Anger and Exasperation

I was really pleased to have been nominated in the Carer categories for mental health awards. It made me think though, what is this blog about? If I am a carer, is it about my care for L. And if there are days when I don’t or can’t care, am I still a carer?

Because there are days when I don’t care. When I am too tired to care. This morning I woke up and I asked L about breakfast. I hugged her tight and told her that I need her to eat more. That recovery is a process not a state of mind, a place to be. It is a journey that ends, not a club to which we belong. She listens but she resists, she avoids and controls.

She goes back to make sandwiches. I lie in bed and cry and want to sleep forever. We go out and drive through stunning Autumn scenery. We stop and look at shops and then I remember I promised K cake. We go to the cafe. L hovers and prevaricates, her eyes flitting wildly across the menu. K panics about food situations and cannot choose cake. I buy tiffin for me and drinks for K and C. L has nothing. I eat the tiffin. I feel fat and greedy and hopeless. C asks why I am the only one having cake. I respond that I’m the greedy one. They reassure me, but I want to cry, shout and smash plates. I just want to go out to a cafe and have a fucking snack without all this shit. I miss our old life. I miss those days when we each had our own cake and swapped tastes. I miss hot chocolates and scones. I miss sticky buns or chocolate snacks. Actually it’s not the food. I miss the easiness. I miss the straightforward rituals before an eating disorder twisted and corrupted our world. I miss looking at my daughter and smiling rather than wincing at her slightness. I miss nights where I slept rather than waking in the early hours and spending hours wondering if today was the day she will get better. If today is a day when we will have cake and laugh. I know it won’t be. Even worse, I don’t know when that day will come. I am tired of caring, tired of hoping and tired of every day being just like the last.

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7 responses to “Anger and Exasperation

  1. I’m sorry, I know you’re exasperated and appear to have compassion fatigue, but if you want L to eat cake then PLEASE keep comments about you being “greedy” for eating cake to yourself. It is really unhelpful for L.

    • Sam, carers are entitled to have feelings too. I think it is better to talk openly and honestly about those feelings than to hide them. L has difficulty talking about how she feels. Seeing others being willing to talk about feelings – whether negative or positive – is a GOOD example. The reference is not to BEING but to FEELING. Any carer in a similar situation will be fatigued and despairing. That doesn’t mean a lack of caring or compassion, just that they too are human and part of the whole family that is affected by this nasty, insidious condition. Starting your comment with a passive-aggressive “I’m sorry” doesn’t make it any less unhelpful and unsupportive.

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