Seeing is not believng

Where the hell did I put my keys?

Where’s the mustard?


Why isn’t the tape measure in the drawer?

Have you asked these questions?

Have you got really narked by not being able to do a job that’s smole but impossible without the right screwdriver?

And you know where you’ve always kept it, don’t you!

But it’s not there. 

You ask your wife or husband, and the say they don’t know. They haven’t seen it. Where is it usually?

Have you used it and not put it back?


You must have have!

I haven’t…

And on it goes, round and round in your head, as you wind up higher and higher, angry to the point of exploding.

Your wife tells you to look again, but no you cant see it. And being told to look again annoys you because you did look already.

Do you think I’m stupid?

Sometimes you look again and you do see it. It was in front of you all the time. And you try not to admit it. But you know. You just know that it’s that dementia again. Seeing is not believing.

All your life what you see is your reality. But now you can’t trust what you see. It might be there or it might not. 

And if it should be there, but you cant see it, what else is there to do but assume someone has moved it? How else, after all, can an object move? 


If I put the screwdriver back, like I have always done, it must be there. So you must have moved it. Or someone has stolen it. Or borrowed it. There is logically no other explanation. 

And if you tell tell me that you haven’t I won’t believe you, because, well, you MUST have moved it. 


Lets take that a bit further.

How would you, with all your senses intact, react to something being missing? 

Yes you’d go looking. You’d check and double check. And if you didn’t find it? It must have been stolen, or you left it somewhere. And you can remember where you have been so you ring up and check. Or go back.

But what can I do? I may not remember where I have been. I may not remember putting the keys in the drawer. Or the screwdriver in the bin. Or lending my spirit level to my son. 

So if my reality tells me it should be where it always is and where I remember it last being, well, then someone has removed it or stored it in the wrong place.

So bloody well tell me or find it for me!

Now I don’t want to accuse anyone if stealing. Or “borrowing”, with the implication that they actually nicked it without telling me.

But it’s the only explanation. 

And that goes round and round. It drives me mad. And I struggle to resist making the accusation. 

And it sours my feelings for this oersonperson. Because I KNOW they took my tape measure.

What do I do with all this? It’s in my head. Every time I want the tape measure I think it’s been taken and not returned. 

And then when I can’t find something else I think…now they’ve taken the mustard too. 

I don’t trust people who come into my house. They’re all out to take away or move my things. 


So next time you meet someone who has brain disease and is suspicious and tells you someone stole their clothes, or their money, try getting into their shoes. 


Work out what their reality is. And find ways to help them understand. And if they cannot understand, divert them away to some pleasant experience or memory. 

And if you cant find what they want get another one for them.

If you do do find it, don’t tell them where it was, and that you don’t know how they couldn’t see it.

Just say, here’s another. Use this.

They’ll love you for it.

3 thoughts on “Seeing is not believng

  1. George, that’s all so true. It’s not about poor eyesight, the optician will indicate no change or eyesight OK but that doesn’t alter the ‘not seeing’ aspect. The ‘loss’ of clothes, dresses, skirts etc is distressing for the individual, particularly if they place a high store on nice clothes which makes a difference to self confidence and self worth. It’s a double blow and no amount of saying it’s got to be there helps. In these circumstances people need to look together and establish that the one item CV was there, just obscured by another. It’s difficult and stressful for both parties but nonetheless it’s a real situation. It’s not easy to roll with it each time but that’s the only option. The drawback is that we are conditioned by life to act or react in a certain way but that works to the detriment of us all in these situations. Not easy, we’ve just got to try each time because we’re tested on every occasion as though it was the first time. Good luck


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