Ready to quit caring - don't want to, but can't stand it :(

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
Thanks for the update, Lina.

It's ever so easy to ask for help and pretty easy too to offer it. It easiest of all to just listen to it. The hardest thing is doing something about it and you've done it!

It sounds like you know exactly where you are and where you are heading. I think that you've been incredibly brave and shown great strength and determination in getting to this better, happier place. Well done with your job and I would wish you luck with your PhD but somehow I don't think you need it. Image

Have a happy life with your son and I hope you are looking forward to Christmas (on your terms!).

XXX
Good result. I do hope you come back here more often to advise others. I have sometimes felt like the "bad boy" here for arguing that carers need to learn how to be more assertive, and yet that is based on my own experience of being squeezed between older and younger generations with very difficult needs and having to make a choice for my own sanity, but I have seen more than one carer fail to grasp the nettle and actually go bonkers, so well done.
Lina, I have just read this post with interest as I am at a stage where I think if things get worse, I am withdrawing from being a carer.I had to search on line to find out what my rights were. It is in fact the duty of the state to look after anyone over the age of 18 - regardless of how much pressure mental health services, doctors, others etc put you under.Little Lamb kindly raised my awareness around this issue - there seems to be the expectation that you continue to battle on even when you can't physically and mentally go on.
I met 2 carers this year who were driven to the edge .Both of them ( strangers to each other and on seperate occassions )had driven their caree to the hosp and left their caree there- and driven off.I hope I never do anything so drastic but I am now aware of what my rights and I won't be bullied into caring when it comes impossible.
Good news about your job and your turn around,
best wishes
B.x
Hi Lina

It is so strange that you had revisited your post and it had come into current posts just when I am experiencing similar high presssure tactics. I thought I was alone in my situation but apparently not. It seems so completely out of order that we carers do our best for the carees often to the detriment of our own health and yet we are targetted and abused by the very ones we are half killing ourselves to help!! It is not good that others are going through the same distressing things I face but I now have confirmation that I am not the only one. I was really worried that no-one would believe me if I spoke out.

Thanks for your honesty

Little Lamb
Well done to you Lina Image Image

Now nudge with your heels and gallop Image Image
Wow, barrowgirl and Little Lamb, it was so emotional to read your posts. When I posted again, I had no idea I might actually help someone from it - what a feeling!

There must be a burning question on your minds though:
"HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THE GUILT??"

Firstly, accept the guilt as a part of 'who you are', secondly, other people will have opinions, and thirdly, get a toolbox for weak moments:

This was the one, biggest, most monstrous hurdle when I broke off from my mother. She's instilled guilt in me since I was 6, maybe before, so it wasn't something that was just going to switch off.
I tortured myself over it - how can I live with myself, abandoning my own Mother, the woman who gave birth to me, fed me, read me bedtime stories ... etc? How can I live with the glances from neighbours who I presumed thought "how could she?"?

Well, the guilt is all still there - much less strong now, as I see the evidence of her coping well - much better, even - but it's there. And the way I look at it is like a part of me I can't change. I have blonde hair - I can dye it, but it's still there (maybe a tad greyer!). I am a certain height - I can wear high heels, but I can't change my height. I have guilt, it's a part of me, I can cover it over with a smile and a shrug, but it's there.

And as for the facts - okay, yes, she's my biological mother and yes, she has shown me many kindnesses, but she has also beaten me in public, humiliated me over the years, destroyed relationships, steamrollered my life and at the end, nearly sucked all the life from me, leaving nothing for my son! And as for neighbours? Yes, some were forming opinions - mostly relief to see me refuse to accept the behaviour they'd seen me receive!

And now, the opinions I sometimes get faced with, from the care workers or out-of-hours GPs that visit or even 'friends' of hers are, yes, sometimes, "why doesn't that daughter spend more time with her ailing Mother?". Mum particularly likes those people! Image She recently forwarded me an email she'd sent to a friend discussing an emergency doc that came out who was "shocked to the core that a daughter would treat a mother so cruelly"...!

But there isn't one judgemental face I see that doesn't subtly change when they spend a bit more time with her, reflecting a newfound realisiation of why this particular daughter doesn't run and jump any more.

Yes, I weakened at the weekend - she'd given me two whole compliments on the Friday visit, before dropping the bomb about Xmas and how terrible/unthinkable it would be to spend Xmas day alone, knowing how much she adores Xmas...! So back I came over here, to remind myself of where I was and WHY. This forum is part of my 'toolbox'.

The other thing I have in my arsenal against GUILT is a big file of emails, handwritten notes, letters, notes about police visits and social services calls - all proof of her craziness, hurtfulness and calculated attacks. They remind me of when the penny finally dropped and I realised her attacks were NOT her illness bubbling up randomly, but intentional, targetted and deeply thought out and directed at me.
Yes, her attacks were DRIVEN by her illness, but her disdain for me has always been there - so at what point do you stop excusing the 'illness' and start refusing the abuse?

Finally, the best bit of my toolbox are my closest friends - when I question my motives and feel bad again, they remind me of the times I was literally cowering behind my front door, shaking, if I saw my Mum back then. They ask me if I want to go back to self-medicating with alcohol and food to squash the dreadful feelings I had inside. They tell me how proud they are of where I am now.

So yeah, I still feel the guilt, not as badly as I did, but it's still there. And deep sorrow it couldn't have been another way - I was SO willing to give anything to help her, but SHE made it impossible. And in a way now, I feel I'm doing the best thing for her now, by living my life fully for myself - it's all I would want for my son, and what she 'should' want for her daughter. I'll just presume she wants that really, just on a deeper level, that doesn't show! Image

Sprinter and Scally, thanks also for your comments. I don't want to encourage carers to stop doing their amazing, thankless jobs, but I think when the lines between caring and abuse are so blurred, as was my case, it can be hard to see what life can be like if you walk away. It's by no means perfect, but it IS possible and the world didn't end when I did it.

Lina xxx

P.S. Myrtle - cross-posted! Ah, it's the heels is it? Whoo hoo! Image xxxxx
She recently forwarded me an email she'd sent to a friend discussing an emergency doc that came out who was "shocked to the core that a daughter would treat a mother so cruelly"...!
Classic, that sounds just like the sort of fabrication my own mother would come up with! Needless to say, neither I nor any of my five other siblings are exactly clamouring to take her on when the time eventually comes, and I have the advantage of being 350 miles away, yee haa !
Lina, I am well impressed with all you have achieved. Little wonder you have had no time to report back.

My Dad, for whom I do so much and would turn out in the night for him in a genuine emergency has been heard to tell GP locum that "nobody cares" about him. The doctor was astonished as I had just appeared in the back door with his dinners for the next week! Hardly a sign of his daughter neglecting him. He bruises very easily and we have had to give him a telling off for blaming the homecarers. He winks as he says it, but folk don`t always pick up on that.

Christmas is a while off yet, time for you to devise a good plan on your terms.

Keep up the good work....as we say in Caithness "people who know me know better, people who don`t know me don`t matter".... use that for the moaning minnies.

Take care
Meg
Wow, I have just read your story.

Well done.

It sounds like you, your son and even your Mum have all benefitted from your brave stance to claim back your own life.

Melly1
My situation is similar, but my mum isnt that cruel to me, which makes me feel even more guilty that i want to walk away. Shes demanding, rude and expects me on call 24/7 even when she is in hospital or un respite. BUT she doesnt have much mental control or capacity. So i feel mean. But two nights ago i thought i was somehow going to tip over the edge into real insanity. I was crawling on the floor, unable to get up. My head was going to explode. All the calls, appointments, assessments, visits, family questions, caring- ENOUGH! i try to step back but social workers and carers have been useless, so if i step back my mother will be f**t unless i keep on top of things. Put into the mix an abusive sibling who is ignoring the police who have told him to leave me alone...
Everyone ecpects me to be a robot. Caring 24/7 while my brothers live their great lives, jobs. Im just expected to do everythibg. My mother is fadibg fast though- this last week she was in ITU. was trying to get a power of attorney done as she has a mortgage but will need a home soon. But she seems to have lost her power of speech after this week. Such a complicated condition- mobility, hearing, sight problems. Epilepsy- that cannot be controlled- 10 hospitalisations this year! And now increasing dementia. After she got ill, 20 years ago with a brain tumour she has treated me like cr@p. Kicked out at 16. Whereas my abusive brother stole her disability benefits to buy drugs and hes a saint. A saint who hasnt visited her for months. Yet im the one who's life is on hold and new marriage is at risk.
Longest ramble ever. Duribg which ive had texts asking for updates on mum and a call from hosp. Why cant i have ONE day off while shes in hospital???? Why???? Should i chuck my phone away? Ha ha