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Tragic process... AD, WK, EOD in my wife (51)


New member
Jun 2, 2021
I met my partner in a recovery group 5 years ago. She was a social worker, single mother of an 8 yr old (at that time), and just an amazing woman - very caring. Over the past 2 years she started drinking again. After about 9 months, one day her cognition changed drastically. Her memory, and her ability to organize and track simple activities of daily living (ADLs) severely declined - all at once. She thought she could still work but could not understand that she can't go to work while drinking. She had been homeschooling her son for years, but was no longer interested in - or able to - teaching, researching, and being present during the process of his learning. She started drinking even more frequently, and over the last summer her son was taken into the guardianship of our mutual friends. All her natural supports began to withdraw from her. I stayed.
Over the past 9-10 months, she began to fall frequently, became incontinent, and once her money was gone, she would wander around asking people to help her with money, rides, etc. Eventually, she was attacked and sexually assaulted.
I could see her taking more and more risks to get alcohol, and I was just trying to keep her safe. Meanwhile, our relationship has been deteriorating as her ability to care for anyone else was mostly gone. Her only motivation was for more alcohol.
She eventually was put into foster care, where she was able to go for walks on her own. After a couple weeks, she would buy beer and try to bring it back to the facility. She was not allowed to return.
Now she is living on the streets and is being manipulated by homeless men, likely is doing drugs, and prostituting herself for more alcohol.
There are several people who are involved in trying to get her help, but now it's hard to locate her (family, friends, police, and local MH agencies), she can't keep her phone charged, and can't remember why she should seek help.
In less than 2 years, she has descended from the most amazing woman I had ever met to a state of unmitigated despair and tragedy. Unbearable for me, but she is not able to comprehend her situation, surroundings, and dilemma.
I've been seeking support to deal with my trauma around this event, but it's very difficult to find. I have been reading Pauline Boss's work on Ambiguous Loss, which is helpful. Al-Anon is also a support that I can use to an extent. But the depth of suffering that I've seen her in so extensive, I don't know how to begin to heal from this....


Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
What a tragic story. I hope you find counselling that can help you deal with your situation.

A couple of things you say make me think you are in USA, forgive me if I‘m wrong. If I’m right you might be able to find appropriate support or suggestions for counselling through this American organisation -

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Registered User
Jun 15, 2020
@Paul999 I was so sorry to read your very sad and difficult story. Finding someone who can help you process all this and help you find a way through must be a priority. I don't think it necessarily has to be dementia based as what has really done the damage here is your partner's alcoholism, so there are possibly two avenues to go down to find support.

You don't say how much contact you have with her son - at least he is in safe hands now - but if you are up to keeping your relationship with him going I am sure he will value it. To see your mother be overwhelmed by self-destruction like this is a terrible thing, and he will likely need specialist help to come to terms with it all too.

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