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The stress that comes from lying - Carers UK Forum

The stress that comes from lying

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105 posts
Thinking about the stress of caring, it came to me that a substantial part of my stress is the lying I have to do. It's because, when my MIL is with me, I have to live a lie. I have to lie to her in the sense that I can't tell her how stressful it is to have her with me, how terrified I am that this whole carer situation will go on for years and years and years, how much I simply don't want her living with me, don't want to be responsible for her, don't want to look after her, don't want to have to change anything about my life to accommodate her.

I have to lie all the time she's here - I have to smile lyingingly to her in the morning, and be lyingly cheerful and nice, and lyingly jolly and lyingly smile as I ask her what she'd like for lunch today, and whether her hotwater bottle needs heating up, and whether she'd like another cup of tea, etc etc etc.

I have to lie and lie and lie.

Because telling her the truth about how much I can't bear to be her carer, how much I just want her to GO AWAY, would be just unbearably cruel and vicious (and pointless, since there isn't anyone else to be her carer anyway....)

So it isn't just the pain in the neck nuisance of having to look after her, it's not being able to tell her how much I hate having to do it.

Hmm, who knows, maybe she's lying too. Maybe she hates having to be with me, but it's just a bit less worse than being on her own 400 miles away unable to get out of her flat any more.......maybe she's lying as she smiles and is nice to me, which she unfailingly is, and wishes me to perdition.
PS - just wanted to point out - I used to enjoy her visits when she wasn't reliant on me. So it's not her company that I hate - it's the amount of time I have to spend with her, and the having to look after her for the rest of her life.

It dawned on me, from something someone else posted a while ago (sorry, can't remember who!), that from now on, until she dies (or goes into care), EVERY SINGLE MEAL SHE EATS, whether with me, or in her breaks at home when I fill up her fridge for her, will have to be thought about and supplied by me. EVERY BLOODY MEAL.
There is an alternative. It is called a nursing home, and it isn't failure, it is a positive choice. Are you a feminist, or a doormat?
Jenny, if this is TRULY the bottom line, meaning how you fundamentally feel .... Then I have no option but to agree with the gentlemens responses.You are entitled to feel as you do but you would be a fool to yourself if you tried to live a lie.

My other, actually my Primary concern is your caree. If this is how you feel then you are NOT the best option for her remaining life. You owe her honesty nothing else. And you owe yourself honesty too.

You frequently say that the elderly have "had their life". My answer to that is No they have
NOT. Life is not over until the last breath. And the last years are as important for each of us as any other years. Every day is precious.

Forget about wearing the carers badge. Find other things to do with your own life.
No shame in accepting the truth for yourself.

(I only care ,24/7 until comparatively recently, moderately heavy end of caring, dealing with life threatening crises on approx weekly basis for a out thirty years) because I CHOSE to do so and I have never regretted doing what I do. I am lucky that I care for someone I passionately love. Without that love I too would have walked away.....and had no shame in doing so.
SR - I've posted elsewhere that I'm painfully aware that one of the reasons I'm so keen to advise others, and urge them not to do too much caring, is that I feel so disempowered in my own situation!! So, yes, I'm very aware of that irony...I'm doing 'transference' or whatever that psych thing is, when you try and solve other people's problems because you can't solve your own! (I'm sure there's an accurate psych term for it, there's usually one for everything!)

DR - oh dear, if the only people who were carers were the ones who wanted to be carers, there wouldn't be many of them! Yes, there would be some, I've always acknowledged that - and I would take my hat off to them (eg, you!) to salute their sacrifice - only, of course, it isn't such a sacrifice for them as it is for the unwilling carers!

Are old people's lives over? No, of course not - they can live as long as they want, they have every right to! What they don't have a moral right to is to keep living at the expense of other people, that's my objection. (If the other people are happy to care, and indeed, get something valuable from the relationship, which I'm sure is the case with many many sons and daughters caring for the parents they love, then of course there is no 'expense' incurred)(or massively less than when there is no reciprocity.)
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I'm sure there's space for all of us here, with widely differing views, and I wish you well in yours, and how you deal with your own situations.

So, anyway, lets see if this blanking policy of mine works. I don't want to leave the board, and I don't see why I should, but I don't want to read posts that get at me, and if mine are taken as getting at others, then they can always blank me too!

I always try and keep things friendly, but I'm no one's whipping girl.
If you really feel like that about your mil then sorry, but you shouldn't be doing it. For her sake if not for yours.
Nobody wants to become a carer. We all want our children to be born 'perfect', our partners to be whole and healthy, our parents to be active and mentally alert and everything in our garden to be rosy.
But life doesn't work like that.
According to your way of looking at things I sacrificed my life. I didn't sacrifice anything, I chose. I'm not saying it was easy, it wasn't, but I don't regret the choices I made.
We are only responsible for our own lives unless we choose to be responsible for someone else's life too. There are always alternatives and sometimes we choose to do something we'd rather not as it's preferable, in our eyes, than the alternatives. But we still choose.
And you can always choose to change your mind.

However smilingly you do it, with all that anger and resentment bubbling underneath, what makes you think she doesn't, at some level, know it's there? What if she feels as trapped as you do and that it's not worse for her because you chose to become responsible for her and she feels she has no choice but to do as you say or risk you letting that anger out?
I will add my bit whilst trying to keep an open mind and see the problem from both sides. I do what I do because of the overwhelming love I had for my dear late Dad and now my very confused Mum. However that does not stop me on really bad days from being able to see where Jenny's posts are coming from. We all know dealing with old folk can be a very demanding task. Today I took my very confused Mum (she prefers that term to demented Image ) to the chiropodist. We finally got to this appointment after a morning of "Oh I really do not want to go" to which I replied "if you feel poorly then I can quite understand why you would not want to go but if its just that you can't be bothered perhaps you should have a rethink and think about all the dears out there who would love to go and get their tootsies pampered if they had someone who would make the appointment and then ferry them to it and then back to the comfort of a nice warm home" - she had a think and said "I don't feel poorly but its cold and wet and I'm being a bit selfish aren't I of course I'll go I can always put my warm scarf and coat on" Now my dear Jenny this is a good day, I have done everything at my Mums from the start of today in that she has had her breakfast put before her, lunch before her appointment and her tea prepared ready for me to go back and give her at tea time. The only thing she has had to do is lift her feet so I could vac underneath them Image On a bad day she can get very distressed which leads to anger and then she gets really stroppy and nasty,of course this is fuelled by her fear of not being able to remember things, on these days I try to switch off from the nastiness and think " does she really want to be like this and of course the answer that comes back is no of course she doesn't. Bad days leave me feeling very taken for granted and that leads to me feeling very sorry for myself. Mind you I have to say this is my Mum & My Late Dad, I'm not altogether sure that I would have the same total commitment to my In Laws - I would like to think I would but am honest enough to say I'm not sure I could do for my Mum In Law like I do for Mum and my MIL is a really lovely lady.
We all have very different views and I love this forum so very much because it has helped me so much on the bad days but bad feeling between is us can never do any of us any good. We should respect each others views even if we do not agree with them and to revert to nastiness is not going to help anyone - I truly hope I haven't offended anyone Image
Blocking people isn't a bad strategy when people get consistently up your nose: the main problem is that you then cant read when they have written something interesting. I personally rarely block people I disagree with, I only block people who keep on posting the same thing again and again, because it makes for boring reading.
"To care or not to care"?: always tricky: my view is that all caring has some drudgery in it, but if you can't feel any joy in your heart at all, then you are in the wrong job.
I feel I really must reply to this, and Jenny, I suspect that I will be blocked after this too.
I can feel your anger about your situation and it comes through (in varying degrees) in every single post that you write. You are obviously not coping with the level of dependency your MIL now requires - I get the feeling that you are intensely unhappy in your situation and do not like any of the alternatives.
It dawned on me, from something someone else posted a while ago (sorry, can't remember who!), that from now on, until she dies (or goes into care), EVERY SINGLE MEAL SHE EATS, whether with me, or in her breaks at home when I fill up her fridge for her, will have to be thought about and supplied by me. EVERY BLOODY MEAL.
Yes, my dear, that is exactly what caring means. Even if she moves into sheltered accommodation near you, you will be the one to to organise her care workers, order her shopping, make sure her pills arrive, remind her about appointments (and probably take her to them too) until she dies or goes into care.
Welcome to the world of caring.

Not everyone is able to care and if you cant then it will quickly become toxic for both you and your mum. As you have been so quick to point out to others, the only way you can avoid this is by her going into a care home. If that has to happen there is no shame in it.
105 posts