from Chairlie Davie, the speaker before me in the morning, on Saturday – mobile black hole meant I didn’t get the actual call- and that was appreciated. I expected an apology Friday evening from the chair, but it didn’t arrive.On Saturday morning my friends on Twitter demonstrated their outrage and many tweets included the offending chair in their rants. This resulted in an apology via Twitter. It was a shame it took so long and took a Twitter frenzy to elicit an apology. Maybe the event organisers failed to tell the chair that she’d make a dreadful mistake – who knows – but I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and draw a line under the sad experience.
Dr Shibley Rahman expressed the view this morning that our “engagement and involvement serves more of a marketing function” – me think that he is probably right in the majority of cases…….although I have to cling on to the hope that it’s not true in all cases in order to keep doing what I do……….