Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Will It Ever NOT Affect Me?

**This post contains general spoilers about last weeks This Is Us fall finale.  If you haven't already discerned some hints about older Rebecca's health, don't read further.**

I read a fan theory by accident after the previous year's finale episode that horrified me because it made perfect sense.  I can tell you that it altered the way I watch the show, and I think they were spot on given what's been unfolding.   I'm going to share it here, so skip to the next paragraph if you don't want to read that kind of thing.  They said they think that this whole show has basically been the Big Three at her deathbed reading a memory book called This Is Us because she can't remember them anymore due to Alzheimer's.  I'm in blubbery tears just typing that.  Gutting thought, isn't it?  Don't blame me if you chose to read that!!  LOL

The whole season, I've been bracing, and the past few episodes have hit far too close to home for me.  I feel like it confirms the fan theory, though how they figured that out so far ahead is beyond me if it is true.  I remember those times of Grandma searching for her words.  The incident where she drove to the same hairdresser she had for 15 years and was suddenly lost and couldn't tell anyone where she was because she didn't know.  (Thank God that scared her enough to give up her keys and never wanted to drive again.  We were dreading the talk about giving up the car.)  The times when even despite being treated for dementia, she was still in denial, she was sick and resented anyone saying anything to the contrary.

Seeing the beginnings of this scenario, starting to play out on one of my favorite shows has taken every joy out of watching it for me.  Instead, I sit there with a pit in my stomach, wondering what they're going to portray this time and how bad the ugly cry will be.  I always tell myself it's coming and to not get upset, but it is just too raw.  It happened all the time when she was still here too as far as seeing a depiction on TV.  I know that it can bring some awareness to those who haven't personally been touched by it. Still, for many of us who have, it reopens the pain every time, at least for the Mr and I.  I remember getting very upset at some TV portrayals as we were in the throes of it because some of it was so inaccurate too depending on the show.  One was on Parenthood when a grandpa came over for a holiday dinner, and they said he had "severe dementia" however, he was carrying on conversations one could only have in early stages.  In 9-1-1 (hey, both of them were Peter Krause shows...interesting), Connie Britton's mom had dementia.  She, too, was considered "late stage" and was bed-bound yet was having conversations that would not be possible in that stage.  This may sound like splitting hairs to those who haven't been through it, but it is imperative that these stages are portrayed accurately or it sets up false expectations.  It's like they don't want to show too much of the reality because it's just more than many can handle or even fathom.  It does no one any good to inaccurately portray it either, though, because many think "oh, they're just forgetful."  If only.  They don't know how to eat.  How to go to the bathroom.  They don't know what lunch is or what food they like.  They don't remember they have children or grandchildren.  Some get very angry or even violent.  My grandma never got to the violent stage, but she did get very belligerent sometimes and got to a point in the last 6 months where she was grinding her teeth so loud my mom said it sounded like she was chewing rocks.

I hoped that theory about the show was wrong, and it could be, but I think it's either spot on or really close.  I know they plan on one or two more seasons once this one wraps up, but I can't look forward to it anymore.  I'll still watch, but I know it will only get worse, cut deeper, induce more gut-wrenching sobs of empathy and emotional PTSD that will never fully heal.  I foolishly thought once she was free of this disease, I would be too, but I'm not.  Even a hint of it in a commercial can make me a little teary.  I'm sure it will eventually get better, but for now, I get to relive it all over again along with many others in the same boat.

If any of you have been affected by dementia and are This Is Us fans, feel free to shoot me a message if you need to talk after a show.  Those of us in the club need to stick together and remember we're not alone.  It's okay to still be raw no matter how many years have passed.  It can bring back some bad memories, and I've got your back.

Is anyone else affected by the storyline from personal experience?

Like this post? Don't miss another one...subscribe via email or RSS feed. (Or you can follow me on Facebook )  Some posts may contain affiliate links that help keep this blog running at no cost to you.  See the Disclaimer page for more info.


  1. It really isn't something that gets easier with any single reminder you get. It's so traumatic to watch a loved one go through that and to see it portrayed in dramatic situations on TV is bound to bring back a lot of those feelings. I am glad they are doing a better job, so far, of being more accurate with it.

    1. It's like I can hear someone talk about it but if I see if portrayed on TV, it immediately makes me wonder "did she go through that? Did she feel that way? Was she that scared?" I'm really hoping they go down and dirty with it because if any character could reach the masses with realism, it's Rebecca Pearson.

  2. I don't watch this one. My viewing trends more towards comedy and supernatural. I like my tv and movies totally fake.

  3. I watched 2 friends go through this with their moms and it was so heartbreaking to witness. Hugs to you.
    I love this show. Do you watch a million little things?

  4. There are several shows that I can't watch because of these kinds of triggers. Whether it's something from my distant past or more recently, there's too many emotional triggers that bring me to my knees. I used to watch some shows about 15 years ago that would just gut me but I realized that instead of being cathartic (like I thought it was) it was causing more damage, so I had to stop watching. So I now tend to veer more towards comedies.


Thanks for taking the time to comment! I appreciate your time! (Heads up though...disrespectful or spam comments will be deleted.)