Extremely stressed out caregiver.

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I was basically in a relationship at first. Now I am primarily a caregiver. I have not stopped loving him, but he has become emotionally, mentally and takes small physical pokes at me every once in a very great while, as though to test me, or maybe he is fearful (he has panic attacks) with his fibromyalgia flares.

He has severe fibromyalgia pain and is facing hip surgery and has had 3 laser back procedures which resulted in the fibromyalgia pain that feels like his body is on fire.

While I am kind and compassionate, I realize that I am very abused, verbally. Comments I get are in this true range: "You are such a f-----in genius." (refers to my degrees and certifications), "You can't do anything." You write books no one will read." (Refers to the fact that I have written and published 6 books in the past). "You can't work, you're too old." "All you do is talk about things." (I try to talk to him as I would a normal person or a friend about what I am working on: whether it be a painting or a short story, for example, and he gets horribly abusive--calling me names and tearing me down for 30 minutes to an hour or more at a time).

Sometimes there has been days of this type of behavior that goes on all day, or sometimes it is only in the evenings.

I have reported this behavior to neighbors I thought I trusted. They are just tired of me talking to them about it. They kept trying to get me to go to the women's shelter.

My situation is complicated because I too am very ill. I have diabetes and need 2 surgeries and will need a 3rd surgery on my knees. Though I work for him and I am in a relationship, he refuses to help me get insurance--reasons unknown. So I have diabetes, 5 tumors that will require surgery or else they cut off my air supply (thyroid), possible knee surgery in future and a carpal tunnel surgery.

I am not young like the other women who go to the shelter. I cannot work because I cannot stand long at a time or use my hands for a length of time. I used to type 120 wpm. Although I think I am a good caregiver and housekeeper. I can sit and stand as I need to being his housekeeper and care giver.

People in my neighborhood look at me as though I am not all there. They hear (only) of Mr. ------- 's verbal abuse, but they do not witness it. One neighbor did her him say to me f---- you, very loud in the yard. But the neighbor did not offer an words of advise or encouragement.

To top this off, I have abuse in my background--many consecutive months as a child, and I know this verbal abuse is taking a toll on me because of my prior abuse.

Yes I love him, but his behavior has become so vile and sometimes thoughtless and inconsiderate to others out in public. I cannot talk to anyone on the phone but that he makes loud comments int he background--telling me what to say, or not to say. He doesn't like me talking to friends. They stopped called because of the rude commentary running in the background. He doesn't like me texting or talking to my daughter.

If I try to write something he makes rude commentary and I am so hurt, who would feel very creative and be able to write.

Slowly I have become scared of him because he can be such a bully. I feel isolated--cut off from help, normal compassion, normal small talk. For me, there have been no answers but what I find on the internet while he is napping.

He creates rules that change and are hard to follow: such as he says, "Answer my question!" I attempt to answer his question and then he berates me for having an opinion that does not make sense to him because he is drinking alcohol and cannot think well under the influence.

He threatens me --- overtures of help that I receive, but with dire consequences if I f---- him. His words, not mine.

He is a retired EMT and DJ. His friends find him personable, except for one of his friends who is a realist. Recently I grew overwrought and I was crying and I hid in the master bedroom closet with my cell phone. I called one of his friends in Florida, asking him to please talk to his friend, because he was flipping out and cursing and swearing because he found out he has to have hip replacement surgery. His friend called him, confronted him, saying, "You know you can't stand pain very well and you become psychotic, so you need to watch yourself!"

But now his friend is not returning calls any more. And I doubt he will help me out again---if he gets psychotic again.

Thank you for any sincere comments you can leave me, and if you know of any other supports for him as a person in true perpetual pain, it is appreciated. Ever since Obamacare kicked in, I find that our healthcare has changed for the worst. The healthcare workers are indifferent to us because of age or they do not want to help with my patient assistance paperwork. He has trouble with meds because he has a history of a bleeding ulcer. Thank you for your prayers and suggestions.

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1. You are an intelligent, articulate woman.

2. He is in pain and abusing alcohol as self-medication, or maybe just abusing alcohol period, and lashing out. If he is taking opioids too, he might even have opioid-induced hyperalgesia. I'd bet dollars to donuts he's not on an SSRI or anything to directly address depression or anxiety, besides maybe some Xanax.

3. Your remaining in the situation is perpetuating it and allowing it to continue. You can have love in your heart, but if you think that love means you should stay and be abused and enable his addiction and depression to continue unabated, you are not easing but ensuring his misery as well as yours.

4. If you are too disabled to work, you could be qualified for disability income for yourself.

5. I suspect the "small physical pokes...once in a very great while" have left bruises and you are trivializing this because you don't want to leave, though you know it is the only sane thing to so.

6. What the friends and neighbors think is utterly irrelevant. Are you really not sure you are being abused, because someone else thinks the situation seems OK as far as they know?

I am sorry your relationship went bad like this. But wishing and being sad and sorry that your love and care is no longer reciprocated won't make it better. If you are not ready to pack a bag and move out, at least go to Al-Anon, online or in person and learn something about alcoholism and enabling, and you will meet others who have been where you are now, which is abused and in denial.
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verbala, your writing tells me so much. You speak in the same type words as a woman who has been abused for a long time, so I know it isn't just a recent thing. As you know, your words are not going to build your esteem back up. You need action and support from others to do this. The things you wrote remind me of a battered woman who stays with her partner because he has convinced her there is nothing else out there for her. He is wrong.

Garden Artist gave excellent advice. You need to get out of that situation, then focus on getting your health back up to par. If you are not working, apply for Medicaid, then use it to get your sugar and thyroid and weight in check for good health. You may be able to get some temporary help from the government while you get back on your feet. Talk to a counselor at the women's center to see what might be available for you.

We don't have the answers here to exactly what you need to do. You will have to reach out and see what help is available. You'll be surprised at the people who do want to help you. Sometimes when we feel down on ourselves, we imagine that other people do, too. When you reach out you will probably find that there will be people eager to help. But you have to let them know you are sincere about the help. People who work with abused women often get discouraged because they know their efforts will be wasted. The woman goes back to the familiarity of the abusive relationship. A worker will have to know that you won't do that -- that you're sincere in wanting to rebuild a good life for yourself.

Much luck and big hugs as you start this new leg of your life. Each day is a new start if we choose to do it.
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Are you married to him? You speak of it as a "relationship". It ,may be because you're upset but your post suggests that english is not your first language. How did you come to be with this man?
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verbala9744, you say he "has become" abusive. Does that mean in the beginning of your relationship the abuse was totally absent, and it has only started with his intense pain?

If that is the case, it makes your reluctance to let go of this situation a little more understandable. If someone we love becomes ill -- gets dementia, for example -- and changes, we don't want to abandon them when they need us most. But sometimes we absolutely must put our own safety first. The abusive dementia patient needs medications or needs a care center. The person in pain needs profession care in an appropriate setting. The severely depressed person needs to face his needs and start taking care of himself. The addicted person needs treatment. And the spouse or significant other needs to move on, taking care of herself.

I commend your desire to continue to help this person you loved. But now it is time to help yourself, and to help him by making different arrangements.

Perhaps a battered women's shelter is not the right place for you, but your current situation is definitely not the right place, either.

Unless they have been good friends of his and are interested in his welfare, neighbors have no responsibility in helping out here. You've tried that route. Move on from it. A friend of his tried to give him advice. Apparently that is all he is willing to do. Don't count on that.

Is the patient assistance paperwork for him or for you? What kind of help do you need with it? Call the agency on aging helpline in your area, explain what you need and ask for resources to help.

Ultimately you need to resign this caregiving post and find a new place to live and a way to support yourself, including getting any financial aid you might be entitled to. Whether you continue your support from a distance for this person you have loved or cut ties entirely will be up to you, and will become easier to decide as events unfold.

While I am not as perplexed about why you might feel the need/desire to not abandon this person in need, I do essentially agree with GardenArtist. Whatever is holding you in this abusive situation, you need to break free from it. You are intelligent, educated, creative, and a worthy individual in your own right. Take care of you!
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May I point out some of the factors I see that cause me concern?

"Thank you for any sincere comments you can leave me, and if you know of any other supports for him as a person in true perpetual pain, it is appreciated."

Frankly, who cares about "him as a person in true perpetual pain?" Are you concerned for him given the way you've been treated? You should be concerned for yourself. I thought that was the purpose of the post.

"The healthcare workers are indifferent to us because of age or they do not want to help with my patient assistance paperwork."

I really find such a blanket statement implausible; if you find one health care worker who isn't helpful, keep looking. Many of us have gone through various doctors until we've found one who meets our needs. I've met doctors who didn't like overweight people, didn't like older women, didn't like even older women, didn't like daughters who wanted specific information from them and wouldn't accept their god-complex. I've left them behind and moved on.

"He has trouble with meds because he has a history of a bleeding ulcer."

I'm still perplexed why you would even care given the way he's treated you.

It's statements like these that make me believe you really need the help of a professional to get out of this sick relationship.

And I do wish you success; I can't imagine that's it's going to be easy. It will be a challenge, but keep your goals in mind, and DON'T GIVE UP. Just keep asking yourself if this is the way you want to live the rest of your life.
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There have been other posts similar to yours, in which women who have been verbally or physically abused rationalize for whatever reasons and stay in the situation. Countless posters have offered suggestions and encouraged the women to leave, but they continue to rationalize and justify their reasons for not leaving - their own illness, age.

In some cases, as in yours, abuse has been a part of their past.

I see the same factors in your post. Despite apparent years of verbal abuse, you are unable to leave, for various reasons, primarily your health. Most likely the low self esteem that can accompany being in an abusive relationship is one of the factors holding you back.

You're facing a monumental challenge - overcoming whatever factors keep you in a relationship with this man, to find the strength and self respect you need to overcome it and leave him, forever.

I think you need to see a women's counselor, at a battered women's shelter, to address the underlying factors preventing your leaving, and ask for help in finding temporary shelter so that you can severe relations with this psychotic and vicious man and get out and away from him once and for all.

DON'T let your health stop you; address the reasons why you feel you can't leave, one, by one, and find solutions, even though some of them won't happen right away. A counselor can help you with this.

Ask how to apply for Medicaid so you can get the medical help you need. Ask how to get training so you can become able to support yourself in a real, civilized work environment.

And read some of these posts by others in verbally abusive relationships, some of whom are worse legally because they're married to their abusers.

https://www.agingcare.com/search.aspx?searchterm=verbally+abusive+husband

Remember, no one has to accept verbal or physical abuse from anyone else.
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