Just Merveilleux?

Life at β„– 42

Tentative Uncertainty

When my mother-in-law was first ill, it was a strange time. Sometimes she’d say unusual things. Things that didn’t quite fit in the conversation. Then she’d have the occasional fall. The doctors told us none of this was odd for a woman in her 80’s. It was however odd to me because she had been so exceptionally precise. Always. Until that time.

And as time went by, I completely lost my sense of certainty over how much she did or didn’t know of what was going on around her. Of what had gone on around her. Although the past seemed quite clear. And sometimes not, like when she called me by her late husband’s name.

Much of that is hindsight because as it happened, I resisted. Often I thought she couldn’t be confused or wrong, so it must be me. And I’d say nothing. Sometimes sitting in silence contemplating my own (in)sanity- the flaws in my own perception. And now sometimes I also wonder if it’s me or if it’s not. How much clarity can anyone be expected to have? And how and when? And when is it normal to forget, to repeat, to misplace, and when and who established what is normal? And for how long is it normal until it’s no longer normal?

And if I stop to think, I’m afraid. Because this house is so big. Because there are three dogs. Because the wine shop I like is 10 minutes away, and I haven’t driven in two years because I let my license expire. I don’t feel I could face the world on my own. And I’m afraid because I always thought that one day everything would make sense, but it doesn’t. And it won’t.

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41 comments on “Tentative Uncertainty

  1. Clare Flourish
    June 26, 2017

    I want to reassure you. No, you do not perceive correctly. You are not in control, even in your own house. Bad things happen, sometimes very bad, like your mother in law’s disease and death. And-

    er, good things happen too sometimes?
    er, the mistakes you make and the harm you cause is mostly correctable or not utterly serious, or the really dreadful bits are also statistically unlikely…
    er…

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Steve Ruis
    June 26, 2017

    Welcome to reality. We do not confront reality full frontally but at a remove. We create a simulacrum of it in our minds and then deal with what is there. Once we have ingrained a character in our mind plays, it is very hard to change that character because the whole purpose of the simulations is to be able to predict the future. Our imagination allows us to play “what if?” without offending or hurting anyone (especially ourselves). The downside is our reality is only as good as our ability to construct it … and amend it over time. As we age (I am experiencing this now) we start making mistakes such as this: I couldn’t find our corkscrew recently because I was looking for the red one and not the grey one (we had given away the red one). I looked for the red one but didn’t find it as it was not to be found, but I also did not notice the grey one staring me in the face. I had not amended my imaginary reality well enough. (I only figured this out after the fact; I was convinced I was just looking for “the corkscrew” but realized only afterward that my mental picture of “the corkscrew” was based on the long gone red one.)

    My response to this increased level of confusion in my life has been to adopt an “isn’t that fascinating” attitude. (Thanks, Mr. Spock!) I am not entirely consistent in my approach so I still find myself railing against reality from time to time … isn’t that fascinating.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 26, 2017

      I like the corkscrew example. It’s a good way of looking at things. I’m even going to name certain events corkscrew moments to diffuse the tension.
      When it happens to Mike, he sometimes panics, which in turn makes me panic (later and in private.) He witnessed his father’s Alzheimer’s and years later his mother’s vascular dementia, so we’re both rather sensitive to any experiences that remind us (of even the possibility) of those things.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. acflory
    June 26, 2017

    You’re too young not to drive. Get your licence back. Age takes whether you will it to or not. Don’t cede control of anything until you absolutely have to. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 26, 2017

      I don’t have the confidence I used to have. I’ve told Mike that if it’s ever necessary, we can get one of those electric cars (Aixam) which don’t require licenses and can only be used in towns πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      • acflory
        June 27, 2017

        Oh Pinky…you are so incredibly competent. I can’t believe you’d have trouble driving. And what on earth is an Aixam? Never heard of it. And yes, I’ll go look it up right now. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 27, 2017

        I’ve lost my nerve for lots of things over the years. Or I’m searching for a very quiet stress-free life?

        Like

      • acflory
        June 27, 2017

        -sigh- I know that feeling but…life rarely co-operates so you have to keep your reflexes honed. Besides, you need that cute little car, you really do. πŸ˜€

        Like

      • acflory
        June 27, 2017

        Oh! I love these. I wish we had something like this is Australia. Get one, please, and tell me about it. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 27, 2017

        Aren’t they cute? Someone on our street in Spain had one and I loved it. Here they call them a voiturette or mini-car. A bit expensive new, but second hand the prices fall dramatically.

        Like

      • acflory
        June 27, 2017

        I would seriously love one of these…-wistful…but I’ve never even seen one on the road.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Diana MacPherson
        June 28, 2017

        You must get one just because it’s a voiturette!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. coteetcampagne
    June 26, 2017

    I don’t know how or why you lost your confidence, but sometimes it is possible to get at least some of it back.
    Never say never again; never say “I don’t have” . Please. I live with a fatalist who limits himself by his history and it is really tough sometimes

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Diana MacPherson
    June 26, 2017

    I’m hedging everything on robots looking after me if I make it to infirm old age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • docatheist
      June 27, 2017

      Will they come in imitation-cat? Because, right now, and for the past many decades, I’ve had my cats taking care of me. I live, because I can’t bear the thought of what would happen to them if I died first.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Diana MacPherson
    June 26, 2017

    Oh and I get the panic. I panic about cancer all the time because of having it recently. So every call left on voice mail, I think is a clinic with bad news. Or any sign of illness is another cancer. It’s awful. Some suggest I have PTSD but I don’t buy it. I think it’s anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 26, 2017

      It’s just awful. How long ago was your illness?

      Like

    • docatheist
      June 27, 2017

      Diana, there is a secret for dealing with that, and I want to share it with you, but I don’t want to post private contact info in public. JAC knows how to reach me, and E, too, I think.

      Like

  7. Bela Johnson
    June 27, 2017

    It doesn’t and it won’t, correct – at least if we’re honest. As for “How much clarity can anyone be expected to have?” My answer, though you didn’t solicit it, is whatever you’ve got. At any given time. There is no Standard. Another thing I can say is that fear can be fed. As can any other emotion you choose to shift into its place. Love to you, Pink.

    Liked by 3 people

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 27, 2017

      You’re right. I’m usually good at being sanguine, but once in a while there’s a wobble (or two) πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. docatheist
    June 27, 2017

    I sense that you need a hug, and I send you one, a very heartfelt and therapeutic one.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. kjennings952
    June 27, 2017

    An excellent meditation class I took recently calls it “maintaining amusement”. The mindset of being curious and a neutral observer of life. Getting caught up in “shoulds” and likes/dislikes leads to desire, which leads to disappointment and suffering (self-inflicted).

    The idea of staying curious and open but neutral is not as easy as it sounds by middle age πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bela Johnson
      June 27, 2017

      Actually, I find it much, much easier the older I get. I wonder if you’d say more as to why you feel it’s more difficult. Aloha πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 27, 2017

        Personally, I think much more now than I did in my 20’s. Then I just reacted to stimulus. Thinking can be exhausting.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Bela Johnson
        June 27, 2017

        Hmmm … well, after years of mindfulness practice then (on my part). I well understand that thinking can be exhausting, though I haven’t experienced that kind of mental masturbation since my 40’s. I used to feel as though I’d go bonkers because of it. 😘

        Liked by 1 person

      • kjennings952
        June 27, 2017

        I think over time we cone to believe things about ourselves and others without even recognizing that we do it.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Bela Johnson
        June 28, 2017

        Thanks for the clarification. Agreed, yet for me, mindfulness keeps opening my eyes to new possibilities even in those instances. πŸ™πŸ½

        Liked by 1 person

      • kjennings952
        June 28, 2017

        Exactly

        Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 27, 2017

      Isn’t meditation annoying?

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hariod Brawn
    June 27, 2017

    I once knew a man who had a beautiful Silver Birch chopped down, a perfectly heathy one, because he thought one day it might fall down against the front of his house. Catastrophe Thinking, they call it. This man saw out his years in a nursing home for dementia sufferers and I went to visit him, take him out for a walk. As we strolled in the woods, I asked him how his memory was. He said, without a trace of irony, “Actually, it’s pretty good; I just can’t remember anything in the past.”. πŸ˜€ I visited him often after that, and experienced many beautifully serene afternoons sitting at tables with those with Alzheimer’s, eating cake they were, mindfully, musing to themselves, staring blankly at each other, at me, and out the window. Beautiful, it was, Pink. Super post.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Esme upon the Cloud
    June 29, 2017

    I empathise with your fear dearie. After a few years on some new, and very unpleasant medication I began to lose my cognitive abilities very slowly – a lack of concentration here, an inability to recall memories there, until it became obvious something was horribly wrong. It was the meds – they swore it was not for a while – they now agree it absolutely was. The new medication I am assured cannot do the same, but I have never recovered my abilities, such as they were (they were of course fantastic! Hahahaha), and the fear pops up regularly as I wonder if things are getting worse again and what will happen if they do. This is all besides the fear of inherited conditions that affect ones marbles, which is also hanging about.

    The best way I have found to deal with his kind of worry is through mindfulness – don’t scoff now! – it genuinely helps these kind of fearful thought patterns. In effect you are practising being afraid again and again and getting very good at it, mindfulness helps people examine this fear and stop the mobius strip a whirlng round.

    I wish you lived close by Mr Pink, Esme would be round regularly to have a cup of tea and chat over sticky buns x

    – Esme giving him a hug upon the Cloud

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 29, 2017

      And where does one buy this mindfulness?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Esme upon the Cloud
        June 29, 2017

        Ideally you would do a course, four days but only one a week, so say every Sunday. Having someone talk through the way it works makes a big difference, but if not then there are online options. Many sites offer help regarding Mindfulness, but the accredited courses over here are through Breathworks

        http://www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk/online-courses

        If you can find something close to where you are, I think you’d get a huge amount out of it. Otherwise, as I say the online folks also know what they’re doing. I have a close friend who trained at Breathworks and has helped me with dealing with physical pain as well as mental strife.

        – Esme knowing what she’s on about upon the Cloud

        Liked by 2 people

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 29, 2017

        I shall look into your mindfulness immediately.

        Liked by 2 people

  12. appletonavenue
    July 6, 2017

    Been there. It’s a bit depressing.

    Liked by 1 person

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