The Silent Struggle

Hey guys, hope you all are having a good week! 

This is going to be a different post of my usual fashion or beauty product posts. It's life and real.

Some of you messaged me and questioned what some of my previous posts have been about when I talked about change and being sad and heart broken. For those of you that don't know me that well, I am from a small town in Indiana. My husband Tony and I moved here to Nashville from Dallas 7 years ago. After 2 years of living here, both of my parents were fully retired and ready for a new adventure. So they took the leap and moved here to the Nashville area to be closer to Tony and I. Over the last 5 years that they've been living here, things have played out a lot differently than any of us could have anticipated. 

As early as a couple of years ago at least, we started noticing some differences in my dad. My dad was the coolest dad! He was a social butterfly who never met a stranger. Always had a smile, always knew what to say to lift you up, and just lived life to the fullest. Over the course of the past 2 years, we noticed my daddy not chiming in the family conversations, not being able to sleep at night no matter what he tried, having anxiety attacks, not wanting to go out in public or be around people, just a list of numerous things that did NOT describe Larry. 

Unfortunately, my dad has always been on numerous medications due to a past blood clot, a mild stroke, and back and neck pain from past injuries & numerous back surgeries. So quite honestly at first, being that they had only been in the Nashville area for a couple of years with new doctors, we figured there's an issue with his medication combination. That when his personality had started to shift, that this was the cause. For at least a year or so, the doctors kind of just passed him back and forth. Maybe it's this, maybe it's that. And he'd have a series of consecutive good months so we figured, well whatever they changed, it seems to be working. However sadly, we'd be told something else was happening with my dad. 

My mom finally confided into Tony and I in January of this year, that she was really concerned about my dad and she needed our help. In March of this year, I accompanied my mom and dad to a psychiatrist office in Nashville. This doctor was to ask my dad a series of questions alone, to see how he answered and handled himself. A month later or so, my mom would finally receive the report from the doctor in the mail that stated my dad had early onset dementia. 

So as a family, we made the decision that they should move back to Indiana where we are from. Tony and I travel, and though we care and tried to help as much as we could, we were the only 2 people my parents could lean on here in Nashville. Back home they have my sister & her husband, her grown kids and family, my mom's sisters and their kids, close friends, etc. just MORE support than what only 2 people have to offer. We also decided that it would be extremely beneficial in my dad's case, to be around the familiar setting of "home" and knowing where everything in town is. I think it's one of the hardest things I have ever done to date. Help pack them up and drop them off and leave them again. I'm 31 years-old, and I feel the only way to describe it is like this; it's like I was the parent who had to drop my child off at college and let them go, because its what is best for them and I love them. 

I am happy to report though we miss each other so much, I can hear in my mom's voice a sense of strength and the first happiness I've heard in her voice in a long time. My mom said my dad is doing well too and she has heard him laugh more than she has heard in a long time. I can tell she feels "home" even though they are still adjusting to their new condo and being back in Indiana. And that brings me a comfort that we did the right thing, as hard as it was, it was right. I know God is with them and with me to help and guide me. 

I decided to write this and be real with you all not so you feel sorry for me, but to just be honest and open. The more and more I get the courage to confide in friends of the hard time we've been going through lately, the more I realize unfortunately how common this disease is. I just wish it was spoken about more openly in our society. It seems as more of a silent struggle of shame. Just about every family out there has been touched by this disease, it's as common as cancer. However, the only "physical" evidence of this disease is odd behavior. And people now-a-days are so quick to judge others when they witness odd behavior, empathy and understanding goes right out the window. What the care takers and the families go through and endure is so hard. Every time something new would happen, I would try to be as strong as I possibly could for my mom to lean on and talk to to comfort her, and after I'd leave, I'd go home crying to my husband and fall a part. The only thing that kept/keeps me going, is talking to God and putting my trust and faith in Him, and knowing our family is not the only family that this has ever happened to. That it is life, and we all have our struggles and we just have to stay strong and look for the positive in every day that we are still blessed with together on this earth. My dad WAS and IS an incredible human being and father, and has always been my biggest supporter. I am so grateful for every single day I have with him to hug him & see him, and to tell him I love him and hear him say it back to me. Now it's my turn, and I will do everything in my power to help him, protect him, and be there for him and my mom. 

                

I decided to share this in case someone out there reading this is struggling with something similar or anything for that matter. Life is not always perfect, not always about the perfect outfit, the perfect make-up, or the perfect hair. Life gives us twists and turns and we all go through hard times and it is okay! Just remember the priorities of life, love, and family in this crazy social media world and remember who you are and to stay real! 

Thank you for all of your kind thoughts & support, 

Xo Jaime 

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