In Need of Love
I met my stepmom not too soon before she married my father. I was in my early 20s and her 3 kids were in their 30s- all around 10 years older than me or my older brother. A year later she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and was no longer able to work. It was not recommended for her to be left a lone at all. The sense I always got was that she had a deeply ingrained need to be taken care of. What better way to manifest that than by dementia, a year after remarrying no less!
Here are some things I know about her that might support this notion.
She grew up in the south in what sounded like a cult disguised as a church and religion. There were a few times she had been ex-communicated from the church and her family. Due to some prophecy type of thing she was married at 16 to a man in his late 20s. Her 3 children were born before she even turned 20!! She was still a kid herself! She had personally expressed her dissatisfaction with her first wedding because although it was her wedding, the decisions were made by her mother. When she married my dad, the biggest joy to her was her ability to choose for herself how she wanted the wedding to be.
At some point in her life she left her family and children to pursue a life of her own. This seemed as though it brought about negative, disapproving feelings from her family.
Finally, her first husband and father of her children, is now married to her sister.
She does not see her three kids or spend holidays with them. Since her diagnosis they have failed to step up in any real way. I am the only one to do so thus far.
She used to complain that she wanted my dad to stay home all day to care for her even though that is obviously impossible because someone must work. She would also complain when me or any other caretaker was not paying her the attention she thought she deserved even if they were meeting her basic needs, the reason they are there to help. She has had a history of anxiety. The very nature of anxiety, and her inability to deal with it, paired with what seems like an under-nurtured life leads me to believe her condition is a self-destruction that manifested to meet her need to be loved and cared for above all else.