Monday, 16 July 2007

Time Out

*Mr Mans Wife clears her throat*
I thought it was about time I posted on this badly neglected blog.

As a result of being a Carer, it can be difficult at times to maintain other relationships. Friends and family struggle to understand the full extent of the caring role, and the responsibilities and anxieties that it includes. Although their intentions are good and they are genuinely trying to help, they often unwittingly make demands of us which put us under more pressure.

Take for example my brother. He and his family live in Norway and for the past four or more years he’s been asking me the same question: “When are you coming to visit us?”

As I’ve told him time and time again, I would love to visit him in Norway but Mr Man wouldn’t be well enough for the journey, and he couldn’t cope with being away from the home for more than a few nights, either in Norway or in a respite home.

My whole family seem to have great difficulty in understanding this. You can read my full rant about this here.

Friends are often the same. I’m repeatedly asked to go on holiday with friends or go on day trips with them, or just out for an evening. I’m grateful that I have so many friends that want to spend time with me, but it’s depressing and often embarrassing when I have to repeatedly decline invitations. It’s not so bad now I suppose because the friends who really didn’t understand stopped inviting me out years ago! I’m sure they thought I used Mr Man as an excuse when I didn’t want to do things.

I wrote a poem expressing how I imagined some of those friends must have felt sometimes.

My Friend the Carer

My friend is a Carer
But she doesn’t care for me
She always turns me down
When I ask her round for tea

She won’t come out for a drink
Or even chat that long
She won’t do anything
That I think makes a friendship strong

She says “I’d love to stay and chat
But must do such and such”
She just smiles back in silence
When I say she does too much

I say “Come out, he’ll be ok”
But she never does reply
I don’t think she knows I noticed
When she turned to wipe her eye

I don’t see why she should be sad
It’s plain for all to see
That I’m the one neglected
‘Cos she doesn’t care for me!


Of course the friends I have left are mostly very understanding and get on with Mr Man very well. In addition it’s not quite as difficult to leave Mr Man as it used to be.

What really makes me laugh is when “Carers Groups” arrange day trips for Carers – how on earth are they supposed to find the time out to go?