I’m a 37 year old male from Yorkshire who just wanted to post on here and let it all out because sometimes it gets too much for me. I’ve been feeling really down for a long time now. I did post on here not too long ago but then never managed to follow it up as life and caring got in the way.
I’ve spent days and days reading through the various threads and topics with tears running down my face because I know how some of the posters feel. I know how it takes over your life and how lonely you end up getting because you end up forsaking your own life.
I “care” for my Mum who is in her late 60’s - she has diabetes and osteoarthritis. I also help with 2 siblings: 1 is in her 40’s and I believe she has learning difficulties (they’ve never been diagnosed by the GP though) and 1 is 40 but has long term nerve damage. He can’t urinate normally and has to put catheters in to empty his bladder. He had an operation done to put a nerve simulator inside him but it didn’t work and now he suffers from intense pain in the leg they put it into. He also suffers from manic depression and can easily be set off which leads to a huge bout of unhappiness, vomiting and various other things. I know he must be in a lot of pain but when he is on one of his downers, the whole room is filled with a negative aura and it ends up getting everyone down.
I work part time and the rest of the time is either spent going to appointments with Mum, cleaning and cooking or just keeping her company. I don’t really have much of a life. Once I get home from work, Mum wants me to stop in and keep her company even when others are at home. I think she gets very lonely. Her husband died 10 years ago after being diagnosed with cancer. He was very controlling and more or less ordered her round like his own personal slave all their married life. So after he dropped dead, she has no one to boss her around or tell her what she can or can’t do. Towards the end of his illness and before his death, he became a complete “diva”. I know one mustn’t speak ill about the dead but he had us running around after him like mad people. He would demand food when he was told he could no longer eat and then vomit it all out which would then have to be cleaned up before he demanded another dish, which would then get vomited out, had to be cleaned etc etc. The abuse that came out of his mouth in the last 12 months was awful. I will never know how much pain he was in and how bad it got for him, but some of the things he would say just made us wince. I remember him saying once that he would be better off left to die out in the street because we had done nothing for him - that’s after like 5 years of weekly appointments, cooking, cleaning, doing everything for him, running here there and everywhere, catering to his every whim and fancy.
Anyway, Mum’s health has deteriorated over the last 10 years. She has lost a lot of weight and her arthritis has gotten worse too. Not too long ago, she was placed on methatrexate which I believe is a chemo drug. Since then, she’s lost even more weight and is now about 6 stones - most of her teeth have dropped out so she struggles to eat which makes me worry even more about her. I try to make soft food and soups for her but she doesn’t always like it. I sometimes cut up food for her into small pieces but this is not always possible. The others are too engrossed in their own woes to help out. Mum is almost always tired too, constantly nodding off until the ***** next door slam a door and she jolts out of her daze. I wonder if she gets any sleep at night? I know she worries about her kids mainly the 2 I have mentioned, especially my brother who can’t urinate on his own.
I’ve been in a “caring” role for close to 15 years, 10 years with Mum and about 5 years with her husband. By “carer” and “caring” I mean I help out and do most of the daily living things (cook, clean, appointments, financial stuff) but I don’t claim anything for it nor would I want to. I’m not posting this because I want help with money or finance. I’m posting because I feel so lonely. I don’t have a life other than work and that is stressful as any job can be working with young people who are homeless. I also wanted a release. I have a lot of friends and acquaintances but they just don’t seem to understand how it takes over your life. Some think I am exaggerating or being dramatic but then how would they know as none of them are still at home with parents and do not have caring responsibilities. I never make plans with any of them because Mum might want me to stay in and then it’s just too much hard work so I just don’t bother. It’s her house I guess so I have to follow her rules.
As much as I love Mum, and I love her a LOT, she has also become quite controlling. After work, she gets upset if I go out in case she needs me and it’s only once a month or once every 2 months that I am “allowed” to stay out. I normally book into a hotel and just sit there and cry but those 24 hours don’t last long and it’s back to running around after everyone at home. I’m not a caged up beast, she does “let me” go out to the gym once or twice during my non working days but she makes me feel bad for leaving her on her own - she’s not on her own because the other 2 are still there but I don’t think she can have a genuine conversation with them. Normally, I just end up crying in the shower at the gym - forget workouts, I just head straight to the shower and cry.
I used to be so full of life and confident and full of energy. Now I just feel miserable and despondent - my speech impediment has also come back! I have to put on the fake smile for work but it’s fake. I feel so tired normally. I’ve not slept properly in forever. On top of all of that, we have awful neighbours who slam doors day and night continuously. Unfortunately, the council won’t get involved because Mum’s house is owned and so is the awful people next door and apparently it’s fine to slam doors all day and night as per the environmental health team (I work in housing and they only get involved here if both properties are council owned). The Police won’t do anything either. I’ve talked about moving with Mum but she is adamant she will not be forced to move from here and would rather just suffer. We’ve had the discussion about moving numerous times over the years and I now just cannot be bothered bringing it up again. We end up falling out and then she just ignores me for weeks on end so it is really awkward.
Does anyone else sometimes feel the need for a hug or someone to just put a hand on their shoulder and tell them it’s OK? I feel so lonely at times with all kinds of thoughts careering through my head at night when I can’t sleep and I normally get out of bed with that awful knot in my stomach which is followed by a run of loo runs. I also hate the same old same old my life has become. I so want out but just don’t see any way unless Mum passes. I feel horrible for thinking it but sometimes I wish I could just break free and run off into the sunset and never come back. There is so much I want to do with my life, like travel, have a girlfriend, go exploring etc. Life is such a chore at the moment. At times, I just wish I would not wake up!
I’ve accepted she will not move from here and I have also accepted I will be in this “caring” roll unless I drop dead or Mum passes. However, I just wanted to get it all off my chest and thanks so much to anyone who has read this all. Oh my, it looks a thesis I wrote. Apologies.