A friend from a long time ago contacted me yesterday and asked about where things stand now with my husband and whether or not he’s even still alive. I thought I’d cut-and-paste my answer to her question for those of you who may be wondering the same things:
He’s still alive, but so completely removed from our family that he hasn’t seen us or been in contact with the kids or me for nearly a year and an half. As far as we can tell, he doesn’t really remember any of our relationships … and if he does remember, he doesn’t care anymore. He’s living with a woman in Seattle and has completely moved on to a different life that has essentially no connection with the husband and father he used to be. This illness of his [FTD or Frontotemporal Deterioration] is so cruel. It’s taken him away from us as surely as if he’d died … but he’s still out there although no longer in our lives. It’s such a long convoluted story. It’s like this never-ending agonizing grief that never gets resolved and we’re never really able to move on. Anyway, thanks for asking. It does seem so much more like he’s truly gone now. We don’t even know for sure where he’s living and he doesn’t want us contacting him anymore. Crazy crazy life.
I don’t really talk about him anymore because there’s nothing new to report and he’s completely gone from our lives. I also don’t want to speak negatively about him because he really can’t help the changes that have happened to his thinking and his moral code. Those things are all just part of the cluster of symptoms he’s developed as his frontal lobe continues to deteriorate.
I was speaking with another friend from long ago recently who told me that when she worked with patients with frontal lobe brain-related problems, they would often end up in jail because of the lack of impulse control they suffer from.
We all need to be thankful for fully functioning frontal lobes — it’s really what keeps us humans from just running amok.