I have taken care of my boyfriend (58) for 9 years. He had a serious TBI from a motorcycle accident at 20 resulting in short term memory issues, mobility problems, right hand paralysis, tracheostomy and a seizure disorder. Through all his problems he had a great attitude without bitterness and more determined than anyone I had ever known.
I committed to give him a full life with little anxiety and opportunities to explore and enjoy life to the fullest.
On our first anniversary he had a massive stroke. Together we struggled through the repercussions of the stroke and carried on. We lived in Philly then and received little or no help from his family (3 brothers, 2 daughters). His family was not at all accepting of me from day 1 and treated me horribly. Once he was on his road to recovery we decided to move to my hometown of Dallas to avoid constant negative intervention from his hateful family. We had a challenging but wonderful life in Texas.
About 2 1/2 years ago I noticed many changes in his attitude and behavior. I had a neuropsychological test performed and we learned he had early onset dementia. Over time he became physically, verbally and emotionally abusive to me. I was raised by two extremely abusive parents and abuse from a person I had done EVERYTHING for was very hard for me.
In May 2015, after much discussion I moved him to an independent living apartment at a retirement community with assisted living and nursing home facilities on the premises. The main reasons for this transition was that he had lost his ability to walk completely and my home was not set up for a person in a motorized wheelchair. We agreed that we thought not being together 24/7 might have a positive impact on our relationship. The facility has PT lab, brain and memory lab, a gym, a church and lots of activities. I stayed on as his caregiver 7 days a week.
I furnished his apartment beautifully and for a time all was right with the world.
A couple of months after he moved there the abuse started again and intensified. He started accusing me of things I would never do. I couldn't reason with him about anything. He lied constantly to me and manipulated me in a million different ways. At one point he told me he was very loyal to his nurse because he was having sex with her. Ouch!!!! He constantly filed false police reports against me and called Adult Protective Services saying I was abusing him.
I stopped being his full time caregiver but ran to his rescue several times a week, cooked for him, shopped for him, took him to his doctor's appointments etc. but matters just got worse and worse. I brought him home on Thanksgiving and Christmas and he physically and verbally abused me the entire time.
On the Tuesday after Christmas he called me at 6:45 am asking me to come over because he was freaked out about numerous issues. I went and took care of his concerns. During that visit he admitted he had switched POA from me to his brother who he had not even spoken to in 7 years. I asked him why and his response was he did so because he was mad at me. I asked him if he knew what his family had planned regarding his care if he move back to Philly. He said he had no idea. I told him I thought they would just stick him in a nursing home and leave him there until he died.
I called him on New Years Eve to wish him a happy New Year and his phone was disconnected. I contacted his neighbors and they reported they had not seen him in days. I went to his place 4 times and couldn't get any response. A few days later I got a change of address form from the post office and I knew he was gone. He must have known for quite sometime exactly when he was leaving Dallas. I was so hurt that after nine years he would leave without a word to me. By the time I figured it out his complex had disposed of the $10,000 worth of furnishings I had purchased for him.
I found him yesterday on a new Facebook account. I could tell from the background that indeed he was in a nursing home at 58.
I am overwhelmed with anxiety and depression. Is there more I could have done to prevent this outcome? Should I have been able to just look the other way or close my ears to his abusive ways. How could he leave after 9 years without an explanation or goodbye? Why was I his constant target of abuse? Did I waste 9 years of my life that ended up not mattering to him? Do I have reason to feel guilty and ashamed that I could not hang in there with him to the bitter end? Will I EVER get over this emotional pain? Why was I not good enough for him? What more could I have done without totally self-destructing? Please someone, help me answer these questions!!!!!