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Carers UK Forum • does it change you?.
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does it change you?.

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:16 pm
by Maxi
i wonder if id be as left leaning as i seem to have now become had it not been the case i was a carer?.im unsure.i wonder if you have become different in your political social religous views since becomming a carer?.are you harder softer,much the same?.does care change our outlook?.

I think experience often changes

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:44 pm
by BertieBear
I think experience often changes our outlook, and what an experience caring is!
I think often people hold strong views depending on what they've experienced, so those who have had a wide range of experiences often (but definitely not always) have more open minded and equal views and those who have experienced only a very, very narrow margin of life and have only ever lived one way can probably find it difficult to understand other ways of life or situations... But this is a generalisation.

I think caring gives you the experience of being one of the many groups of people who are massively misrepresented in the media and looked down on by a lot of the public, and it often gives you the experience of dealing with the arbitrary nature of the system. In dealing with our injustice and misrepresentation it can also open our minds to the injustice that others face and we aren't so quick to believe what the media tells us. But I also think that being in many other situations will change your experience and therefore your outlook...

Just some thoughts buzzing around my head as I wonder whether or not I should get off my rump and actually tidy the house...
Blaugh! I should go to bed. I'm just getting cranky Image sorry

Oh yes it changes you I'm

Posted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:45 pm
by daylily
Oh yes it changes you
I'm cynical, mistrusting (especially NHS), hard and I don't particularly like myself any more.

Yes, but its hard to

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:26 am
by Scally
Yes, but its hard to say how much of that change is down to caring, and how much to other things. I think my work-life balance is better. I am still struggling with the conflict between my needs and the needs of others, but generally I think that I am a better, wiser and kinder person due to caring for 20 years.

Interesting. I would like to

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:14 pm
by Lil r
Interesting. I would like to concur that going through more experiences, such as caring makes you more broad minded or more empathetic but sadly I'd don't think this is always true. I think if it is in you, caring will magnify it, but all too often people just don't learn from their journey. I also think, even though it would be lovely to believe we have all now realised the important things in life and shaken off the rest and have a greater perspective etc, we are still all only human. I for one find I am still let down by sweating the small things and losing that 'higher' perspective I have gained. Essentially the benefits and negatives come and go and my overriding core personality still exists, just as before. Call it soul, if you will. Ever present, ever hardy.
Ony a few things I seem to have noticed have changed most prominantly:
1. I spend alot more on stuff and I don't care. I can say now, it is only money and it is secondary. I say that knowing full well I can afford it, I am living within my means, but you get the idea. There is more of a f$ck it element in my brain these days.
2. It is easier to cry and to feel and realise the magnitude of people's stories. I always think what is behind it all, now more than ever
3. I am more angry and irritated by many things, particularly the NHS, but wider reaching than that and I hate this. I can see what daylily is saying.

Yes it does. For the

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:28 pm
by BertieBear
Yes it does. For the better.
I am grateful that myself and most of the wider family (which is a Very large one) are healthy.
I hope and believe that i am correct in saying that since my caring started I am more considerate of anyone in need of care and for those who care for them.
I am acutely aware of how precious and how short life is.
Therefore, despite the normal ups and downs which Everybody faces, carers or not, I see the beauty in life and the uselessness of stressing and whinging about anything and everything which pops up now and then.
Caring, on the whole, has given me a sense of purpose and a sense of proportion.

Yep, even on the particularly bad days - this is what i truly believe.
Wow! Nice post and well put. I'm glad you see things the way you do.

Also, following on from what littlerachet wrote, I had some thoughts...
I think that a lot of the 'normal' (i.e. not being a carer) lifestyle seems to focus a lot on material things. As if you have to work to 'own' loads of things and you have to have the regular holidays somewhere sunny and that, basically, your life has to go a certain way. I think there are a lot of misconceptions as to what we are 'supposed' to care about in our lives. Often people and family don't rank all that high but when you're a carer I think it forces you out of that lifestyle and kinda makes you face other things and makes you realise that you can live without a lot of the 'normal' lifestyle choices and that what really matters are the people around you. I guess in a way caring takes us out of the mainstream, and I think the mainstream can keep people in a kind of tunnel vision so, again in general, caring can make you re evaluate things.

Personally I don't feel that it's changed me at my core - I think I'm the same as I was and always will be - but I think caring has scraped off a layer of... I dunno... Superficiality? Not that I consider myself to be all that superficial, but I'm not sure of the right word right now... It'll come

I should have explained more

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:55 pm
by daylily
I should have explained more but I am so angry most of the time.
I was leaving hubby when he had his stroke- after 20years with an alcoholic I had finally given up trying. He had the stroke because of the drinking.
I don't 'love' him in the marriage sense but I do care very very deeply for him and always will.
The NHS- You've all seen the adverts F.A.S.T for strokes well hubby was on a trolley in the corridor for 3 hours before being put in a cubicle-another hour before a Doctor came because he was dealing with a druggie who had been pushed over by his girlfriend-had a sore knee! When he came out of the specialist hospital he was sent to the local one for rehab where he was seriously neglected, and sexually abused.
I slept on a chair next to him one night (8weeks post hip replacement) because I was so afraid for him.
Tried to get explanation and apology from hospital for nearly 2 years before giving up because it was affecting my own health badly
How much damage could have been prevented during that 3 hours on a trolley? He's seriously disabled and severely sight impaired and I'm angry- can't help it and can't stop it.
I have limitless patience with him and have never done anything to make him think he is in anyway a burden. Actually I am surprised how much patience I do have.
I think and try to treat him with respect but I'm angry!!!!!!
Thank you for reading this rather long post.

Daylily - no wonder you

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:13 pm
by thel31
Daylily - no wonder you are angry!! and have every right to be. It is wonderful what you do for your husband - maybe it isn't romantic love but I cannot think of a better kind of love than the devotion and care you give him every day.

Daylily - no wonder you

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:44 pm
by daylily
Daylily - no wonder you are angry!! and have every right to be. It is wonderful what you do for your husband - maybe it isn't romantic love but I cannot think of a better kind of love than the devotion and care you give him every day.
He is a lovely man- very easy going and easy to please. It's just very tiring because he has quite a few mental issues re memory, language, speech, understanding and he is begining to lose his grip on reality.
He does however say he's happy which, as far as I am concerned, means I'm doing my job right.
Thank you for your kind reply

Being a carer I think

Posted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:47 pm
by delboy
Being a carer I think changes your life , you go from one exstream to another , things you used to do and the places you visit now take a lot of planning . carers are a body of special people , and dare I say not everybody can do because it affects thier life style all I say to them is you can become a carer over night . we care not because we want to do it , we care for the person that we love and we take the whole package that goes with it , there are days when I think why!!! but then I think there is nobody else , members of the family to busy with thier lifestyel so much so they dont even phone . What I have learnt in the army for 12 years has stood me in good stead to do the carering role , as certain things one had to do ones self , planning and so forth , I enjoy being a carer the only thing that upsets me is not being respected and the comments about benefits , I know if these people did our job they would not last an hour . So my friends hold your head up high we are the backbone of this country , one day we will be honoured to the fact . Image Image