Never relax.

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Having the AP living with us is a real trial now. I find myself not wanting to spend any time with her because conversations are so stilted and surreal and she is also trying to be such a smart arse that it is embarrassing . She is regressing more and more and yesterday was a fine example of this. We had visitors staying , a friend of hers, about our age who has become a friend of ours too and our nephew who was on a flying visit. After the initial greetings and a bit of small talk the AP was no longer the centre of attention so she became rude and belligerent with me when I suggested she join them in the garden. ‘Why should I? ‘ was the response in an aggressive tone of voice. ‘Only a suggestion’ I replied to be huffed at and told they would be talking. ‘It’s what people do when they meet but you must do what you want’. After a stomp around the hall the AP did go outside.

We are getting more and more of this petulant and rude behaviour but in some ways it is good for me because it hardens my resolve to not be bullied and makes me more determined to have some quality of life with the LSO. I do get irritated and feel a bit down at times but I am finding a growing sense of detachment that is protecting me from the terrible angst felt before but in truth it is still a constant source of negativity that doesn’t go away. Given the opportunity the AP will have a dig about me to others and I have no defence because these people only see the dear, sweet old lady not the day on day reality that the LSO and I put up with. I am sure I must appear to most of our visitors as a hard and sharp person but I cannot and will not let the AP dominate us ever again. The years of misery and emotional damage she has caused us cannot be changed but at least we can improve what is in the here and now. Sadly she is becoming quite unlovable.

We are arranging a day out soon without the AP to go and watch one of our grandsons competing at the ISA National Athletics Championships in Birmingham. I had the pleasure of seeing him run in the qualifying trials and was so delighted and proud when he won all three of his races.It is hugely important that the LSO witnesses his grandson compete and supports his efforts. Children grow up so quickly. We must not allow the AP to stop us having this pleasure in our lives and we are fortunate to have some friends who will help us on this occasion. It will be the screwed up face no doubt but it will be happening.

The dogs are a huge comfort as well as a distraction and the lovely Lucie continues to grow both in stature and personality. Dear Barney continues to plough his own furrow but is a lovely gentle old man looking a bit like a canine Terry Thomas now.

The AP could take some lessons from him, not I may add, to be a Terry Thomas lookalike.

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