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  • Today the dementia is bad. On days that she's cognitively together she is hurtful, and angry. On days like today she becomes furious when I cannot bring her mother to her, when I tell her this house doesn't have a cellar, or a porch for me to fetch the beets from. Her mother's name, was ironically, the same as mine, and my daughter's the same as her's. It is a connection that I don't think about.

    When I dress her she claws at me with long nails on feeble hands and wishes me dead, or in hell. She has never been kind, if she had I could look to that memory and hold on to it as she speaks and threatens. I have caught her and kept her from falling countless times, saved her life three times, forced her out soiled clothing every morning and she hates me more for it.

    Today I am tired, and carrying my own worries, my own sadness. I'm not a bad person, but I feel like one here. Today I want to go home and cry, or be anywhere but here. I can't. I need the income, so we are stuck with each other.

    I am colder here, harder. I don't like this person I am here. I like to think of myself as kinder, softer, better able to absorb the blows with equanimity and gentle smile. I do good things with my life, I volunteer, I mentor, I'm raising three teenagers. I am not a person who angers easily, but here it's different. Here I think of my own mother, and here I am angry, and hurt, and must keep myself from being hurtful back.

    Today I give her a Xanax, because it helps, a little, with the paranoia, and some chocolate, that helps too.
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