Hi, I’m a newbie to the forum,
I’m currently a 30 year old carer for my mother who has had stage 4 cancer for the past 4 years and also take on care responsibilities for my sister who has suspected Aspergers. Quite honestly it’s been a tough and exhausting few years as it’s taking a mental toll on me as I also have bipolar disorder and as my father isn’t as as skillful as myself when it comes to the finer care duties. Because of mistakes I’ve made in the past with not being able to be on top my mental illness (which affected my ability to study when I was in university) it does feel like my life is on hold but I do still have dreams and the belief that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and that I will feel a sense of freedom again (Because at times it does feel like I’m “trapped” in the situation I’m in). I stumbled across this forum as it seems like a place full of advice and knowledge plus I thought it would be great to hear the experiences of people that have faced similar caring responsibilities and problems that I also experience. Hopefully I’ll be able to be active and post in the boards I have personal experience in but wanted to say a quick hello before doing so.
Hey, nice to meet you.
Sorry to hear about your Mum’s cancer. Do you have any outside help? I know if your Mum is very unwell you may want to spend time with her. But you do also need to find time for yourself and I am sure your Mum would want this for you.
You are very young and deserve a life for yourself. It is also important you take good care of your own mental health.
What support do you give your sister? Again, can some of this fall to outside agencies?
Welcome to the forum and I fully understand when you say caring can be exhausting.
I’ve looked after my mum for the last 4 years and did get to a point where I felt stuck, exhausted and couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. Things have improved because her carer will sit with my mum while I get some time to do things for me, twice a week.
Do you get time off? Have you contacted the local Carers Support Team (part of the local council) to see if they can help you have some time to recharge? They also do coffee mornings where carers meet up and support each other.
Take care x
I’m now 67, looking back my life has been ruined by the family expectation that I would/should care/support/help them. 10 carees in all, from new born (Sister in law had postnatal depression and left the baby with me to go back to her parents in Egypt) to all four parents. However, amongst all this I studied for a degree part time.
NO ONE can be forced to care, not even a husband for a wife. The problem is that we can be conditioned to care, to put others before our own dreams and needs, because that is what THEY want, not what we want.
They will NEVER say to you "go off and enjoy your life, realise your dreams etc. etc. " because that isn’t convenient for them.
If you want a good life, you are going to have to do something about your own situation. Start by looking at your own behaviour towards your parents. It took counselling at 60 to make me realise that as far as my parents were concerned, I was always being a “good girl” by never saying “No” to them.
Try to think of yourself as that of a Care Organiser, rather than hands on carer. It takes a while.
What support is your mum getting from the hospital/doctor/Social Services?
How old is your sister?
Do either of them claim any disability benefits?