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Struggling to cope as a carer... - Carers UK Forum

Struggling to cope as a carer...

Tell us a bit about yourself here.
For the past year I have been my moms carer, I'm 19 and she's 43. We both have agoraphobia, anxiety and depression. We've always supported each other and helped one another on the things we struggle with. I'm constantly there for her 24/7, I have no friends, no other job, just 100% involved in my moms life. Lately, she forgets I have my own mental health problems, she's insensitive and mean to me. If I am in another room and she calls for me and I answer she immediately goes off on one, telling me how I'm a horrible carer, swearing at me, telling me that I'm selfish and rude and that she could get a proper carer who'd do a better job and all I have done is answer with ''be one minute''.. She's constantly telling me how horrible of a person I am and that I'm not good enough and I don't understand why. I take her to all her appointments, I take her shopping, I help around the house, I organize and sort out her money, I help her with her night terrors and sleep. I do everything for her and I'm so mentally exhausted, she's made me anxiety so much worse that I've had to go up on medication but now I've gotten to the point where I feel like I can't do it anymore, I don't know if this is a phase or how to handle her being so angry with me. Has anyone ever had an experience like this with being a carer?..
I was going to post exactly the same, I am looking after my friend who whatever I do they are not happy ranting and raving at me.
Basically you need a break from caring and some good support, a bit of me time, you are doing like you say everything for your mum but you just can't do everything would lead to a breakdown which sounds like is happening to you.
Is your mum or you getting help from mental health services, your mum should be getting treatment and as you are the carer, the MH services should be supporting you as the carer.

Can you talk to your GP, you really should be getting some support, have you tried the local carers centre.

At the age of 19 you shouldn't be a full time carer you should be out enjoying yourself.
Laura, what happened last year when you became mum's carer? When did you leave school?
As an adult, you have a free choice. You cannot be forced to care, you do NOT have to care for mum for a moment. You have to accept that the only person who is going to change your situation is you, but with help and support from others.
If mum is rude to you, stop whatever you are doing and leave the room, saying "I don't have to listen to this". If you want to go out, go.
What support are you getting for your agoraphobia, I can't help but think mum has transferred her thoughts onto you, for her benefit, not yours?
Does mum claim Personal Independence Payment? Are you getting Carers Allowance and Income Support?
I'm not in the least surprised that your mental health is getting worse, because you are being bullied, yes, bullied, on a daily basis.
A good mum would be encouraging you to enjoy life to the full, to fly the nest, have adventures, get a career, boyfriend, children, etc., not shackle you and make you a virtual prisoner.
Let us help you manage mum.
PS If your real name is Laura, please change your forum name to something different so no one can identify you.
Why has your mother got so much worse? Is it because you are now 'grown up' and might leave her? If so, sadly, she doing exactly what is most likely to cause that to happen!

To be blunt, I think the time is coming when you DO have to leave home. It won't be easy, but think what the alternative is? How many years will your mum live? You could be middle aged before she dies and you are finally 'free' to live your own life....

So, you need a long term strategy to 'escape', but in the meantime, you need, as BB says, to assert yourself a lot more, and make it quite clear to your mum you do not HAVE to look after her, and can walk out any time if she does not improve her treatment of you....

Does she ever show you affection at all, or is it just the sharp side of her tongue?
Hedgehog - why are you bothering to look after this utterly ungrateful and rude friend???!!!!!!
Hedgehog, that is NOT a "friend". It is a bully who has undermined your self esteem so much that you think it's acceptable for someone to rant and rave at you. Well it isn't. Please develop an exit strategy. Find peace, and happiness, and tranquillity.
Why am I bothering to look after this rude and ungrateful friend, it seems a lot of us are looking after rude and ungrateful people.

Low self esteem yes, how does one break away? how does someone dump a friend when they have so many problems and no one helping them? yes I realise it's not my responsibility. Very difficult to say no.

like the poster at the start, my friend can be nice but can also be horrible, mood swings? Mental health problems yes definitely.

Like many she is just not getting the help and support she needs, angry at the system yes but you cannot take your anger out on the system.
What did I read on the forum, people who are ill and dependent on others can get very frustrated at their own helplessness and, grimly, take that out on the very person who is looking after them!
I have tried to encourage independence but any attempt just ends up in a rant about how useless these services are.

I can see what I should do, can advice others what to do, but walking out very difficult, when someone is so dependent on you for help.
You apply firm love, and bargaining.

You offer them the deal: I won't abandon you, but ONLY if you pull your own weight, and not only stop collapsing all over me like a wet jellyfish, and show a bit of courage about your predicament, but on NO account do you take your frustrations out on me....or I walk out and leave you to it.

Just because one has mental illness does NOT let you off the hook to behave badly, or immorally (as bullying is). Your friend has NO right to be hostile to you. Her ONLY word to you should be 'THANK YOU!'

If she doesn't say it, walk.

Don't make excuses - she makes enough for herself anyway.

Her cure is in her own hands, and it does not consist of being a wet jellyfish.

It's no good her raging at the NHS - if 'we' as a society want more mental health care, we'll have to pay for it, and if we don't pay for it in taxes, we won't get it.

If she weren't living in the UK, but in, say, the USA (let alone the Third World!) she couldn't go yelping to the NHS. She would HAVE to shift for herself.

Be firm, be clear, and be strong - for you, and for her. Because being her punchbag and whipping girl is not doing HER any good either.

Sometone has to be strong in this situation, and it has to be you, because she's currently being a wet jellyfish. Only YOU can make her finally grow a backbone!

PS - look up 'co-dependency'.....you mention low self esteem and I wonder therefore whether that is in the mix here as well, so that 'subconsciously' you are getting 'something out' of being the person to look after this ungrateful, difficult and petulant needy person????

PPS - IS she ever 'nice' to you at all, and appreciative, and do you 'have fun' together?? I do hope so!
It takes time, and firmness, and persistence. Stop making yourself too available. How much time do you spend on yourself, for example. I suspect all your spare time is spent doing things for someone else, not on yourself.
Work out when the caree is usually least demanding, and go out for a walk, have a bath with scented candles, read a book. Say "I'm off to...I'll be back at.." and then gradually lengthen that time.
If you got ill they'd have to either do it themselves or get someone else, so why not do it now?
If there is an element of repetition in what your caree says, and you agree. Then say "I've already agreed that, so don't want to talk about it any more" or "let's talk about something nice instead".