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Never sought help until now - Page 2 - Carers UK Forum

Never sought help until now

A place for those 18-35 to chat about all things caring.
A while ago I read an article which explained that as people become "very elderly", defined as over 85, they become increasingly "self focussed". Unable to see just how hard others are working and trying to please them.

One day I saw my disabled mum telling my dad, who had taken longer than usual to go shopping in the large Tesco nearby, that he'd been a long time. Completely forgetting that she hadn't been able to walk round there herself for years, and dad had terminal cancer!!!

I don't like the words "Elderly Toddler" but don't know any better way of describing this sort of behaviour. Probably a mix of all sorts of emotions, fear, frustration, hopelessness?
Actually that’s a really apt phrase.
It’s also very difficult to avoid feelings of depression as a carer.
Everything you deal with is about poor health, aging, that’s it’s hard to feel joy in life.
I know I don't meet the criteria for depression.
Yes, I get really fed up with the never ending battles with Social Services about the care my disabled son needs, however as soon as I "escape" I'm the same old me I always was.
For years I thought the old me had gone forever, but I flourished again as soon as I went on holiday to Crete.

Non carers go out for meals, weekends away, theatre, pub, but even these simple things are difficult for many carers.

Try to think of caring another way. If you have given 50 weeks of the year to someone because they love and care for someone, shouldn't that person love them enough in return to give them just 14 days off every year?

If they don't love you enough, why are you bothering with them?!
That’s quite powerful.
Looking at it that way should certainly counteract any guilt on the carers part.
You have nothing to feel guilty for, because you didn't make your caree ill.

Every time the Guilt Monster rears his ugly head, remind yourself that guilt is the wrong word. It should be sad.
Many of the comments I make are passed on from my own counselling. In 2007 I was newly disabled, newly widowed, son with learning difficulties, housebound mum 6 miles away, I had inherited 30 tons of lorry spares from my late husband, which I needed to sell to earn a living.
I constantly felt a failure, worked until 1am to meet printing deadlines. Completely unsustainable long term.
My counsellor encouragedme to feel PROUD of what I was doing, not beat myself up for what I couldn't do.

I was also encouraged to do something for me on a regular basis.

Ever since I have had a home beautician for a treatment once a month, and a regular hair cut and colour, plus a facial and massage at times. They do a good job, my son gets annoyed when people think I'm his sister not his mum. Recently I went to the town hall for a bus pass form. I was initially refused, as they are only for over 60's. I celebrated my 70th birthday this year!

Maybe you could have someone visit your home for a treatment?
Way to go, Bowlinbun!
That’s fabulous!
Your posts are very valuable to people.
Jeromiah, I don't believe anyone here is trying to limit your options. We're making suggestions based on our own experiences and knowledge, which for most of us will not include the trans experience, in most cases even as a friend or colleague of a trans person. It's hard to advise from a position of knowing and understanding the caring role but not having the tools to understand the rest of the equation - your relationship as a trans person with your mother.

So we're all learning here. And that's going to mean that some of us will occasionally tread in areas we don't understand may be sensitive. Please bear with us.
As you can't have any proper relationships in the current situation, I would suggest that for the next few months you concentrate on drawing up an Escape Plan, for your eyes only.

Think about where you are now, where you want to be, and how to get there.
Probably how to go from Totally Trapped to Totally Free?
Start by writing a list on the computer of all the things mum demands of you.
Whilst best summarised as total subservience, break it down into tasks. What drives you nuts most.

Housing, work, money all need to be considered as part of the plan.
Is it ever going to live your own life in mum's house?
What is your income now? What will you need in the future?

You are not allowed to say to yourself "I can't because mum....."! This plan is about you, not mum.

However, you can do another list thinking about mum's Independence Plan.
Is it realistic for her to keep living in the current house?
What would she need?

I would recommend a book called "Starting Again" by Sarah Litvinoff. Written primarily for people separating, it helped me work out what i wanted for my future after I was widowed, and I'm sure it would help you too.
Mum has deliberately ruined your self esteem, but you have been her carer for years, and that shows kindness and compassion, great qualities.
People who are widowed go through a huge upheaval, and it's easy to grab at anyone who might be able to "fix" things, only to regret it later. The book will help you sort yourself out and build the new life that you richly deserve.