Think my caring role has caused PTSD

Hi Coolcar98. It’s very possible that you have PTSD. It certainly happens to a lot of carers, even if it’s not recognised. I had a look on the PTSD UK website and they have a section about it: Self-Care for carers and loved ones – PTSD UK

Hope this helps.

I really don’t think you should keep trying to work out what is or isn’t wrong with you.You know the root cause of the problems, your mother. She can’t change, you can. You are so lucky to have a good job and a Masters degree, a car, you can drive. Surely those are good foundations for a happy future, if you let it happen? You can’t change the past but you can change your future. Somehow you need to close the door on your past and start looking forward to a brighter future. Has the book I recommended, Starting Again by Sarah Litvinoff, arrived yet? Have you started reading it? This week choose ONE positive thing to concentrate on. A swim, a walk, a visit to a new place on your own. Feel what it is like to be content.

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I feel for you. I have suffered PTSD symptoms over the last few years taking care of mum and it intensified after she died. Unfortunately the most stressful time when she was going, my counsellor was on various holidays. So I felt abandoned. For some weeks now, I’ve had vivid dreams, not all bad but seeing her and other alive again. Then also flash backs of holding her up when she would roll off the bed, and other visual images coming back to mind. Trying to get a holiday but I am not up to organising it, and don’t have a lot of money. Also nervous of going on holiday on my own. I feel better just sticking to normal routines. but aware that mum isn’t there as well. I am looking for a new counsellor now. Try the G.P. mmine has been incredibly helpful. You should be on a Carers list with your G.P. entitled to special care. Good luck. You will get through it, but ask for help.

There is a Facebook group for solo travellers, be sure to join. Lots of ideas about where to go and how different it is on your own. My first trip was to Chichester, about 40 miles away. If I hated it I could drive home again. Expect to have dreams and odd feelings for a long time. Like crying, it’s your brain slowly accepting what has happened, see it as a step in the healing process. Try to replace negative thoughts about the last few months with happy memories of earlier Times. My husband died 17 years ago, every so often I have happy dreams of our lives together.

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I would not be surprised if you have PSTD, best thing go to the doctors and get checked out. I have had the same problem and the doctors and the local carers centre are helping me and support me through this do the same.

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I feel for you, and I know PTSD can be so complicated. I feel like I am barely stretching the service of carer related trauma. It’s also something that is rarely talked about. There is way too much stigma that is carers love our roles and we chose to do it. That is not at all accurate.

At work recently, a colleague was talking about her neighbours. Apparently an alcoholic son cares for his father, but the son just doesn’t really want to be involved and is putting alot of reliance on my colleague. I don’t know the full story so I can’t really comment but I heard enough about the attitudes.

When it was spoken about I kept quiet. I saw both sides really, but my colleagues were talking very one sided way. Well that’s what I believe, I love my colleagues to bits but in this one situation I had to just hang back. They did the classic argument of stepping up to the task and family being everything, which in some cases you would understand. However sometimes one person isn’t enough. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the carer.

I don’t agree with abuse in any shape or form, and alcoholism is something I’ve always been cynical off. Yet in this situation I just couldn’t help think of the son, had he turned to alcoholism because of his dad. Did he choose to be a carer. How much of his life had he given up? Where were social services?

I’m starting to get out more I must admit, however I do still find it hard. I feel like I don’t have the freedom I once had and there is always an after thought. It’s almost like you are fighting a heirachy when you choose to not gaslight yourself into thinking caring is the best thing you can do to yourself, especially when you are told “I would do anything for my family.”

If anything people have become obsessed with talking about disability in an overly positive light. There are tv shows after tv shows almost over glorifying disability without showing the realities of it and the difficulties loved ones face time to time, the difficulties with every day life. I’m not saying disability shouldn’t be talked about, representation just needs to be more accurate. There also needs to be more spotlight on acceptance on carers just saying “no, I am not equipped to deal with this.”

Hello, Coolcar. There is no need to apologize; make as many posts as you feel necessary. However a suggestion that I would make is consider adding to posts you make on a particular topic, rather than keep making new posts as you do at present. Your topics would be longer but it would be easier to keep track of your story.

Also, don’t get too involved in what your work colleagues tell you about their neighbours. It is your case that is relevant.

Bowlingbun has given you some very good advice. Stop trying to psycho-analyse yourself. Keep these thoughts for the doctor. We are not psychologists on this forum.

With your job, degree and car, you have great prospects for the future. You will compromise these prospects if you let your Mum’s welfare rule your life.

Okay. I get you I know it’s my case and I’m not getting involved with my collegues at all. I mentioned it as abit of a thing about perceptions towards people who care and the attitudes of “you have to do anything for family.” It happens even amongst friends and it’s a very lonely place to be.

There is often a family “sacrificial lamb”. Family who are too busy to help, or other excuses, leaving the nearest one to do everything. Me! My brothers were awful. My life ruined. Mum died 7 years ago, but I’m now too arthritic to do many of the things I wanted to do.

Yeah. I never grew up with a large family around me. I never knew any grandparents they all died before I was born. I don’t really know my dads side very well, but choose not to get involved with my mums side, they are all abit wierd.

It’s the classic line of “you can choose your friends, but not your family.” So I don’t feel any pressure to have any relationship with them. I don’t want to. I will say hi to a select few of them, mainly the most normal ones but I dont know them too well either. They do seem like nice people though. I know the teen daughter, changed her last name to detach from the family name. Luckily I have my dads last name which I wouldn’t change for the world. Although there are times at work where my last name confuses quite a few people because it’s not very common.

Anyway, when dad died I was the eldest of three. He died three days after my 24th birthday. My siblings were 20 and 18. The 20 now 23 nearly year old is partially sighted but very capable. Her vision is not extremely bad but her condition can’t be corrected with glasses. She faces enough stigma as it is from people who say “if your partially sighted how come you can use a computer” “where is your stick?” Because of her condition she finds it hard to deal with mum, and mum doesn’t accept her condition as real.

When dealing with her, you just have to be abit more specific so she can find it. So instead of saying it’s over there and pointing, you just have to be more specific and say it’s in such and such corner and is a certain colour. My mum just can’t understand that.

This morning I was woken to the news that mum has been the victim or maybe culprit of yet another attack at the pub. Apparently, a “friend” attacked her because they had a disagreement over whose husband died first. She was kicked out of the pub and argued with the bouncer.

She wasted no time this morning calling me at 6:45 am and wouldn’t stop ringing until I answered. I messaged back it’s 6am in the morning, yet she just brushed over that. I have had very little sleep due to the neighbours and finally must have dozed off around 3am. I’m now tired but I won’t get back to sleep. I was supposed to be having a nice day out with my sister today too. She always ruins everything.

She doesn’t get it, smashed windows, fractured shoulders, black eyes. Maybe these sodding people in the pub aren’t her friends but what do I know.

Put your phone on silent from 8pm!


We’ll not quite 8pm. I usually wind down with abit of white noise before I go to sleep. But maybe turn it off as I am asleep.

After todays news, I am extremely conflicted. But this is an accurate thing of what is like. Should I care? Should I not? Am I being horrible? Should I do more? That is what is going on in my head right now.

This morning I learned that mum has been beaten up in the pub by two people she thought were her friends. I’ve lost count of how many times “a friend in the pub” has done something to hurt her. To me it’s a numbing experience to hear about these things and it scares me to think about how desensitised I am to this violence.

Do I care about people been attacked? Of course. I do not wish for harm to come to anyone. Two against one is just not fair expecially when mum now has facial injuries. But it’s al rather de ja Vu In my experience. If only I put a bet on I could be a billionaire right now.

I’ve seen mums injuries and I know right now she is sat in the hospital getting checked over. She has facial injuries from where she was kicked by this man and woman. Any other person I would have been so full of concern, but with mum alarm bells were turned up to 11. They could not have been any louder. She was prewarned relentlessly about the dangerousness of idiots in the pub fuelled by alcohol.

I feel terrible, and this is all part of my experience as a carer. I am cynical, pompous but I never used to be. I feel like I have seen it all now with mum, violence of all types is just not suprising to me anymore. I am loosing my empathy and I don’t want to. The only real words I have to say is enough is enough.

I feel terrible for feeling like I don’t care and mum will be sat thinking her children don’t care. The reality is she will be straight back in the pub next week. You get rid of one idiot and it goes to the next.

Will you involvement help mum to change her behaviour? Sadly, no. It will stress you out, with thoughts of “here we go again!”

Yep definitely. I feel awful. I haven’t felt panicky in a good few weeks and today it has started again. I was ready to give up my anxiety medication because things were looking better, but today is a reflection of why I still need them.

You said in your earlier post that mum will think you don’t care. I doubt that, you have shown love and care for her. However, does she really care about you, support you, encourage you to live well, etc. etc.? Her mental state probably makes this impossible. For your own well being you need to strengthen yourself, decide what YOU need for your own well being. If you were on the verge of giving up the pills, that’s great, but it’s OK to keep taking them if you need to. Have you gradually reduced the dose? I needed medication after my husband died, in difficult circumstances.

Yeah, it is hard. She constantly has people worried. Last week she was beaten up in a pub, because another person thought she was after her partner. What are they 12?
Anyway she has a really bad black eye and had to go to the hospital. The police are once again involved. I am fed up of them involved.

Whilst she was at the hospital her phone must have died creating panic for my little sister who thought something had happened. She called me in the morning in a panic because mum hadn’t been answering the phone and it was switched off.

The worrying part was it had emerged that during the night there was an incident happened at a pub 30 seconds from the pub where she had been attacked. Mum was also at the same pub briefly. It later emerged that a woman was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder after a man was brutally attacked with and remains in hospital with a serious head injury. A second man was later arrested.

Now I had my suspicions from the start that mum was still in hospital and her phone had died. She had told me at about 10pm the previous night that she was getting a head scan. The battery on her phone is also very temperamental. I knew what had likely happened though I had the doubt in my mind.

I am upset it has happened. Two head injuries in just two days. I knew mum wasn’t involved at all, but it just demonstrated all my concerns about her going to these pubs. It isn’t so much about innocence or anything I don’t know the full details of this incident only that it happened. If people are nearly murdering each other then they are clearly not safe. She even admitted she knows it isn’t safe. Why go then?

Anyway so the police are involved again, even though its an incident against the person that attacked her. It is just annoying that they are involved. She just cant keep ringing the police every weekend.

Today has been a very busy day for work to. I have had three events booked in within the space of a few hours. An interview with the chairman of a massive event, a face to face interview with local mayor/ main council ward representatives and the local MP who happens to be one of the Governments leading ministers. I also had to cover a school leavers thing. I have been busier than normal. Well for a Friday at least.

Whilst I was at the entrance of the school leavers thing my phone signal cut out. It happens its a rural area along the coast line and the school was in a tiny little hamlet. I got a message through saying something had broke at my mums house. I couldnt reply, but there was nothing much I could do I was at the story and I wouldn’t be more than 40 minutes anyway. I drove back to the office (10 mins) before looking at my phone again. 60 missed calls with messages in-between telling me how I was a nasty … for not responding to her. I said my phone lost signal but she didnt believe me, and I was just ignoring her on purpose.

She told me that it was a problem with the fuse box tripping again. I said I would sort it as long as she moves stuff out the way this time, because I dont want an incident like last time where I fell in the cupboard and couldnt get our or breathe. I still have a problem in tight spaces because of the incident where I fell in the cupboard.

It is like she always wants to be a victim.

You need to turn your phone off at work. 60 missed calls is ridiculous. When she has a problem she must learn to think for herself. She needs to have the number of an electrician for times like this. Remember the term “elderly toddler”. For whatever reason, mum never learned to look after herself when younger. She thinks if she has a paddy you will come running. But if she can call you 60 times, she can ring an electrician!


Sorry I was unable to login for a while.

I was going to reply

My phone had run out of signal. I was in a little hall in a tiny hamlet on the coast covering a story. I noticed the sheer amount of calls when I looked at my phone after I got back to my desk. It is silly, It caused an argument. But because mum didn’t get an answer straight away she started accusing me of all sorts.

The washing machine caused it, she managed to do something to the socket again causing the system to trip. It is a simple fix. I dont know how she manages it.

Last night she messaged me again asking for money despite the fact that I gave her some only a couple of days ago. (The spare money which I put back for her). I have her £200 yet apparently she has spent it all and needs more money. According to her she got a new mop so I’m satisfied that warrants £200. Not!

She messaged me last night for another £100 her reason this time “I need some washing up liquid.” My dad always had this saying “stupid people think over people are stupid.” This is the case here, she thinks I’m just going to give her £100 for washing up liquid. When I told her no, she told me it wasn’t fair and that because she gave my sister some birthday money (£50) it has skint her for the month and really set her back. So she has asked for the money back.

She never physically gave my sister £50 at all. I gave her it out of my mums savings. Yes mum does have abit of money left but it’s got to last her until the middle of next month and half of the direct debits haven’t come out yet.

She is just absolutely a vile human being and then she has the decency to tell everyone she’s always putting her kids first. She didn’t even put any birthday messages on for my sister she just wrote on her status, “I can’t believe I have birth to my second daughter x amount of years ago.” She always has to make it about her.

further to what I wrote last night, mum has been at me again today asking me for money again. Apparently, she still needs £100 to go to the corner shop and get some washing up liquid. I gave her a few barrels because I am sick of it. It just seems to be all day everyday and I am considering throwing my phone at a wall, smashing it. I would have to quit my job of course and then maybe I could be a submissive little slave for her and use myself as bait for all the men in the pub. If I make any money it can go on her expensive taste in washing up liquid.
She is taking me for a fool and keeps telling me because I won’t give her my money or sell my car I don’t care about her. She keeps telling me I only have these things to show of and make out I am better than her.
I don’t know how she is spending £100 a day on things. She even had the audacity to say that I don’t care about her because I won’t give her the money, and she will call the police on me if I don’t do what she asks.
I can’t quite describe what I feel towards mum, and I find counselling is not working. Dad was a calm man who taught the value of hard work, determination, education and so on. He was an intelligent man, though he never got the opportunities he wanted to have because his parents pushed him into work early on. He always used to say he would support us kids no matter what. Now with him gone, it leaves a massive hole. Unfortunately, I don’t think that hole would ever go away.
If I could describe how it feels, it feels like the council estate kid whose dad left and their mum is an alcy. Of course, I am beyond that, and I have learned my own way in life now. Dealing with mum’s crap seems so demoralising, and I don’t want to do it. She never learns and she won’t accept boundaries.

as your Mum won’t accept boundaries - you are going to have to set some for yourself. These will dictate what if anything you are prepared to do.

What advice would you give to someone else in your situation?