[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
Another newbie - Carers UK Forum

Another newbie

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
Hello, my name is Barbara and I am delighted to discover this forum. It is exactly what I needed so I’ve lurked for a few days feeling encouraged by what I’ve been reading that everything I’m experiencing and feeling is perfectly normal, I can’t tell you how relieved I am.
My mum is 89, lives alone 20 mins drive from me and is becoming increasingly physically frail, recently had a pacemaker inserted and also following a fall, has a spine fracture ( she has severe osteoporosis too) and macular degeneration.
My sister lives an hour and a half away so is not able to visit so regularly.
Recently, during a week’s holiday away, I realised that on my journey home, all my stress signs were returning so I knew I needed to find a way round coping, I’m ashamed to say my thoughts were often, how much longer will this go on for, as in how much longer will Mum live for. There are times when I think she’s stronger than me!!
On the face of it we have a good relationship but it’s a front. I’ve been brought up to, if you haven’t got something nice to say then don’t say anything at all. This was Mum’s maxim but lately it seems not to apply to her any more.
I think I’ll leave it at that as it doesn’t feel great writing stuff which is disloyal. Suffice to say I’m so glad to have found this forum.
Hello Barbara and welcome to the forum.
Others will be along with practical good advice. I just want to reassure you that this is a non judgemental forum and you can state exactly as you feel. It wouldn't be seen as disloyal! Not easy I know, but it helps to write down feelings.
My situation is different to yours, but the forum has and still is a lifeline
Hello Barbara and welcome

I had a similar situation with my own mother. In hindsight (which I know can be very clever), I think I had misplaced loyalty and can empathise with your current situation.

You can only do what you can do. Perhaps the best advice I can give you, is to remember you have a life too and sometimes the more you do, the less it is respected/appreciated.

Take care
Hello Anne, small world, I am in Wallasey.
Yes I get the bit about having my life. Four and a half years ago my husband and I lost our son to suicide after protracted and enduring mental health problems. We were, to a large extent his carers too so you’ll understand that the edges of caring and ‘my life’ have been blurry for a long time.
I still feel upset that Mum never tried to understand Paul and has effectively air brushed him out.
Barbara, I have a son with severe learning difficulties, brain damaged at birth, only it took 8 years to be diagnosed, during that time I was labelled a "bad mother". My parents and my in laws for years kept telling me that no one in their families had "anyone like that", not especially helpful. Neither set of parents ever took him out for the day, unlike his normal elder brother. My parents wouldn't even baby sit for me, the cause of many tears. That hurt never goes away. It's not disloyal to write down how you feel, if you don't want to do it on the open forum, try writing it down "for your eyes only". Sometimes admitting it to yourself is the first step towards change. Then try to find counselling. Your GP may help you. Do NOT let mum take over your life. You have every right to a life of your own. Think of being mum's Care Organiser, not provider. We can help. First, work out what you want to change the most.
Oh thank you bowlingbun, you’ve brought hot tears to my eyes! My GP suggested counselling when Paul first died but I didn’t take it up. Many years ago I did have counselling for an unrelated matter and once the lid was off, I couldn’t get everything back in the box, it took years, prolonged counselling and a complete breakdown to sort out my head, so you’ll understand my reservations.
I know I need to make changes, I’ve started by discovering this forum and reaching out. I’m also about to employ a cleaner for my house, I’ve already sorted one for Mum. I’m trying to make a point of going out with my best friend more, (just been out for lunch with her and talked almost exclusively about Mum😱)
I also make an effort to walk regularly, realising the multiple benefits that brings.
Thank you again, bowlingbun.
Barbara, as said in my previous post, my circumstances are different. My lovely husband is in a nursing home because of strokes and vascular dementia.Very complex needs and I feel I am saying a long goodbye.
I was put in touch with an admiral nurse, which was similar to counselling.
My heart very much goes out to you. I'm pleased you manage to go out with your friend. Very much needed. I go out with mine once a month if poss. She has troubles too. We ask breifly how our situations are, then we don't talk Dementia, etc. Eventually it's a distraction, and I believe all carers need a distraction. Hopefully you will find one too. My husband is never off my mind to be honest, but the distraction recharges my batteries. Keep posting if you can
Counselling aimed at managing a parent's expectations is very different. Helping you decide what you want to do, and not do. Helping you believe that you have a right to a life of your own, to feel proud about what you can do, not guilty about what you don't want to do. After all, if you were the other side of the world, what would happen?
YOU don't have to be Mums sole carer. Far better to be her 'care manager' arranging outside help and regular visits from sis. Cleaner is a good start, then a gardener, then an 'errand runner' then 'company'. That way you are part of then mix rather than having to do it all

Ask yourself who is saying it has to be all you. Is it you, or is it Mum or is it sis? Time to think it through and be proportionate and get a balance. Might not be easy but can be done

Barbara - first of all my extreme condolences in respect of your beloved son. It is EVERY parent's worst, worst nightmare - my own son is in his twenties, and your tale sense a shiver of terror down my back.....

In respect of your mum, I suspect that what you said in your opening post about her insisting only on saying something nice or nothing at all, is behind her 'blanking' of what happened to her grandson....it's a form of 'self-preserving denial' maybe, that refuses to look tragedy in the face, a kind of 'hiding under the bedclothes'.....

I don't think you'll change her, but you DO I would argue strongly have a right to be angry with her for NOT confronting what happened to Paul, and most of all by 'hiding herself' from it SHE betrays HER maternal obligation to YOU. She should have been the one hugging you to her as close as close could be for this appalling and unspeakable tragedy.....that is what a mother should do for a grieving, stricken daughter......

You say your stress signals are mounting, and that is absolute vital notice to you that you MUST NOT keep going as you are. It's a shot across your bows you must heed - or you risk a catastrophic breakdown.....

To be honest, given your mother's age, her deterioriating eyesight and so on, that residential care is now the most practical option. It would solve 'at a stroke' all the halfway houses of getting carers in, etc etc, that would keep you still 'involved'. A residential care home would simply 'take over' and whether or not your mum wants to go isn't the point - the point is that you re walking a cliff edge because of what happened to you, and you must NOT have ANY more stress on you to push you over.

By going into a residential home, this is the ONE GOOD THING your mum can do for YOU, her daughter, to whom she owes all her maternal 'duty of emotional care'.........that she didn't give you over Paul......

It's time for your mum to belatedy 'step up to the plate' and do something 'big' for YOU.