Philosophy of The Big Society

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Sunday, 14 December 2008

Never Make Promises!!!

Not long before my Mum died, she made me promise to look after Dad.

Now, both of us kinda knew that Dad was a way that he couldn't be openly fragile (because of pride and duty). With some people it all goes on on the inside and, from the outside, all you can tell is that something painful is going on with them.

I made that promise...not at all realising quite what that promise would mean. I certainly never contemplated that Dad would implode after Mum's death and after he came back to me (it took about 5 years after Mum had died) I thought, wrongly, that he had done his grieving and would be able to function better from then on. I knew he would never be the same like we are back there...not long after Mum's departure.

It is fucking horrible! The mixture of emotions, mostly negative ones, are too many for me to be dealing with but I am carrying them around.

Today, I had planned to see Dad. Because yesterday, he was coming across as if the loneliness was his biggest concern and with his incapacity to get out (and no one else wanting to see him) I wanted to help ease some of that.

No Mand, wrong again!!!!!!

I rang him today and asked if I could go round. He said he would rather I didn't. Okay, so then I asked if he wanted me to stay over tomorrow night and then we could get ready to go to the medicine review together. He didn't want that either. In fact, I am not sure he wants to go to the medicine review now.

White flag jobby here. Sorry, Mum, but I can't double guess what he wants. Perhaps he does want to die or be left totally alone. Perhaps he wants people to come in and take control of the decision making but all I am picking up is a couple of extremes. They are stubborness and despair. In between, I get dragged back down a memory lane that I would much prefer to keep in the locked away place inside me. Or I get weird questions about the possibility of parallel universes. I struggle enough in this one..contemplating another one is too much for me.

I was talking, today, with someone who lives close by. Who is moving out of the marital home. And ending for them and an new beginning. Hmmm

And I am once again in a grieving process and whilst the person is still alive. For those who have never experienced is the pits but it is something that is happening...whether I like it or not.

I don't know where it is going to take me, because I have no timescale to work with. No definate. I was a bit similar with Mum. I knew she was dying...she had been chronically ill for a long time but it could have been any day. It turned out to be the 22 December. Hence my aversion to Christmas.

I grieved for her for many years before she died. Only I didn't realise I was. I am acutely aware that I am grieving for Dad now.

Sorry this is such an intense posting but it is where I am at.

As for the GP, unilaterally, deciding that I should only be taking .5mg of Lorazepam a day. They can shove their 'good intentions' in the shredder. I need to be sedate because if I am not...I will lose it.

I don't need to be so aware of how awful things are. I need to be able to live with how awful they are and no 'sensible' talking from MH professionals is going to change that.


  1. Mandy
    Am really sorry you are having to go through this. I wish I could help you, or even know what to say - but I can't.
    I think you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself and if your Mum was here she wouldn;t expect you to become a full-time carer for your Dad. I know that won't stop you wanting to help him, feeling frustrated you can't and running yourself ragged- that's who you are. But as my CC reminds me no-one is Superwoman.
    Email me anytime you need to.
    Lareve xxx

  2. Manders,

    The Catch 22 here is that services wont pick up even though they are clearly aware of the potential for you becoming unwell trying to deal with your dad yourself. Your dad's behaviour does come across as that of someone who is very depressed: down and constantly tearful , low self-esteem, totally lacking motivation ,
    and resisting the idea that anything or anybody can help.

    You have kept your promise to your mum , I think , but there isnt an awful lot you can practically do for your dad under current circumstances unless and until services start pulling their weight in the absence of any conscious and consistent effort from him so ease up on the self-criticism as your mum clearly wanted and expected you to try to look after yourself too.

    You're not superhuman mate, none of us are.

  3. Thanks Lareve

    I think it is my brain that is running ragged. The rest of me is crawling around the floor.


    A catch 22 is exactly what it is. I know the services would rather he were dead. They certainly act that way. I know his support worker cares but she is the only one of the MH staff who does and, as ever, it is the lowest paid member of the staff that cares the most.

    I guess if Dad isn't able to get to the meeting on Tuesday, even with me as support, then I will have to ask for a MH Capacity Assessment, although I don't really trust services to act in anyone's best interest than their own.

    Heading for bed now.


  4. Mandy, you have certainly more than kept your promise to your mum. She wouldn't expect you to take on full responsibility for him, for making him OK - just think about what she would want you to do if he had a heart condition rather than a mental health one. No way would she want you to do it all yourself.

    Hang on in there - give the GP what for when you can so that you get the meds you need - and look after yourself for a bit.

    Gentle hugs.

  5. I have been thinking a fair amount about my parents recently.It takes me by surprise when the grief does pop up & bite me on the butt.Much like you I really don't like Christmas anymore.As has been said here already you are doing a lot to help your Dad aswell as managing your own health.It is a lot to cope with for anyone & you are doing what you can.
    Take care & I'll email you.

  6. Thanks Sis

    The good news. Yes, there is some is that I saw the shrinky dink today and he is going to write to GP about the lorazepam so I shouldn't be struggling with withdrawal symptoms and heightened stress for a while.

    My next appointment with them is next June. My situation can be reviewed then.

    Fine by me.

    Looking forward to email xx

  7. Thanks too C

    You have a wonderful creative side. I haven't made alot of cards lately.

    Although have done some individual ones for friends for Crimbo.

    Going to start a fresh in the New Year x