Another carer

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
I am at the point were I need to leave my partner. I am his carer but I feel that I can not do this any more and need to find out how I can find someone else to care for him and also to find somewhere to live.
Sharon hi

Can you tell us a little more about your circumstances?

As you know, not a single one of us has a 'legal duty of care' towards anyone else who is not a minor (ie, our children), so of course you are 'free' to leave.

That said, the practicalities may not make it easy.

Bluntly, the first 'practicality' is going to be money. How easy will it be to separate yourself financially - eg, are you married, or just co-habiting. Are you in rented accommodation or jointly owned. Do you have a separate income (eg wages) or is any income tied up with your partner (eg, Carers Allowance)?

As for your partner, what are his care needs? Does he need care for reasons of physical ill health, or mental ill health? What is his own financial situation? Again, as you know, if he is below the threshold for 'self-funding' he (should?) be eligible for funding by the local authority (and possibly by the NHS depending on his condition etc). Are his care needs such that he does NOT need care 24x7, or that he does need constant care? In other words, could professional care workers simply come in several times a day to look after him, or would he need to be in residential care/supported living etc?

In a way, the above is not your problem! You could, after all, simply pack your bags and go (I'm assuming by the way no young children are involved???). But at the very least you could maybe phone his GP this week, and his SW if he has one, and tell them what is going to be changing - ie, that you are leaving the scene and will not be available to provide any further care.

You do sound 'at the end of your tether' - which, alas, is often the case when it comes to caring for another person, even when we love them.....let alone if love has ceased to exist any more :(

Wishing you the best possible in a difficult and probably very emotionally distressing situation - kind regards, Jenny
Hi Sharon

I feel for you. I felt exactly like this on Saturday but received some awesome advice from the lovely people on the forum. Only a day later, things are looking up and I am feeling like I have some control back in my life. I hope it's not short-lived but I feel so much better for having let it all out.

I hope you get things sorted.
Claudine x
Sometimes, just putting in place a Running Away Plan can be enough to give you sufficient sense of power and freedom to renegotiate the terms of your care-offering to something that is acceptable to you.

Does your partner know you are planning to Run Away? How is he reacting if he does know? Do you think he would improve to make caring for him less burdensome (or is there nothing he could do anyway, sadly?) Does he appreciate what you do?
I have been with him for 4yrs now, he has helped me by bringing my children back into my life.

This said, he has mental and physical problems plus an ex soldier. At the moment he is just pulling my youngest (who is 16, about to do his exams and is going to be a dad in October) apart. He blames him for losing the car (another story) for me being the way I am feeling among other things.

He constantly put me down, mor or less tells me am a bad mother, and that I wouldn't survive on my own. I even left 2wks ago and ended up in the ymca in Crewe. He put the guilt trip on about the kids needing me and that he would leave. I came back the next day and he said he wanted to fight (not physically) for us.

We get esa and child tax, he gets dla and war pension. All I get is carers allowance and the odd few quid he puts over. I am also waiting to see a therapist because of past problems I need to deal with.

I have no where to go so I am sleeping on the couch, I have to get to Macclesfield and sort housing out but I don't know how long that will take or where I will end up. I feel like I am hanging on by a single thread of my tether.
Sharon, a very difficult situation, and as a lay person myself with no expertise either in the benefits system or, more complicatedly, in the emotional fall out that soldiers go through, all I can say for the moment is the following:

- phone Shelter today. Explain the situation and see what the possibilities are, or may not be.

- I'm wondering whether talking to one of the charities dedicated to servicemen might be any use to you. I have a relative by marriage who is ex-army, with a lot of 'unresolved issues', and he is currently getting very 'helpful help' from a services charity in terms of counselling and so on. Sorry if this is something your guy has done already.

- You say you're sleeping on the sofa - is this in the 'family home', ie, your partner is in the bedroom, but you are 'sleeping apart' for now? Where are your children? Are they all living with you, or only the youngest? (I take it his girlfriend is with her parents?)

- if it is rented property, who is the tenant? Is it both of you.

- you can't be dependent on your partner for money. It can't be a question of him 'handing you a bit of money' when he feels like it (or whatever). You need money of your own, that is yours.

- I'm not sure what the situation is on re-housing a mum with a 16 y/o - that might make things less 'obvious' in terms of housing need. Shelter will advise you on this I know.

On a slightly less 'immediate' note - I'm wondering whether your partner is a 'controller'?? That might be an unfair judgement, as it does sound like he's also contributed positively to you, eg, you say he helped you get your children back (were they in care?/with their dad?), and you say he did say he wants you all to stay together (but then, of course 'controllers' want to keep everyone under their 'control'.)

Ideally, would you like HIM to leave, and let you go on living where you are, with your children/son?

If your 16 y/o is just about to do his GCSEs, do you think you could 'tough it out' as you are, until his exams are over in a few weeks time? Would that be possible? Just to 'lie low' (and your son, too), until you are 'clear' to 'upset' your partner by either leaving him, or getting him to leave?? What does your son think about this, and, indeed, about the whole situation, and what do your other children think of their step-dad?

As I say, this sounds like a very difficult situation, and I do feel that though it's all very well people like me 'pitching in', you really do need professional help, especially when it comes to housing and finances.

One final thing for now - as an ex-soldier, he will be an experienced 'fighter' (in the physical sense). Do you think there is ANY 'potential for violence' from him towards you or your children? You mentioned that he is on at your son for damage to the car, and I'm a little worried that 'sparks may fly' between them. Your 16 y/o is not only under stress from his GCSEs, but also his impending fatherhood, plus relations with a dad, let alone a step-dad, can be very 'volatile' at his age, with lots of 'man to man' clashes - your son may want to 'stand up' to your partner because your son is growing up, whereas your partner may want to 'crush him down' because he doesn't want to be challenged by a teenager.... (and you've said he puts you down too??)

Wishing you the best you can manage in a difficult situation. Would you want to phone, say, a woman's refuge do you think, would that help/be a possibility?

Does your partner understand how unhappy you currently are?