Tonight i am remembering that about 7 years ago, using up those precious respite hours, i went to the Courtenay rcmp shop , feeling guilty and ashamed.
I said, You need to know: If there is a 911 call from my address, i really need you, because my love’s dementia is getting violent.
But I insisted, Put it on the file, there are NO GUNS here. Do not come in shooting!
As well as being personally scared 24/7, I felt for the cops, emotionally confused, not knowing which call was nutsy (sort of like living with dementia but multiplied a zillion times). But i was scared too, alone with a delusional partner. And i didn’t want them showing up to an unknown situation, scared and trigger-twitchy.
Ok, the cop at the front desk said, We will put that on file.
I didn’t have a lot of faith in that, but i hoped they might have my back without horrid force. I knew it was easier for them to be dangerously defensive as the default position and that bode ill for a wild and strong (and big mouthy) guy with dementia. If it came to me calling 911, it meant he was driven raving mad by so many delusions that he could no longer make sense of.
So, about a year later i was testing out a new phone, in putting numbers, and started with 911. To my horror, the phone called!
I hung up quickly, and much later figured out how to turn location tracking off. (er, the 911 folks say, don’t hang up, stay on the line so we can clear that call. oops, never again!)
About an hour later, as i was toddling off to bed with my pjs on, there was a quiet, discrete knock at the door.
Is everything all right? We found a call from this phone and we know there is a dementia case here.
Are you sure it is ok?
A steady searching gaze.
Gobsmacked at so many things:
How they were able to track an unused phone;
How they had tracked and remembered a report from a year or more ago;
How sure i was that it was dangerous to have cops called to a violent scene. All part of the fear and racism escalation we have see for decades. Deep in our behaviour now, ssdly.
I remember when cops were on the street all the time, didn’t have guns, had time to know people in the hood, and we were not afraid of them.
And I will never forget how glad i was to see that youngster quietly on my doorstep, making sure all was well. I slept better for months.