Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Help With Caring For An Agoraphobic

Marie's agoraphobia requires a "safe" person to be with Marie at all times. She cannot stay anywhere on her own - even for a minute or two.

When I started to go out with her, one of her "safe" persons was Emily. However, soon after we began to live together, Emily was removed from the safe" persons list because she can't drive. In the evenings and at weekends, we started to rely on my family to look after Marie on the occasions when I had to go somewhere that Marie couldn't. (During the day, I had members of staff who were on the "safe" persons list.)

We started off with relying on Carla and my sister, both of whom had cars at that time. Usually Marie would go to their houses while I went elsewhere, or, less frequently, they came to our home.

Here are my oldest daughters. From left to right, Carla, Colleen and Jenna. Collette is at the front.

In 2002, Colleen got her driving licence and she was added to the "safe" persons list. In 2004, my sister moved away and Collette passed her driving test, so it was up to my three daughters to help me with Marie's care. This was quite a good period, because one or two of Marie's "safe" persons lived in the family home. In 2005, Colleen left the family home to move in with her boyfriend: Collette did the same last year. More recently, Jenna became a "safe" person, even though she doesn't have a driver's licence; and within the last couple of months, Sharyl has joined the list, too.

I am a lucky man. My sister and daughters have often gone out of their way to assist me by sitting with Marie - and my daughters may have to continue doing so for some time in the future.

Here I am on the day of my wedding with my four oldest daughters.

My daughters are a great bunch of girls, and I'm proud to be their father.


Sarah♥ said...

You are such a wonderful husband. You appear do everything you possibly can to make Marie's life easier and more managable with her agoraphobia.

It also makes me extremely sad, all my husband does is tell me how shit i am for being this way and that if i don't start getting better then he'll have to eff off and leave me because he DOES NOT have to stay with me, there is more to life than living with someone who can't go out.

I must be one awful person to not be worth staying with because of my illness.

Your wife is very lucky!


Aff said...

Well please forgive me for jumping in and judging based on one comment but your husband sounds like an arse ;-)

My other half is pretty perfect most of the time but occasionally gets frustrated by my problems. That's natural and I allow her that and after a short time, we're back on the recovery road.

I loved the blog by the way, Robert. Although please do stop being so perfect, you're making the rest of us look bad!

Absolutely brilliant Wedding too. Looked fantastic.

Robert said...

Thanks Sarah & Aff for your compliments. I read them while polishing my

Before you recommend me for Sainthood, take into consideration that I have two failed marriages behind me. Those ladies definitely don't think that I'm perfect!

I also get frustrated with Marie's problems from time to time, and there are times when I take it out on her. But when this happens, I try to remember that SHE'S DOING THE BEST SHE CAN. And who can ask for more?

Lots of anxiety sufferers have understanding partners (like you have, Aff). A couple correspond with me by email. I don't think I'm much different from most of them.

You can find understanding carers having a MUCH more difficult time than I am on the Carers blogs links on the lhs of my blog, half-way down.

Sarah, your man knew you had problems at the start of your relationship. If he can't cope with that now, then it's HIM that's changed, not you. You're still the very worthwhile person you were when he met you. Perhaps YOU should be telling HIM to eff off if he doesn't change back to that nice bloke you really fancied some years ago...