Friends don't understand

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
Hi everyone,

I expect everyone here has felt this, but it is lonely when your friends just don't understand isn't it? Some of my very best friends are so supportive so it's difficult when it becomes obvious they just can't really empathesise however much they really want to help. With working full time I meet a lot of very busy people with very different priorities.

One of my best friends was talking today about an akward family gathering that had been cancelled because her dad had hurt his back gardening. I can't imagine what it must be like to have a dad capable of gardening! It is so long since the parent - child relationship wasn't me as the adult. She said she felt guilty - she got her weekend back and was secretly a bit glad. My weekend is getting my dad's flat ready for him coming out of hospital and making all the arrangements with the carers etc. Then two hours explaining again to dad what has happened and what will be happening. It's different. I love my dad and I wouldn't want to imagine a world without him but it's a different life. What are your experiences of balancing friendships and caring?
I totally get what you mean- my time is pent much like yours and I do pretty much everything for Dad when he is at home, and even now when he is in hospital it all consuming, visiting, sorting care, planning and catching up etc etc.
My closest friend has both parents alive who are more widely travelled than the Queen so while she recounts which airport she is having to go and drop them off at, I am recounting whether Dad could cross the corridor in the hospital independantly or not. It has been much the same for many years now . We tend to talk at each other and listen to each other rather than converse!
Yeah I can very much relate. I am supposed to be going away next weekend to a festival and it's been planned for about a year. First night away since last September. I am going regardless and dad knows that but I feel so guilty. Yet they wouldn't let him out of hospital without the care package in place and I am no good to him if I never have a break. Oh to have the freedom of jetting off! :)
Enjoy your break- I had one before the latest saga started and just as well- I really needed it.
I have lost many friends over the years. Now I have a few very close friends mostly people who are or have been carers. Other people don't always understand that I can't plan to far ahead and that I may have to cancel at the last minute.
I care for my father as well. I also have a part time paid job as a care assistant. In addition to this I have 4 voluntary jobs and my 3 pets to look after at home. I rarely have time for myself but when I do I like to go to karaoke nights in my local area and it is always great fun to have the chance to sing.
I understand too!

I have friends who either have no kids or their kids have left home and they have no elderly parents. Their time is completely their own and they spend it as they choose. I have friends who are always away on holidays or days out.

My week is spent running my DD around or my elderly Mum. I also have all their paperwork to do, phone calls, appointments etc. Daughter has a personal budget and while that is marvellous and we are so grateful to get it, I still have to manage that, check time sheets, book outings, liaise with PAs, keep all receipts etc.

I have my Mum stay every other weekend and I'm going to collect her later today. The weekend in between I take her out, get her hair done, do her shopping etc etc.

If I go out for a morning or a day even, I have to make sure their days are planned, PA is here to take daughter out or if she's doing voluntary work I have to ring her and remind her what time to catch the bus. I never totally relax.

Annica ..... This is a great place to let off steam. 8-)
Hi have just joined carers uk today.

To immediately find a post saying friends don't understand was just what I needed. I feel so totally alone, as I expect do so many people on here.

The friend situation has been so hard. Im so fed up of having to say sorry to friends when I can't commit to something, or have to cancel last minute. I'm fed up of saying sorry for not calling for ages or not being there when they have needed me. They just can't get it. I understand completely the frustration you feel when they talk about things they have been up to or have got planned. The idea of a life where you can't plan ahead is just alien to them.

I battle with telling them all to get lost, as they haven't been there me, and knowing that meeting up with them is healthy and would do me good. What to do?!! As someone said to me recently 'they are more concerned with being annoyed with your absence than the reason you are absent in the first place'. Sad, but so true.

I hate feeling so angry. How do you manage it?
Hi Elizabeth,

I thought I was the only lonely carer until I joined the forum! I can take S out with me, but he requires most of my attention to facilitate the outing. On Mondays, "my day off," when S is at college and I'm not at school, I do sometimes meet up with friends (the few that aren't working,) but I also have to fit in all the other things I can't manage when he's at home.

We have a few good friends who are accommodating to our needs, if they're not then it's not going to be a very long friendship! However, it takes a carer to understand totally what it's like and my friends are first to admit that.

The forum is great for day for day interaction. There are threads for advice, common issues etc, roll call for over-the-fence chatter etc.

Why not start your own thread in New to the forum? section to introduce yourself and let others welcome you.

Melly1
Hi Elizabeth, I'm 63, my closest friend and I met when we were 12 years old, and we've been really good friends ever since. We studied together, she lived in our house when we went to work in Australia, and we even did our degrees as mature students together. BUT she still moans about what I consider trivial things. She never understood how telling me about her daughters problems (one is now an architect, the other a Health Visitor) when I'd like my son to just talk properly, be able to count his money, read and write. She's never going to understand my situation or my life with M., and I've learned to accept that. We are still friends, regularly lunch, go shopping, have a laugh and a joke. If she can't understand, who will? I have another group of friends I seldom see, but they always understand, because they too have a child with special needs, and my son and their son/daughter are going along the same route through life. Fellow carers. They're the only ones who know what it's like.