Dementia





3
The day has finally arrived. I am thirty. So far it feels like any other day. I didn’t get to watch what I wanted on television. I was woken up early by Amy. Basically, same old same old. Oh, and one of the aunts who hates me still hates me. (Actually, all the aunts who hate me probably still do.) And this one didn’t hold back just because it happens to be my birthday. Aunt Phyllis, who does seem to like me to some degree, posted a Happy Birthday greeting to me. Sweet, right? Well, her baby sister Judy1 couldn’t stand for that. Almost immediately, Judy had to speak out over the grave injustice that is recognizing my birthday. I think I’ve mentioned that Judy is a rather interesting figure in my family on here before. Yep, there was the time that she accused my parents and me of abusing my grandfather…when I was only 12 at the time of his death, and when she had refused to take him in for any length of time when we needed much-deserved respite from caring for his multiple ailments, including dementia. (Not to mention that he was an abusive and scary SOB.) Phyllis is right, I didn’t know their father. He died about 7 years and 2 months before I was even born. I do know what my father and others have told me about their father. I also know what my grandfather used to claim, that he was his father’s whipping boy and that that was part of why he left home at the age of 15.2 As for their mom…I did meet their mother. She died when I was about 2 years old, so I don’t actually remember her. And what I know of her is also stuff that I was told. But their brother, who Judy once tried to make sound like a saint, I knew him. I knew him well. I knew the man who liked to scare us with his guns. I knew the man who went to prison for being part of a car theft ring. I knew the man who called in a bomb threat to a media outlet. I knew the man who would tell me how I was ugly and how I would never be loved. And I knew the man who molested toddlers. I knew that man very well. Probably better than Judy ever did, since there was almost 20 years difference in their ages and they never lived in the same house as each other. I knew that man and I know that even with just anecdotes about his family that there had to be a certain kind of environment to produce that kind of individual. (And considering that his older brother Johnny was even more of a “character” in many ways, chances are pretty good that their home life wasn’t as idyllic as they remember it.) At some point, there was something that happened in that family, because happy, healthy families do not end up the way the Morris family has ended up. And if you grow up to be so great of an adult that you hold things that didn’t even happen against someone who was between the ages of eight and twelve at the time that you think they happened, then something is messed up with you. Yeah, there are children who are shitty, but most of the time those shitty 8-12 year old kids turn into actual full-on criminals, instead of people who’ve only been written up for having tall grass. I have one thing to say to my beloved Aunt Judy about her attitude and her crashing a birthday greeting to make some snarky remark: Actually, what I said was a little wordier and, hopefully, more tactful: Your brother was actually the one who talked about being abused by his/your father. I’ve never met your dad, since he died 7 years before I was born. All I know is what has been told to me by my grandfather, my father, and other family members. But the issues surrounding how your brother may or may not have been abused and any negative feelings that you may have toward me probably aren’t exactly appropriate to bring up on this sort of post. Judy, if you want to talk about how I’m a horrible human being or object to my existence in the world, why not wait until it isn’t my birthday? I get that she thinks that her family was perfect. It’s sometimes difficult to accept that bad shit went down at some point in your life, especially in a family with such a vibrant history of pseudologia fantastica.3 It’s something that I’ve talked about in therapy a lot over the years. It’s something I’ve talked about on here before. I get it. I understand wanting to pretend that your childhood was perfect, but if her life was as perfect as she claims, then the whole family would not be as messed up as it is now. And I get that she thinks that my talking about any of this is a bad thing. Anything that makes her feel the slightest bit uncomfortable is bad. It’s like when she was claiming that she came from a long line of Republicans. No, she didn’t. Back in the fifties, sixties, and seventies, her father was a Democrat. Back when southern Democrats were racist twats, her father supported them. And so did my grandfather. If he hadn’t been an über-conservative by his father, would he really have had this: 4 The good thing about the objection being from Judy is that it doesn’t actually hurt my feelings. If it had been someone who I thought actually liked me, then that might have been upsetting. Also, if I hadn’t just spent about 18 hours Saturday and Sunday crying about how my life was a failure and how I would rather be dead, then this might have been more upsetting.5 Basically, I’ve made myself […]

30 is the New 20


My mom can be a wonderful person. She can also be completely horrid. She is easier to talk to now than she was during the those years she spent 24-hours a day on the couch after-the-ankle-surgeries-and-before-the-house-was-condemned. She’s more difficult than she was before that time, though. She’s more flighty than she used to be. She doesn’t care how little money is in the bank or how much things she wants to do cost. She goes on Craigslist every day to find things that we need or things she thinks that we need. She enters contests and sweepstakes and fills out survey after survey. Usually the stuff she enters ends up being scams. Sometimes she gives them information that ends up costing money. When dad and I have tried to warn her, she’ll say stuff about how we treat her like a toddler and she claims that this was how we treated her during those couch-ridden days. She can’t remember anything else about that time period, but somehow she remembers that we didn’t do anything for her or try to help her in anyway back then, which is a shit claim. She has also been doing more of the one-upping thing and the pity parties. On Monday, my father had to have both an upper and a lower endoscopy done. He found out that he had polyps in his esophagus, stomach, and intestines. He also found out that he has diverticulosis in the last bit of his colon. As she was telling me this, she made it a point to say, “I have it all-through mine.” I looked at her–glared would be more accurate–and said, “It isn’t a game.” When I told her about my shoulder pain, she launched into a, “well, I had something wrong with that tendon in my shoulder and had to have surgery for it.” I don’t know why she felt the need to tell me this since I was alive when it happened. I may have only been three when we were in the wreck that injured her shoulder, but I know about the surgery, why it happened, and the very big scar that she has had for over a quarter of a century now. She may have felt, in that last case, like she was empathizing, but it doesn’t really come across like that. If I complain about any bit of pain or discomfort, I get to hear about how her suffering is just so much worse than mine and how I will never understand her plight. Oh, and she is very forgetful lately. She forgets things that are said to her, or just doesn’t pay attention to the people talking too her, all the time. Heaven help you if you forget something that she says. She thinks my father may have some type of dementia, which might be true, but she turns around and gives him hell if he forgets anything (big or small) that she she says. She’ll say he doesn’t care about her or doesn’t love her or doesn’t respect her. If she forgets anything, though, she says that she should be excused for that forgetfulness because she’s on 17 (I think) medicines, has kidney failure, and that she nearly died last year, and that all of those things give her a reasonable excuse for forgetting things. If my dad has dementia, then that should definitely excuse any bouts of forgetfulness that he has. If the near-death stuff is an excuse, then I should get a free pass on anything I forget because I nearly died last year, too. But no…she is the only person that gets to get away with everything. She’s just so frustrating these days. I love her, but she seems to be using/playing us sometimes or picking fights just to get extra attention. And if I bring up any of these feelings or frustrations, she tells me that I just need more therapy. She doesn’t need anymore, though. (And, as of this afternoon, she will no longer be in therapy. She’ll just be seeing a psychiatrist. Why? Because the psychiatrist thinks that she doesn’t need it anymore.) She admits that she picks the fights for attention or for absolutely no reason sometimes. She attempts to justify these fights. Sometimes she goes out of her way to piss my dad off, and with his anger issues and quick temper, it really doesn’t take much to trigger a massive verbal sparring match to break out. But even though she admits to provoking him deliberately, she feels that he is the sole person to blame for them and that this behavior by him is the only bad behavior going on between the two of them. I just really wish she would behave like an adult. The stress from her behavior is making life way more difficult than it needs to be.

Mama Drama



Early last week, or maybe late week before last, my dad got a card from eMachines telling him that as part of a class action lawsuit, he could get a computer or computer accessories from them valued at up to $365 or he could get $62.50 in cash. He chose the computer option, and it arrived late last Friday. (It wasn’t supposed to show up until sometime in September, so we were a bit shocked.) Anyway, he was setting it up and he decided to give me the cords from his old computer so that I could use them on my desktop. This sounded really good to me, as I didn’t really like using his computer and my laptop is still out of commission. So, while he was getting accustomed to a Windows 8 machine after having a Windows XP one for so long, I was cleaning up my old desktop and updating programs that were on it. (I mentioned on Twitter that it was still running things like Java 6 Update 3, which puts the last updates of that particular program at 2007.) I finally got everything working right on Sunday afternoon, which was about the time that the computer decided to randomly reboot itself and gave me a 3 & 4 message, which for a Dell XPS 410 is a kiss of death. It’s supposed to mean that the system’s memory needs to be changed. Apparently, from what I’ve read, it generally means that the motherboard is dead or dying and that (because everything from it was made specifically for that particular model and that model was made obsolete within six months after I got it) it is expensive and almost impossible to get properly repaired. So I was left without a computer again. Can I take a moment to say that if I ever have the money to buy a computer of my own again that it most definitely will not be a Dell? After the motherboard issues with my laptop and the motherboard issues with the desktop, I have very iffy feelings about their products now. I know that my computer was old, and old computers can go kaput, but I also know that if there are so many people complaining about a particular computer have a particular problem from as far back as 2006, then there is obviously something wrong with their product. And when two different computers have just about the same issue, it makes me wonder where they get the components for their computers and if there is any level of quality control going on at all. Ugh. So now I’m back to working on my dad’s computer. His old one, not the new one. Of course, he offered to let me use the new one, but I really didn’t see the point in that. I have his old one hooked up to my monitor, mouse, and keyboard. It may be slow as Christmas, but it gets the work I need to do done. Speaking of work, I’m actually working on the book I’ve wanted to write for several years. I work a little each day and try not to stress out on it. I want to write a book that I can one day get published so that I can finally get off disability and food stamps and all of those programs because: 1. I’m sick of living in poverty and 2.) I’m sick of being judged for living in poverty. If I’m going to be judged, at least let it be for the work I’ve done and not the prejudices people have. Nana was sent home from the nursing home on Tuesday morning. Mom stayed with her Tuesday and Wednesday nights, which meant Dad and I were left to take care of Amy. She became clingy after she realized her mommy wasn’t coming home, so she’s following us everywhere. I feel like Mary and like she’s the little lamb. When Mom came home, Amy nearly knocked her down from excitement. She’s still clingy with all of us, and she now has the habit of having to go into the bathroom whenever any of us uses it–because she’s afraid of being left behind, I guess. I’ve got to figure out a way to restore her confidence. It breaks my heart that she seems to be worried about us leaving her. Nana is doing better. She’s had a really bad case of vertigo since she came home, and mom and Nana’s home health nurse have been trying to get the doctor to prescribe some Meclizine for Nana, instead of the Phenergan that he’s got her on. But he hasn’t done it yet, so I guess that may be a lost cause. Nana is considering moving in with us if she gets worse, which could change things around here a lot. I have a feeling all of our stress levels might shoot up if she were here, but it is better that she be here than in an assisted living facility–assisted living is my aunt’s solution because she doesn’t think Nana should live with her. Mom said her justification was that Nana can’t get upstairs, where three of the four bedrooms in my aunt’s house are located. I don’t get why she couldn’t let Nana stay in her downstairs bedroom, but maybe she hasn’t thought of that. Or maybe she just doesn’t want to have her mom live with her. My mom said that when she and her sister talked about how Mom stayed up with Nana when she was up all night with her nausea, vomiting, and vertigo, my aunt asked her, “Why?” How would you answer that? I mean other than scoffing. You stay up at night with a sick loved one because they’re a loved one. Hell, if you were in the same place with a sick enemy, you should at least try to help the enemy because that’s the right thing to do. I guess only evil people realize these […]

You Have to Be Fucking Kidding Me


This, apparently,  was the question or accusation made by a certain family member to Nana earlier this week. Nana was confused and was having trouble communicating via phone with that relative, so that automatically meant she must be doing drugs. She wasn’t. I know we’re not staying with her anymore, but I know that most of her communication issues have to do with some dementia issues. She is forgetful and she doesn’t always know who she’s talking to and she confuses reality with dreams, and the past with the present. These may be worse due to a hypoxic incident that occurred a few years ago when she was at the pain clinic and had a bad reaction to a drug. (If the certain relative hadn’t treated her like she was a drug addict at that time, then she probably would have been there for the reaction and would have gotten her help more quickly.) That incident probably sped up the dementia. (Mom would have been there that day, except my mom was too sick to go.) Nana does sometimes take too much medicine and sometimes the medicine does impact how she reacts to things, but she doesn’t do it because she’s chasing a high. She does it because she’s forgetful. She needs the medicine, but she does make mistakes sometimes with when she takes it or how she takes it. (Not often, but it does happen.) She’s actually more likely to completely skip doses of Neurontin, anti-anxiety and pain medicine. She doesn’t like how they impact the way she thinks and how they make her sleep so much. She doesn’t like that loss of control over her sleep, even though she doesn’t sleep without pills to aid her. I was proud when I heard that Nana decided to hang up on the relative when the asked her that question. Good for her. If only she would have hung up all those times when that relative was telling her how awful we were and how we were killing her while we were there, then maybe I wouldn’t have grown to really dislike my grandmother so much. That relative and another relative would take to bullying Nana with phone calls that were almost back to back, telling her how awful Mom, Dad and I were. At one point, my mom said that the relative had once said she (my mom) faked her hypoglycemic episode in 2008 and that the kidney failure was some kind of hoax, too. They also said that Dad was faking his nervous breakdown and that we were stalling on getting the house fixed because we’re just such horrible awful people.  It was not the behavior that you’d expect from women who were in their late 50’s and early 60’s. You would expect that attitude from teenagers, not grown women. Every time Nana would get off the phone with either of them, she would tear into us and basically emotionally abuse us until her mind would clear up or would forget that she was told to hate us. Part of why my dad had that breakdown was due to the abuse. And most of why I was so stressed while we were there was that I basically had to experience a level of abuse that I hadn’t experienced ever. (Keep in mind that my father and I had both been emotionally/verbally abused by his father–a friggin’ sociopath–and other family members when we were children, and my parents had been emotionally/verbally abused by Dadada from 1992 to 1996. It was nothing compared to the wrath we endured with Nana.) Only my mom had had to deal with Nana’s anger before, and that level of rage. I know part of Nana’s anger was from Nana herself, but a good bit was anger that she was manipulated into having by those relatives. I can forgive her for that anger, but I won’t forgive them for their causing us to endure that or for them not understanding just how bad my dad was doing because of that. And I won’t forgive the certain relative for making my mother cry one night on the phone. I do not have to forgive people who make my mom cry. I do not have to forgive people who cause my family to be abused. I do not have to forgive people who manipulate relatives against other relatives. I’m a forgiving person, but I am NOT THAT FORGIVING. I used to try to chalk the relative’s childish behavior up to hormones or to some undiagnosed brain tumor that was causing such a major personality change, but I don’t think that’s the case. I think she’s just an unfeeling and cruel person. I think that she’s enjoyed having all of this drama in our family. And I think that she’s a beyond textbook case of untreated Borderline Personality Disorder. Where that disease makes some of us insecure, it has made her cruel. It has made her a different person, and that person has no place in my life. Oh, I would like for that relative to notice, since she or one of her friends will read this, that I didn’t use a cuss word in this entire entry. I don’t always use foul language. I do sometimes for emphasis, which is appropriate given my age and given the culture that I have been raised in. So, you can go run and call Nana and say, “Janet, didn’t cuss this time, but she said she doesn’t want me in her life. OMG. She’s just so evil.” I know that you’ll do that last part, and when you do, I will hear about it. I always do.

Are You On Drugs?



Dissolve into the Infinite: Pat Robertson is an Ass cluvieldor: janersm: Yes, most people know this already, except maybe the ones who follow him around like lemmings. He says despicable things quite often, but he has ventured into a whole new level of despicable behavior with his latest comments.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qt_JCnRdCQ&version=3&hl=en_US]Yes, he suggested that people divorce their… I didn’t read this entire post, and I’m not going to (Lazy), but can I just…Why was R.Patz on the 700 Club to begin with?I’m not saying I agree with the guy. I didn’t hear his argument and I’m not going to watch it, but if I were to look at this from his side I would say it may be better to divorce your spouse depending on which route you take when caring for your spouse. Some people will just dump loved ones (ie parents, spouses, etc) with alzheimers at a care home and leave them. If you’re not going to care for them and try to help them whats the point in remaining married? I can understand if you don’t have the means to care for them yourself, but If you don’t visit them often/at all you may as well not be married.[/unpopular opinion] Not Robert Pattinson. Pat Robertson. Two totally different people. Eventually, many people with Alzheimer’s will end up in care facilities, but that isn’t from lack of care. The problem with what he is advocating is that it goes completely against what he (as a family values/moral majority/other crap) is supposed to stand for. A marriage is more than just being with someone when things are easy.  If he advocated that the guy got help with taking care of his wife, then that wouldn’t be objectionable. Getting help with this disease is one thing, but to just up and leaving someone that you have a commitment with because you can’t deal with them having this disease shows immaturity and lack of true concern for other people.

Woman incompetent for trial for burning kittens, arson charge The woman who was accused of setting fire to a clothes basket with 14 kittens in it in 2008 has been found incompetent to stand trial. The ruling says nothing of her mental capacity at the time of the fire, only that she is now incompetent to stand trial. Marshall County Circuit Judge Tim Jolley ruled that Jessie Mealer, 67, of Ruth will not stand trial on the charges. He dismissed the charges with prejudice, meaning they can’t be brought back. Mealer is currently in a nursing home. Jolley issued the ruling following a hearing in which an Alabama Department of Mental Health psychologist said Mealer is suffering from dementia. Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall said he will not appeal the decision. Ruth Volunteer Fire Department Chief Nancy Nolen said the fire is the worst thing she’s seen in her 10 years of service. In his ruling, Jolley said: Mealer suffers from dementia, and her mental condition will continue to deteriorate; Mealer is not capable of caring for herself; There is no substantial probability that she will become competent within a reasonable period of time and that the threat of substantial harm to herself or others does not exist. On June 5, 2008, Mealer allegedly poured kerosene on a clothes basket that held the 14 kittens and set it on fire. The incident happened at a residence on Fieldcrest Drive. Six kittens died at the residence, and two died later at Westside Veterinary Clinic. Mealer, who at the time lived near the residence where the kittens were burned, was charged with first-degree arson. She was taken to Arab City Jail then transferred to the Marshall County Jail and later released on bond. Ruth VFD was called to the residence that day because Mealer allegedly lit a fire at the front door of the residence. That fire was extinguished, but firefighters were called back a few hours later because she allegedly lit a fire at the back door. “We got there expecting to see flames, but we didn’t,” Nolen said. “Then someone began screaming, ‘The kittens are on fire.’ We saw the kittens the first time we were called out there.” The kittens were from two different litters. “One litter was about 8 weeks old and the other was about 4 weeks old,” Nolen said at the time. “I’ve never seen anything so horrible in my life.”