Changing Relationships with my Daughters……

I noticed a while back my changing relationship with such simple things as my scrabble and solitaire games which wake my sluggish brain in a morning….the need to press the ‘hint’ button more to help me with, what would have once been, the obvious. Looking and not being able to work out a move that I would have got in a nano second a while back……

What is even more obvious is the changing relationship with the two most precious people in my life, my daughters.

We’ve all been aware of it happening for some time, but lately it’s become more apparent….to me especially.

I could have called this blog, Dear Daughters. But that seems too personal, too private, too public, so instead I’ll talk generally about how our relationship has changed, with their agreement.

You think you’ll always be there for your children if you’re alive. You never think that the way you’re there may change. That with dementia, as well as adapting to living with dementia you have to adapt to the way you are there for your children as well. That’s harder to cope with.

The girls have noticed. I once would have remembered everything – I didn’t forget……I’m still their mum but a mum with increasing deficits, decreasing ability to help. Once facts, feelings, issues were all stored safely in the organised filing cabinets in my brain but now I use ‘reminders’ …….for everything……when they ask me to get them something, they’ll send me a picture of the article in question to make sure I get the right thing, so we have our coping strategies. But being there on a personal level seems so different.

When things happen in their lives it’s harder for me and I feel like I’m letting them down. I know they won’t see it that way but I do. They don’t know what I remember, I don’t know what I’ve forgotten, so it’s an added issue for them. I don’t want their lives to have the added worry of me but it’s inevitable and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. No matter on their age, you always want to make things better and when that involves an uncooperative brain it makes it less likely.

I know they’re more than capable of coping on their own but I want to be there….just as I was, as a mum.

How much do I remember them telling me? Have I asked the right questions? How many times have I repeated myself? Some days my mind is sharper than others and I amaze myself at the things I come out with, but on others, I’m cloudy, indecisive, struggle to help in the way I would.

No longer clutter compartmentalised in my brain, of work, of home and other strands of life. One subject, one thought at a time now the norm. That’s why I get a banging head when I’m with lots of people with lots of conversations going on. I just do my best in these situations to concentrate on one person and one voice but very difficult even though I love being in those situations. That’s why I find it easier to type my blogs in real time….my fingers do the thinking and leave my brain to relax………and ignore everything else around.

Totally gone off piste🙄……

My daughters used to come and stay with me when they needed a break. Sadly that’s no longer the case. I’m anxious if someone is in my house. How can I be anxious if it’s my daughter staying with me? But I wouldn’t remember it’s my daughter. It’s simply a noise in the night, an unfamiliar noise, a movement, an unfamiliar movement. So they wouldn’t feel relaxed either.

The one good bonus out of all this is that it’s brought them closer together. Not that they weren’t before but it’s different now; a nice difference…..every cloud.

Sad, how I’m still alive and yet I’m not there in the way I was………and it will continue in decline…..

This bummer of a diagnosis has a lot to answer for……

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

24 thoughts on “Changing Relationships with my Daughters……

    1. It took me and my sisters a very long time to realise that there was something amiss with my mother because we were all working and not staying together. By the time we did she was gone. I feel for you and your daughters but you are really lucky to be in a position of sanity and being able to put everthing in writing to help others. I salute and admire your tenacity & drive wishing you all the best in future.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So moving, Wendy. Thank you for writing this.
    Your positivity is wonderful but to tell it like it is about the difficult, heartbreaking stuff is so important to acknowledge too. Thank you for sharing these feelings.
    Sending love to you and your daughters.
    Jill

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Wendy you are immensely strong and immensely brave and I have loved reading your blogs ever since you came to our little seaside village of Appledore in September. You are always thinking of others but do take care of yourself as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hit a raw nerve with me Wendy. My diagnosis has caused my daughters to step back, disengage. They say they understand, but they don’t relly, preferring to stay largely in denial x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can feel every word…in my case it’s with my hubby..our 50 year partnership is changing so much…I was always the organiser and the one doing most of the planning …but now I just can’t hold onto things…I’d give anything to save him from watching my decline…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Wendy for sharing your poignant insight. Sharing your experiences are so valuable. Dad had Vascular Dementia and your insight helps me to think about how he probably felt with changing relationships.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wendy, thank you for this very honest blog. It must have been difficult to write, and for your daughters to read. May I mention that there are many mothers of your age who have lost the loving relationships that you still cherish! There are some things in life that are greater than the losses many experience. #loveneverends

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s not an easy situation is it Wendy and can’t imagine what that is like for you. I’m sure you and your daughters know it is no one’s fought. Alzheimer’s is to blame for the changing times. Doesn’t make it any easy for you I know but you will always be their Mum and you are still doing so much for them with your book and publicity events and this blog. My relationship with my Dad has totally changed now, and I’m now there to support him as he has done so much for me so can see it more as becoming a role reversal, which yourself as a Mum must be so hard to take. As a family I think it has brought us all together and we have made so much more effort to do things and spend quality time together since my Dad’s diagnosis. Small mercies but it does give you time to still have a life albeit a different one and spend more time with the ones you love. Love and best wishes xx

    Liked by 1 person

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