People say they understand FTD and what's going on in the person's mind, but very few do. Caregivers try their hardest but it is difficult to understand how the person you are talking to sometimes understands what your saying and sometimes doesn't. It's especially difficult when you know and love the person and want to believe they understand you and you them.
Unfortunately the world can be a difficult place with FTD being a cruel joke on one and all.
It is extremely difficult to explain that your thought process is corrupted and the effect that has on you understanding what people are saying to you. It also affects how we read facial expressions and body language. A person can say or mean one thing and I will take it a totally different way. I constantly try and slow myself down and not answer to anyone quickly as to not misinterpret, but it's virtually impossible. When you're in a conversation and engaged with someone you need to respond to questions and comments. Circumstances are constantly changing and I find myself often without a clue of what is going on. Getting lost in the sauce is easy to do and sooner or later I will always say "What did you mean by that?" The response is usually, "Mean by what?" The person has no idea, that I have no idea, that I have no idea of what there intending to say(yes, I did say that and say that I did.) Sometimes I would say things and would be so far off base that people would just look at me and tell me I'm way off base or I have a vivid imagination. Very hurtful and frustrating for everyone.
I have been making those same comments for years now and it's simply because 1 +1 = 5. People with FTD cannot take facts and put them together to come up with a makes sense conclusion. If you say it is 75 degrees outside but will rain hard later, there is a good chance I will not take an umbrella, but will instead take a heavy trench coat.
I had a remarkably similar incident.
My son Myles came to visit me in NY during July and I wanted to take him to a NY Mets baseball game. The day of the game was supposed to have a thunderstorm and possible showers. The next night game was supposed to be clear but 5 degrees warmer. 1+1=7. I took him to the game with rain because it was cooler and probably wouldn't rain that much. Made total sense to me. Guess what? Myles and I had a great time dry under the grandstand while the players never even made it out to the field it was raining so hard.
What's interesting about the two incidents is the flawed thought process that brought myself and the other man to come to the conclusion that these were good decisions. These are typical examples of things that people suffering from FTD do every day. Some people think we are crazy, but we are not.
Our decision process is flawed and we simply cannot put facts together to make a rational decision.
I would do anything for my son and so would the man in the Church/landscaping story. We both love our children and try to keep intact our relationship even though it might translate into what is an irrational act.