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Friday, 15 March 2013

The Crazy Lady Downstairs - Part 2!

This afternoon we had an attempted B&E in our apartment. Yes, this afternoon. Let me just say that dementia is a terrible thing. The elderly woman living in the apartment below us seems to have forgotten how a stairwell works, and continued on to the top floor of our building, rather than the second floor where she lives.

My daughter heard someone trying to open the door to our apartment - they were trying to turn the knob, not trying to pick the lock. Thankfully we keep our doors locked, (including the balcony as there was a serial killer who climbed balconies not too far from here). She went over & looked through the peephole. When she saw who it was she opened the door, knowing there wasn't any threat. That might have been a mistaken assumption, actually, since this woman is obviously bat-shit crazy.

As soon as my daughter opened the door, the woman tried to barge past her. She shoved her, not once but twice. My daughter had her adequately-shod foot wedged behind the door, however, so the straining efforts of a frail, 90-pound crazy person just weren't enough to dislodge her from said position.

For obvious reasons my daughter was a little put off by this behaviour and told her to go away. Rather than meekly disappearing, the woman tried to argue with her in another language. My daughter continued trying to explain the situation to no avail, saying, "You don't live here! You live downstairs!"

Side note - doesn't Citizenship and Immigration Canada require that people learn either French or English in order to become citizens of this country? Is that not part of the requirements? Then again, she's obviously off her nut and may have forgotten how.

Finally the woman looked up, noticed the number on the door, and realized that there was something very wrong with her argument. She bobbed her head up and down a few times, apologizing profusely - apparently in English - and disappeared. Hopefully this time she only went down one flight and didn't find it necessary to try to break into the apartment on the first floor, seeing as they're a bunch of drinkers on the weekends.

Now, you would think someone would realize something is very wrong when someone else opens what you think is your front door - whatever state the dementia has reached. Of course, I have no way of knowing how intelligent she might have been before she was afflicted, so anything is possible. Apparently she was perfectly fine with the thought of a stranger opening her door. All she wanted was to go inside. Makes me wonder how many people she sees in her apartment every day...and how many of them are actually real.

Age and dementia happen. I try to be understanding, but it's probably not my best role. I've had bad experiences with people who allowed themselves to slide into that. It had nothing to do with Alzheimer's. They simply stopped using their brains around the age of thirty, and assumed that they'd be able to hold onto their intellectual capacity. Yeah, not quite the reality. Use it or lose it goes double when it comes to your brain.

For the most part, people who choose to stimulate their brains will continue to have solid use of said brains throughout their lives. Those who choose to zone out in front of television sets will have solid use of their salivary glands. The only way to keep your brain working is by using it, and you can actually make yourself smarter by doing brand new things. The more you force your brain to work, the better it gets at working.

I'm sympathetic to mental deterioration if it's from a legitimate cause. Lack of use is not one of those things, and sadly there are a lot of women out there from that generation who are ending up like that. They were told to shut up, spread their legs, push out kids, cook dinner and clean the house. Not always in quite that order, but close enough. As much as it might have been difficult for woman of that generation to stand up for themselves and their brains, however, that was no excuse. Many, many women chose a different path, and all women could have done the same. If they took the easy road, again, no sympathy from me.

Now, you can say that women from my generation have it easy in comparison. In many ways you'd be right. However, if you take a look at the statistics for violence against women you'll see that things really aren't much better. Women are still being raped to death in alarming numbers, beaten by abusive partners until eventually they're killed by the men who are supposed to love them, getting acid thrown in their faces because someone is mad their marriage proposal was not accepted, and having their genitals mutilated by rusty and dull instruments.

As an outspoken feminist I see the risks of the words I write and speak. I know what it's like to have a man come after me with violence in his heart and a sense of entitlement and ownership when it comes to me. I am intimately aware of what a man can do to a woman when his masculinity is threatened. I know what it's like to be raped just because someone thought they could. It doesn't make a damn bit of difference to me. I will stand up - for my brain, for my body, for my life and for my rights.

So, if I'm not being sensitive enough, there's a reason for it. The fact is, it's a little scary to have a demented woman barge through your door in the middle of the afternoon. If she's that bad, it seems to me that she's most likely incapable of caring for herself properly. She should be in an assisted-living facility where they don't allow her to have access to items that can burn down buildings. My lack of sensitivity doesn't mean I think she should be tossed out on the street by any means. I really do think she needs care, but I'll be damned if I'm the one that provides it on a personal level. I want my peace and quiet. I don't mind my taxes going for that kind of thing, though.

In The Crazy Lady Downstairs (it would be part one, but I had no idea there would ever be a part two one day) I talked about another woman who was a danger to herself and others. Very odd situation there. Thankfully she's moving very soon into an apartment building that provides a bit of supervision for the seniors. All's well that starts weird, I guess.