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This Is Your Home [GH2019]

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posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 11:35 AM
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I

More and more people are crowding into my space and I gave up some time ago trying to make sense of it. Mostly they don’t bother me much. That man standing by the TV, though, he is different. This is the tenth time I’ve passed him on my way to the kitchen and back, and he makes me mighty uncomfortable. I suspect he’s the one who hid all the toilet paper inside the bathtub, the one who left that cryptic message on the round pillow I brought back from New York the last time I visited my son. I fix my eyes past him and scurry into the kitchen. Once here I’ve forgotten why I came. It feels urgent, though, and panicked I pick up the phone and dial the first number I see, written multiple times in a shaky hand on a list hanging next to the receiver.

“Hey .. mom. How you doing?” A familiar voice on the other end. One I can’t quite place.
“Hello!?” I hear myself squawk. I sound scared.
“Mom, it’s me… your daughter, Lily. Hey. Are you okay?”
I feel very dismayed at this information. It doesn’t register, at all.

I put the phone down and back away. This is dreadful, all these people around and I don’t know a soul. The walk to my room takes too long and I fear the man by the TV might get tired of standing there and … well I don’t want to think about that. Looking out the window brings me no solace, and by the time I’m startled by loud knocking on my front door, I’m frozen in place from tension. I stumble and nearly fall on my way to the door when one knee buckles. My heart racing, I pause in front of the shiny, polished wood, suddenly very afraid of whatever’s waiting on the other side.

II


“James, mom called me today. All she said was “hello,” but she sounded so bad. Then nothing. I tried calling back and just got a busy signal so I had to go over there. When she finally answered the door she looked so haggard and frail I barely knew her. You should’ve seen her eyes. She just gave me this awful blank stare, I could see she was terrified. She had no idea who I was again.”
Lily was back home after another frantic trip cross town, another wretched visit with mom who was steadily losing her grip on reality. She had spent the ride home weighing options that lay before her like a twisted game show where behind every door, instead of car or a toaster, some rough beast waits coiled and ready to pounce.
“It’s that bad?” Through the phone, James sounded something like a lost boy, bringing his older sister momentarily back to their youth-- back when mom had stood tall and strong and taken in everything with a keen interest. (She’d had this lovely way of tilting her head and really seeing everything that Lily had not observed in anyone else.)
“It’s bad.” Her voice cracked.


III

They’re holding me here in this awful place against my will, When I demand to go home, I’m calmly told, “Jackie, this is your home,” by my jailor. They keep changing my guards on me to keep me disorientated. It’s never the same face twice, but by their expressions I can see they must all enjoy tormenting me. How else could they do it so calmly and with a vicious smile tell me lies, abuse me? Yesterday a woman was wearing an impervious smile while telling me how she found me outside of my holding room without pants, that here “we” wear pants. I looked down and saw with horror I was utterly exposed in front of this indifferent stranger. I’d never felt so humiliated in my life. As my cheeks flushed hotly I found my hand moving on its own and before I knew it I had slapped that smile off her face. Then she was yelling for help and her monster came out-- I saw her face change before the beastly attendants forced me back in my room and gave me some drug; who knows what they did with me after that but my arms are sore and I'm covered in bruises.


IV


I’m getting out of here tonight. This time when they sent the guards I met them with their same cold smile. I told them I was sorry, they were right. That this was a good home. That I was feeling much better, ready to join the other residents in our home (yes this was their evil euphamism for us prisoners). When they left I put a few things together in an old pillowcase. I’m wearing my clothes under this robe and I’ve staked out the fire escape, which I can see is left unlocked. The thought of running out into the cold night is terrifying, but I know if I don’t leave I will die here.

The facility is dead quiet. It’s now or never.

Something in the quick flight brings me back all those years to another hasty departure, that night I climbed out my childhood window and into Ed’s car, who whisked me off to see the world and married me. Funny that night I was running away from home, but tonight I’m fleeing toward it.

I pause for a second before the door. Feeling all the guilt, tension, and anxiety (and hope!) of a fugitive, I wait coiled, ready to spring to my freedom. I’m going home.

THE END


edit on 10-1-2019 by zosimov because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 12:15 PM
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a reply to: zosimov


Star and flag from me, very well done.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 04:45 PM
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a reply to: zosimov


Great story Zos. SnF.




posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 07:05 PM
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Thanks Augustus, highvein, for reading!


This one was a tough one to write for me. Also, while researching, I found this article which really bothered me, and it looked like it was on one of the major sites for families looking for advice about an aging relative with alheimer's or dementia. (care.com)
A quote from the article:

People with dementia who do not want to move permanently can sometimes make the transition more easily if you tell them the move is temporary and for a practical purpose. For example, says Diane Kibbin, director of assisted living at OceanView, “You might say that they need to be out of the house while it is painted, or that they have to go somewhere where some aspect of their health can be properly taken care of for a while.”

Typically, she explains, families will make all the arrangements, select and decorate the new room or apartment in the memory care facility, and work with the staff so that everyone knows what excuse has been given for the move. Once your loved one is engaged in their new community, they often accept the permanent situation, she says.

Lokvig adds, "Keep your tone joyful, as hard as that sounds and bury whatever guilt feelings you may have. It may be hard for you to use 'loving lies,' but keep in mind that telling your loved one the truth would be unnecessarily hurtful."


Ugh... so lie to your loved one to utterly confuse them even more because to do otherwise would be unnecessarily hurtful.

This is a really scary and important issue.




posted on Jan, 11 2019 @ 10:15 PM
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a reply to: zosimov




Ugh... so lie to your loved one to utterly confuse them even more because to do otherwise would be unnecessarily hurtful.

This is a really scary and important issue.



It is scary.



posted on Jan, 12 2019 @ 03:21 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

That was a great, yet difficult read.
The subject, a very tough, dark one. You handled it well.



posted on Jan, 12 2019 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: SprocketUK

Hi Sprocket, thank you so much for reading.
And I really appreciate your comment-- it is such a tough subject and I was hoping to give it some justice. Your words really are meaningful to me, beyond what I can adequately express here.

Thank you for always supporting the writers here SprocketUK!




posted on Jan, 12 2019 @ 11:33 AM
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I wish we could edit old posts... I made a mistake and put the wrong website on blast. The article I mentioned earlier can be read here
www.caring.com...
on caring.com (NOT care.com).



posted on Jan, 17 2019 @ 02:21 AM
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a reply to: zosimov

Great story Zos! Well done!




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