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Something is changing the way I express my compassion, how I feel compassion. Something is different and it may look like I’m lacking compassion.

One thing I have noticed in caring for my mother is a basic change in my temperament. I have had to learn to tolerate a new…


Here we are, approaching the end of the year. It’s been nearly three years since my mother has reappeared. I’m no longer in full flaming freak-out. I’m no longer in the deepest despair of her situation. There is a low murmuring grief that we are here, another year of my…


I was clearing out my old files and found my mom’s medical records from the last time she was hospitalized, the first time she disappeared, that I wrote about before. Then I found my notes from that time. Notes on the state of her apartment, the missing persons report, her…


I hear him before I see him, with the louder, faster than usual talking. I am sitting in the window seat, knitting a hat, when he sits down next to me.

“I couldn’t protect you. I couldn’t protect you.” fades back into unintelligibility.

I am thinking about my mother now…


It’s Thursday morning and I have lots of work to do. I still haven’t read the writings my mother gave to me and I’m meeting her for lunch. I don’t want to read her writing and I know I have to.

I’ve already read the happy ones, the mini-memoirs of…


What good can come out of this? This thing I can hardly talk about, but weighs down my every day. Isn’t that the thing? We want to know that whatever difficulties we’re going through, it’s all worth something.

I look at these last couple years since my mom reappeared, at…


I got a call from the police at 10:30 p.m. They found my mother in a park and saw the open missing persons report I made from the last time she disappeared.

They asked me about my mother’s history. We talked about involuntary commitment, which they said they did not…


I have made the calls, which was easier this time. It was easier because I know what city she’s hanging out in now. It was also easier because I’ve done this before and we were reconnected in time.

It’s become part of the process of my life now: mom disappears…


So, I’m at the regular meeting spot on the appointed day and the appointed time and there’s no mom. Two weeks ago I missed our meeting because I threw my back out. As is our agreement if either of us misses a meeting, I came to meet her same place…


There is a dear friend of mine I had confided in about my mother after she disappeared the third time. She listened to my freakouts, my sorrows, and patiently supported and encouraged me. When my mother reappeared, she was in my inner circle. …

Dooley M

Dooley M is the daughter of a funny, loving, smart, schizoaffective, and currently homeless mother. https://www.dooleym.com

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