Carers need care too. Case study
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Maureen Tuitt. Anxiety, depression, trauma. Mayfair and Holloway
14th June, 20170 Comments
As a story teller its great to speak to people and be the 'teller' of their story. Each story is important and has value. Permission has been given to tell this story.
A story of a young lady whose dad had complications in surgery and now he has 'complications' in life and so does she.
My dad was in hospital for prostate surgery he suffered neglect from those who were meant to care for him. His injury left him unable to walk and this caused him to become clinically depressed. The depression was intense. He spent his days sleeping which was due to the medication he used to release him from severe pain. He was angry and often had outbursts against me. He hit me once and was so upset about it he apologised to me over and over again. He would then stop talking to me or even look at me because he felt ashamed of what he did. I know he didn't mean it. It was more about his situation than me.
I was 23 years of age in my first year of a degree in business and finance when the hospital nightmare happened. As you may know doing a degree is difficult. To do a degree when your dad has suffered neglect at the hands of doctors that were meant to care and become the sole carer of your father is very difficult and oftentimes unbearable.
He brought me up by himself. A single father. We had fun he taught me my seven times tables, I had difficulty learning the sevens. He loved to play loud music around the home. He was a Coldplay fan and loved Paula Abdul, a contrast I know but we had fun. He drove us down to the beach playing music on the cd player and singing loudly whilst I watched him in my younger years. I love my dad. But he is no longer the dad I knew. A lively home was now dead. This was hard for me I wanted my dad back.
He walks around the home with his head down as if to apologise for his state. There is no more music in the house. We no longer have visitors and his only role now is to feed the dog. He pulls himself up and pours the science plan into the dog bowl. Georgie the brindle Staffordshire Bull Terrier runs down and sits by his feet until dad says "eat Georgie eat". Georgie runs to the bowl. This is all he does now is feed the dog. Then shuffles from his wheelchair down onto the brown leather settee staring at the wall.
As for me...
I often went out with my friends to the pub in the evenings and at weekends I would attend Jazz dance classes. The only classes I attend now are the group therapy classes. The body is no longer moving to the beat but the mind is moving, confused, lost and heartbroken. Now I have to tell my friends that I am unavailable, it's true I am always busy with dad. My relationships have dwindled I no longer see my friends. I cook clean and tend to the needs of my dad. Running his baths, filling in benefit forms and I take him to the hospital using the hospital transport that is never on time.
He then misses his hospital appointment and has to re-book. This affects his mood even more.
I feel guilty that I couldn't protect my dad from this nightmare he didn't deserve it. Nobody does. I should have been there for him I should have protected him. I feel so guilty I don't know what to say except this is so hard.
I feel guilty.
I feel angry.
I am lonely.
I have no friends.
Feelings of hopelessness/guilt.
Career life on hold.
I am now in therapy. The anger I feel has been pushed down for so long as to support my dad. I cannot be truthful in front of him because he will think it is his fault. It's not his fault.
Our roles have changed I have become the mother of the house sorting out everything being responsible for everything! Ahhhhhhhh!
I have been diagnosed with depression and have trauma symptoms as a result of witnessing the suffering of my dad. Yes, this can happen and it happened to me.
This all happened as result of physical injury... negligence experienced by her father. However, as an observer of this incident and living with the consequences of her dad's injury, she is now affected. Fortunately, this young lady is in counselling and is receiving therapeutic support.
Carers need care too.
About the author
Maureen Tuitt is a humanistic integrative psychotherapist. I have 20 years experience working with both adults and children. I work with attachment issues, depression and anxiety and trauma related symptoms. Counselling is a big step that you have taken I will help to put you at ease as we work through the issues you choose to share in the session.
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