Thursday, March 8, 2012


A little background here to help explain the mess I found myself in recently.

Even though we continued living in the same house, my ex-husband and I had been living somewhat separate lives for a few years.  When I finally got a divorce, the judge ordered we would continue living in the same house. Alan would continue living in one end of the house and I would live in the other end, just as we had been doing for the last several years. A strange arrangement, for sure. But then we had both been a little strange anyway. We were both loners and valued our privacy, so living in the same structure was not a problem for either of us.

When we divorced, he signed the house over to me. We continued our living arrangement because he really had no place else to go and no income at that point. One of the areas that was considered "his area" was the basement. I hadn't been down there in years. Another area that I stayed completely away from was his bedroom on the other end of the house.

After his diagnosis, my best friend came over one day and asked what was in the basement. I told her I had no idea because that had always been Alan's "man cave". She came back up and insisted I go look. It was so nasty we could only walk about 3 steps into the door. I was absolutely sick.

She and another friend, plus a couple of friends who are football - weight lifter types, came over and we worked our butts off cleaning out that basement. Another guy volunteered his flatbed trailers and said "Fill them up and call me. I'll make it all disappear." That's what happened.

Yesterday BFF Stacy and I tackled Alan's bedroom. I had no idea he had become such a hoarder. It was horrid. We worked for hours. Bags and bags of crap were carried out of there. I finally had to quit. Stacy stayed after it and more bags of crap left.

This whole alzheimer's thing has certainly been a nightmare. I had no idea what I was in for. Talk about sticking your head in the sand. Apparently I had become an expert at just ignoring everything around me. It was easier.

Now I'm having to develop some other skills, like reminding myself how I would want to be treated whenever I'm about ready to come unglued. Like not screaming when I feel like it.  Like being able to let off steam by talking it out with a friend instead of letting myself get sick because I'm stuffing it all inside. It would be so easy to stuff things so everybody would think I was so sweet.

I'm learning to try to do things God's way. And I'm doing everything I can to avoid burnout, otherwise I'm going to be crazier than I am now.

I've never been sweet. I can be really sarcastic. I've been a private investigator for years for Pete's sake. Trust me when I say I'm NOT sweet. So I'm learning to not be snotty when I get hit with frustration. But trying to learn how to be sweet has been like trying to teach a chihuahua to hunt. You might get him to appear to be hunting, but in the end he's going to start barking nonstop. Then he's eventually going to end up biting you. I might appear to be sweet, but in the end I'm just going to start barking nonstop....(sigh)....never mind.

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