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Not everyone is supportive

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communication, dementia awareness, men and dementia

Little did they know it was crumpling me up inside.

After I had had my diagnosis of vascular dementia, all my family and close friends were unbelievably supportive. All were somewhat distressed and surprised at me having this condition, and they all wondered what sort of life for us was going to be like.

Would we be able to cope? Well of course we would, we told them. Everyone offered their help. However two, now exfriends, one of whom is a teacher in a college didn’t believe I had dementia and began to mock me. They would make fun of things I did, especially if I forgot something. They’d call me names and laugh or sneer. Of course they must have thought it was funny, a bit of a joke, a laugh. Little did they know, it was crumpling me up inside. Their hurtful remarks ringing in my ears for hours.  

This verbal abuse and bullying was shocking, and went on for many many weeks. My wife too was threatened verbally, saying to her there was nothing wrong with me, and couldn’t she see I was making it all up, exaggerating forgetting things.  

At home afterwards (I am nearly 70), we just used to break down crying like two kids. Why on earth were they so wicked? I just wanted to push them in the canal and stab them with a stick. Of course at that time, I had no help, no one to turn to. But I have now.  

The help came in bucket loads. We’d never told anyone about what had gone on until now, because time has passed and things have moved on. I have dozens of new friends now, all of whom are great big sticks, sticks of information, to teach morons like these how to behave towards anyone with dementia, or any other condition for that matter. But I suspect making fun of someone with cancer or some other well publicised condition would not have been so easily tolerated or really funny.

It just shows the amount of work we have to do to educate these nice people, and why on earth do they think like they do. Is it that they consider dementia nothing more than just getting old? Just being forgetful, something that is going to happen to most of us. Whatever their views are, they need to be educated, beaten ruthlessly with a stick of information, until they understand that taking the piss is just not on.

An audio version of this blog is available at: https://soundcloud.com/dementia-diaries/steve-1


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