the feeling of being forgotten, lesser attention given, lesser love, no more care & concern, wonderful memories faded to the back of the curtains.
I found an answer to one of my many unanswered questions that lingered in my mind for almost five years. (Thanks Kris indirectly)
How it all begins .
My granny’s xmas day fall down incident in 2010 & her dementia triggered something in me.
I tend to wonder why whenever my granny comes over for a sleepover i’d get emotional, more sensitive, more nostalgic & i’ll end up having crying episodes after she goes back to my aunt’s house.
She raised me up & take care of me for 18 years. My partner in crime, my roommate, my best friend , my everything. She’s closer to me than anyone else in the family. I stick to her like super glue.
She washes my school shoes, she prepares my favourite food for me daily, she taught me the skill of cooking and folding clothes neatly, she was the first person who discipline me in military manner (strict as hell, slap on the face stings i swear.)
she was the one who carried me when i was young and sick , singing her favourite church song that became my childhood lullaby. And she always sleeps later than me.
I took things for granted. I didn’t make enough effort to be thankful for what she has done for me. All i ever care was my teenage life while growing up. We usually attend Christmas midnight mass after our family xmas eve gathering at my house annually.
2010 that year i didn’t go to Church that night with her. I was tired and i failed to notice she was even more exhausted.
Come Xmas day afternoon i was still in bed , i received a phone call from a stranger that my granny fell down.
I got the shock of my life and my world turned upside down. Nobody was home except me. I called my parents and scream at them about the news.
I rushed out in my Pjs and turns out she fell on a roadside near my house while walking (lack out sleep) , the worse thing nobody was there to help her at first. Cars passed by none stop until a small family saw and stopped the car to help her.
When i saw her i nearly choke and cried on the spot. She was sitting on the ground her lip bleeding, bloodshot eyes and i could sense fear and shock in her. The expression on her face when she saw me i will never be able to wash out of my mind.
“Sheryl,” she murmured my name when she saw me and all i could do was suppress those tears and ask if she was ok to get up. She was completely shock and dazed. I was worried about her head if there was a concussion.
I thanked the helpful family as we helped her up slowly and i walked her to my house void deck bench and wait for my parents to come back home to bring her to hospital.
She had bruises, cuts, bleeding and she was in shock and scared to the point she even wet her pants. I was trembling and trying to not cry infront of her. She was murmuring in shock.
And my parents sent her to hospital while i was forced to go back home and wait.
For hours i just cried in my bed kept blaming myself for not accompanying her to church that xmas early morning. I felt guilty and ashamed.
I couldn’t see her until boxing day. And that’s when it escalates. She had to stay in hospital for days. Days became weeks.
I went to the hospital daily after poly lectures to visit her and keep her company. I kept crying night after night while sleeping.
Her injuries were recovering but her fall had changed her. She became physically weaker. And she couldn’t walk properly like before due to the fall. She had to rely on a walking stick and diapers. It was a psychological effect on her.
And plus she s a strong willed stubborn person, i knew she felt burdensome to the family and realise she’s old and the family is going to fully take charge of her well being.
Weeks became months. She discharged in february and family planned out that she’s to stay with my aunt who works part time who will be able to watch her round the clock compared to my parents and i.
And then dementia hit her. Months passed, years passed. We gotten a lot distant, her memory has worsened each time i see her. She doesn’t remember that our birthdays are 2 dates apart anymore, she doesn’t remember my favourite food nor does she remember what kind of things we do together the previous day.
She can ask me the same question every 5 minutes. Her memory was declining at a fast rate. I was helpless and felt even more guilty. If i had accompanied her to church on xmas eve and xmas morning, she would not have fall.
She would not have developed the fear and lose her bladder control , unable to take buses anymore, she has to rely on cabs and her memory is so bad that she can’t tell the difference between day and night , days and dayes and she got conned by a shopkeeper to buy 26 t-shirts twice.
My family got into plenty of disputes because of her condition and dementia changes her habits and personality as well.
Up to this day, i still feel responsible, i still can’t shake off the incident. It’s still as fresh as it is in my mind. And when we get her to come over to stay, she’s no longer familiar with the home she stayed in for more than 10 years.
She became someone i still loved but i couldn’t communicate like before anymore. All i could do is do art coloring therapy with her, bath her, cook breakfast for her , feed her with plenty of fruits and let her watch television for a while.
Because of her dementia, i felt forgotten, and less loved by her. It felt like whatever bond we had built over the years was gone completely. I felt miserable, abandoned and guilty.
And that was the start of me slipping baby steps into the circle of darkness and to where i am today.
I know this incident has always been a big factor to me slipping slowly into depression because of the sudden change in the bond we had woke me up.
I was in denial and unable to accept it.
It affected me pretty badly for the first two years but now i think lesser of it, however boxing day for me ever since never fail to make me recall of the incident.
I will definitely get emotional with her presence in my house because it brings back alot of memories that we had together.
I am talking about all this past now because i decided to step out and just tell people and friends i am having depression. Not because i want to gain sympathy or attention, i feel that it’s ok to reach out.
I will feel better and i want people to understand i am losing weight is not me being on diet. I am just not in a good state and i am vulnerable emotionally.
I love my granny still even when i see her less than 10 times a year now than daily for 18 years.
I just couldn’t get over what happened. It shook my reality. I wonder if she s happier now that she remembers lesser stuff now. I want to tell her that i am having depression, i miss you.
But i just can’t bring myself to say it. She’s struggling and waiting to die, she always tells me she can’t wait to pass on soon cus she feels burdensome & there’s nothing for her to do anymore in life.
All her kids are grown up, so are all her grandchildren. And then i decided. To not hide my depression and anxiety disorder anymore.
I am slowly going through my social circle , reach out and tell more friends. Not because i want their care or extra attention.
I want them to be aware that depression is simply not just “emo” . It makes up a little of everything that happens along in life.
And depression can hit anyone anytime.