My Dad has Alzheimers

I’m weak and fragile like a leaf, just one more blow and I will fall.

The recent events have felt like 12 rounds with Mohammed Ali and I couldn’t even see the fighter as the blindfold covered my eyes completely. I feel like that, like a boxer who has had his arse kicked.

My 3 worlds have all given me questions, concerns and been a factor in the slow chipping away of my character and shield of confidence. Leaving me raw and vulnerable.

 

The Family

We could lose the house. Not likely, but a possibility. For some baffling reason mum seems unfazed but this could just be other pressing matters taking precedence over a long-standing cloud we have had selling the house and paying off debts.

It is all too unsettling to think about my parents losing this and walking away with nothing. Such is level of my anxiety, I feel nauseous just thinking about it. 

I enjoyed my Sunday conversation with a family friend about my Dad and his business behavior and ventures. How like most men of his generation, his idea of his role was to be the provider. This meant handling the finances and keeping quiet to his wife and kids. Finances were either ordinary or good but never bad. This is a typical protective instinct to absorb the concerns and allowing the loved ones to enjoy their life.

That said, whenever I think about my Dad and his business ventures it leaves a strange taste in my mouth. Part of me feels angry that he didn’t share his business activities with full disclosure and thus future proofing the family interests in the event he would not be able.

The other part of me, feels regret for not picking up on indicators that his business was failing and so was his mental state of health. What kind of son, neglects these clear signs? Sure, his trips to Hamilton didn’t help and neither did the once a week visits, which were normally brief enough for it to be masked. Regret also that I didn’t take over his business that I know he wanted to hand over. I saw it in his eyes and heard in his voice when we had an argument about me giving up my web design business and all involvement in his companies. That was one of only two times that I feared my own Dad and didn’t recognize him with his behavior. He called me a quitter and all I wanted to do was be my own man. Not the boss’s son. The other time, I thought he was going to physically hit me but he just threw me out the house verbally instead when I supported mum in questioning what document she was signing.

It is very hard to know when the disease took hold and even harder to recognize them apart from the physical person you see before you.

He looks like my Dad, talks like my Dad but just is not.

Sometimes glimpses, emotion like a hug but not the same man who also had a new story, a new insight and could help me guide through life and business with wise words foiled in support

The truth is, I miss him.

Occasionally (but rarely) I even picture going to his funeral. It is morbid I know but it is also a final conclusion. This is not just about the absolute emotional anchorage that this disease causes but the man inside the disease whom is scared and afraid, incapable of independent activities and a safety danger to himself and others.

So, fuck you dementia and your little child Alzheimer’s. You have financially and emotionally destroyed the lives of the 4 of us family members including taking my Dad away from me. This all over maybe 5 years? Who knows when it began. I have resigned to the fact my Dad is mostly gone with a small whisper left but my mum I have hope for. I want her back and I need her around. During my days I could take the abusive boss, the bullies at school and no friends to hang out with but lord knows I wouldn’t have survived without my mum and my dad.

What is strange about going through Alzheimer’s in the family is that grieving comes at random stages. Its not always at diagnosis (it wasn’t initially for me) and it wont necessarily be at the funeral either. It’s comes in bursts or sometimes waves. Coming up slowly and then going away for a long while then it creeps back in and hits home hard and fast.

Jesus, there is a tear in my eye but men are not supposed to cry.

My mum says don’t worry just don’t worry but how can I not worry when this disease has taken my dad, hijacked mums emotions and energy and all the while run the risk it will get me later on in life or worse – my children.

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8 thoughts on “My Dad has Alzheimers

  1. You are allowed to cry. This is such a sad time in your life, I can relate to what you are feeling. As for the finances, get that Power of Attorney, we went through hell because we left it too late. I wish you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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