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Definately - I am not
Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:27 pm
Definately - I am not the same person that I was - and I attribute this to the life changing expeience of caring, I feel that it has changed me for the better, but I feel that I shouldn't have had to go through this experience to learn the lessons that I have, I don't suffer fools glady now, and as I have to be the "voice" for the cared for I am honest and forthright in my opinions & a stronger person as a result.
Only a Carer truly knows what a person who is suffering truly feels because we both feel the same emotions. i.e. anger, frustration, at the life changing experience, helplessness, sadness and inevitably "why me?"a question that I cannot answer
Also I feel strongly that the Carees should be treated with respect and not patronised, & talked to like small kids because an illness/disability is what they suffer from not who they are.
Authorities should not underestimate the knowledge that Carers have either, because we are with our loved ones most of the time.
The good side is that I have seen the beautiful side of human nature, the love, devotion strength the and hope that permeates Carers, who are truly special, (even though I say so myself
There are always positive and negative aspects in any situation....
This is a thought-provoking question - thanks
Dailylily you are amazing , not only have you decide to love and care for your OH but you have turned my idea of love upside-down - I salute you!
I am just me
Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:30 pm
I am just me and I feel so mad inside sometimes I can't function.
Thank you very much.
I am doing no more than all carers.
Lets face it, we all need a pat on the back sometimes.!!
Take care all
I don't think it's changed
Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:33 pm
I don't think it's changed me...my mother was disabled when I was around three years old, so it's been natural to be close to someone who couldn't run, walk on rough ground and do the normal things that children should enjoy doing.
Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:21 pm
ive never,i think,found any thread,be it one i started or others have begun,and ive found so-many threads here moving,thought-provoking,disturbing,challenging,fun,dynamic,and all else besides.so interesting as this one has become.bless you all.ive read re-read then read again your incredible sharrings here.im finding them really interesting and very moving too.
im going to have another read now.im absorbed.
Interesting thread, I needed to
Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:58 am
Interesting thread, I needed to think about it for a while before posting.
I wonder if caring changes you, or if it simply exaggerates your traits.
If you're an easily-stressed person before you start caring, then you'll probably be a very stressed carer.
If you'd been a sympathetic, caring person before caring, then you'll probably have found your calling and take great pleasure in providing such a service.
If you were self-indulgent and pleasure-seeking before caring, then you might be bitter and resentful about caring.
Do you get where I'm heading here, lol?
I met someone recently who is a part-time carer to her father and she visits him once or twice a week to make sure he has everything he needs. As she talked about her caring role, she appeared to become more and more stressed out, complaining about all the things she had to do and remember and look after for him. I wondered (silently) why she would be so stressed about visiting her father (who lived close by) once or twice a week, but then we moved on to other subjects and on almost every subject we discussed, she got stressed about it - how her grandchild was at the wrong school and her daughter wouldn't listen, how her husband always picks the wrong places to go on vacation, how her dog kept getting fleas. She complained about the cost of living, moaned about the freshness of food in supermarkets, you name it and there was a problem! This person was a stressed person regardless of what was going on in her life! Sure, the added burden of checking on her father twice a week might have made her more stressed, but EVERYTHING is perspective.
In my case, I think caring has made me more aware of other's needs, taught me patience (or at least more than I once had), shown me first-hand what a hopeless state the medical profession and hospital system are in (I might not have had as much exposure to it otherwise) and in many ways helped me to become a stronger person. On the negative side, it's robbed me of some of my concentration (difficult to get involved in something that requires focus when you keep getting interrupted) and has made me less socially-minded - I used to love long interesting discussions, now I get a headache if someone talks at me for more than 10 minutes, lol.
So I don't think caring changes us so much, more that it reveals our perspective on life that might have lain dormant without the challenge of caring.
I pretty much concur with
Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:13 pm
I pretty much concur with Lola's contribution. The most positive aspect of my caring situation is that my husband and sons have been influenced by it and are all very caring individuals. This in turn has had a positive effect on other peoples lives both in their personal relationships and their professional roles. I have also found that I am more aware of people around me and take more of an interest in other peoples lives - I love talking and listening to people even if they are moaning. I see it as a compliment- people generally only unload to someone they see as sympathetic and caring and I like hearing their stories. The worst thing about carer isolation is that we stop being out there and can't let our caring experience postively influence our communities. I now make an effort to be involved in local decisions in any way I can- even just filling in questionnaires can make a big difference in a small community- and not just about caring- I'll give my twopennorth on any local matter given half a chance!
for better or worse.
Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:30 pm
i think,in my own case,i am enriched,maybe more understanding,less tolerant and far more cynicle over politicians.more furious at the council in its many officials,departments,and inept carrying-on,more despairing of social services.but,had i not been a carer,id not visit this place,encounter the wonderfull souls here,and yes,been changed by these encounters,for the better.im less of a believer in the ability of carers uk to do very much to change things for the better for carers.
ive certainly grown more happy with those small joys of life.
Ony a few things I
Posted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 6:37 pm
Ony a few things I seem to have noticed have changed most prominantly]
I have to agree with you on that point Littlerachet, I think that caring has opened up a lot of emotions that I never knew I had, one of them is being more sensitive, compassionate and empathetic to the sufferings of others, it makes me a lot more emotional now.
I feel that I am a more selfless person, I have gained courage and strength from encountering other Carers and being inspired by the struggles of the suffering, I feel anger at injustice and some of people's negative & misrepresented views on the disabled & carers, it has made me stronger and a fighter. It isn't an easy journey
had i not been a carer,id not visit this place,encounter the wonderfull souls here,and yes,been changed by these encounters,for the better.im less of a believer in the ability of carers uk to do very much to change things for the better for carers.
ive certainly grown more happy with those small joys of life.
I have total admiration for the Carers and Cared For, because they believe in their loved ones, have strength & courage never give up hope and have uncondtional love, and I find that inspiring.
Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:46 am
i dont think i am really the same person i was before my life changed to embrace caring for another person.my whole outlook,mindset etc has changed.
I was a paid carer
Posted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:05 am
I was a paid carer well before I became a father. Being a paid carer of very vulnerable older people, and people who were dying - transformed my life, and it brought out feelings I had never really experienced before, both positive and negative. But mainly positive and protective.
Becoming a father was just an extension of those feelings.
But becoming the father of a child with a major disability was a huge shock to the system, I never had any doubt where my duty lay, but I wasnt exactly thrilled by the prospect of being a carer for life.
So, I started to challenge my own prejudices and ignorance, and finally came to terms with the fairly radical idea that actually, parenthood/caring is about letting go, and having a child with a disability is no different from letting go of an aged parent, or even a normal child, or a lover with whom the once-magical bond has faded into silence: the greatest act of love is to prepare and implement a planned transition, not to cling on and on and on beyond all reason.
We are not dumb automatons condemned to hard labour and servitude for life. Only by ending one faded love with dignity can we create the deserved space for fresh new love to enter. The people we have yet to love are surely as deserving as the lovers we leave behind, do we not owe them a duty too?