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resignation/submission - Carers UK Forum

resignation/submission

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Morning all

It's been a couple of years since I was last on here - and I kind of thought that it was because I was coping better and things had gotten easier looking after my dad. However, I have come to the conclusion after some deep thought over the last few days - that it's not that at all - in fact things are worse - but somehow, unoticed, I have slipped into this place where I dont fight it anymore and am not even trying to have a life for me, I am resigned to just being ' dads carer' , have submitted to it and given up.

I suppose I am lucky that I at least recognise this and know its a bad sign and that I perhaps need to get some help for myself, but just wondered if others have gone through the same stage and if/how they got out of it?
Hi there and welcome back. You have come to the right place for support and company.
I recognise the feeling you describe. I had it too. And yes, it's a sign that you need help. Please go and talk to your GP as he/she is the person who is there for you.
The truth is that when we look after our parents it is unlikely to be forever - even though it feels like it at the time. You need to be able to have a life now and when your dad is no longer with you.
You have a right to your own life.
Jx
I echo Juggler's words!

I too, have 'submitted', and 'accepted' that I am now, like it or not (and it's 'not'!) my MIL's carer. I fought it for twelve months, ever since a year ago this autumn she phoned me to say she couldn't live on her own in Glasgow any more, and since then she has taken over my life. I've 'placed' her now in a home, but she still controls my life as I cannot make decisions about my life without thinking about their effect on her, etc etc etc (You know the drill - we all know the drill!)

That feeling of 'submission' is a horrible, beaten sort of feeling. Whenever I read stupid magazine artilces about how we are empowered, how we should take charge of our destiny, how we should plan our future, I get angry. I read one this morning about how we should ask ourselves what decisions we need to take now to get where we want to be in the next five years, and I wanted to chuck it out of the window! What idiot writes things like that? Not carers, that's for sure!

The sense of of 'submission' is, I strongly feel, a kind of 'brainwashing'. We've been 'transformed' into carers - 'transformed' from 'ordinary people' (the kind we used to be) into sort of 'zombies', with no will of our own (well, we have wills, we just can't follow them!).

I think, when it comes to caring for elders, what, to me, is THE most frustrating aspect is that yes, as Juggler says, it won't be for ever, we know it won't - but what we don't know is just WHEN it will stop? All the medical prognoses in the world aren't accurate - and my MIL is strong as an ox physically (she's not on a single med at 90!). So I know that the only 'safe' thing to do is assume she'll make 100 (or more!).

Maybe, though 'submission' is the best attitude to have? After all, if one is a prisoner, isn't it worse to be able to look out of a window at the world beyond, yet know you can't go out into it any more? Isn't it better not to have windows at all, and just get used to the cell?
babybyrd wrote:Morning all

It's been a couple of years since I was last on here - and I kind of thought that it was because I was coping better and things had gotten easier looking after my dad. However, I have come to the conclusion after some deep thought over the last few days - that it's not that at all - in fact things are worse - but somehow, unoticed, I have slipped into this place where I dont fight it anymore and am not even trying to have a life for me, I am resigned to just being ' dads carer' , have submitted to it and given up.

I suppose I am lucky that I at least recognise this and know its a bad sign and that I perhaps need to get some help for myself, but just wondered if others have gone through the same stage and if/how they got out of it?
It's interesting, I have often wondered what the difference is between resignation/giving up, and acceptance?

I've no advice to give, I'm afraid, I've knocked on every door, been down every road, approached it from every angle and I've never been able to access any kind of help or support. I gave up all hope of a life of my own a long time ago now. That might change if/when I get my son into a school that he can cope with, or once he's older and is living away from home. For me personally, unless someone else comes and looks after him, I just can't do much (which I think is often a problem most carers face). So I've no advice to offer, but do understand where you are coming from and hope someone can come along has some pearls of wisdom for you :)
MumWhoCares,

You're absolutely right about it also being acceptance, I suppose the way you describe it depends on your mood and state of mind at the time - a bit like half empty vs half full vases.

It does help to know that others have felt the same and can identify with my feelings

Thank you both
babybyrd wrote:MumWhoCares,

You're absolutely right about it also being acceptance, I suppose the way you describe it depends on your mood and state of mind at the time - a bit like half empty vs half full vases.

It does help to know that others have felt the same and can identify with my feelings

Thank you both
I never know quite which way to look at it. I've read a lot of self help books over the years (because I've been unhappy for a long time!) and they make a lot about accepting your life/situation etc and finding pleasure within it. Which is possible to do, and I do try and focus on the positives. But at the same time I find myself thinking, well, I'm 41, professionally qualified, I've worked my little backside off since I was 13 and the best I can say about my life is well at least we're not homeless or starving. Which is good, it's more than some people can say and I am grateful for it (as I am for other things) but in all honesty I don't feel happy or fulfilled and I do find myself wondering, well, what's the point of all of this? I think if I basked in some sort of 'aren't I a wonderful carer' glow and that made me feel amazing about myself that would be great, but I don't feel like that - I'm doing what most people would do for their child (or anyone else they love) and I mostly just feel knackered, lonely and fed up (however much I try to focus on the positives). So it is a funny one - if accepting means you stop trying to change your life for the better is that good or bad? Equally if you keep trying to change a situation that you can't change surely the frustration must be difficult to cope with?

You've presented a really interesting question, Babybyrd, that will be running through my head all day now! Do we accept and give in or keep fighting but maybe not get anywhere? I guess a lot of it depends on whether you have any energy or not? Today is feeling like a not energetic day so far :)
Following Jenny's comment:
'I think, when it comes to caring for elders, what, to me, is THE most frustrating aspect is that yes, as Juggler says, it won't be for ever, we know it won't - but what we don't know is just WHEN it will stop? All the medical prognoses in the world aren't accurate - and my MIL is strong as an ox physically (she's not on a single med at 90!). So I know that the only 'safe' thing to do is assume she'll make 100 (or more!).'

My wake up call came on Dad's 92nd birthday when he announced he thought he'd live to 100. I'd have loved him to...if he'd been in good health. But at the same time my heart sank. I did the maths and realised that would see me into my 60s and that I would have 'lost' MY 50s. I thought back to the lives my parents had when they were in their 50s and there was quite a difference. I was still at home with them but both sisters had flown the nest and the next generation was being born. My life? Single, childless carer...juggling my job and my life.

I miss Dad loads. I'm grateful for the time we had together as I got to know him in a way that I hadn't before but I also hated how resentful the caring made me feel. I was constantly feeling torn apart. I have my life back now and can do anything I want with it....and now I'm not sure what to do! Hey-ho!
babybyrd wrote:MumWhoCares,

You're absolutely right about it also being acceptance, I suppose the way you describe it depends on your mood and state of mind at the time - a bit like half empty vs half full vases.

It does help to know that others have felt the same and can identify with my feelings

Thank you both
Hi Babybyrd,

Welcome back.

I think you have summed it up well. For me personally, when S is going through a good patch and life is going relatively smoothly then I'm accepting. When he is unwell, anxious and challenging I'm resigned and wonder how long I'll manage and I want a life beyond what I've got.

I agree with Juggler, you should seek help.

Keep visiting the forum too, it's better to "talk" than bottle it up.

Melly1
Babybrd - you are not alone and I am going to send you a Viv type hug!

I know how you feel - there are times when I feel the whole world is against me. TG for Carers UK - I wake up in the middle of the night and toss and turn about how things have turned out. One person in particular has been making life difficult for me - I could make it official but then I think why? This person needs to get a life.

Thought for the day ' Network Rail got rid of a lot of its 'slam door' trains. Silly people - I used to see them arrive at the Station near where I worked, and if things were getting stressful, I wanted to run down to the Station, and then go from one end of the train to the other and SLAM EVERY B DOOR! It would have probably hurt my shoulder, arm, body etc BUT at least I could have released some tension.

Take care everyone

Love Viv
xx
Juggler, now that I've turned 60 myself, and my nephews and nieces are getting married, and my son is off at uni, and my older bro and older SIL are now 'retired', I increasingly feel that I am the 'older generation' now.

And I think that's part of my resentment at my 90 y/o MIL. That SHE is still being the 'older generation' and assumes I'm still the 'younger generation' who is going to look after her (she's not doing it consciously, I know, but it's what she assumes, I know, otherwise she'd stop relying on me so much!). (And obviously, in comparison with her, yes, I'm loads fitter - er, so far at any rate! - though, again, like your parents, I know for a fact my MIL was NOT looking after HER ancient parents/inlaws when she was my age - she was swanning around visiting friends in Spain and having solo holidays and visiting her grandchildren merrily!)

I feel that MY 'old age' and 'retirement' etc, are being stolen by someone who shouldn't be around any more, because they've HAD their retirement and old age,, yet here they still are, trying to keep me as the 'younger generation' dancing around them!

Although I don't envy the 'sandwich generation' at all, those who have school age children AND frail parents, in way, I can't help but think that if my son were still at school, I wouldn't mind my MIL so much, as my life always revolved around the school calender etc anyway. It's that I had a year of empty-nesting freedom - and then MIL arrived....(I'm sure she spotted a vacancy).

That said, in practice I'm sure it's actually easier knowing my son is virtually independent now, and I don't have to be the meat inside the sandwich. I'm just an open-topped Danish sandwich now I guess!

Apologies in advance to all those looking after children/young adults rather than elderly parents, as I feel that 'moaning' about my lot in comparison is very selfish....I know, just from reading your posts, how INCREDIBLY grateful I am that (at least for the moment) my son is healthy and capable of an indepedent life. I dont' mean to be tactless in that respect - apologies if I am.

PS Viv, if I need to 'discharge' I break pencils in half! They aren't too expensive, they snap very satisfyingly, and best of all, you can still use each half as a pencil!!!