My first wife and I were college sweethearts. In 2008, she began behaving strangely, and her memory began to fail. She was diagnosed with vascular dementia. She was a devoted wife, a terrific Mom, my Best Friend, everyone loved her, Mommy to our furbabies, a Registered Nurse, a Certified Case Manager, and my Hero. Even though I had only primitive knowledge about caregiving, my love for her held me together through 6 years of helping her fight the fight. Three weeks before she died, I entered an emotional state that I can only describe as numbness. When she passed peacefully, on Thanksgiving Day, 2014, I was holding her hand, and happy that her struggle was over, and that she had gone Home. My struggle, however, had just begun. Nobody, I repeat, nobody had extended a hand to help us. We got prayed over, got many hugs, and verbal expressions of sympathy, but no one actually came to our home, or offered to. I am very sad about that, but angry at no one. We were a couple in all things, but now, who am I, a solitary pining soul? A year and a half of settling paperwork, having an estate sale, and moving twice followed. Our son, an only child, did nothing to help, or even call me during that time. I chalked that up to his grieving. I met a widow of 13 years during this time, and we fell into each others' arms, getting married in April, 2016. She soon was stricken by congestive heart failure, and died in July, 2019. Her two adult children, who were convinced I was a golddigger, treated me coldly during our marriage, and evicted me from her house the day after the funeral. Not satisfied with this, the daughter pursued me for almost 2 years, trying to wreck my reputation and relationships with my family and friends via phone calls and social media. I was in the throes of PTSD by that time, although I was not formally diagnosed until October, 2020. Her claims of Alzheimer's onset, lying, cheating, and being a generalized sorry person were believed by many. I had not received or taken even 1 cent from her Mom.
My son convinced me to leave my hometown and move in with his family in Wisconsin. I was hoping that I could find a peaceful, loving place to heal and begin building a life. I was, however, not the same Pop that my son remembered. I began to release my grief, but that only concerned him so much that he contacted my stepdaughter, who gleefully filled him and his wife up with her POV. They tried to restrict my every activity, keeping me from making friends, and using COVID to forbid me from leaving their house. I, however, got a job as a Pharmacy Technician. They did not even see the incongruity between the claims of my mental incapacity and my performance at my job, where I received a raise for outstanding service after 90 days. His wife told me things would be better if I would co-sign a mortgage loan for a new home where I would have a basement apartment. Based on advice from my attorney, I told her I could/would not do it. She began that very day to ally with my stepdaughter in a gaslighting campaign. This gradually took such a toll on me, physically, emotionally. and mentally, that my PCP and a psychologist formally diagnosed me as having severe PTSD, and even prescribed that I should move away within the next 90 days, which is why I'm back in Georgia, living with some very dear friends in a Christian household. I thank God for them.
Have others gone through ordeals such as mine? I am out of focus mentally and have no ambition, yet realize it to the point of frustration. I am not on the usual Zoloft, etc., meds. I am down to 143 pounds, have lost most of my teeth, and suffer occasional dizzy spells. I have taken up my brushes, and very happy that my art painting abilities have survived. I will feature my paintings at an art show later this month. I have also started a small fishing tackle sales company. All of this is good, but my focus and drive leave a lot to be desired.
So, please help me with advice and insight. Thank you!