The dance of exhaustion..


At the end of two weeks of full on work, I can say with conviction I AM EXHAUSTED.  More than that I am near breaking point.  My head is constantly filled with what I need to do, what I haven’t done and what I have been doing.  I have slipped into seriously bad habits of eating and my only saving grace in that department is that I have still managed to get to the gym at least 2 times a week with my amazing trainer Si.

Work has been this mythical evolving creature.  Each day it changes and I with it, the rangatahi I work with have heard my grumpy mum voice more than I’d like to admit and I think we are all looking forward to having a small break from each other. PHEW!

Martha on the other hand does not comprehend the same level of exhaustion.

She can stay up till all hours of the morning, she doesn’t need to have that same level of energy that I need to get through my day.  She can nap at any point she likes, she has no responsibility to me or the world.

We do a constant dance of love and hate, I tell her I love her before I drag myself to the gym in the morning.  I hold and kiss her hand to help keep her calm.  I get frustrated by her in my exhaustion and I lose my temper a lot more.  No longer do I utter the words Mum or Mama, but always Martha.  I feel myself detaching from her and my heart is tearing in two.  We fight.  She yell’s.  I react.  I am becoming the 16 year old me that I do not want to become, but I play straight into her delusion.

Exhaustion is winning at the moment.  It has taken every last reasonable part of me and has left me with tears.  Constant tears.  Driving, my eyes water as Martha candidly talks into her delusion. I drop her off and can’t wait to escape as quickly as possible for fear someone may see my tear stained cheeks.  Tears stream as I tell her for the 20th time to have a shower and get ready for bed.  I fight back tears as she talks louder and louder, telling me to move and she doesn’t want my help.  My pillow is damp from sobbing into it at 2am, begging Martha to get into bed.

“Please Martha, just get into bed, please, I am begging you”

She walks down the stairs and I sit up in complete agony to follow her and bring her back to bed.  My body is starting to shut down.

At 8am, after a mere 4 hours of solid sleep I put toast on for her and think to myself, I need a mum.  I need someone to look after me for just one day, to help me out, to help me deal with things.  I look up at Martha, still in her PJ’s, hair unbrushed, muttering.  Tears start to sting my eyes.  I miss you Mum.

I close my eyes, breath deeply.  Tomorrow will be easier.  Just a good nights rest.  A chance for my body to heal.  Martha needs sleep too.

The night rolls around far to quickly and we dance again, the usual dance of love and hate.  Showering, pajamas, it is all a dance I know too well but Martha constantly forgets the steps.

I think to myself;

“I’ll just go to bed, Martha can put herself to bed, I just need to get some rest”

At 2am I am rudely awoken by a door slamming as Martha is frustrated with her delusion, my brain fills with sadness, anger, regret.  I should’ve put Martha to bed many many hours ago.

I think back to my last post, to the pure happiness I felt as Martha danced at Coco’s, holding the hand of a man.  An embrace she has not felt in 16 months.  I love you Martha, I am so happy you could experience that moment however fleeting.

I get out of bed, my broken body to match my broken heart.  I guide Martha back to bed and kiss her hand.

“Shhhhh, it’s time to sleep”

She lies down, still chatting.

“Shhhhh, Martha, it’s time to sleep now”

She stops talking and falls asleep.  I can’t move.  Fear has a hold of me.  I need her to stay asleep for as long as possible.

The alarm goes off at 630am and it’s too early.  Martha is peaceful.  Tears start to surface, I am happy.  She looks like my Mother.  She sounds like my Mother. This is the Mother I remember.

KB x

“If you resist it, it’ll be cruel to you, if you let it in, it’ll be magic!”



3 Comments on “The dance of exhaustion..”

  1. Kyrin, the dance you are dancing is one of beauty and one of deep heartache. It sounds to me like you need a troupe of dancers to lift you both at those times (you know when the group of dancers lift the ballerina?) … but what this looks like for you I do not know xoxo

  2. Bless you for your integrity in caring for your mum. For your honest sharing and for the magic of remembering the mum you want while she sleeps. Look after yourself! Take care. You are important.

  3. Pingback: The turn… | Me, Martha and Alzheimer's

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