[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
Being a carer is very lonely - Carers UK Forum

Being a carer is very lonely

A place for those 18-35 to chat about all things caring.
I'm new to the forum but I'm Vicky and I'm 25. I've been a full time carer for my parents for just over 2 years. I've lost the few friends I had because I have no time and no money to go out and socialise with them. I'm single and have been since I split up with my ex 2 years ago. I am so lonely all the time because the only people I ever see are my parents and their doctors. I don't have the time or money to go out and meet people and I just feel so isolated. I'd love to get married and have children one day but I feel like my life is passing me by and I'll end up old and alone.
Aw vicky that is so sad to hear. Caring for 2 adults is so hard as i do grandparents but now im engaging with social services getting more help for them to ease the burden that i had.this forum helped me in the right direction to do this. Have social assessed your parents needs because they can do a lot for them so you dont have a 4 hour journey everyday that is terrible. Speak to their social worker and get all the help needed as its too much for you on your own and starting phtting your own needs 1st you are so young.im 32 and this is what i am learning to do . Hope this forum helps
Vicky, I've already replied to your other post, but wondered if anyone told you that you CANNOT be forced to care for anyone?
Did anyone ask you if you wanted to be a carer?
Hi Vicky. I'm 28 and am a carer for my twin. Like you, I've ended up losing friendships because I'm basically never free. Try and get help like Stacy suggests. I'm in the process of doing that too :) Do you want to do a lot to help out your parents or would you rather do a little and have a lot of help? If it's the second, you probably want to be a care manager, which is a term I picked up here on the forum. Before that, I just thought a carer was a care manager too, and didn't realise there was the ability to be just a manager of care instead of a care giver.
Vicky, come and post on the New to the Forum thread, which gets a lot more 'traffic'! If you want to do that, the mods can move your posts for you.

At 25 you should NOT be the sole carer for your parents. That is wrong. Who is it that is 'making' you do this? However much you may love your parents, THEY should love you enough to want YOU to have a life of your own, whatever their situation. No parent wants their child to spend their precious youth as a 'nurse'!

What is it that they need care for - what are their care needs?

There is a huge amount of practical experience on these boards from all the members, including a great deal about things like carers allowance and so on and so forth (plus the team of experts at Carers UK itself), and all the financial rules and regulations of getting help and so on.

But there's also a wealth of 'psychological' advice and experience too. We've all been 'through the mill' in one way or another, and all felt what we call The Guilt Monster chewing at us, and the feeling that we are 'trapped in caring'.

Bottom line, though, as I say, at 25 you should be enjoying your OWN life. However sad the circumstances of your parents.
Im so in agreememt with jenny..already i can see a difference in the quality of my life. I was so dragged down with caring for both grandparents and im so young too. Now engaging with SS and acting as a care manager manging their care instead of giving it and severly short changing maself.already have pharamacy now delivering meds got a med change to a weekly patch so im not asking to be their certain times to give medicine.all these changes make my life easier . Good luck
Your on the right path trying to delegate tasks and take a supervisory role, without intending to sound insensitive our role as carers is time limited and sooner or later ends at which point we have to pretty much hit the ground running. Something while in the midst of all sorts of chaos I am gradually trying to put things in place for.

The friends thing is rough. I have difficulty making/maintaining relationships and practically everybody I know has uprooted from the area I live, my position forces me to interact with countless individuals in relation to the health of caree's, yet I feel completely and utterly isolated and unable to engage people on a social level because the role practically dominates my life at this point.

For example I've had to give detailed presentations in order put forward a case of a loved one going on a specific sort of treatment in front of doctors, consultants and other highly trained professionals and walked away with praise in how I've articulated and carried myself in doing so, but you put me on a social situation and it just falls apart (aspergers makes it tricky at best of times often feeling like you are having to be someone you are not just to conform in that sort of setting)

The real kicker is being single, you no longer have that special person you felt you could confide in.. my last I had a pretty good relationship going on several years but the strain of everything around us and lack of support from the so called system, we ended up taking a step back for a while and ending amicably, which hurt because we were rock solid and planning a future together.

Meeting people is chicken - egg, because when you get to know someone, they know you have your "quirks"(nomatter how well disguised) and how to get around them, the trouble is in order to get to know them.. you see where I am going.

Wish I had some answers for you, then again if we had them none of us would be here.. I know my own experiences have caused me to become somewhat more cynical of seeking intimacy in others, simply because even though I am a thick skinned bugger, we all have feelings, and I can't afford the luxury of allowing myself to be hurt in that way again, at least not right now.

All I could really say about children is, I feel like at this point we tend to say we'll never have them, right up till we find someone we want to have them with.

25 is no age though, you have plenty of time to find your way.
You have to continue putting things in place now while the going is early.
When you take care of someone else your responsibilities can take up a lot of your time. This can put pressure on relationships, make it difficult to keep up friendships and can often mean less time for socialising. You need to get in touch with your local carer support group. While taking care at nurseries in Manchester you can lose track of your own feeling, connect with some friends and family members who listen to you, join online communities to overcome loneliness.
.already i can see a difference in the quality of my life
Fabulous Stacey- that's what this forum is all about :D :D
I wish Vicky would drop by again.

I fear that she has read what we said, and then sighed, and said ' Oh, they don't understand. I can't POSSIBLY abandon my parents! They need me and would so be so hurt and desperate if I backed away from them.....'

So many of us feel our situations are 'impossible to change', and that is the true feeling of 'trapped'.

Because we are 'in' them - often submerged in a deep, dark place - we can't 'get a handle' on them.

But changing just ONE thing, backing off in ONE respect, often a small one, can help to give us a 'purchase' on the problem.

Making one 'small stand for one's own life' - eg, just saying ' Mum and Dad, you'll lbe OK this evening while I go to the cinema' - can start the process.

And yes, I'm sure that M and D (or whoever one is caring for) can 'recognise' that 'slippery slope' and tighten their grip. They fear abandonment, so refuse to let their carer do the smallest thing to lighten the load. They become 'desperate' to keep the chain tight....lest it be broken completely.

But you can earn their 'trust' by sticking to the 'small thing' you want. eg, go to the cinema, but ONLY 'once a week' or whatever, so the carees learn that yes, you will 'come back'.

It's the tightness of the chain that makes one want to break it totally.....

For young carers though, in particular, I think the chain can be very, very hard even to 'stretch'. That is because we are 'programmed' from birth often, to 'look after mum and dad'.

my brother and I were programmed like that by our mother. We grew up thinking 'Poor mum, we must look after her'. So we did. Always. She came first. We made our lives around her (she actually had paranoid schizophrenia, in those days treatable only with heavy duty tranqujillirs, which she seldom took!). But our whole family orientated itself around her - we circled around her, me, my older brother, and our poor father, in a desperate attempt to 'keep mum happy'. Because when she wasn't happy, boy did she let us know! her life was complicated, restless, always travelling, always unhappy.....and any decision we took for ourselves always had to take her into account.

I make her sound monstrous, but she wasn't (she was very loving), but it took really until I married to start seeing the huge, huge negative impact she had had on our lives as we grew up. (Lots of positive ones too, that said). But we were ALWAYS in a 'parental' role over her - ie, 'looking after her and looking out for her'. She never 'parented' us (other than cooking/cleaning etc when we were children). We had to make her happy. It was our role in life....

So, Vicky, please do look back in here. There are many of us who have, sadly, effectively dysfunctional families, both emotionally, psychologically and even 'only' physically (ie, physical illness/disability). So we do understand that 'trapped' feeling, that 'nothing can change' (until your parents die....), that it's all 'hopeless'.

But ALL situation are changeable.

YOU have as much 'right' to a life of your own as anyone, whatever needs (as opposed to wants!) your parents have. YOU do not have to give up your life to them, even if you love them and they love you. There ARE alternatives. Not brilliant ones, ones that will, yes, require 'less' for your parents (and 'more' for you), but they do exist.

Remember, whether or not your parents accept this, they ARE your parents. They SHOULD want a good life for you, their daughter, however bad their own situation. They SHOULD want you to be 'free'.

And if they don't, then that is selfish. No other word for it. Even if it's 'unconsiously' selfish, as it was for my poor troubled soul mum (whom we loved dearly....)(she had a much nicer 'sunset', when she'd calmed down a lot - schizophrenia sometimes does, apparently, of its own accord - and enjoyed her grandchildren, so that was very comforting, she became a very loving Granny, without the restless unhappiness she always had had)