My wife is spending more and more time in conversations with imaginary people. We’ll be eating at the dining table and she’ll suddenly start talking to her son. As he’s in Spain, I doubt he can hear her. She’ll walk outside and begin babbling with an unseen audience in the garden. Perhaps I’m being presumptive, perhaps she does see the people who are not there. She’ll be sitting at her desk working on a coloring project and I’ll hear her sharing drawings with her mother, who is watching television in Mexico.
At first, these conversations bothered me, feeling like another downward step with her deteriorating dementia. Then, I considered the positive side of such conversations-
First, one can have these conversations whenever one pleases, no waiting for family to call or a neighbor to knock on the door.
Next, by initiating such interactions, one gets to choose the subject of the conversation. And no need to wait until someone finishes their boring monologue before you jump in.
Also, these imaginary people, whether they be a parent, a friend, or a world famous celebrity , are going to listen to you, no matter what.
Equally important, if you don’t like the feedback you’re getting from these folks, you can simply abandon them without feeling rude or guilty. Heck, it’s your imagination.
I think my wife has adopted a perfectly reasonable strategy for dealing with a reality that does not fulfill her needs. She simply creates one that does.
If you don’t like your reality, make a new one. Seems like some wise person has already pointed this out, but please let this be my “ah ha” moment as I’m in need of some self gratification.
Do you think this blog and pretending that imaginary people all over the world care enough about me to listen to my thoughts is a similar alternate reality exercise?
Hey, it’s my delusion and I’m hanging on to it.
You might also enjoy: Control Freaking, My Dementia Diary