Author Topic: On Caregiving  (Read 69972 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #300 on: January 21, 2018, 11:35:05 am »
It must be very frustrating to see your friend go downhill like that. You are great to not jettison her from your life. I think it would be best for her to go to the county department of human services to apply for aid and get a caseworker who will act as a "life coach" to help her ease back into the job market and get her personal affairs organized. She most certainly will need training if she's been out of the job market for so long. Since she's internet-savvy, she could possibly work at home. The Dept. of Labor also has workforce centers where you can take some quizzes to find out what jobs would "inspire" you.

I suspect that one of her problems is that she is rusty at interpersonal communications; she is probably terrified of even the idea of working. Maybe since her son has autism, she might have it too. I would regard her messy home and strange bathroom sharing habits as side issues. Getting her out of the house and getting her to accept coaching would be the major tasks at hand IMO.
May 2019 be better for us all.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #301 on: January 21, 2018, 11:42:37 am »
PTSD, I've learned, is really a thing in non-military life. R. has it; his wife fell down dead in front of him of a heart attack almost 9 years ago. I myself have recurring flashbacks of my mother dying and I think it has changed my personality, maybe just temporarily. I am certainly more subdued. I've heard that treatment is needed for PTSD; that it sometimes does not just fade away over time.

I suspect my ex-husband had it too. His mother and father died in the same month and he was with them. He was grieving, depressed and in a bad mood and I left him alone to his thoughts. I didn't say anything about certain bad behaviors when he was acting Ennis-like. Then one day I woke up and realized that it had been 10 years since his parents died and he was still acting the same way! No way to get it right at that point.

Come to think of it, Ennis had PTSD too, after that horrific scene that his father showed him.  :'(
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Offline CellarDweller

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #302 on: January 21, 2018, 06:33:48 pm »
Some people just seem to invite drama into their lives, and I think this Deb does just that.   I have no idea why,  but she has her reasons.

As for the sharing the bathroom thing, when I was at home we never shared a bathroom that way.  If you needed something from the bathroom and someone was in it, you waited for them to be done.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #303 on: January 21, 2018, 07:33:39 pm »
It must be very frustrating to see your friend go downhill like that. You are great to not jettison her from your life.

Most of her other friends long since did.  :-\

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I think it would be best for her to go to the county department of human services to apply for aid and get a caseworker who will act as a "life coach" to help her ease back into the job market and get her personal affairs organized. She most certainly will need training if she's been out of the job market for so long. Since she's internet-savvy, she could possibly work at home. The Dept. of Labor also has workforce centers where you can take some quizzes to find out what jobs would "inspire" you.

These are all good ideas, though she is aware of them. She's very internet savvy and has designed websites, so something in that line of work is a possibility. She has also done wallpaper removal and installment, so there's that, but she injured her foot a few years ago and can't stand for long periods.

Believe me, I have been encouraging her for years to get out and get a job, whether it's through the state Job Service centers that are scattered around everywhere, or by stopping in to places, etc. At least now she has progressed to the point that we can have a whole conversation about it. Previously Deb, who is not in any way a shrinking violet and would readily analyze every grain of her mental health in conversation, would clam up. She'd literally press her lips together and shake her head and refuse to say anything beyond, "I can't." Now she at least says, "I know I need to."''

She can find all kinds of things on the internet, but she's more inclined to spend the time researching what PTSD sufferers can't do so she can have an excuse for not doing it.

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Getting her out of the house and getting her to accept coaching would be the major tasks at hand IMO.

No, I can suggest it and have conversations about it, but I cannot be her case worker. I should tell her I'm willing to drive her if she needs a ride or company, though. But I'm not going to make it my project to get her to do it. I have plenty of projects of my own.

PTSD, I've learned, is really a thing in non-military life. R. has it; his wife fell down dead in front of him of a heart attack almost 9 years ago. I myself have recurring flashbacks of my mother dying and I think it has changed my personality, maybe just temporarily. I am certainly more subdued. I've heard that treatment is needed for PTSD; that it sometimes does not just fade away over time.

Oh, I agree that it includes non-vets. It also includes rape survivors, abused spouses, etc. But I would think there are degrees, and I think they are probably correlated to the length of time you experienced the trauma. To be a disorder, it kind of has to interfere with your life. If it's just grieving the loss of a loved one or trying to get over a bad experience, I'm not sure it's a full-blown disorder as defined by the DSM or whatever. But even if it is , I would think it would be on a different scale.

So granted, this is definitely interfering with Deb's life (and it certainly did Ennis'). She has something for sure, but I'd call it depression. But one person mentioned PTSD to her years ago, now she spends her days looking for research on the internet showing that people with PTSD have a harder time working (or whatever). So she uses that to explain/excuse her not working. But those research statistics would be based on people whose experiences seem far more traumatic, like the Iraq vet or the gang-rape survivor.

That said, Deb's life has been filled with dramatic incidents of one kind or another. I'd go into them, but I'd be here for the next two hours. Suffice to say she's been through some very weird bad things. So I'm not saying she's had it easy. But up until about eight years ago, she was living a nice life in a smallish Northern Minnesota town. She was enrolled in community college studying something that inspired her, she knew everyone in town and had lots of friends, was active in the youth hockey community, lived in a cute little house that was pretty clean, etc. Then one night the father of her son, an asshole she had left a year or two earlier, wanted the son to stay with him and she resisted and they wrestled and he roughed them both up. Not outright punched them or anything, more like shoved them around as they struggled. She wound up with a few bruises and scrapes. Now to be absolutely clear, I'm not saying that's no big deal or she shouldn't be traumatized by it. But it was one night of very minor injuries from somebody from whom she was already estranged. Shortly after that she moved down to the city, to get away from him, which is understandable. But she has done nothing ever since. So I guess it was the trigger of her trauma. It doesn't make sense that eight years later she can't get a job because of that one night, which is what she blames. Though I guess if you added up all the traumas she has endured and this one night was the last straw (which it wasn't, because she's had more things since), it might make sense.

Quote
I would regard her messy home and strange bathroom sharing habits as side issues.

Agreed on the bathroom habits (I just thought that was kind of weird and wondered what you all thought), but I think her messy home is a fairly central issue, because it's a symptom of how much she's struggling. She's literally home all the time, sitting in that living room that you can hardly walk through. Normal behavior would be to spend the time cleaning and organizing, because it needs to be done and then she'd feel better. But for the first time last night I started worrying that her mental health is getting more out of wack, way beyond my ability as a friend to help.

She was seeing a therapist she really liked, but I don't think she's seeing him much anymore. Anyway, I thought it sounded like he kind of enabled her excuses. A good therapist needs to help her get past the excuses and make real progress. My last therapist certainly did.



Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #304 on: January 22, 2018, 07:03:49 pm »
I think her messy home is a fairly central issue, because it's a symptom of how much she's struggling. She's literally home all the time, sitting in that living room that you can hardly walk through. Normal behavior would be to spend the time cleaning and organizing, because it needs to be done and then she'd feel better. But for the first time last night I started worrying that her mental health is getting more out of wack, way beyond my ability as a friend to help.

The first thing that crossed my mind when I read your initial comment about the living room was: hoarding. Or, at least she seems to be on the way to it.
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #305 on: January 22, 2018, 07:58:35 pm »
The first thing that crossed my mind when I read your initial comment about the living room was: hoarding. Or, at least she seems to be on the way to it.

I have a friend who out-and-out hoards: she'll find some piece of junk and think she can find a use for it, and her house is very messy, too, but her mental health otherwise seems fine. This friend's stuff is mostly papers (not newspapers, but pieces of paper), so it seems less about hoarding in the sense of collecting new things than it is about never going through or organizing the old stuff. I mean, I have that problem to some degree -- my office needs straightening up, and I've always got my stack of unfinished New Yorkers, but my living room is neat and the other rooms are only mildly messy. And I think degree matters. In her case, the sheer scope of the mess was alarming.

I think things like this can often be tied to mental health. As you and I have discussed, Jeff, merely accomplishing some household straightening task can improve your mood. But also, if you literally almost never leave the house, you're home all day surrounded by major disorder and yet you don't do anything about it, that's a sign of almost debilitating depression.



 

Offline Jeff Wrangler

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #306 on: January 23, 2018, 10:31:44 am »
I think things like this can often be tied to mental health. As you and I have discussed, Jeff, merely accomplishing some household straightening task can improve your mood. But also, if you literally almost never leave the house, you're home all day surrounded by major disorder and yet you don't do anything about it, that's a sign of almost debilitating depression.

Agreed! I just reacted to your mention of the "living room you can hardly walk through." That brought to mind photos I've seen of places with huge stacks of newspapers and other stuff that threatened to collapse and bury you alive.

Sometimes when things are left go for a long time for whatever reason, it can be difficult making a decision on where to start. I haven't really done any housework since my dad went into the hospital now a little over a month ago (!). At least I was able to decide that this weekend I need to start with the bathroom and the kitchen.

I have a hallway that you can hardly walk through, but that's because one wall is lined with computer paper boxes that hold part of my model train collection. At least the hallway is tidy!  :laugh:
"It is required of every man that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide."--Charles Dickens.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #307 on: January 23, 2018, 10:54:43 am »
Sometimes when things are left go for a long time for whatever reason, it can be difficult making a decision on where to start.

I know what you mean. My office is like that.


Offline CellarDweller

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #308 on: January 24, 2018, 07:15:39 pm »
I think things like this can often be tied to mental health. As you and I have discussed, Jeff, merely accomplishing some household straightening task can improve your mood. But also, if you literally almost never leave the house, you're home all day surrounded by major disorder and yet you don't do anything about it, that's a sign of almost debilitating depression.


It definitely is a sign of something.  My grandparents' house was a complete hoard,  there was one room that was so full of clothes, we couldn't walk into it.   It was all grandma's doing,  but her hoard was due to her extreme anger towards my grandfather.  It was her revenge.


Tell him when l come up to him and ask to play the record, l'm gonna say: ''Voulez-vous jouer ce disque?''
'Voulez-vous, will you kiss my dick?'
Will you play my record? One-track mind!

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: On Caregiving
« Reply #309 on: September 01, 2018, 01:18:21 pm »
R.'s mother fell yesterday and couldn't get herself back up. She wasn't wearing her Medic Alert bracelet so she just had to lie on the floor until R.'s sister came for her usual daily check-up. Now, she's in the hospital. I had to give R. a stern talking-to because he was going on about his problems with his mom, his inability to make a decision about moving her out of the house, and going through a mental inventory of her belongings and what they would fetch. I tried to refocus him back onto his mom and sister. I don't know if it worked but he did go over and visit her in the hospital yesterday evening.
May 2019 be better for us all.