Totally agree with BB. Please have a look at the Talking Point Forum. I gave up going on as it was too heartbreaking. If police are called, often they suggest the person in danger leave. I think this is partially down to lack of Geriatric Mental Health Beds. In my case, this is not viable as I would NEVER leave the cats, so I spend most of my life on tip toes trying not to spark husband.
Also I will give examples of my husband’s intellectual sophistry. I think in many if not most cases, the person subjecting the carer to coercive control/domestic abuse is highly intelligent and maninipulative.
My husband has said if I am late back from my early evening drinks, he will leave the keys in the lock. This will mean I cannot get in. If I call the police he will remove the keys before they come and say I am having delusions or mental health issues! This is why I am in pieces if my pre booked taxi is late back. He has done this several years ago when my pilates class at the local school overran, due to the childrens pantomime overunning so we were late starting. I had to beg to be allowed into my own home.
He said he will chase a cat down into the road. My cats are my life - at one time it felt as if they were my only friends and I would quite literally give my life for them. He says quite rightly no one will arrest him as he will say ’ the cat escaped I am so very sorry but I am a little old man and doddery and he/she got past me. How on earth can I deal with that degree of intellectual sophistry.
I called the police back in 2013. The guy wanted to take me to a Refuge - husband was mega drunk and he felt he was no danger to me as he could barely get up off the sofa. He did say if he arrested husband they would not know what to do with him and that it was actually quite hard to kill someone - husband had broken my computer and had been saying things like ‘I want to look into your eyes as you die’ and ‘life imprisonment is not long at my age’. In fairness, he is MUCH frailer now.
If I were to give you any advice with regard to what to include in updated advice it would be to please ask the Caree to avoid isolation. My husband only controlled me for so long because I was totally isolated . I did start making friends back in 2016 as I ended up as Chair of a Book Club. It is hard to find the right people to confide in but I have gradually built up a small circle of 5* friends. The greatest gift those friends have given me is
I can never be articulate enough to express how in many cases, especially with regard to coercive control, how important this is and how very hard it is to prove. Yes it is a crime but the conviction rate is pathetic.
Re GP yes good place to start. But my husband and I are at different Surgeries as my GP told him he was ‘confused’ leading to husband threatening to sue and moving to a different Surgery. My GP told me to write to husband’s Surgery which I have done several times. I have to say they were brilliant and did refer him to the Memory Clinic but he passed the memory test . But due to the 'moderate atrophy of the frontotemporal lobes ’ in the scan, I am absolutely convinced he has frontotemporal dementia - this is one of the hardest forms of dementia to get diagnosed.
I do feel this could get serious column inches in the broadsheets due to the fact that we have an aging population so more and more of us will sleep walk into caring. A crumbling Social Care system despite promises of reform and a failing NHS.
Yes it is a ‘taboo’ subject and I would like to thank Annie for ‘going public’. Sadly I cannot but providing my details are disguised I am happy for comments in this post to be used.
I would also really beg Carers to progress the idea of a Minister for Carers for the reasons listed directly above - more and more of us are going to sleep walk into it. I am trying to help two close friends who are going down that route - one with an elderly father and one with elderly Parents in Law. The sad fact though for anyone with some savings, there is little help available and getting elderly people to accept help such as a cleaner for example, is something both of my friends are struggling with. I will try to support them and direct them here in time.
Thanks for reading Michael if you have got this far.