Wednesday, August 21, 2013

mom and metaphysics

Things get caught in the web that is left of my mother's mind and they're impossible to remove. She forms connections between bits of information and spins a story that is completely separate from reality. Currently she believes that we are living in someone else's house, housesitting maybe, but the house is suspiciously like our own. When she forgets that I'm her (unemployed) daughter, she thinks I work for Duke, since I shuttle her to and from appointments and arrange all her medications. I mentioned selling her car, and now she believes that she got a new car, but one that looks almost exactly like her old one.

I'll tell her every ten minutes, "mom, this is our house, you own it, you bought it in 2001 and no one else has ever lived here but us," but it doesn't stick. I can never tell if she believes me, and even if she does, she just forgets again.

I wrote before that she thought there was someone impersonating me and wanting to be her daughter. Today she started calling this alter-ego Pace. I'm noticing a pattern--she attributes more unpleasant memories to Pace. So, when I argue with her, when I make her get up early for appointments, and when I tell her she can't wear a pajama shirt as a pair of pants she remembers Pace.

Dropping everything and caring for my mom has been surreal. And as she tells me day after day that there are two of me, that there are two houses, sanity and reality start to fade. Her imaginary world, though I know it is false, begins to feel like there might be some substance behind it, if only because it is, in her mind, so vivid. And anyway, who's to say we aren't all of two natures, one gentle, the other not so much? Ontological paranoia...add it to the list.

Image: still from Krzysztof Kieslowski's "La double vie de VĂ©ronique," 1991. An amazing film!

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