Watching Ourselves

My sister was not a fan of televisions and yet I would hear hers playing loudly in the background almost every time I called her. When I finally asked her about it, she told me that she didn’t actually watch it, she just used it for company. The noise of people talking made her feel less alone. During the early stages of her dementia my mother started leaving her TV on, blaring loudly due to her hearing loss, almost nonstop. The sound of the old movies she watched infiltrated every room in her spacious condo. There was nowhere I could go to escape its sound when I visited her. Over time I realized that the movies she watched all took place during the years she had been young. Because of her dementia those years were more real to her than her current circumstances, which were now uncomfortably confusing to her. The old movies anchored my mother to reality, not her current reality, but a reality nonetheless. This made her feel a little less out of control. My mother’s dementia has recently become much, much, worse. My son lives far away. I’m very fortunate. He’s healthy and happy, and we have a close and loving relationship. I know lots of interesting and kind people. My closest friends are amazingly supportive. I have a good life. And yet, at this moment there is no one who I am completely and deeply connected to in the way one is to a partner or a child who needs you. This may or may not change in the future. My life will continue to be amazingly full either way. But I have noticed that when I watch certain series, especially when I binge watch, or read a multiple book series, I become completely invested in the characters in a way that feels like a family connection. It makes me smile and laugh at myself just a little because it connects me right back to my family.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Cinse Bonino

Cinse Bonino

Cinse, a former professor with a background in the psychology of human learning, writes nonstop, and is addicted to capturing the human experience in words.