Why wasn't I a better "journalist", writing down facts and information about our relationship in the beginning; about changes in the relationship; about changes in health and personality? Why didn't I see that there was a problem instead of waiting until the problem became a bigger medical problem before actually doing anything about it?
Well, looking back sometimes helps; but blaming myself doesn't! Looking back over the years, and reading the information that I did write down, I can see there may have been medical problems for a number of years. The reason for not seeing these problems, of course, may have been because it was hard to distinguish between his personality and the disease itself.
There was a time when he was cooking, grocery shopping, washing clothes, cleaning the apartment, picking the kids up from school - while I worked during the day and handled the extra-curricular activities such as school clubs and sports, and church and other events. He was aware of the finances although I still maintained the checkbook and paid the bills. The fact that he worked nights and slept in the morning while I was working made it easier for him to do all of these things. And it worked for our family!
Then, I started seeing changes in his personality: spells of paranoia; confrontations; temper and semi-violent episodes, such as holding my wrists so I'd "listen" to him; calling names; not listening to others; talking to himself; even forgetting things that were told to him earlier in the day. Arguments ensued; conflicts with my children as they became adolescents and teenagers. I really felt all of the conflicts were his personality and the inability to "deal with" teenagers, but also with their needs (dealing with the divorce and having their father several states away and not seeing him very often).
Some of these symptoms could have been due to a medical problem; but I was so tired of being verbally and mentally abused that I just didn't see it as medical. All of these issues were gradual, and symptoms were not always the same each time there was an outburst.
Yes, looking back, I do realize there was a medical problem that should have been addressed sooner. I hope you will continue to follow me on this journey with Dementia’s Demands, and that you gain some insight or help from what I am sharing.