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Carers UK Forum • The stress that comes from lying - Page 8
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Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:32 am
by Dancedintherain
Totally understand wifey.

Ar the risk of being crude....there was a time....many years ago ...when I was curious and intrigued by em, er, what was in my mans (now my husband) trousers.
Knowing what I do now ....
I think I have said enough. if it sounds flippant ... Sorry... Not meant to be so.

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 10:37 am
by Dancedintherain
AND , let none of us forget the carees feelings and dignity. This is our role as carers.....
To IMAGINE ourselves in THEIR situation.

How private do we like to keep our own "bits and bobs"? I imagine we all like to keep them to ourselves.

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 12:33 pm
by Tristesa
I am coming late to this discussion because I have been away from home, and I haven't even read all the posts, so I hope I shall be forgiven if I repeat something.

Jenny's initial post seemed to me to be honest and courageous, and to express an extreme of stress with which we can all, surely, sympathise. There are so many different situations, as we all know, but two things in particular can define how hard a situation is: the natural talents and abilities of the carer, and the nature of the underlying relationship between the carer and the patient. We can misjudge people quite seriously when we don't know those details, admiring and respecting them for doing things that we find terribly hard, but that they don't, or criticising them for failing to do things that we can manage quite well, but that they, with the best will in the world, find overwhelming.

Some people simply do have more interest in and aptitude for caring and nursing than others. People voluntarily and deliberately study and train to become nurses (thank heavens for them!), but for me, nursing as a profession would be totally unthinkable, if only because I am so intensely revolted and disgusted by human excreta of any kind. I am not so bothered by blood, but having to deal with even a urine-soaked incontinence pad made me heave (literally) and probably sent my already dodgy blood pressure sky-rocketing, and I can hardly bear to type the word 'vomit' because it upsets me so much. I know nobody likes to have to deal with these matters, but honestly, it really is harder for some people than others. A clearing-up task that would be simply an unpleasant chore for person A might represent a Herculean effort for B, requiring real courage and determination. When I was in intensive care after major surgery a couple of years ago, the thing above all else that made me genuinely want to die was the fact that at first I had no control over my bowels, and nurses would have to clean me up... I minded so desperately that it brings me out in a sweat to think about it even now. The shame and humiliation I felt was beyond description.

The other major thing: parents; children; lovers; friends; acquaintances; strangers. Our feelings are naturally different for all these classes of people. The lengths to which we will go to do things that we find overwhelmingly difficult (from everyday chores with no let-up, to intimate or repulsive matters) depends on the closeness and nature of the relationship. Someone who can just about face putting their own life on hold and/or carrying out unspeakable tasks for a person they love deeply may just not feel able to do those things for someone whom they like, but do not love, let alone for someone with whom they feel no real emotional connection of any kind.

By last autumn, I was finding full-time caring for my husband more than I could bear. I loved, and still love, him (or at least, I loved the man he was, who is gradually disappearing as the dementia erodes his mind, his memories and his character), but the caring role was itself changing my feelings for him. I can be much warmer, more patient, more loving, when I visit him now in the home than I was when he was in the house all the time.

In Jenny's case, it seems to me that her mother-in-law is a person whom she liked, but did not love, and her resentment at devoting her whole life to her is beyond what the relationship can bear. I think it is important that we can express these feelings here without being criticised. Honesty matters.


Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 5:45 pm
by jenny lucas
"In Jenny's case, it seems to me that her mother-in-law is a person whom she liked, but did not love, and her resentment at devoting her whole life to her is beyond what the relationship can bear."

Sums it up precisely! Thank you.

I know the topics gone off on other things (that are important to discuss), but I really wouldn't think that I'm that unusual in finding it stressful to put a 'good front' on all the time, even in the most 'wanted' caring situations! Trying to be cheerful and upbeat and positive and encouraging, when we don't feel like that - either because we don't want to care, like me, or we are exhausted, or worn down, or desperately need a break, or are just stricken with grief at the deterioration in someone we love - is, to my mind, stressful.

We have to 'live a lie' when we behave with that kind of 'pinned on smiley face' and living a lie is not easy or pleasant. It takes its toll.

(That said, the last couple of days have been easier- not sure why, just are. Funny how the 'stress curve' works!)(Maybe offloading here really helped!!!)

I think, too, the second issue I raised must also be shared with others - it's that moment when you 'suddenly realise' that caring is 'not just for Christmas but for life'....that we only escape with the death of the caree....(and in that sense, I'm lucky, because it isn't my mother who will die). And maybe, too, it is not just the general statement 'You'll be a carer for the rest of their life..' but the minutae of it. Like I say, it was reading on another post someone (so sorry, can't remnember who) that their caree will never eat another meal that hasn't been provided by someone else (carer or care home).....something like that really, really, to my mind, rams home the realisation that the caree is now 'dependent', that without looking after, they will, quite brutally, die of starvation....

(PS - just to say, re my BIL, there really isn't much he can do, other than offer 'some money' - alas neither of us has a spare half a million to put MIL in the luxury flat down the road which would be 'ideal' for her! How could he move back to Scotland, or move her to the USA? He's also, thank goodness, very appreciative of what I do)(unlike MIL, who seems not to have a clue really....sigh.)

Anyway, thank you for all your responses on this subject - much appreciated!


Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Sun Feb 16, 2014 6:01 pm
by Duncaring
Hi Jenny

I actually moved to provide the care. My parents were city people and I never was. I moved to the most rural area you could ever imagine - in fact they call it the edge of the world - I came back to the city after 7 years of floating (literally) between the two areas. I have now been in the city for 14 years in June this year. I am not happy here and I am too tired to do much about it.
I have health issues and I have to attend the same hospitals as I had to take my parents to or visit them as in patients. I find that stressful and distressing.
Could the brother in law not come over for say 4 weeks and give you complete peace of mind that mother in law is cared for and you have the time to yourself.


Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 1:48 am
by Melly1
Jenny, this is a very long thread and I haven't read all of it.

I agree that if you feel as trapped as you do by having to pretend every minute of everyday, it is neither good for you or your MIL.

You say how previous to caring for your MIL, you enjoyed her, company and I think there is a good chance that this would be the case if she was in a care home and you were just visiting occasionally and not caring for her too.

You really need to talk to her properly about this, because as you say, you don't know what she's thinking and maybe she is pretending too.

I feel trapped sometimes too. I do love S but my love for him traps me. His needs are complex and I think I would/will find it very hard to pass his care onto anyone else: because he has poor communication skills he needs folk who are able to interpret his behaviour etc as an indication of how to respond to and manage his various health needs. Despite his communication he communicates with me more and better than anyone else. He gets very anxious when staying away from home, and it's unlikely he'd ever choose to move out. In yet, I cannot care for him indefinitely...I can see no happy ending at the moment.

I think you should at least look at other options and discuss them with your MIL. The very act of doing so might make you feel more pro active and less trapped.


Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 2:01 am
by SheWolf
Tristesa: [quote]...two things in particular can define how hard a situation is]

Very well put, Tristesa. I once spoke to a carer who told me that she gets more stressed by doing shopping for her clients, than wiping their bottoms, because it involves recording payments and checking the change and she's not good with figures so gets really nervous about it. Her words were "I'd rather wipe a sh***y bottom any day!" I'm the opposite, I'd much rather help someone keep their household bills/paperwork in order than do bottom wiping - hell, I don't even like wiping my own bottom! Image I'm also vomit phobic, partly because I very rarely puke - in fact, I've only done it 4 times in my whole life and remember each occasion vividly, with true horror. So, I've a lot of respect for anyone who takes all that stuff in their stride.

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:53 am
by jenny lucas
I agree -I'm much happpier with paperwork, or indeed 'chores' like doing the laundry etc. What I can't stand is 'wasting my time' sitting watching daytime TV, or going round the supermarket wiith MIl very very very slowly....

I was the same with baby-care - I was much happier 'getting things done' like pureeing a months' worth of food, or washing out nappies etc, than actually spending any time being bored out of my mind with a small baby!

I absolutely can't bear having my time wasted.....drives me bonkers!

She wolf - theres a technical term for vomit-phobia I encountered once, but can't remember what it was!

Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 7:50 pm
by Tristesa
Emetophobia. It can be quite debilitating, like all extreme fears. If I think that anyone in my vicinity might be about to be sick, I go into panic mode, hyperventilating, and desperate to get away, WELL away...

Oddly, I can cope much better with animal (dog/cat) vomit than with the human variety. Just as well. I am also terrified of vomiting myself, even when at home and able to get to the lavatory in good time. I disgust myself so much that I feel an intense level of self-hatred.


Re: The stress that comes from lying

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2014 9:15 pm
by SheWolf
Same here Tristesa. We once had an elderly cat that used to puke nearly every day and cleaning that up didn't bother me too much, but human vomit has that awful smell... just awful!