Hello there.

My name is Lesley, I’m 36 and a full time carer for my mum who is blind. I’ve joined up because id like to talk to people who actually understand what it is like been a carer. I live with her , my boyfriend , 6 cats and 1 dog.

I’ve no life of my own as my time is spent and I feel like I’m not “allowed” to live my own life and put myself first. I’ve been looking after my mum since as long as I can remember (I can go as far back as 6 years old) . My dad was a drinker so looking after mum has always been on me. I’ve had or have no professional help as my mum doesn’t like been told what to do regarding anything.

I’ve joined carers uk forum (again) to talk to people who are carers too. It’s hard work sometimes and here might be the right place to vent, talk and to ask questions

Sometimes and I mean about twice a month I really just feel like walking out on my carer role. None of my family understand or even talk to me. I’m a loner but not by choice, all my life had revolved around mum and MY life has been on the backburner. I feel I’ve no redeeming qualities as my education really suffered.

There has to be a certain amount of time every day where you do put yourself first - no arguments, no ifs or buts, just some me time, every day.

I feel like saying enough is enough pretty much every day, one day I will probably snap and just do it, (not sure where to start with that though).

I’m very much a loner, and perfectly happy with that, I have no-one (except my wife) to have to accommodate into any plans I might make.

My life is definitely on the backburner, I like to birdwatch, and at this time of year, (when proper birding is slow) I photograph Dragonflies and Butterflies, although I do get out in the afternoons, I can only go to certain places as many are to far away to comfortably fit into a couple of hours in the afternoon, and my wife, once my companion on all of these outing no longer has the desire to go as she can no longer walk.

I’m new to this, my husband has dementia but not yet been diagnosed. I feel guilty when I leave him to go out for a few hours to play golf, but it is my only time with friends. Should I keep going?

Hello Lesley. Think about some things that you could do that would make you happy and try to incorporate them into your life.
It sounds like you have no social life at all, which is not good. You could start by looking on the internet for local groups nearby. Or there is a national site called ‘classfinder’ that might help. I realise that now is not a very good time to start because of the ongoing Corona virus,but the internet should give you some info about local activities.
You say that your family don’t talk to you but you could give them another chance. How about phoning one of them and ask them to meet up somewhere?
I care for my elderly mum and I know how isolated it can be. My mum has about 7+ people (family and friends) who regularly phone her but only 1 phones me.!

Hello Wendy. I’m sure everyone on here will agree with me that YES of course you should have some time to yourself to do what you want to do. You will be a happier and healthier carer thanks to having time off. Everyone needs and deserves a break.

Hi everyone, My family are there if I need them and im there for them we just don’t talk very much. got a couple of online friends I talk too its been a long time since I spoke to a friend on the phone and having anxiety makes it nearly impossible. Ive been looking at weekend coach holidays for next year for myself. You’re right there I’ve no social life and I’m not to good at making friends easy either.

Warm welcome @Lesley _1907. Nice to meet you.

Yes! this is the right place.

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I also have social anxiety and have avoided social get togethers for years. But now I am making much more of an effort to make new friends. When I meet up new friends for a coffee I tell myself that it doesn’t matter if I say the wrong thing or feel awkward - that’s part of the learning process. If I don’t even try then I won’t make any progress. Best to keep each meeting short - an hour or so.

I’ve actually been looking at weekend stay at a hotel that’s a bus journey home next year for myself. Is that “allowed” as a carer break??

Who’s to say that it’s not? (Covid permitting).

My mum a few years ago said i’m not allowed to have a break cos they’ll stop my carers allowance and something about ringing social services.

Your Mum is wrong.

See page 10 :-https://www.carersuk.org/images/Factsheets/Taking_a_break_Nov_2019.pdf

Yeah I know that now but when I was younger I believed her.

I can guarantee though that if I mention doing something for myself she’ll stonewall me for a few day because it’s something she doesn’t want me to do.

She’ll only ‘stonewall’ you if you allow her to. You are in charge now, not your mum. Also if she can barely see - how can she stop you from going out?
Are you worried about leaving her on her own?

Let her Stonewall you as much as she likes.

It will only hurt her, not you. It’s time she realises how much she needs you, behaving like an Elderly Toddler isn’t going to make a difference!

Elderly toddler, I like that. Thing is I have so many questions about my carer role and no family or friends will know.so I’m hoping to get some answers here.

  1. Could I just permanently walk away from been a carer and just go back to been her daughter??

  2. I’m hoping to have a family before it’s to late (I’m 37 this year) so will it affect my carers allowance and income support?

    I actually feel mean for asking these but it’s what is like to know.

Don’t feel mean, you have done enough.
A friend of mine cared for his mum until she died at 104! He was way too old by then to realise any of his dreams.
I’m 68 now, slightly disabled, widowed. Looking back I realise that the more I did the more everyone wanted, so they could do less themselves!!! In the end I never did anything for myself. Really regret that now.
Yes, you can walk away. No one can force you to care.
Do you have somewhere else to go?

Hi Lesley

Its too much, especially at your age you should have a life of your own.

Do you live in your own house or with your mum?

Has your mum had a needs assessment via social services?