Dementia, Life

Moving in together


People do this all the time and there is always a certain amount of adjustment to be made. To accommodate belongings and keepsakes that mean something to the other person, but nothing to you.  To find space where there is none, to fill with clothes and shoes and a life.

It is easier I believe if you are both changing accommodation and making a new space together. If one is moving directly into the other’s space however, then there is more adjustment required.

Imagine. I have moved back to the home of my birth. Literally! I was born in the front bedroom of this house fifty-five years ago. My parents had moved in a year earlier. 

My mother has therefore lived here for a total of fifty-six years. It is her home. It has everything here from my parents lives. My mum is eighty-four. It is full.

So how to accommodate a fifty-five year old middle aged, menopausal woman into the house again. Into her old bedroom with old memories, but with a life in her own respect forged away from this home. I have spent many more years away than I lived here as a child, teenager and young person.

One big thing – I had to bring my bed. My new double bed with extraordinary deep sprung mattress.  But a double bed takes up much more space than the old single I had used for most of my early life in this house, therefore space is an issue now in this bedroom of mine.

We emptied the wardrobe of my mother’s clothes a couple of weeks ago. In order that I had somewhere to hang my clothes. But as you can imagine I as a middle-aged woman have far more clothes than this small wardrobe can accommodate. I had some hard decisions to make as to what I would bring and what I would leave behind.  I made them and thank goodness it all fits, if a bit squashed.

The drawers in the room however, have been filled over the years with my mother’s overflow of items.  She has had a whole house to use.  When we began to clear them, it was a difficult time.  Finding other spaces to put the stuff was hard.  It was very traumatic for my mum, who really did not want the upheaval but did accept I needed some space. She is frightened of forgetting where she has moved stuff to.  This is likely.  It would be my job to remember where we had put things.

My mum has a lot of special objects obtained over time from trips and relationships.  Many of them decorate my bedroom. They mean nothing to me despite many being collected when I was a child. Some of the things have been here for years and are very sentimental. My mum says, she knows she has to get rid sometime, but not now. I agree with her but everywhere is very cluttered.  She hates it being cluttered.  She hates me adding to the clutter. She despairs about it all.

I am not enjoying upsetting her, but to live here I will need a little bit of personal space.  My life is now in one room, when I too used to have a whole house.  The adjustment is for both of us.  I am not sure who is affected most. 

I now have a small four drawer chest of drawers for my underwear, soft shirts, leggings, jumpers and socks and a small wardrobe for my hung-up clothes and coats.  I will cope.

We are now sitting and doing the crossword, the upstairs anxiety and trauma forgotten.  The benefits of a brain with memory loss. 



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