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OPA... Other People's Attitude - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

OPA... Other People's Attitude

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
My attitude to other people's bad attitude is up 'em I don't owe them anything and they mean nothing to me so why should their attitudes bother me. If they want to give me 'tude I can give back twice over!! Image

I agree with everything your friend has been through. I have heard so many similar things.My life now is as a bereaved mother,and that defines who I am now. I am still a Carer for my husband and elder son. They both have Type 1 Diabetes(as well as other disabilities),and Type 1 Diabetes was what took the life of my younger son.
"You have to put it behind you and move on."
"You have to put other people first now,and grieve later."
"You have to forget about him and think about your family."
"God never gives you more than you can cope with."(that is the absolute worst.I HATE IT.)
"God takes and God gives, he has given you two grandsons to take your mind off your son." NO,NO, NO. I love my grandsons so much, but I still want my son here and I cannot be the 100% caring grandmother that I wish I could be.
" It is alright for you;R*** is dead now, you don't have any more worries about him."
And from a family member," it would have been better of it was your other son, he has nothing to look forward to in life, and is a burden."
Wow, I hadn't realised just how much bitterness was inside me with some of those comments as I typed them in. That was very therapeutic.Thank you for starting this topic.

My elder son has a Learning Disability as well as his Diabetes, and the number of ignorant people who have said he does not understand his brother's death "bless him," are wrong.SO wrong. To see him stop breathing, to see him crying because he wants his brother back, to watch him come indoors after looking at the stars at night,with tears in his eyes because he "knows" his brother was out there watching him, tears me apart.The ill manners of people who have known my children for many years and know how caring my elder son is, takes my breath away sometimes.
According to SF, long ago if any member of an Eskimo tribe became infirm for any reason, they used to put them out on the ice to freeze to death.
Other civilizations, living in less harsh climates, would look after their old and infirm within the community. Families tended to be large with several generations living together, so this caring role was shared out collectively. No one person was expected to be the carer all of the time, living alone with their caree. Plus of course people had much shorter life spans than now.
We’ve obviously moved on from dumping our loved ones in the back garden to freeze to death, but so too has the nature of families. They’re much smaller now, and more widely spread out, so the responsibility now tends to land on one person’s shoulders, making the task much more difficult and time consuming.

There’s not a lot that can be done about that. I can’t see society restructuring itself so that families re-gather together, and we all live happily ever after under one big roof, assuming we’d want to in the first place!

Back to SF and OPA. SF genuinely doesn’t mind being her mum’s full time carer. She lived the closest to her, and SF had no other responsibilities other than her job, so it made sense for her to become the carer.
She eventually had to give up her job, surrender the tenancy on her flat, and move in with her mum.

Yet despite all these sacrifices, her family refuses to help out in any meaningful way, and then have the cheek to criticzise her, and accuse her of having it easy.
She can handle the lack of practical help, but the nasty little digs and sniping depresses and upsets her far more than her mum’s outbursts, etc.
If she defends herself then it’s a case of the lady doth protest too much. If she doesn’t bother, then she’s confirmed their suspicions. She’s in a Catch 22, no win position.

But her family aren’t unkind or stupid people. They’re normal people, doing normal jobs, and are highly educated to boot. So why do they treat her this way?
It was a mystery to SF, until she eventually came to the conclusion it was nothing more than bog standard guilt and fear, and unacknowledged guilt at that.

According to SF, if her family were to openly accept the importance of her caring role, and the struggles involved, they’d feel such guilt that common decency would demand of them to pitch in a bit more to help out.
Instead they trivialize her caring role, and even their mum’s condition. This way they need feel no guilt, and suffer no disruption to their well-ordered lives.

After all, SF wouldn’t be asking for much – for a sibling to occasionally babysit mum for a weekend so she can visit friends in North Wales, say. But even that’s beyond them. “That’s what the taxpayers pay you for. Why should I do your job for you? I wouldn’t ask you to do mine, would I?” So now she’s a shirker!

Or, “Why don’t you take mum with you? Do her good to get out of the house.”
This particular sibling even offered to pay for and organise a mini-break in the Lake District. That was very generous of them, but they refused to believe SF when she explained that mum was terrified of new people and situations, and the trip would be a total nightmare. So now she’s guilty of exaggeration!
When she then tried to point out that the whole point of a break was to get away from her mum, to refresh and re-energize herself, she was accused of shirking again!
“It’s not as though mum’s incontinent or bedridden. What’s so exhausting about watching telly all day long and doing a bit of housework? And you’re actually paid to do that. If anybody needs re-energizing it’s me!” and the phone’s slammed on SF.

SF is convinced that fear, rather than laziness, is behind this behaviour. Her siblings would have to confront 100% the seriousness of their mum’s condition if they had to look after her for a long weekend, instead of just the very occasional hour or two mum siting in the evenings.
To compound matters, her mum is at her calmest and most lucid in the evenings (it’s at night and during the day she kicks off); talk about Sod’s Law!

But rather than face their fears head on, they’ll do anything to wiggle out of doing so, including scape goating SF.
It’s SF’s fault that their mum is terrified of new people and places, according to her siblings, because she doesn’t take her out enough. Yet, SF has tried on countless occasions to do so, but eventually had to stop as going out with SF caused her mum such distress. Even the sight of a dog tied up outside the supermarket, would make her mother scream out in terror, and cling to her like a baby.
The fact that SF has become all but house bound herself as a result, and why would a fit, healthy woman want to do that if she could at all avoid it, never seems to enter her siblings heads. So now she’s guilty of being their mum’s jailor!
They refuse to accept that it’s their mum’s Alzheimer’s that’s the jailor, not her.

All of the above astounded me, not least because she used to be such a feisty, give as good as she gets kind of girl. I told her I admired her forbearance, but if my family ever tried to do that to me, I’d kick up merry hell about it, and stuff their tender feelings of guilt, aided and abetted by fear. They bloody well should feel guilty!

She smiled at me very wryly indeed. “Don’t you think that’s exactly how I behaved for ages? But fear and guilt is a very powerful wall to knock your head against all the time. They constantly reinforce one another.”

“Look, rather than face their fears, they down play everything. By convincing themselves that I’m exaggerating, and a lot of mum’s problems are my fault anyway, then they don’t have to accept how important my job is. Because they’ve convinced themselves my job’s easy and unimportant, they don’t have to feel any guilt about not helping out more. If they don’t have to help out more, then they don’t have to
face up to how bad mum’s getting. Because they refuse to face up to how bad mum’s become, then they convince themselves I’m onto a cushy number.
So, as well as not having to face their fears head on, and avoid any guilt about not helping out more, they can now feel morally superior to me because they’re taxpayers and I’m not!
The fact that I had to give my job which I loved doing, and those gobshites knew I loved it too, didn’t come into it. The fact that I’m saving these precious bloody taxpayers a fortune by looking after mum doesn’t come into it either.
I’m supposed to count my lucky stars that I’m stuck in the house all day long with an old woman who’s losing her mind instead of having to do a proper job. I’m supposed to put up with that gobshite from next door who keeps threatening to shop me and mum to the dole for being scroungers. I hope he does, and I hope he gets done for wasting police time! I wouldn’t mind so much but this maniac complains if mum has nightmares and screams out in the middle of the night. So he knows how poorly she is. There’s no reasoning with some people!

We then get talking about how she thinks what’s been happening to her and her family is happening to society at large. That’s why attacks, verbal and sometimes physical, on the disabled, unemployed, etc are on the increase.
Nor does she think that the recession caused this as some commentators say. It was already there; all the recession did was allow it to bubble to the surface more quickly. It’s the excuse for such behaviour rather than its cause per say.

She reckons we’re in the middle of some collective mass transference thing where it’s easier to blame the sick, the old, the disabled and the unemployed for their own problems, rather than face head on our fears and guilt about them. Because if we did face them, we’d then have to do something sensible and compassionate about them instead.

She doesn’t think that’s about to happen any time soon. This pitched battle that’s being whipped up in the media between the Have Not’s and the Have a Little Bits is deliberate and suits the powers that be right down to the ground.
Under the guise of ‘reform’ they can get on with dismantling the welfare state the right wing in this country have hated for so long, and cheered on by the very people who might need it one day… idiots!
She’s convinced that’s what is happening to the NHS. All those horror stories appearing in the news of late maybe true, but they’re being blown up out of all perspective. Make people fear the NHS instead of love and respect it, and its easy then to get rid of it. Big business can then step into the breach, and bloat themselves even further on our blood… quite literally in the case of the NHS.

Blimy! And I thought I was a socialist. I pale in comparison to SF. Her theories are scary stuff, and I hope she’s wrong… but I’ve a sneaking suspicion she’s not. Just because you’re paranoid, doesn’t mean to say they’re not out to get you.

I’d better get this posted before my spell checker melts down, and my lap top goes on strike. I’m supposed to be having a break, and cleaning up my tip of a flat. No doubt one day, I too will have to give up my flat. It’s already costing too much traveling back and forth to my parents, so I’m already staying overnight a lot. If only they lived a little closer, and no bloody tunnel between us.
Churchill promised in the 30’s that once the Mersey tunnel was paid for, it would be free to use. 80 years later and some French company runs it, charging us £1.60 a pop. What on earth is my £160 a year road tax for? It’s not as if me and my car are amphibious and can drive across the river. And using Runcorn Bridge is not on, because of the extra petrol used.
They’re building a new one, which is also going to charge a toll, and to make sure it gets used properly; they are then also going to slap a toll on the old bridge. Then there will be no way of crossing the Mersey without paying through the nose for the privilege… the bastards get you ever which way.

That’s my rant now over the way a
Sunflower and I would get on well!! My youngest brother is coming this afternoon. I was going to zoom round and tidy up and make a cake and be a good big sister, then I thought Dammit. He needs to see how bad my house has got because I spent the first part of the year running round trying to empty and sell our elder brother's house, while he was dying in Uruguay; the middle part of the year reorganising M's care package; and then when M and I went on holiday to get away from it all, we had to come back because mum was admitted to hospital. Ever since I've been at her place doing house cleaning and tidying things for her which are easier when she's not there. All he's managed is a couple of phone calls. So he's going to see the house how it usually is, desperately in need of me spending some time on it. And the nearest he's going to get to a cake is a McVitie's Digestive, if he's lucky! When mum is no longer around, my eldest is going to give younger brother a piece of his mind, using language which I never taught him!!!
Oh bowling bun you make me smile, thank you for the pm the other day I tried but for the life of me I couldn't pm you back unless you got about ten messages from me.Sajehar I have a horrible feeling your friend sunflower is right.

Have a great big ((((((( )))))) from me. I believe that's the symbol for a cyber hug. Just in case I've got that wrong, have these too
Image Image

Or, if you're like me, not a very touchy/feely kind of person, then this one

Bowlingbun, howsabout serving up a stale digestive, and handing him a feather duster to help tidy up!

Triesta, you're a born philosopher and moderator, this forum should offer you a job. I think you missed your calling in life, you should have been a diplomat.

Eun, I'm with you on this one. But, then again, I've yet to be subjected to OPA, not in any meaningful way anyway... yet!

Treez, smiling sweetly has its uses, but also its limitations... correct me if I'm wrong, but you lot are beginning to be at the end of your tethers? I know SF is.

Crocus, last but not least: Of all the posts I've received, yours is the one I can most directly relate to, regarding my own personal experience. And it's nothing to do with my mum either.

I'm beginning to regret setting up this thread.

OH MY GAWD! I've done it again!!! What if SF HATES what I've written?
I've just realized I should have shown her it to her first before I posted it. The expression 'fools rush in where angels fear to tread' springs to mind.
What if I've jepodised our re-kindled friendship before it gets off the ground? I promised I'd pop round to her place later with my laptop to show her my posting.
I'll just make out that my dongles run out.

ARRGH! I really must learn to look before I leap!
My daughter has Downs Syndrome and when she was small and still in her buggy I was in a queue and 2 old ladys were in front of me, one happened to turn round and she stared at Sarah, then she turned to the other and said something so she also turned round and looked, then one said to the other 'There is no need for people to give birth to m*****s nowdays as theres tests to tell if your having one so that child should have been aborted' the other replied 'Yes and think of all the money the country will have to spend on it and I bet the Mothers on benefits too' I ran out of the shop in tears when really I should have kicked them from behind!

Husbands brothers partner was pregnant and she was at a funeral where my hubby was it was his Uncles funeral and I couldn't go as had to look after Sarah, hubbys sister went up the the pregnant woman, tapped her stomach and said very loudly 'I hope you've had the tests as we don't want another of those in the family' Image Well I am glad after that hubby disowned her as I wouldn't want my daughter to have such an evil vicious aunty!

Blue badges! My daughter has the facial signs of Downs and the walk they all seem to share and I am sick of getting out of the car with her when we are in a disabled space at the supermarket and people and yes again usually older people who are also in a disabled space with a motability car and who can walk well questioning me why I have parked in a disabled space when there is nothing wrong with me, is Sarah invisible?
While it may be unacknowledged guilt that lies beneath some of the hostile and critical attitudes — and this is the 'official' explanation from psychologists and medics — this seems to me to be inadequate to explain the phenomenon.

Try reversing the situation, so that you are the 'other people': your ailing parent or other close relative is being cared for by your stepfather/mother or by one of your siblings: would you continually carp at and criticise the carer? I honestly do not believe I would do that. I might not always know quite what to say and do for the best, but I cannot imagine that I would take the sole carer to task for doing things wrong. I would respect their judgement and sympathise with their difficulties.

I have interpreted the cruelty of my elder stepdaughter (who is allegedly 'feeling guilty' because she lives abroad and cannot help) and another member of my husband's family (his first wife's long-term partner), in a completely different way. I think they have probably always disliked and resented me, and under the stress of X's illness, they have turned on me as a suitable target for their anger and frustration. It is an opportunity for them to have revenge on me, to enjoy the sport of kicking someone when he is down. That's not guilt: it's malice. I didn't even know they disliked me, and was shocked to discover it. I know now, and I can take appropriate action. At first, I was bewildered and very deeply hurt. Now I am angry.

In a sense, I am glad I have discovered their lack of affection and respect at this time, since it is enabling me to make changes to my personal and financial affairs, so that I never need to be dependent on any of them. For example, I am arranging that a trusted relative will take on Power of Attorney for me if it is ever needed, and I have made extensive changes to my Will. Formerly my stepchildren were my principal beneficiaries, since I have no siblings or children of my own, and I regarded his family as mine, so my Will and my husband's had matching provisions. If I had died suddenly, as I very nearly did last year, my three stepchildren would have inherited a third each of my personal estate after my husband's death (it would go to him first, of course). No longer. Maybe all my own savings will get used up before I die (and the stepchildren will get the value of the house anyway, because it is a joint asset of mine and my husband's), but if they don't, there are a lot of good friends and some of my own relatives who will be my principal beneficiaries. If revenge is the name of the game, bring it on. I can play it as well as the next person.

We need a 'devil face' emoticon... Image

Will this one do tristesa