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The stress that comes from lying - Page 10 - Carers UK Forum

The stress that comes from lying

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.
105 posts
Tilly, hi - Jenny here, and it was me who started the thread. I haven't gone back to read my original 'starter post', but just wanted to tell you that I'm different from the majority of carers here, as my caree is my mother-in-law, not my mother. It does make a significant - possibly critical - difference in my attitude, and perhaps says something very revealing about 'human nature' (or perhaps just about my nature ha ha!).

If my caree were my own mother, whom I loved dearly, even though she had a lot of mental health problems, and boy was she a handful when I was younger, and yes, she put a lot of 'stuff' on my brother and me that was difficult and put burdens of responsibility on us that I don't personally think children or young adults should have to bear (both my mum and my dad were pretty 'helpless' in the face of their problems, and turned to me and my bro to shelter them...), but despite all that I know my attitude towards her was markedly different from my attitude to my MIL.

I'm fond of my MIL, she was a brilliant MIL for decades and I couldn't be more grateful, but I don't love her. There is a degree of compassion, more than just for 'someone on the street' say, but there are no 'heartstrings' really. I know she is my (late) husband's mother, and we have her son in common, and her grandson/my son, and she is 'family' etc etc,BUT it just isn't the same as a blood relative like my own mother.

And that's why my role of being her carer is so difficult for me to bear. It's why i feel I have to 'lie' to her, because I have to hide from her how much I don't want to care for her, how much I resent being the only person who gets landed with her (her other son is in the USA, and despite being involved remotely, can't actually do any of the caring!), and I bitterly resent the fact she's made 90 and now is my 'responsibility' to look after until the day she dies....

I don't wish her ill, just the reverse, but since the only way she can have the life she wants now is by me NOT having the life I want, that sets out a very, very difficult path for me. Unlike most carers, I get nothing out of caring for her, other than knowing I'm doing the 'decent thing' and a sort of resigned, weary glad-for-her-sake that she is not as badly off as she would be if I were to simply walk away from her....

To me, there really is no 'upside' of having to care for her, because there is no love holding me to her (or vice versa, to be truthful, nor would I expect her to love me).

I also know that a major, MAJOR element of my resentment is that she won't (can't!) say thank you to me! She has gone into second childhood, and apart from saying 'thank you' when I get her a cup of tea, etc etc, has utterly no notion of how my entire life has been turned upside down and given up for the last six months dedicating myself to her wellbeing. Her 'ingratitude' really, REALLY pxxxxes me off! And I know with my head it's not 'deliberate' or 'selfish' - she just doesn't have the mental capacity any more to appreciate what I do for her.

So, all of that is a very longwinded way of saying why I find it stressful to 'lie' to her with endless cheerfulness and solicitude and cossetting and waiting on her hand and foot and never breathing a word of how I JUST DON'T WANT TO DAMN WELL DO IT!!!!! (But if I don't, no one else will, because there is no one else to care for her, or about her....)

By contrast, when I was caring for my husband, it was completely different! I never lied for a moment! And that was because I loved him, and he loved me - and that makes ALL the difference I feel!

So, if that is the situation with yourself and your carer, I do hope that reassures you! And remember, too, something that is grim, but true. My caree is 90 years old - I'm a generation younger. She has HAD her life - I haven't yet had mine! You have not yet had yours, either, which is why, brutally, your life is more 'valuable' than hers - she has already had the years you are having now....the years I am having now....so, in that sense, because she is so old, I could say she is being 'greedy' in wanting to go on enjoying even more years, at the expense of my life.....(she'd be entirely welcome to live to a hundred and ten if she wanted, providing she did - or anyone! - didn't do it only at the expense of someone else giving up their life to look after her!)

Please, please don't be upset by this thread. You are fighting a battle that is taking a strength that others don't have to find, and I wish you all, ALL the very, very best!

Remembering my time as a carer for my husband, I suspect the only 'lie' your carer may be keeping in his head is his fear for you in your battle....that was the only thing I ever tried to hide....

With kindest wishes, Jenny
PS - just wanted to say there's quite a lot I don't mind doing for my MIL at all, and even, indeed, enjoy doing (I'm even enjoying watching Emmer and Corrie and Poirot etc!), that causes no stress to me at all. What stresses me out is having to look after her on a sustained and continued basis, having her living with me (which she isn't doing constantly, and if she were to do so, is my uber-nightmare!). I'm perfectly happy to have her live nearby (that's what I'm trying to sort out now) and/or having her with me for, say, one week a month, or something manageable that didn't mean me having to 'stop' my life whenever she is here, and turn my house into her 'hotel'! I enjoy her as a 'houseguest' but not a 'permanent lodger'.
Jenny, at least your MIL has done you one favour recently, making you watch Corrie! Image I've been addicted to Corrie for years. My favourite character at the moment is Peter Barlow - I've loved watching him juggle his complicated love life, then watching Steve Mc get dragged in to the whole sorry mess, while Peter gets away with it all, by the skin of his teeth! Steve Mc makes me laugh so much! You'd think that Peter would know better than to keep playing with fire, after all, he is a convicted bigamist! Image

On another note, Jenny, do you realise that you're constantly explaining and restating your position on many threads? I don't mean that nastily, I just think that maybe you have a habit of trying to defend yourself, and explaining your decisions, when there really is no need. You could always redirect newbies to your earlier posts, if you'd like them to understand your situation a little better, which would give you time to do something more enjoyable (like reading up about Peter Barlow's previous misdemeanours!). Image
Lol Scally I am with you on that one, I ask Sarah what she has done at college and get told she cant remember!
M tries that one too, but saying he can, t have tea until he tells me seems to have a very positve effect on his memory!!
Jenny I promise I am not an do not an never will judge anyone. I think your post an what you said in it was honest !!...at first I was shocked but within seconds your post had me thinking. " Gosh this person is honest and very brave ".

Please forgive my response . Put my response down to morphine induced insensitivity!!!


Tilly x
Good lord, Tilly, don't even talk about saying sorry yourself! This forum is quite 'brutal' in many ways, as it's where 'the masks come off', and that can be, I quite understand, quite shocking for other carers, let alone carees. I would never want my MIL to read what I write here - even I have my limits on 'brutality'! I've shocked a lot of carers here with my attitude, especially those who dearly love their carees, and who find it horrible to read of someone who is 'forced' by 'human decency' (and little more) into caring for an elderly person. But, again like many here, I think this forum is a 'safer' place to vent my frustration and anger and resentment (etc etc etc!) than in the 'real' world.

SW - yes, maybe I (or indeed, everyone?) should have a little 'all about my situation' section where I could just refer anyone to. In fact, what would be a great idea, to my mind, is to copy what I've seen on cancer forums. At the bottom of every post made, irrespective of subject, is a quick 'resume' of the poster's situation - eg 'Carer for husband who has xxx cancer with xx mets, diagnosed in xxxx' so everyone knows where they are coming from when they read their posts on a subject. I might suggest this to the mods!
(Also, of course, my 'problem' is that I touch type, so can burble away at 60 words a minute or whatever, and my career was in publishing so 'words are my thing', so can easily fill a page with little effort at all!! Image )

PS - Tilly, so sorry you are on morphine....not fun.
BB, Scally, Nilla - to be honest, I think all 'young folk' are similar in that respect. It used to take the Inquisition to get anything out of my son when he was at school, and it's not a great deal better now he's at uni. I think they think they are being 'controlled' and 'interrogated' - most young people, when it comes to their parents, operate on a 'need to know' basis only - and mostly, in their opinion, we 'need to know' very little indeed!!! Image
SW - tell me, is there ANYONE on Corrie who is actually married to the person by whom they have had children??!! Everyone just seems to marry everyone else, have a kiddie, then promptly split up and marry someone else on the street! Trying to work out who has fathered or mothered whom, and who they are with now, and who are the stepparents is hopeless! Plus there seem to be some adopted children in there too.

I find one of the most frustrating aspects of soaps is just how 'little' happens each episode. In a way, it's an art form in itself how the scriptwriters can drag out a situation for weeks and months....

Right now, I am mentally plotting just how the vile Phelan will get his come-uppance. I'm hoping the building might collapse on him and render him tetraplegic - he'd pretty much deserve it!

Peter Barlow seems highly unsympathetic to me, because having sex with a girl young enough to be his daughter, on his own wedding day, while his wife has passed out in their honeymoon suite, pretty much writes him off to my mind!

I agree I quite like Steve. What happened to his university studies? I didn't like the way he kept getting mocked for taking it on, when he was only trying to d his best.

As for the dreadful fat woman who wants a boob job - she should invest the money in Lighter Life if she wants to look more attractive! But I suppose she's the' comic relief' in the series, so will always be insufferable!
Thankyou for not taking offence jenny Image

105 posts