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Carers UK Forum • introducing me and my caring situation
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introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 1:20 am
by LordJeromiah
Hello I am not really new here. I have been a member for a few years and have posted at some point but it was so long ago I feel I must reintroduce myself and explain my current situation and update it. I shall share all of my story eventually in various different posts as I need a lot of help and advice on the matter!

i came to these forums to find out if I was the only one who was in the situation that I am in, which is a bad one! If I complained or if mum deemed me to not be a very good carer she would often tell me about other adult offspring who were carers for their mum's who were wonderful, sacrificed their lives for their disabled parent (caree) and LIKED IT!! Due to the fact that they realised that they OWED their parent for all the years the parent spent looking after them (the children now caring). I was told I was a bad carer and daughter because I wasn't as grateful and righteous as these adult children carers! They never complained! So naturally I felt like maybe I was being selfish if I was ever unhappy doing this, and felt guilty for not doing this and enjoy it because I should do because I am supposed to love my mum and WANT to care for her in her hour! (10 years) of need (which will be forever because there's no cure for what she has and she'll never get better, in fact she may get worse)

Anyway may I introduce myself, I am Jeromiah (lord is my actual title, it's not a nickname), I am a trans male (meaning female to male) gender fluid confused person. I am currently secretly living as a male as my mum doesn't accept that I'm transgender. She doesn't think that I really am and that I'm just confused. I don't doubt I am confused but I feel quite strongly about the way I feel and I feel that I should be male. It'd be nice if she still respected my decision to be who I want to be.
Anyway I have been a carer now for mum for the last 10 years.
It all started when i was 15 and she complained of walking difficulties which got worse by the time I was 19 ot 20. She continued doing everything (cooking and cleaning) until one day she couldn't cope anymore. She went for various doc's and hospital appointments to find out what her pain was all about. They diagnosed her with degenerative spine disks and various stenosis's, arthritis and sciatica. I still lived with her at that age so she told me I should be her carer seen as how I'm here. I reluctantly agreed to it. I felt obliged to because I lived at home still and she wasn't willing to get a stranger carer to come in and help. She said I'd have to be her 24/7 carer. I knew this spelt the end of my freedom and previous way of life and the beginning of a more restricted life full of hard work. Before then I didn't really do much but I did my fair share of chores. Now I had been burdened with having to do EVERYTHING. I now had to clean and tidy a whole mansion, managed the clutter that had been accumulated over the 17 years, and do all the cooking and fetching her things she needed which was all too much for me. I found that I had a lot less free time and although I was never very independent before becoming her carer there was now no way I was ever going to be able to gain any!
I felt so trapped and like there was no hope. My mum wanted me to be with her all the time. I was never allowed to go out without her. I was now isolated. All our family had deserted us so I had nobody to help me look after mum or even for emotional support... My mum became worse and worse over time, as in attitude wise. She got frustrated with me because she didn't think I did enough and nothing I did was good enough. She's right, it wasn't, and, isn't! I am not a very good carer and don't clean as much as I should. I do the bare minimum which is still alot of work and exhausting. I find myself sleeping alot and staying up late at night because it's the only free time I get when she falls asleep! She doesn't sleep very well and if she catches me still up at 3 or 4 am she will rope me into doing more chores.
I am first and foremost an artist! This is my primary profession and what I am passionate about! I love to draw and write so I stay up into the night to watch tutorial videos or inspiration for my drawings, I draw, I read and I write my stories.

My mum complains that I ignore her if I don't jump to her demands within 10 minutes. She calls me abusive. Usually when she texts me or rings me to do this and that, I have just sat down to do my own thing and rest! So yes I may not bounce as soon as she asks me to do something else. I feel run ragged. It's true I don't do enough but I feel like I never get to do much of what I want and I feel like I hardly get 5 minutes to myself except when I'm sleeping or out shopping (for groceries, not clothes shopping spree like most people assume. I only go out for essentials).
Since mum has had a heart attack she has been a lot harder on me and argues with me and criticises me constantly!
I have self harmed for the first time ever at 30!

There's loads more but I will have to write the rest in another post! Let me know if i must post updates here or another forum catagory

Re: introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 5:31 am
by thara_22071
Heya and welcome. If you have not done so already get a care needs assessment done.

Re: introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 6:32 am
by Charles_2112
Hi Jeromiah, and welcome aboard. You certainly have a lot going on in your life, and I can understand why you need that quiet time, even if it is at what most of us would think of as a ridiculously early time! I've lost count of the times when I got up and started writing at 2am...when I had a lot more stress and a LOT more stamina...

The only "paragons of virtue" I've ever come across who never complained or grumbled about their caring role, even to themselves, paid for others to do the caring and then talked about family duty for those who couldn't afford it. Everyone else has at least the occasional grumble, given that they're human. It's in our nature. I've been known to have the occasional moan when donning the gloves and apron at 3am...fortunately that doesn't happen often. I won't say any more because I don't want to push my luck :blink:

To be clear, there is no legal or moral imperative on caring. Your mum may not want outside help but that doesn't mean she can force you - physically or emotionally - to be her carer. Unless you let her. Legally, you have the right to choose whether you will provide care or not, and how much you will do - what specific tasks, for example. It's your choice, and yours alone.

Think about what you want to do. Then think about your choices and hers. For example, if you decide you will not be her carer any longer, what choices does that give your mum? That's not to get you to change your mind, so much as to help your mum to understand what that will mean for her. She won't like it, but that is not your problem.

The same goes for her accepting you for who you are. Older people in particular tend to struggle with the concept of transgender. They tend to see things in binary terms because that is what we were taught. The fact that life has never been that cut and dried is not something they have been exposed to until recently, and it's confusing for them too. And maybe a little frightening, because it challenges their world. And people who are frightened tend to react strongly and negatively towards the challenge. All you can do is try to help your mum overcome that confusion and fear.

On a different note, I'd suggest you post in the Members corner for future updates, as that area can only be viewed by members and it will give you a measure of privacy.

Re: introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 6:52 am
by bowlingbun
It's clear that some things MUST change, but you can't deal with everything all at once.
Make a list - easiest on a computer so you can shuffle it - of everything that you feel must change.

You might like to call it your ESCAPE PLAN? If you want to live a different life in 12 months time, then work towards that goal.

Share with us the one or two things that bug you the most, and ask members for ideas on how to resolve these things.
We will all have different experiences and ideas, but one may just seem a workable solution.

Perhaps divide it up into sub lists first - mum's life, your future, gender issues etc, whatever seems most appropriate.

Then put the list(s) in order of priority.
Financial future, isolation, holidays, again whatever you want.

Then think about possible solutions.
For example:
Weekly income? Zero.
You can claim Carers Allowance if you don't already, or get a job.
If mum wants you as a 24/7 carer, and lives in a "mansion" then is she giving you the going rate??
I get the idea that she might be trying to keep you trapped by not giving you enough money to do anything else?

Re: introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 8:01 am
by helena_2006
I feel for you - no expert on Transgender issues but a very close friend has a daughter who now indentifies as a male, and I do have some perception of how tough it must be for you right now. My friends son is mega upset that his family wont call him by his chosen name or accept what is going on. He and his mother, have both been through a lot as she is determined to be there for him and support him. Do you have access to any support groups? Even an online one? A good counsellor might be an option too ideally one with some experience in Transgender issues.

I totally agree with the advice given re Caring. You HAVE a right to a life of your own. My husband is much older than me and sounds a bit like your mother - very controlling. I am trying to carve a life out for myself because if I am driven into clinical depression, then it will be a home for him as I do not think he could survive on his own as he is mega deaf. Could you tell your mother you are at breaking point? BB Is right you do not have to care. People like your mother and my husband are bullies.

If you are not naturally domesticated, could your mother pay for outside help?

Would a telephone befriender be of any help via the local Carers Association? Often they have been Carers themselves. There may be a waiting list but it can be a safe place to get advice or even to discuss options.

Re: introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:02 am
by Breezey
Hi Jeromiah
You took a very brave step of posting all of this.
Are you ready for more brave steps as in all the replies above?
and more brave steps?

I am going to be blunt.

The gaslighting, coercive control and bullying stops.
Your mother is writing the rulebooks according to her needs, gaslighting you about child carers, as you have seen in the forum, we are all only human and there are limits to our saintlyhood and halos do slip.
Tell her that is not so, you know from other other adult child carers.
The bullying needs to end, you are not her slave, you are an adult with a right to your own life.

You are not her punchbag for her frustrations over her body.
You are a valid human being and deserve mutual respect and your own life.

I also have a friend who has a daughter transitioning to male, the mother is not surprised and is very supportive.
Refuse to answer to your mother unless she calls you by your chosen male name.
Tell her that transgenders are supported by their mothers who understand them and the difficulties they endure for this and their mothers love is unconditional.
Tell her that many mothers take carers and independence so their children can have their lives, careers, travels and relationships and those who are caring are appreciated, thanked, praised and have treats, respite, afternoons, weekends or weeks off and some have help from carers, gardeners etc.
Giver her it back - get into an adolescent mood !
She won't like it, you need to be strong and resolute.
This is not fair on you.

Have you got a local college doing art school? Do they have an adult summer art course introduction scheme? Art school will be a great world for you.
As suggested by Bowlingbun, an escape plan, art school would be so good for you.
It is never too late, many art schools have a cross section of generations.

Watch Rupaul's drag race if you don't already, ok it's the reverse of you, however the creativity is amazing and you will see their struggles and survival and maybe not feel so alone.
Also Glow Up, a make up artist competition, just for the creativity of the make up artist contestants.

Society has a lot of maturing to do in terms of gender issues, LGBTQ etc.
Current generations are the trailblazers, paving the way.
Nobody gets to choose their wrapping paper (body).
Too many people have had to live sham lives pretending to be hetero, families or confirmed single and hiding their true self, now it is an open field and I embrace that because people can be their true selves. Vive la difference.

Re: introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:25 am
by Breezey
Jeromiah

As suggested in a reply above, post in Members corner because ti is more private there.

I am concerned and sorry to hear you have self harmed.
Please, please, please promise you will not do that again.
You are here, you are not alone.
There is a future and a life for you, please find hope for that.

Call Social Services today
Ask for Carers Needs Assessment
If they tell you waiting list of months and months
Tell them you have self harmed and are in crisis as you are at breaking point with it.

Get a GP appointment and tell them the same.

There are better choices and options in life for you and you are worth them and deserve them.

Be your own best friend, cheerleader and be kind to yourself.

Re: introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 9:31 am
by bowlingbun
Thinking about priorities as far as mum is concerned, the heart of the matter is NOT that you are a failure because.... but the fact that she is a bully, as others have said.

From what I have read elsewhere, bullying, domestic abuse and "coercive control can now be Police matters.
Maybe as the beginning of your new "Escape Plan/Empowerment" you could read up more on this subject?

Re: introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2022 10:16 am
by Breezey
Exactly as Bowlingbun said, read up on these and you are not a failure.
This might be hard to read, you are not a failure, your mother has failed you actually.

Get that Carers Needs assessment done and a care needs on your mother.
it sounds like your mother qualifies to be in a home.
if nothing else, getting carers in so you can live your life.

While you are searching online look for local art groups/clubs meetings and exhibitions.
Go to them.
There are many self trained artists who are in these groups and they do exhibitions and attend art and craft fairs, with a table of their art for sale - no guarantees for sales of course, but could break even on the costs of the table and transport or even have a little profit.
Some of them form a clique, maybe share a table between two or three and if three then if one is ill or whatever, the other two put their work out and represent them and sell their work.
Think about an Etsy page to sell work and put your art out there.

Get networking at the art exhibitions, slow progress, ask about their art, ask them about the work they have on display/in exhibition, or if they just viewing ask what art they do, do you do it full time, do you do it in spare time? do you have a studio? do you do your work at the kitchen table? What is your inspiration? you have as much right as them to be there and to respond to questions about your art.
When you see them again at the next one, ask how they're getting on with their work and if they are exhibiting or entering any calls for artists - artists are invited to send photos of work to be considered for an exhibition, could be for free or could be a fee for it, or there are open exhibitions which may be free and not curated/judged for entry or rejection by a panel.

At art and craft fairs, ask artists, crafters if they just do this one or do they do most of the fairs.
Be mindful that people browsing to buy will warrant their attention for sales!
Note what they have on their tables
paintings of various sizes for differing affordability
prints of their work on gift cards and on postcards - these can make money.
Ask if they do Etsy and their thoughts on that.

Cost of living crisis, times are hard and it might be difficult for them to make money, there might be fewer hiring tables but at least you have had a look and seen the layout.

There are specialist art fairs too eg comic con and steampunk which I guess will be very expensive to rent a table and you would probably have to pay an entrance fee.

Many of these crafters, creatives and artists are self taught, lots of practice and have perfected their craft, they do not have art school student loans to payback, most didn't need art school for what they do.
However if there is a supported (free) access to art course then go on it, have that experience.
why not!

Re: introducing me and my caring situation

Posted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 1:25 am
by LordJeromiah
Charles_2112 wrote:
Tue Aug 02, 2022 6:32 am
Hi Jeromiah, and welcome aboard. You certainly have a lot going on in your life, and I can understand why you need that quiet time, even if it is at what most of us would think of as a ridiculously early time! I've lost count of the times when I got up and started writing at 2am...when I had a lot more stress and a LOT more stamina...

The only "paragons of virtue" I've ever come across who never complained or grumbled about their caring role, even to themselves, paid for others to do the caring and then talked about family duty for those who couldn't afford it. Everyone else has at least the occasional grumble, given that they're human. It's in our nature. I've been known to have the occasional moan when donning the gloves and apron at 3am...fortunately that doesn't happen often. I won't say any more because I don't want to push my luck :blink:

To be clear, there is no legal or moral imperative on caring. Your mum may not want outside help but that doesn't mean she can force you - physically or emotionally - to be her carer. Unless you let her. Legally, you have the right to choose whether you will provide care or not, and how much you will do - what specific tasks, for example. It's your choice, and yours alone.

Think about what you want to do. Then think about your choices and hers. For example, if you decide you will not be her carer any longer, what choices does that give your mum? That's not to get you to change your mind, so much as to help your mum to understand what that will mean for her. She won't like it, but that is not your problem.

The same goes for her accepting you for who you are. Older people in particular tend to struggle with the concept of transgender. They tend to see things in binary terms because that is what we were taught. The fact that life has never been that cut and dried is not something they have been exposed to until recently, and it's confusing for them too. And maybe a little frightening, because it challenges their world. And people who are frightened tend to react strongly and negatively towards the challenge. All you can do is try to help your mum overcome that confusion and fear.

On a different note, I'd suggest you post in the Members corner for future updates, as that area can only be viewed by members and it will give you a measure of privacy.
About the transgender thing she said it's not because she's the classic old person who doesn't accept new concepts or change or whatever... she doesn't accept it because she doesn't believe that I personally, and my unique situation, am transgender... The reason for this is because I showed no signs growing up! i showed signs when I was an older child of 12... before 12 I was the girliest girl she'd ever met, obsessed with frilly dresses and all things glamorous and pink! I get her confusion... even as a male I prefer glamorous and pastel colours and frilly things... my style of choice is 17th to 18th century attire which today would probably be considered girly seen as how men now dress in black, grey and navy blue and usually T shirts and jeans where as I dress in frilly white shirts, pantaloons and with bows and frills and lace.. I know of many transgender male who prefer this style and live like victorian princes. We are called OUJI or Kodona which is the male version of the better known Lolita japanese street fashion which is victorian inspired. I prefer more 17th century looks as male myself. My bedroom is still pink and girly.
mum is convinced I suddenly wanted to be a boy when my dad had a son with another woman and apparently doted on this boy. She thinks I just wanted to be a boy to please my dad but that was a coincidence! It has nothing to do with that and I couldn't care less if my dad had a son or treats him better than he ever treated me as by 12 i was over it.. I wanted to be male for me and me only... i had my own personal reasons which were a struggle to explain to anybody! My only logical reason for feeling I should be male now at 12 is because I was replacing dad... not trying to please him.. I suppose you might say I became my own dad and felt protective of my mum. But since becoming her carer I actually feel more like her wife... which kind of freaks me out a little and doesn't fit with my male identity. I cook and clean like a housewife whilst she sits around and watches TV like a typical traditional husband... this weird role reversal has freaked me out.

Anyway at the time she told me it was most likely a phase and that if I felt the same way after 18 I have her permission to start to gender reassignment process... TBH all I want is to identify as male and be recognised as such which is hard when you have the largest chest and have the shortest stature... the most I'd do is get top surgery and start on testosterone to appear more manly. no idea what I'd do about the height.
I'm 31 and just gave in to being a girl like mum wanted. I am now secretly trans male and there's no way I could convince her now. because of this she now definitely thinks it was just a phase. I tried to bring it up just recently by just telling her I'm genderfluid. she told me I wasn't and shouldnt say that I am... when I told her how I felt about my identity she said she doesn't doubt i feel this way but I shouldn't put myself into a "box" and just be me as I am. She reckons these names like trans, gender fluid, and so on are just segragating people. she's actually more enlightened than the average old person but she does believe in male and female only! She says the rest is preference and that is fine but boxes/labels are destructive