Isolated fearful and lonely

I had a great relationship with my mother, had being the word.

She has breast and lung cancer and limited life so she moved in with me. Everyone warned me it would destroy our relationship But I was adamant we would be ok but it has been hugely corrosive - plus I have fallen out with my brother Who has treated me like the maiden aunt as I have no children and he feels that makes me ideal to do all tte caring. I feel alone and isolated - resentful that my carefree independent life has halted - I was widowed young and now struggling to maintain any sort of happy life - I cannnot have any male friends here as we cannot have privacy - little things my mother does are an irritant - her strict life of Old person set timings and rigid rules are difficult. The role change is difficult She cannot accept I am carer and she is tte invalid - she is Uber tidy I am not. I am a butterfly who loves to be free - she is in bed by 7 and I have to have TV low - I have to be up at exactly 7 everyday believe me these are minor things but major tensions - I am desperate and frightened as my personality becomes ever more unpleasant . I know she is dying slowly with the cancer which makes me feel guilty as I should be an angel with her - tonight I feel very sad - rang Samaritans but no reply

Erika: I really don’t know what to advise in this situation, but just need to let you know that you’re far from alone, both in your situation and in your feelings. It is a very difficult thing to do caring for someone all day and every day. I’m quite surprised that you had no response from the Samaritans, but feel free to chat on here, I’ll make a point of looking in regularly if you feel it would be of any help.

NO!

Your house your rules!!!

Don’t let her treat you like her slave or her child.

If she can’t cope with that she can move out. How much longer does she have?
Attendance Allowance sorted?
Power of Attorney sorted?
Funeral arrangements discussed?
All her financial papers together and sorted?
How much care does she need?
Has anyone told you about Continuing Healthcare???

Hi Erika,
welcome to the forum.

Life sounds very difficult at the moment and your caring situation is no doubt intensified by the pandemic. Alongside caring for your Mum, which is proving challenging, you are also coming to terms with her diagnosis, so don’t be so hard on yourself.

Are you receiving any help and support at the moment - help with the emotional side as well as the practical side of caring for someone with your Mum’s diagnosis? Is your Mum under the care of a hospice?

It sounds like you need to have a difficult conversation with your Mum and tell her how you feel. She is living with you, in your house and for the situation to be sustainable and for you to be able to continue to care for her, your needs need addressing too. It sounds like she is expecting you to slip back into child mode once more.

It might be worth reading The Selfish Pig’s Guide To Caring: How to cope with the emotional and practical aspects of caring for someone by Hugh Marriott, which will help you realise that its ok to meet your own needs too and how this can be done.

Have your tried the Samaritans again for chat or you could send them an email jo@samaritans.org

Melly1

Hello

Please try the Sams again. I am sorry you feel so down but not really surprised. Ambivalence is normal re caring. I care for my 81 year old husband and can relate to a lot of what you say with regard to how rigid older people can be - I am 58.

Please keep posting. BB gives very good advice and has been through it herself.

I guess you have to set boundries but I do know how hard this can be. Please take care of yourself. I know Lockdown has made things harder for a lot of carers.

Hi Erika,

If you need to talk, you could also try;

CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) offer a helpline open 5pm-midnight, 365 days a year, on 0800 58 58 58, and a webchat service.

(contact info from a BBC article)

Melly1

Dear Erika

I was sorry to read that you have been having a difficult time recently with looking after your mother. As well as the helpful suggestions from other members, I have also sent you a private message (see the top right of the Forum page) with some further suggestions.

Wishing you well

Michael

Hi Erika

Can I ask your age (for the purposes of help with signposting to where there will be help). You are doing a marvellous job be proud of yourself.

How much actual time do you get for you?
Are you still working.

Hi Erika
My name is Nicola and I have just joined the forum, I feel I can totally relate to your post, I am also feeling so alone now in the role of caring for my dad he has had 2 strokes is diabetic has dementia and talks to me like I am a piece of dirt on his shoe. My mum passed away 2013 leukaemia after non Hodgkin’s lymphoma I had been caring for her for years. My Dad thinks everyone owes him even though a lot of his problems are from self inflicted prolonged alcohol abuse. Whenever anyone else is there he is the kindest most social person and when they leave he completely changes back again. It doesn’t help I live next door to him and can’t move due to financial reasons I have also fallen out with my sister because she defrauded my dad while staying there out of £25,000! It is a complete nightmare it’s destroying my marriage I have anxiety which had escalated I haven’t been out in months - even before lockdown it’s soul destroying isn’t it, not a lot of perks that’s for sure I was wondering how you were feeling today I spent all last night sobbing alone with my Labrador after everyone had gone to bed seriously contemplating phoning the Samaritans but don’t think I would of got my words out. I hope things do improve for you. I know tough love has been advised but it’s sooo difficult isn’t it ! Take care xxxx

Nicola, it sounds like you are suffering from what I call Clapped Out Carer Syndrome.
You have done so much for so long that there is simply nothing more to give anyone.
A car cannot “run on empty” and neither can you.

Go away for a holiday, at least a week, ideally two.
Tell Social Services that you will “not be able to care for dad between the dates”. Explain dad’s disability, and what support he will need.

If you don’t look after yourself first, no one else will.
Dad has no right to speak to you like he does - next time he does this have your phone ready and record it, and di it every single time he starts.
Then tell him you don’t have to put up with it and go back home.

You CANNOT be forced to care, not even if it was your husband. Make a stand.