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Care & carers

Trying not to resent caring for constantly sick husband

(93 Posts)
Sielha Fri 21-Sep-18 23:24:00

Suppose I just need to offload/rant but does anyone feel a slight resentment creeping in when they are living with someone who has had one health issue after the other for the last 5 years? Sounds cruel even as I type it but it’s wearing me down, especially when they don’t take care of themselves. I feel like I have another child to look after when we should be entering a more relaxed phase of our lives (I’m 55 and he’s 61 so not really old!) I know that it’s just life and that I should be grateful for what I have, and I am but it’s hard not to feel resentful at times. I also have a pregnant daughter who lives very near with her husband and 1 year old son, who she suspects is on the autistic spectrum, so she also demands a lot of me. As mums, grans, sisters, aunties etc, we seem to be expected to provide all the emotional support whilst neglecting our own needs. I’ll stop here as I’m annoying myself now🤣 Rant OVER!!

Marydoll Fri 21-Sep-18 23:34:11

I'm so sorry that you are feeling so low. I have no words to make you feel better, but there are lots of Gransnetters who can empathise and who will offer support. Feel free to come on and rant. No-one one will mind.
I know what you mean by having to support everyone's needs, and neglect your own.
We are mums, grand, sisters etc, but no-one one is there to support our needs or relieve our worries. It leaves you so weary.
Please take care of yourself.💐

JudyJudy12 Fri 21-Sep-18 23:35:23

That wasnt a rant, you need to shout, swear and have a good cry.

You are not old and have along time left so cannot have the rest of your life like this and need to take some practical measures.

I would work towards getting a whole day to yourself or an outside the home interest that you can do regularly. You need to do something that will stop you thinking about others for periods of time or you will become bitter and unhappy.

and learn to have a proper rant.

Sielha Fri 21-Sep-18 23:41:01

Thank you, feeling a little better already. Need my Gransnetters x

notanan2 Fri 21-Sep-18 23:47:39

Stop trying to not feel your feelings

It is OKAY to resent the SITUATION. It does not mean that you don't love your family.

You go ahead and feel resentment and whatever else being a carer makes you feel because being a carer is HARD and its okay to say so xx

Syd261 Sat 22-Sep-18 01:00:48

No need to apologise here - I’m sure many of us can relate to similar ‘tying’ circumstances. I look after my elderly mother full time who lives with me and to be honest it was easier bringing up children! I am constantly at her beck and call and have very little time for myself. My highlight of the day is when I go for my morning walk before she wakes up - bliss! I only have to go out during the day on errands or meet a friend and be out for an hour before she starts ringing me to find out when i am home - very draining. I love her very much but now I think she is starting with dementia it will only get worse. Thinking of starting yoga and learning some meditation techniques just to be able to ‘switch off’

BlueBelle Sat 22-Sep-18 06:21:19

I do understand how dreadfully draining it is and really feel for you
Can I ask, is the health problems of your husband serious the little bit that says even if they don’t look after themselves makes me wonder? if it’s not serious can you ‘escape’ for some periods go for a coffee or lunch with a friend, couple of hours at the cinema or even a bit of retail therapy At 55 you are so young if your husband is seriously ill can you look to support groups for his illness they may do befriending or ‘sitting with’ while you get respite
I do hope you can find some relief from this difficult situation

cornergran Sat 22-Sep-18 06:35:32

Totally agree with notanan, being a carer is desperately hard, rant away at the situation, we know you love your family.

Is there ever any ringfenced ‘you’ time? A class can help with that, something relaxing, something you enjoy. On the calendar and allowing you to say ‘no’ to a demand without guilt.

You don’t say if your husband’s illnesses are transient or chronic conditions that will need managing into the future. If the latter and it’s possible I would suggest a gentle but serious chat with him explaining that much as you love him your need recharging. Others sometimes see us as invincible and just don’t realise we have needs too.

Your daughter won’t be pregnant forever but your grandson may need input and of course a new baby brings pressures too. We all want to help our family, well most of us do, but it’s like making a pot of tea. We can’t make tea if there’s no water in the kettle. Vital to refill your internal kettle to be able to carry on helping.

If a rant does it sielha then rant away, there will always be someone to listen. If you can change things just a little to replenish your resources then why not? You’ve a lot of life ahead.

Willow500 Sat 22-Sep-18 06:58:45

I can certainly sympathise with your situation although in my case it wasn't my husband but both parents who we cared for in our 50's. They both had dementia and needed a lot of support then after mum went into care it became worse as dad was still at home and my life revolved around taking care of him, working (from home which was a blessing) and trying to fit in visits to the care home - couple that with very ill in-laws 60 miles away we didn't have any time we could call our own.

Don't feel guilty for being a little resentful that you are suddenly becoming a carer rather than a partner. Feel free to come on here and rant. Try to find a little time for just 'you' moments - a good book you can escape into, a soak in the bath or if you are able to get out of the house meet up with friends for coffee or a visit to the cinema. Your daughter obviously needs your support too but has she does have her husband to share that with.

My grandson who is 5 this week is also being diagnosed at the moment for autism/aspergers. His parents have suspected for some time he may be but at 1 year old I think it's too early to consider this for yours and they probably need to just concentrate on enjoying him and looking forward to the birth of the new baby. As he develops if he is on the spectrum it will become more obvious and a diagnosis can be sought. If he is then there is a lot of support out there and many GN's who have children/grandchildren who can help.

morethan2 Sat 22-Sep-18 07:19:27

Being pulled in all directions isn’t easy. Like you say it’s also more than disappointing when you reach the stage in your life when you hoped things would be a little easier, then add in a bit of being well and truly taken for granted and your entitled to feel resentful. I do a lot of the time. Then I feel guilty about feeling that way. It’s true making a little time for yourself will help. A brisk walk, join a gym or class, read a book, talk to friends. The problem is often lack of time, or money often don’t allow for this. So the trick is don’t feel guilty about feeling resentful it’s normal but even that can prove difficult. Somtimes the only answer is to lock the bathroom door and take a deep breath, scream, or come here and rant. I hope you feel a bit better for it. flowers brew n cupcake

sodapop Sat 22-Sep-18 08:57:53

I agree with notanan2 all carers feel like that at times, it doesn't mean you don't love your family.
I would say though that you should take care about the amount of support and help you give to others. You need to take care of yourself as well, let others help where they can.
Good luck flowers

Luckygirl Sat 22-Sep-18 08:59:27

Yup- it's hard.

At this minute I fell the entirely inappropriate emotion of anger towards my OH (who has had PD for the last 10 years) - so if you think you feel cruel, then join the club! I am off to the shower for a good weep, then I will pick myself up and get on with the day.

Honestly, this situation is fraught with negative emotions and guilt and you just have to accept that you are human and it is OK to feel thoroughly pissed off with it all sometimes. So don't beat yourself up.

Trigger is that he is talking bollocks this morning - apparently the electricity is doing something to him, but he can't tell me what till he has "formulated it in my mind." I can cope with the physical care, but when he goes off on this sort of tack I just want to exit the premises pdq!

Be kind to yourself; get out whenever you can; take every opportunity you can to have normal conversations with normal human beings - sometimes you can have such things on gransnet grin

Resentment is normal - I cannot stop my mind thinking of all the lovely things we could have done if he had been well; and all the opportunities that have passed us by - and of course I mind. I would be a robot if I didn't. flowers

MawBroon Sat 22-Sep-18 10:00:52

You are only human.
DH died last November and I hope and pray that the feelings I sometimes experienced (not always I am happy to say, but sometimes when I was up at hourly intervals to help him to the loo with C.Diff) anyway I pray that it did not show in my face. DH lived with serious health issues for 20 years and more seriously for the last 8-9 years. Before things became critical I also used to be acutely aware of the shrinking of our horizons and yes, I used to resent it and envy those whose lives were freer.
However I regret every second of that now just as I now feel guilty about “escaping” to the Waitrose coffee shop for an hour to preserve my sanity, but I had no way of knowing for certain how little time we had left.
You are only human.
Rant away here with people who do not know you in RL , recharge your batteries when necessary with friends/coffee/retail therapy whatever it takes.
Don’t feel you are alone flowers

Luckygirl Sat 22-Sep-18 10:06:08

Maw - you have no reason to regret every second of the times when you felt resentment, nor to be guilty for escaping for a coffee now and again. Carers are in a naturally guilt-inducing situation because we are normal human being with normal human emotions, but we are supposed to curb these and pretend to be saints.

We are not; and should not ask ourselves to be.

I am sure that your OH would have been very bored if married to a saint! smile

Luckygirl Sat 22-Sep-18 10:08:50

As my DD says, "You cannot pour from an empty jug" - carers need times to fill up the jug so that they have the fuel to carry on. Taking those times out is a practical and sensible thing to do, because you return better able to do this job that you find yourself with, that neither wanted.

The job is difficult enough without loading guilt on the top. Kindness to self has to feature somewhere.

Maybelle Sat 22-Sep-18 10:15:15

As a fellow carer in a similar situation, I know how hard it can be.
Make time for yourself, even if you cannot go out, find something that will give you space and time to focus on your needs. A hobby or interest you can do and try to set aside a time each day (or week) to do it.
Make it clear that you need some time to unwind.

Teetime Sat 22-Sep-18 10:23:00

Sielha I'm so sorry you are tired and overwrought - its is so hard being a carer and it seems you are being expected to do even more than you can reasonable be expected to. As almost everyone else has said in order to be able to continue to care you need to top up your batteries too and sometimes this means saying ' No I cant do that today I need a rest'. I wondered if there are any local agencies/groups where you could get support for you as a carer. It might be worth have a chat with your GP. The library keeps information on Carers support as well. If DH is well enough to be left even for a few hours instead of filling that time with yet another household chore why not leave it and go and have a massage or a hairdo and try to make this a regular thing to look forward to. I hope you get some respite very soon and until then you have us all on here to empathise and possibly offer some helpful answers to the problems you face. flowers

starbird Sat 22-Sep-18 10:27:52

You don’t say if either of you work?

I agree that you need time for yourself at least once a week, when you can get out, meet friends, have a hairdo or whatever. Do you manage to get away for a holiday? If you husband can’t go with you, can you arrange temporary cover for him, or arrange for him to go into a home for a few days or a week?
They say it is more blessed to give than to receive so you must be very blessed, but to keep giving you also need to make sure that you stay emotionally and physically well. Not only that, it might give your husband a wake up call and encourage him to take more care of his health. Perhaps he also needs an incentive to get fit - a hobby or interest to look forward to?

Brunette10 Sat 22-Sep-18 10:30:41

I have for the first time this week been looking after my DH after a surgical procedure which I suppose is quite common. It has been difficult but I'm coping. However I know this is going to pass soon and we will be back to our normal lives soon. I can only imagine how you must be feeling with the constant care and attention you are giving to your DH. Think sometimes everyone else around us just simply forgets or doesn't think about the pressure on the carer, everyone thinks that us mums/grans/ etc just cope no matter what. Take time if you can to think about yourself and try and get some time to yourself if that's possible. I'm sure you will feel a lot better for it. Do not think you are a bad person for ranting it is perfectly normal. Take care.

Sielha Sat 22-Sep-18 11:05:30

Thank you for all the messages of support, as usual. And my thoughts are with all of you who have your own problems but still took the time to reach out to me. X

Eglantine21 Sat 22-Sep-18 14:22:59

Sielha can I recommend to you “The Selfish Pigs Guide to caring” by Hugh Marriot.

I appreciate this might not be everyone’s view of caring but I found it very helpful because it brought humour to my situation as well as some practical help in caring for my ‘piglet”.

My husband was diagnosed with a degenerative disease in his late thirties and I increasingly became his carer until finally I had to give up work and do it full time.

I could say quite a lot about those years but that if I had to give one piece of advice in retrospect it would be “Be more selfish!”

I expect some brickbats from that, but I think always putting his needs first did neither of us any favours n the end.

Doodle Sat 22-Sep-18 14:51:22

sielha and all those who are careers of some sort you deserve support and some 'me' time without feeling guilty. I have been with my DH through many operations, illnesses etc over many years.
In his first illness I found it difficult to cope because I think one side effect was that he was very depressed which brought me down too and made me a bit cross on occasions ( I just wanted our happy life back)
Subsequent illnesses have always been more physical In nature. I think that as he has had a few 'risky' operations and procedures from quite an early age I have always had this dread of losing (sorry maw if I got the wrong spelling 🙂) him. I think this has probably tempered my feelings and made me worry more about losing him than about how I was feeling myself, plus he has been so good about hospital visits and treatments and does not complain (much).
Caring for anyone is a tough business and I don't think you should feel at all guilty for how you feel or taking some time out.

OldMeg Sat 22-Sep-18 15:13:47

I’ll never forget an elderly neighbour knocking on my door and asking for a cup of tea and a listening ear. Her husband had PD. She’d just lost her temper with him and was in total meltdown with the guilt.

This, and all the other posts, are telling you not to feel guilty about these feelings. It’s very much a norm in these situations.

What you do need however is Time Out for yourself. A little time, preferably each day, where you don’t have to worry or care about anyone else.

What you do, where you go, what is a practical amount of time to take, that’s up to you. But try to find it.

oldbatty Sat 22-Sep-18 15:46:37

Can I just say your Grandson may not be on the spectrum ( which isn't a spectrum really) and aged one is very young.

merlotgran Sat 22-Sep-18 15:49:23

Thanks, Eglantine, I have downloaded the book to my Kindle. Maybe not a good idea to buy the paperback version and leave it lying around!

The foreword alone grabbed my attention. I wouldn't mind betting more than a few Gransnetters will find it helpful.

Sielha. It's good to offload and definitely not good to feel guilty about it. smile