I am completely confused, and I just don't know any more.
My FIL is mean and horrible to me and the kids during the day, throwing things on the floor, stomping around, demanding, angry, ignoring us all, sulking if he doesn't get immediate attention when he wants something. If I ask him not to do something, he will immediately do it, very loudly. He turns off his hearing aid, and won't look at anyone so he doesn't have to talk to us. He slams doors. Lately, if I or my daughter have a bath, he stands outside the bathroom door ... the door has a frosted window pane in it, so you can't see anything, but the outline if you go up close enough to the door, so we now put towels over the door when we bath or go to the toilet, as he stands and "watches?" He tells lies and fibs all the time.
Yesterday he had a completely manic day, with anger and threatening actions, which left the kids and I actually a bit shaken and scared.
So I get to thinking, maybe this is dementia and I need to have compassion with him.
And then ... my husband comes home from work and he is a different person. he is back to the man that everyone thinks he is (sweet, quiet, helpful, supportive, engaged). He wears his hearing aid, he is nice to us, he offers us coffee, he engages in conversation, he asks us questions about our day as if we have been out all day. He puts on a very "vulnerable, fragile, old man" act, so that we run around and do everything for him, even though two hours before he was ranting and throwing things on the floor and snapping at the kids for watching something on tv.
And then I think, this is manipulation on a gross scale.
The good news is that my husband is now very well aware of the way he treats us, as he has seen it first hand, and he has spoken to him about it. OF course, he lies and says he doesn't, but hubby has witnessed it when he is not aware that he is standing there, and seen the change that comes over him when he realises that his son is now in the room.
The bad news is that we just don't know. Is this dementia? How do I find out? What do I do if it is? We are three months into living with dad, and life is really stressful on all levels. He is so incredibly stubborn that I doubt I can get him to a doctor for a check up to see if he has dementia.
If this is mean and manipulative, again, what do I do? Its exhausting for all of us.
We manage on a day by day basis literally. I treat him as kindly as I can but I am running out of steam. The kids avoid him as soon as they see/hear him coming, so our family life is disintegrating.