Who am I

Dementia poem by Isla-Jane Reid

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We were recently contacted by 17 year old Isla-Jane Reid from Aberdeen. Isla informed us that she had written a poem on the topic of dementia and the impact it has on an individual. Whilst writing this, she drawing on the experience she had been through with her adoptive grandparents who both lived with the disease.

We were touched and impressed by the insight shown within Isla’s words:  

Who am I

Once a young girl with dreams of her own,
now an old lady sitting alone.
Depending on others, oh whats happened to me?
I wish I could dance sing and be young and free.
As I sit here beside the window and watch people go by,
I know they feel awkward and I do wonder why.
But don't stay away, come back tomorrow-
But what do you really see when you look at me?

Is my hair bold beaming brown or is it like cotton whiteballs.
you think its just big clumps of makeup
but really its just the wrinkles.
Once walked tall but now slightly bowed.
I'm not an old crabby lady sitting here,
a friendly smile always makes my day
as the hours don't seem too long to pass away.
Come closer, come closer and you’ll see me.

I may have a disease called Dementia its changing me
But it's only a name, I am still the same.
I may forget most things
But please understand it's not my fault
dementia controls my brain.
I can't recognise your face but I
 know the sound of the soft sweet voice
that it's someone special.

Your day is not just filled feeding and toileting me
sit beside me and tell me that you're here.
Don’t lose patience, make time; I can still hear you.
I know what you're thinking when you see me.
Dementia is not all about the doom and gloom,
I can still laugh, I can still cry, just give me some time.

I used to remember before dementia got my brain.
Used to be the woman who could do anything
Now the woman who can't do the simplest of things.
I don't even know where I am,
I don't even know your name nor mine.

But don't stand there and judge me
Thinking that silly old woman think deeper about me
as you gossip over me as if I'm not there.
I am no child; I am an adult so treat me that way,
I know what its like to be young and free.

I ask a question I get no response,
I know what I'm saying but you just stand and stare.
How do I know that you really care
When all the time you look at me like I'm mad inside.
But I know I'm not, I just want a hug that all I want.

No fruitless fruits, I just want you.
I may no longer talk, I may no longer walk.
I just need you by my side,
show me pictures, show me love
I may not remember but deep down I do.

One day… you'll be the 'crabbit lady'
sitting here all alone.
Maybe remembering the old lady,
with the cotton white hair.

Don't stay away, its you who
gets me through each day.
look how dementia
affects me and others.

Be with me until I am gone,
but remember me and how my life went on.
so open your eyes come closer
come closer and you'll see the real me.