The Four Ds

My bi-polar mother fell again last night.

I found out after supper when the evening receptionist at her residence rung. She exited her flat without using her walker, and, raising her hand to wave to the receptionist, fell to the deck, rump first.

Apparently her arm was against the wall on the guard rail because as my mother fell, her arm stayed on the rail; thus her arm was wrenched backwards and upwards. This resulted in a sprain. Fortunately, she didn’t bang her noodle. The receptionist actually saw the fall so she gave the ambulance officers the exact chain of events. So, the ambulance came to take her to the hospital to get her wing under the radiograph. By the time showed up made my way to emerge, she’d been admitted. I  and stayed until quarter past midnight and was reminded of something that I’d meant to put in a blog entry.

The Four Ds.

My mother explained what happened in such a way as to make it seem as though her tumble was my doing.

I was 20 kilometres away at the time, and the receptionist had witness the event, but my mother, related the facts to imply I was blameworthy for her fall. Note that I don’t refer to it as an accident. I’ve bought her two walkers: one with wheels and a seat and another for good weather and each time she’s fallen, it’s because she’s gotten away from her walker. If she chooses not to use the tools provided, then it is not, according to my reasoning, an accident. Similarly, when I was a reporter, I never described a drunk driving crash as an ‘accident.’

Basically, as she reported how her fall happened, she kept mentioning me as a causative factor in each fact and point of timing. Every fact, point of timing and detail somehow mentioned me as the causative factor. She left her apartment because of me, because the digital photo frame I’d given her needed adjustment, but somehow it was implied I prevented her from using her walker and given the emergency (?), in a tangle of extraneous detail, the result was a strongly implied hint that I prevented her from reaching for the guard rail that acts as a bumper in every corridor of her residence.

I figured more in her long and winding narrative than she!

This happened as she was in the hospital bed as we tried figuring out how her arm got behind her. The pop-up rail of the gurney she was on was a bad prop because the angle was wrong so I offered to pantomime the way had her hand had been on the railing as she went down and didn’t let go, ergo, that’s how her shoulder got yanked. She used my efforts to recreate the movement for the doctor’s benefit as a means making it seem as though I was the cause of her fall by shifting tenses and mashing details. And, like a defrocked bishop in the dock before the prosecutor, followed up by pretending she wasn’t doing it.

The attending physician was well-practiced and managed to pick his way through the facts while I glowered and composed this blog entry in my cerebellum.

She’s done this before and she’ll do it again.

Deny, Defer, Demand and Deflect. These are her four tactics. She is never responsible for anything.


This is not the first time she’s defamed me. She’s done it in writing and of course denies it. I can do without the stress of having to wonder if someone’s going to call the coppers on me for elder abuse, so I told her today that I’m not communicating with her until Labour Day. I have made sure she’s enough cash on hand in her bank account to pay the rent between now and then.

Her reply? ‘But I neeeeeeeeeeed you.’ Never I’m sorry. A few weeks ago she smeared her cosmetics on my car’s upholstery. When I explained that I’d need to clean it off, she changed the subject. Then ignored me. Finally, after much prompting, she said ‘Well, I’m stunned.’ When I pointed out to her that what I wanted was an apology. She repeated that she was stunned, adding that she couldn’t believe that she’d so such a thing. Finally, she said that she was sorry. Yes, four requests to get an apology.

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One thought on “The Four Ds

  1. Lois Roelofs says:

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. I totallly agree. Caregiving alone is a difficulty enough task, but when mental illness is involved, it’s becomes much more so. The notion of writing as catharsis is so valid too, and I’ll be blogging about that in the future. As a former psychiatric nurse and teacher, I offer you lots of empathy. Lois

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