Was thinking about what I said to a friend about Dad’s Alzheimer’s. “Still at home, still very functional. Just losing memory, language, and logic abilities. Falling back on patterns, which, because they’re no longer based on anything, make you see them as the walls of defense that they always were. Really makes you sit up and think about your own patterns.”
For instance. I hear at least once every half hour, one of these two sentences”: “Are you doing something useful?” or “I should be doing something useful.” He is the son of a Presbyterian preacher, and was one of the most ethical people I knew, but suffered for it by the most overwhelming sense of guilt that he wasn’t quite up to scratch. Now that the logic behind the ethics is gone, it boils down to ‘useful’, and he’s still feeling the guilt. Ummph. He’s 75, retired, and has worked hard all his life; why shouldn’t he be able to just sit? Eat? Enjoy the mountain scenery?
My stepmother says, ‘If you’re feeling guilty, you’ve been had’. Bill’s friends say ‘Give it up, you don’t have that much control or power’.
I am my father’s daughter. I inherited the guilt, which often ended in depression. (‘I’m not doing anything meaningful with my life, Wail.) BUT. If three months of hearing Dad doesn’t kick it out of me, I’m not sure what could.