acarerseyes

Through the eyes of a carer for someone with a mental illness

There is hearing and then there is listening…

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I like to think of myself as pretty patient with mental health services, I will often say ‘yes no problem’ and smile at them and I know that not always everyone gets things right. Sadly the other evening after visiting Chris I was pushed beyond the normal ‘it’s ok’ reaction and I was getting more annoyed. For days I had been resisting the urge to tell them that I felt like I was talking and expressing my concerns and it was ‘going in one ear and out the other.’

I was being let out of the building on Wednesday when a nurse (the one that upset me back along who before that I thought highly of) was letting me out and asked me if I was ok. I thought for a second, do I tell him the truth or do I just make something up? I went with the truth, perhaps brave as I look back, knowing it might not go down so well, I replied ‘not really, no.’ He asked me why and I said I was fed up at the moment for all kinds of reasons and as we reached the door I came out with ‘I feel like my concerns are falling on deaf ears’ he looked at me and asked ‘what from a nursing teams view?’ so I said yes.

Going into why I felt like no one was listening to me and expressing once again my very valid concerns about Chris current mental state, was difficult, it always is. I think they forget that when they talk about him the connection isn’t emotional, it is purely angled from a professional side, yet when I talk about Chris it is emotional, everything I say and hear strikes my heart strings, pulls my head apart and it hurts, it really hurts. Emotional pain is awful, you can’t see it, sometimes you cannot understand why it is there or where exactly it is coming from which can make it hurt even more. When something is hurting emotionally deep within me, I can feel it in every inch of my body, it is a sensation that is like no other.

I explained that I feel like not telling anyone anything unless it directly impacts Chris safety because emotionally I cannot keep going through talking about it to feel like no one is listening anyway. It might not make much sense to you but that is how all this makes me feel, I want to close down to it to protect myself, stop me from hurting. The nurse was great, concerned I felt like this, said it didn’t reflect well on their team at the moment but was very positive towards me that I hadn’t just carried on like this, that the only way they can improve is if they know how to and by me telling them they have the chance to.

Coming away from the ward I felt a bit better that someone had taken my opinion seriously and didn’t try to rub it off as ‘don’t be daft Sarah of course we listen’ kind of thing. It was good to speak to someone who could see why I would be concerned about Chris because Chris has a good relationship with this nurse and he too finds what I was saying a concern. Anyway concerns now noted and his named nurse has returned from annual leave, perhaps now we can take little steps forward again? You would think wouldn’t you? Seems like everyone has other plans…

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Author: acarerseyes

I am a mum to four gorgeous girls, and a carer to my former partner of eight years, Chris who has a mental illness, BPD. I blog my experiences.. life is tough! We live in Greater Manchester, UK.

One thought on “There is hearing and then there is listening…

  1. It’s easy to take a good listener for granted or not value them enough. You just reminded me of that. I thank you.

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