Yesterday, during a telephone call, a friend asked me how things were going for the LSO and myself. Although I refer to this person as a friend she actually knew the AP before me, meeting her about 16 years ago. The AP would have been about 84 years old then, still driving, active both physically and mentally and generally doing pretty well for her age. In retrospect I think my response was too honest. There is no way anyone can have any idea what we live with or what this person who lives with us has become unless, of course they have been down the same road or have stayed long enough to witness her manipulative ways and self interest.
The response I got was interesting and when looked at afterwards I realised that some things would have been best left unsaid, not strangely enough for them but for me and for the LSO. It was obvious that they think we exaggerate when in fact we tend to understate the problems. The AP can keep bluffing in the short term and appear to be what she always was but once they have gone the real person emerges. They only hear what they want to and because they all see so little of her or only communicate on the telephone, talk is of the past and any information given on present circumstances comes out very muddled later on. The AP can deal with the past, anything now or recent is forgotten, confused and mostly wrong and that is just a problem of old age. The LSO and I can cope with all that.
I guess in future I will limit my responses not that is, to pretend things are hunky-dory and going swimmingly but I do believe that for some they suffer an element of guilt that perhaps they didn’t do enough, or didn’t see what was coming. They don’t want to believe that the person they thought was sweet, intelligent and kind can also be devious, difficult and cruel especially to those closest to her.
They ask the questions but don’t really want to hear the answers. I have no doubt we are all guilty at one time or another of hiding behind a glass wall but for the LSO and myself the truth is not just out there but living with us.