My good friend Gloria takes care of her 93 year old mother who has Alzheimer's and dementia. I have met Carmen (her mom) and have witnessed some of her "episodes", they seem to be getting worse.
Lately, Carmen's health has been failing due to her not wanting to eat or spitting out her medicine. The only way Gloria gets her to eat is when she tells her that if she doesn't eat she's going to have to go to a nursing home.
Gloria is the middle of 7 children, she had a really tough life growing up due to her mother disliking her. Her mother used to make her do all the cleaning and would physically and verbally abuse her. She would always tell her she was sorry she ever had her and that she wished she would have killed her when she was born.
Carmen kicked Gloria out of the house when she was 15. She literally pushed her out the door in the middle of the night and told her to not come back, told her that she was dead to her.
Throughout the years they rarely kept in touch. About 4 years ago Gloria got a call telling her that her mom had fallen and needed hip replacement surgery. After the surgery, the doctors told all the siblings that their mother could no longer live by herself and that if no one was willing to take her in, she needed to go to a nursing home. Well, they all said they didn't have the time or space to take care of their mother.
Carmen cried and pleaded and looked Gloria straight in the eyes and begged her to take her to live with her. Gloria could not find it in her to say no. She tells me that part of her wanted to know how it felt to have a mother, she thought they could make amends and leave all the bad feelings behind. Of course she was wrong, her mother is still very nasty towards Gloria and is only nice to her when she needs something.
A year after bringing her mother to live with her, Carmen was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. This only made matters worse, Carmen is always lashing out at Gloria and is verbally abusive.
Now let me get to the weirdness. Lately, Carmen has been complaining that people come into her room at night and wake her up. She goes into Gloria's room very upset and tells her that there are people in her bedroom talking and won't let her sleep. She also yells at her and says "Where are you hiding them? Where are the people that are making all that noise while I'm trying to sleep?"
She describes a little girl, about 5 years old, with a blue dress and ponytails, who always comes in her bedroom and stands by her bed and just stares at her. Carmen asks her who she is and what she wants, the little girl just giggles. When Carmen gets up and tries to come close to her, the little girl runs and hides behind a chair or goes in the closet, all the while laughing.
Carmen will get up in the middle of the night and will go in Gloria's room, screaming at her and accusing her of having people over. She says there is a man that she knows was hired by Gloria to kill her, this man tells her that he wants her dead. Gloria has talked to her mom's doctors and is told that it is part of Carmen's dementia.
I talk to Gloria maybe a couple of times a week and she will vent and tell me about her mom's latest shenanigans so I knew about her mom seeing people but Gloria never described in detail what her mom was seeing. Carmen remembers who I am and constantly asks Gloria to invite me over to have lunch with them.
I was free one day a couple of weeks ago and went over after work for dinner. I was sitting in the living room talking to Carmen while Gloria was in the kitchen getting dinner ready. Right across from where I was sitting is Carmen's bedroom which, at the time, had the door half open. I heard a noise that made me turn and look in the bedroom and I swear I saw something run across the bedroom. It was really fast and I really couldn't make out who or what it was. The only thing I'm sure of is that it was something with blue clothes.
I got so startled that I jumped a little and put my hand to my heart. Carmen didn't notice and kept on talking to me. I turned to look at Gloria but she didn't seem to notice either. I decided not to say anything, I didn't want to upset Carmen.
Later we were sitting in the dining table having dinner and I kept hearing noises and mumbling coming from Carmen's room and the living room area. I asked if we had left the television on, we didn't. As I was saying my goodbyes and getting ready to leave, I clearly heard giggling. I got really freaked out, turned to look at Gloria and it appeared she had not heard anything. Carmen had already retired to her bedroom. I didn't say anything to Gloria, I just let myself out.
A few days later I was talking to Gloria on the phone and she was telling me that her mom tells her about the little girl in her bedroom, so I asked her if the girl was someone Carmen knew that had already passed. Gloria said no and went on to describe the little girl as told to her by her mom. She told me about how she runs and hides around the bedroom and is always giggling, that gave me goosebumps.
Gloria believes her mom is trying to get attention and just makes up excuses to be mean to her in the morning for having "parties" and not letting her get any sleep. Now I'm wondering if Carmen is actually seeing ghosts and it's not part of her dementia. I also wonder why Gloria has never seen or heard anything when I was there. Gloria was standing right next to me when I heard the giggling, why didn't she hear it. Am I coming down with dementia too?
I haven't seen you about in a little while. I hope you are keeping well.
I know this post is a year old, but for some unknown reason, I didn't see it when it was listed. 🙄
I couldn't help but feel sad and got glassy eyed reading how Gloria's mother treated her. Gloria went through so much growing up. Even when no one else would take her mother in, she stepped up and housed her. That says a lot about her character.
I'm sure her mother felt remorse when she realised Gloria was kind enough to look after her, yet she still harboured anger towards her. Once again, that's very sad.
Do you know how they are both getting on these days?
Anyway, thank for posting this experience.