Battening down the hatches
I've talked a lot recently about emotion and relationships when living a life affected by dementia and the changes we've experienced (and still are experiencing) were really brought home to me this morning. I know we're supposed to live in the moment and not look back but the problem is that, as a spouse or partner, there will be so much shared history that some actions are automatic. Are you in a 'normal' relationship? if you are then it's likely you will think nothing of reaching for the hand of your other half, of putting your arm around them, of giving them a hug for no reason other than you feel like it or giving them a kiss on your way out the door. That's what Ash and I did for the six years before we got married and for at least 35 years since our wedding but, from the day of his diagnosis, the hugs were forced and only when requested, the kisses were accepted not given and the hand holding was done absent mindedly if at all. This morning we woke up and I reached for his hand but there was absolutely no response whatsoever then when I went to give him a kiss as I left the house he actually turned his head away. The really sad thing was that none of it was pre-meditated, just a normal action and reaction from each of us. Life changes and moves on but if you'd suggested even two years ago that this is what it would become I would never have believed it was possible and sometimes the only way of dealing with it is to batten down the hatches and get on with what we have now.
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