At age 59 my husband abruptly started being oppositional, argumentative, illogical, critical of me, very forgetful, verbally and emotionally abusive of myself and any sons living at home, highly manipulative, having false "memories" of things that never happened...some of me abandoning him, some just strange. He became a Dr. Jekyll/ Mr. Hyde change artist at a moments' notice.
He left our home briefly instead of me when he saw I was serious about leaving, had to come home because he couldn't cope with being away & working. I left for 4 months. This was before I had a diagnosis of dementia. He saw 3 neurologists and had 3 diagnoses: dementia, no dementia, and "oh, this has to be watched" in reference to his brain MRI. I had to set boundaries to protect myself and one of them is he lost his place in the bedroom. He still resents this, doesn't understand it.
After 6 yrs. of this, he calmed down and moved into a far less contentious phase. There's still the distance where I can't completely trust him and he'll sabotage something I've worked and strived for. He still guesses (incorrectly) what I am thinking and feeling without actually asking me. He tends to conclude the worst possible about me. Yet he wants me around all the time, offers to drive me to appointments, comes to Church often just to be with me. If I am such a terrible person as he says, why does he want to be around me so much? He's not logical, but emotionally driven. At least now he's less paranoid than the 1st 6 years. That was rough.
He has poor eyesight and poor hearing. He often won't put his hearing aids in but blames me if he can't hear me. I still have PTSD from the verbal attacks but am much better since I've had this year to lose most of my "startle" reaction.
His memory losses are obvious to those who are close to him, mostly family on both sides. He still drives but now he speeds 8-12 mph over the limit, even in 25 & 30 mph zones, and can drive emotionally, furiously & tailgate. I always carry cab money from the 6 yrs. he was so awful. He balances a checkbook but takes many tries before he's successful. No one who isn't close can believe he has dementia. I'm even wondering what's going on. How can he go from being so bad to functioning much better after 6 yrs.? Both my sister and I separately have wondered if this is vascular dementia.
He handles his own appointments and takes his medicines and BP and sugars and records them. He walks as ordered 2 x day. He grocery shops almost daily and buys more than we can store. He cooks dinners because that's his field of education and he's good at it. But my sons go behind him if he does handiwork because he doesn't remember how to do many things anymore. They have to correct his errors. He'll insist on something that makes no sense (he always has to be right). He told his own family he has dementia but now that's a thing of the past for him. He won't take his meds...stopped them as soon as one neurologist said he didn't have dementia.
Does anyone know what is going on with this man? He's survived pancreatic cancer and 7 years of dementia and still can fool people who think he doesn't have it. Meanwhile my life is turned upside down being his 'caregiver' and working around his crazy logic while preserving his sense of being in charge of the household where I actually see to the management of most things. He sees some trees but I see the forest. I have to handle the bigger, long term picture for our lives because many things don't even enter his head.
What's wrong with this man?