[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
Carers UK Forum • The stress that comes from lying - Page 3
Page 3 of 11

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:53 pm
by crocus
Jenny, when I wrote "it would be better not to do it at all" I was thinking it would be best for both. I previously wrote that in this situation the relationship would become toxic - and I chose my phrase with care because it is a phrase that you have used on many occasions and I thought you would understand what I meant.

Having to look after someone and putting on a cheerful face when you feel like crying, forcing yourself to be patient when you want to scream and pretending that you havent heard all the stories before is part and parcel of caring. We are none of us saints or superwo/man and it can get to you, but we do it from love and because we want the best for our carees.

Im going to be blunt and I hope I dont offend you. I am really perplexed as to why you are so upset that people have replied saying that they think it would be better for someone else to care for your MIL as it is a course of action that you have expounded to others. You have said on numerous occasions that you hate having to look after her, that it stresses you out, that you dont love her (and she doesnt love you), that you dont get anything back from looking after her (and this seems to be important to you), that you dont want your end to be as your beginning (ie - being forced to look after someone else), that the old have had their life and they shouldnt live at the expense of the young.

You are now saying "So no, I don't think it would be better for my MIL if I refused to have anything more to do with her.

Question is - whose 'better', hers or mine (let alone her son's or mine!) takes precedence?"

So - is this a change of heart ? Or do you just not like the idea of failure? I really do hope that it is the former as if it is then there is hope that you will be "able" to become a carer - not just go through the motions.

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:01 pm
by crocus
Rosemary - that must have been an incredibly difficult post to write and thank you for sharing. Everyones position is different and there is nothing wrong with saying " No, I cant do it". I am facing the same problem with my mum - I really am unable to look after her as well as my hubby.

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:38 pm
by jenny lucas
Crocus - the question 'whose "better" takes precedence" is put into a Court of Moral Law, so to speak. Who 'should' (by that same court) make the sacrifice - the caree or the carer?

Because in this moral case, as in so many in the world, there isn't a 'win-win' - MIL can't have what she wants without my sacrifice, and I can't have what I want without her sacrifice.

So which of us should make the sacrifice, and why?

I think I hear the term 'human rights' emerging, thinking about it now. Does she have a moral right to my sacrifice, or do I have one to hers?

Maybe this is why the idea of 'caring for love' is so appealing - because it avoids/removes/dissolves, or at least minimises, the issue of sacrifice. When I was caring for my husband in end-stage, hospice at home, pretty gruelling physically (and obviously emotionally devastating), I would have made the efforts I made for him a million times more - because of my love for him, and for our son who was watching him die in front of his eyes. In that sense, love is no sacrifice...

(Would the S word have reared its head a lot higher had he been permanently invalided?....but that's something I hardly have to mention to you!)

(These last exchanges of ours could well go on the 'Duty of care' thread, so I'll try and copy them across!)

Difficult, difficult things, these....but probably what makes us human more than anything else....or perhaps, 'humane' rather....

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 2:49 pm
by Matt Hill
Carers UK’s values and history are built around the idea that we have much in common as carers, but we recognise and respect that each caring situation is different. I've been following this thread closely and I’m worried that some comments are trying to define what is and isn’t ‘caring’.

What Jenny is expressing in her posts, her frustration and resentment at the person she is looking after, is something Carers UK comes across a lot in the carers we meet and who call our adviceline. Often those feelings are not easily expressed. Often those feelings come with terrible guilt. But they are common to many carers. It's no coincidence that the most popular book about caring, the one that has resonated most with people, is called THE SELFISH PIG'S GUIDE TO CARING. (well worth looking up if you haven't read it, the title is ironic but makes a very real point)

On the other hand there are people who feel very differently about their caring. And there are people here who have found Jenny's experiences extreme, offensive even. We are all different and have different views. But I am concerned that anyone struggling with their emotions about caring, who perhaps identifies with Jenny, will see the reaction here and feel afraid to post.

The point of this forum (and of Carers UK) is to give a voice to everyone's experiences of caring. We want the forum to be a supportive environment where you can 'say the unsayable'. Instead of having to put on a brave face, you can come here and say what you wouldn't say to your family or the person you care for.

You might not always get a sympathetic reaction but you will be treated with respect. At the same time we hope that by coming across people with different views you can also gain different perspectives from the experiences of others. I am heartened by what Rosemary has posted and I think she has summed up very well, the benefit of being part of this online community.

A couple of other points this thread has raised -

“Giving advice" : Everyone on the forum is welcome to give advice and opinions, based on their experiences. We have some amazing expertise on here but what works for one might not work for another. It's up to us to decide if we accept or reject that advice. Carers UK does not check all the posts for legal accuracy, although if you see something that concerns you as being harmful advice then do let us know. The only official advice on the website is in www.carersuk.org/advice

"Foe function/Blocking people" : We all try to respect each other’s differences, but once in a while there are people whose views are so opposed to ours we cannot help but come into conflict. When you find those people on the forum, we ask that you consider a) ignoring them or b)use the Foe function, so you can avoid those people. That is what it is for and we encourage you to use it rather than keep banging heads with the same people.

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:47 pm
by Violet
Reading the first post in this thread I think you and MIL should have a frank and full conversation - she must surely sense your feelings of resentment towards caring for her but waiting for your suggestions regarding a workable solution. The ball is in your court of course, you have to decide!

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:06 pm
by rosemary
I'm glad you've been able to find another solution. To me, it sounds like you've quite enough to contend with as it is. (But then, from everything I've written on this forum, that's what you'd expect me to say, and I certainly do!).

My decision for this 4th person would have been same even if I was not caring for anyone else.

May I ask though, if the person you haven't taken on board for caring for yourself minds that you are not going to do so? Are they hurt and upset by it? Did they personally want you to care for them?

They would have preferred I do it yes. They are not hurt, as they know what my situation is anyways. I will carry on overseeing everything and still do some tasks, just not full time or alone..

I ask this, not to 'challenge' you, let alone, dear heaven, to 'contest' your decision, but simply as questions that I think get to the heart of this issue about caring, which I've put across into a new thread on what, if anything, is our 'duty of care' from a moral point of view.

Challenge/contest away Jenny, however I would have used the word Query Image I have no problems at all being asked questions. It took a lot for me to say NO and hopefully any lurkers reading, as well as members, can see what is possible when we do say it.

(Your situation is critically different from mine, morally, though, as you have only turned down this fourth person because you are 'full up' with caring already, and simply cannot take on any more caring, any longer - I'm only balking at caring because my nice comfortable, solo, indy do-what-I-want-when-I-want life is under threat!)

Being 'full up' was not the reason for my decision. I would have stretched myself further and attempted to care for a 4th person, had it been someone I wanted to care for. Already the judgements from others living round about here have started. They, and no one else, walks in my shoes though. So until they fully understand what it is like to provide full time care, they can go whistle.

I hope you enjoy your relief - to my mind it is ENTIRELY well-deserved!

Kind regards, Jenny Image

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:07 pm
by rosemary
Good to hear you're now getting the help you need Rosemary, best wishes for the future Image
Thank you.

x x

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:16 pm
by rosemary
Rosemary - that must have been an incredibly difficult post to write and thank you for sharing. Everyones position is different and there is nothing wrong with saying " No, I cant do it". I am facing the same problem with my mum - I really am unable to look after her as well as my hubby.
Only way to describe what I went through was I just hit a particular moment, and realised I was not doing anyone any favours by 'struggling on', including myself. I had a weeks holiday from work recently due to exhaustion. You just hit a point and that major decision has to be made.

I really hope you can find the strength to make your own decision when the time comes. Just remember, no one can say any of our choices are right or wrong. We weigh all our options, seek advice and support, then decide as best we can at any given time.

x x

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:32 pm
by jenny lucas
Rosemary, thank you for your reply. May I ask (yet another!) question of you? You say that the person was not upset, as they understood your reasons, and you also say even if you hadn't been 'full up' with other carers you still wouldn't have taken on this fourth person. But does this person think you only turned them down because you were full up? Or do they understand you wouldn't have taken them on anyway? If so, how did you justify your refusal to take them on? Did you just tell them 'No, I don't want to look after you'?

I'm curious how anyone manages to 'just say no' to someone who wants them to take care of them, when the reason is 'I don't want to as it's a nuisance/pain in the neck/an imposition on me/I'm a Selfish Pig' etc etc! (That book title is brilliant - I must definitely look it up!)

Wifey - oh, I have those conversations with her all the time! Trouble is, they're only in my head!!!! However, I have had the 'we each need our own space' conversation about why I can't have her live with me permanently (she agrees, though I'm not entirely sure she's taking that in!). And I've had the 'I can't keep driving 400 miles up the M6 all the time' - again, she agrees. But, in the meantime, until I can find sheltered accommodation near me, those endless drives up and down are going to continue - she simply can't live on her own now, and after two weeks her fridge is empty. Yes, I can get shopping delivered, but that isn't really the gating factor. The gating factor is that she sees no one and can't get out of the flat - she can hardly get to the rubbish bins two flights down (there was a large bag of rubbish waiting for me when I went up last). She is literally a prisoner in her flat. So that's why she alternates between the two weeks she can last on her own, and living at Hotel Granny with me. There literally is no where else to 'put' her right now, which is why I am so stressed over it all! I just desperately need somewhere close by to 'put' her - and that requires not just suitable accommodation (and near me is fiendishly expensive and very scarce)(either to buy or rent!), plus she has to 'buy into it' in terms of agreeing (she's said no to four places I found for her so far!). With spring coming, more is starting to come on the market, thankfully, so hopefully something will turn up. I'm on a waiting list for an affordable housing association bungalow, for which I'm crossing my fingers. Still not sure she'll 'accept' it - the whole thing about moving is 'challenging' (!) for her, as she's lived where she does for 30 years. She finds it hard to 'see' herself anywhere else - except with me! I know I have to 'force' the issue, and just 'tell' her that she's moving, and then actually do it - sign the lease or start the purchase process, but I do resent being 'dumped' with this! But there's no one else to do it except muggins here.

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:53 pm
by rosemary
Rosemary, thank you for your reply. May I ask (yet another!) question of you? You say that the person was not upset, as they understood your reasons, and you also say even if you hadn't been 'full up' with other carers you still wouldn't have taken on this fourth person. But does this person think you only turned them down because you were full up? Or do they understand you wouldn't have taken them on anyway? If so, how did you justify your refusal to take them on? Did you just tell them 'No, I don't want to look after you'?

Saying No was alien to me. Apart from caring through Love, I was brought up to help where help was needed. I dare say same applies to most here.

The person in question does know deep down I would not have taken it on full time had I no other responsibilities, and accepts that too. It was not a decision made lightly, it was openly discussed by most people involved and a few outsiders, who were looking in so to speak. I have not walked away though, still help with some tasks, shopping, washing, odd meals. Just not full time.


I have no reason to justify my decision to anyone, though some are trying to make me think I do. Image

I'm curious how anyone manages to 'just say no' to someone who wants them to take care of them, when the reason is 'I don't want to as it's a nuisance/pain in the neck/an imposition on me/I'm a Selfish Pig' etc etc! (That book title is brilliant - I must definitely look it up!)

I said no in this particular situation,as it was the best decision to make for all concerned.

.