being a carer
So, it’s strange; Iv not written any posts about my father. It’s a fairly complex situation. Well actually no it isn’t- he cheated on my mum and they divorced- a fairly standard scenario. The complexity comes from the resultant effect on my family.
Now, Iv not written about him for the simple reason that I don’t care, my ‘family love’ for him ended long enough ago that shutting him out of my life was a (perhaps psychopathically/sociopathically) simple process. The issue is that I always feel as though I give the impression it bothers me, this is compounded by the denial- by declaring I don’t care I am essentially confessing that I do.
So now I’m going to attempt to work through it.
In fact, no I’m not. I don’t know where I planned to go with this post, I seem to have lost my train of thought.
The fact is I do of course have ‘daddy issues.’ Of course I do, Iv already admitted I didn’t like him. From a young age there was an issue between us- maybe he didn’t like me, or he was jealous of something (a theory put forward by a few significant family members) or I was a reminder of his wasted young life. It’s not important, essentially there was an issue. I can’t explain it and regardless it’s too late. Iv had that ‘father figure’ gap for long enough that Iv adapted/grown/suffered/coped and now I have what I have and am what I am and it all becomes rather trivial.
So he cheated, yes he’s an arsehole, but the real arse was my sister. I should give her one allowance- she was a daddies girl so it obviously had an impact on her at the time. At a time when I was away at university someone needed to be there for my mum and she moved away. Three hours away, whilst he was still in the same house. For that alone there is no forgiveness coming from me. She gets worse- I won’t bore anyone with the details but she’s actually a complete dickhead.
This post is going to become even more of a loose ramble of thoughts now as I reflect on her recent comments. In recent times I have been accused by her of being many things, such as;
A benefit scrounger
All fantastically accurate adjectives to describe me if you apply a tabloids lack of context thinking to them.
selfish yes I am, absolutely in that I don’t care about her. In that case I come first, in reality I can think of at least three people who are more important than me
arrogant again, yes. And actually I will concede that I can come across as having an air of arrogance about me. The truth is I don’t think I’m better than anyone, however I do allow my self esteem to pick faults in people until they are worse than me.
ignorant not too sure she grasps the meaning of the word. I make it a point not to criticise or mock anything I don’t have an awareness/education on, otherwise I’m open to being called on it by someone more intelligent than me.
a benefit scrounger I get £61.35 a week for full time (and the rest) work, it’s far from scrounging. In fact my hourly rate works out at £0.37. Scrounging is what I should be doing.
a failure dependent on context and point of view she could be right, from hers it’s in a working environment so she’s absolutely correct. I’d say having a fantastic family counterbalances that fairly successfully.
a waster of opportunities she implies. Yes I have a degree I’m not using. Yes I have management experience I’m not using. Yes I’m very good at working. But I now work harder than I did in any job Iv ever had. In reality I waster more time when I was studying and working than I have the chance to now,
Honestly I don’t know where im going with this post so I’ll cut it short (although it’s already fairly long).
There are subjects her I’ll come back to, I’m smart enough to understand there are clearly some issues I have to deal with from my past.
So, I’ve realised that whilst Iv exceeded 100 posts (not sure if that’s all posted yet, but definitely scheduled) and only once have i actually specifically posted about my partners disability.
This isn’t necessarily bad because it means her being disabled isn’t necessarily controlling out lives, but I think also I’m skirting around it and not putting into words it’s effect on myself, so for those of you that care, more will be coming on that. For those of you that don’t, I apologise, more will be coming on that.
This blog was something I started to be able to vent, write, express and create I think if I continue to skirt around one of the biggest changes on my and my families lives then I miss a major venting and expressing opportunity.
So, tonight my partner got herself worked up about something (im not being a ‘typical’ ignorant male, I genuinely don’t remember what it was, something minor no doubt) and in her grumpy state suggested I could leave it I want to. Funny enough Iv just started reading a book about being a carer and I’m on the chapter that talks about wanting to leave. The book suggests that the person you fell in love with isn’t the same person who now needs your help as a carer.
Now, I spend a bulk of my time doing carer style things, not in the traditional way, Iv changed no nappies for example, but I do what I’m asked and try to make her life easier. The thoughts of leaving have never really occurred to me, for a start we have kids so of course I wouldn’t think about it (unless the situation demanded). Well actually that’s not true, Iv thought about it a lot. No. Not a lot, in depth would be a more accurate description.
I once explained this to my partner and she got upset, so clearly my explanation of the logic is lacking but here goes
In any relationship Iv been in I have analysed each and every change to the format of it and asked myself ‘is it worth it?’ – in fact now that I think of it I’ve done that with absolutely everything Iv ever done- once things reach a point where they are no longer worth the effort that goes in I stop bothering. It’s probably a really negative approach to life but it’s how I do things.
So when my partner ended up disabled I of course thought about our relationship and whether it would be ‘worth it’ anymore. I’m still with her so clearly I decided it was. A year on and still I think the same.
I’m happy with her, and in fact the only thing that would make me think otherwise would be if I heard a constant stream of “you can leave if you want” style comments. Aside from the idea that hearing something often enough makes you believe it, it’s about trust, confidence and faith.
If she says it often enough I’ll begin to doubt that she wants to be together.
As it stands, despite the hard work and sometimes frankly awful moments, the effort to worth it situation is all good, and I genuinely hope it stays that way for a long time.
So, tonight I made the mistake of popping into my local pub for a quick pint. This isn’t an issue in and of itself, except that its a local pub full of local people.
For background, I didn’t run today because my back was sore, so instead it went for a walk to try and stretch it out. On the way back. I passed the local and thought I’d pop in for a quick one.
I walk through the door and see one old fella at the bar. In these situations you leave, unfortunately the barmaid caught my eye and gave me a cheery ‘hello’ – probably desperate for any other human company.
So I buy a pint, sit at a table and plan to get it done as soon as I can.
The old fella starts talking to the barmaid about being a carer, so my interested is piqued, I listen subtly as he moans and complains about how awful it is that when he wants to sit in the garden and drink a beer she calls him because she needs a wee. I forget now, but I called him on something and then get stuck in a conversation about being a carer myself.
He offers to buy me a drink so immediately I know I can’t say no, and then will have to return the favour.
During our ‘conversation’ more patrons have arrived and I’m somehow on the outskirts of this clique. I quietly drink my pint with the intention of leaving, when something needs a response.
It’s not my fault, sometimes my brain/mouth works ahead of my common sense, and I can’t help but right the wrongs that I hear.
The guy says to his mates “she’s [some relative in prison] done something wrong and lost her privileges for two weeks.”
Now, at this point, the smart man would take another gulp and hurry on his way, but no. I Have to react, it’s just a simple comment, but I regret it now.
“Oh, so a lot like being in a real prison then?”
I wasn’t beaten up, it wasn’t even taken with any great offence, but for just a moment I was a little worried I was going to be integral to the new cellar floor.
Not long after I get up to leave, only to hear a rather large guy at the bar state “my diet allows me 500 calories a day, a pints about 150 so don’t let me buy more than three.”
So, last night was a tough one. Iv not had a decent night sleep in years- as I mentioned- but the last week or so has been worse than normal, with the boy teething and me generally not sleeping, last night was a whole new level.
Before bed I put the recycling outside for collection, at which point my knee gave way launching me out the front door, down the steps and face first into the road. I had thrown the recycling across the road and my entire right side was sore- where my arms had been full of recycling I’d landed on my shoulder, hip and ankle rather than being able to catch myself on my hands. Despite this incredible pain i feel i was actually quite lucky as no bones broke and no skin either.
I hobble up to bed and crawl in, whereupon i quickly fall asleep (the last few weeks have made it very easy to fall asleep), half an hour later the rain smashing against the window wakes me, and my bladders shouting for attention, so I hobble back downstairs and empty it. On my return the boys awake so I settle him down and crawl back into bed.
Close my eyes
I stare at the ceiling for half an hour, at which point i decided I need to get up, so I pull some clothes on, walk outside to the car with the intention of moving it (it’s currently parked in the doctors surgery and needs moved before they open). Annoyingly in the time it takes me to get into the car and start it another car has pulled into the space i had planned to take, this is very annoying, it being late night and everyone should be in bed. So I give up, head back inside and crawl into bed.
Close my eyes,
I stare at the ceiling, I stare at the wall, i stare at my partners back, I listen to her snoring heavily, I resettle the boy again, i stare at the wall, I lie face down, I stare at the ceiling, I cuddle my partner, I go for a week I stare at the wall.
I pick up my ipad, it’s 130, so I run through the various games and facebooks and websites i frequent. At 2am I settle myself back down,
Close my eyes,
The boys awake, typical, I settle him back down and get back into bed, my partner starts talking nonsense at me- she does this a lot, especially when she’s asleep. I listen for a minute before her snores kick in again. One last check of emails, Facebook etc and at 3am settle down to sleep.
5am, the boy gets resettled.
6am, the girls in with a wet bed. I get up, dry bed, go downstairs, dry pyjamas, she gets cheeky and rude and is told off and sent back upstairs, when I get up there’s a ‘new’ wet patch on her bed, she’s either spat or dribbled on purpose. More cheekiness and lying and she’s told off and put to bed. Her screams wake her brother and mum (must have been loud) who settles them both down.
I settle back into bed,
Close my eyes,
“Mummy, can I read”
I close my eyes,
“Daddy can I let my brother out of his room”
“If you get the boy and change his bum I’ll take him downstairs”
One full pooey nappy later both kids are running around screaming whilst mum has dozed back off. She gets up and takes them downstairs.
The stair gate, mums brought me some tea.
I need it.
Now, I am fully accepting of the fact that as a parent it’s my job to be exhausted until they move out, and as a carer I can understand that I’m going to be tireder than most, but right now I feel like a corpse.
I guess that’s why they say ‘sleep when you’re dead’