I’m Kieran, and new here.
My Dad suffered two strokes in 2019 leaving him fully dependant. He requires help to do pretty much everything as the strokes have left him immobile. His speech and memory have taken a huge battering too.
When he had his first stroke in Feb 2019, I was living at home with my Mum and Dad however moved out 6 months later in September 2019 to complete my masters degree in London. This left my Mum caring for him on her own which she managed, though I think it must have been so difficult for her. She is not one to voice her troubles, I think out of fear of sounding weak and like she is inadvertently asking for help.
It was hard moving out but I always knew that it was coming, so it wasn’t a shock. Also, there was an air of relief that I would be able to escape this confusing and difficult situation of grieving the loss of my Dad as I’ve known him my whole life whilst still providing care for him. Has anyone else felt like this? Like you are grieving for someone who is still alive.
I moved back home in August 2020 and have resumed caring duties. This time is different because I don’t have anything lined up in my future to anticipate so am now at a stage where I am thinking to myself, if this is it for the foreseeable future? Is this my life now, living at home, repeating each day the same. It’s also different because that first 6 months he was in and out of hospital and it was all very new and no-one was really certain of the long lasting effects. Now the dust has settled and reality is setting in that my Dad will likely never be able to be self sufficient when caring for himself.
I feel like my Dad’s and Mum’s life is a bit (maybe a lot) easier when I am around. I’m no Florence Nightingale but I am able to provide relief for my mum ( who is his primary carer) throughout the day even if it’s something little like cleaning the kitchen or helping my Dad use the commode, I think these things can make a huge difference to someones day. My one consistent duty is that I help my Dad into bed at 9pm. This means that she can head off to bed early, or spend some time on her own without feeling negligent or guilty that she’s not downstairs with him. If I wasn’t around, she wouldn’t be able to do this, amongst other things. I know that my Dad appreciates me being around to lift some of the weight off of my Mum, I’m think he feels nothing but a burden.
I like the feeling of being able to help my Mum and Dad out, and actually feel somewhat obliged to be honest. I’m not sure if this is a bit unfair and irrational to place that responsibility on myself though? Or should I be at home providing care?
I can’t help but feel stuck in the mud which is probably a bit ironic during this pandemic where so many other non-care giving people feel the exact way. I haven’t had to say ‘no’ to anything, but at the same time feel so deterred from planning anything for my future, even a job, because I think as long as I am at home i’m not being selfish. It’s really hard sometimes, I feel like I can wake up one morning and be in completely different mood to yesterday. People around me can sense it too and I often have to just be on my own or I will lash out and hurt someones feelings.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel like I should be at home to help my Mum and Dad, but that one day in the future when neither my Mum or Dad is around, I’m going to be some lost loner with nothing to show for myself.
I woke up this morning feeling so overwhelmed and fed up and discovered this forum.