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I've been taking care of my boyfriend for the last two years, he's paralized from the chest down, before the accident he was abusive and now it's even worse, because i'm the only one around everyday, how can i be there for him and myself? sometimes i feel like giving up but my heart won't let me and he's so low down that no other family members would come around what should i do?

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I too have dealt with the depression, chronic pain, frustration and coming to terms that you will never be the same person that you were before with my husband. My husband had an accident in 2002 when he was volunteering for a fire department. The water tender he was driving rolled over about 3 1/2 times leaving him with a broken back that just keeps deteriorating over the years.

If he isn't dealing with the normal reactions of grief over what he used to be able to do, anger over the prospects of the future, and limitations on what he can do as far as providing for his family, finding any enjoyment in life, he has to deal with the effects of being on Fentanyl patches and break through oxycodone pills. All of these contribute to a person who is very unhappy, and who could blame him?

I have been married to him for over 20 years when this occurred, at the same time taking care of two teenagers, and my mother, who has Alzheimer's. It was and still can be a very difficult period to get through. I can tell you that I have thought about other options, but just as in caregiving for a parent, you can't give up the responsibity, regardless of the cost to you. I will be honest and tell you that I am not happy a good part of the time, but I have found some wonderful resources that have made me grow and find strength that I never knew I had.

Learning became my biggest escape. I earned my B.S. in Health Care Services to learn how to use the health care system to my advantage and my familiy's advantage. I also started seeing a therapist and went through a training program to become a Peer Support Specialist, which is a volunteer that listens to other people in crisis. A PSS is a person who has been through the mental health system and knows what the other person is feeling like and can provide support, even if it is just to listen.

I learned how to become the strong one in the relationship, develop skills to fix broken items in the house, learn how to be patient, and also learn when to walk away when the abuse got to be too bad. I knew my husband wasn't really yelling at me, it was his life and part of the grief process. I still go through the grief process too, but I know that I am a person who can be counted on to follow through on what needs to be done when a loved one needs you. You need to keep that in the back of your mind. You are developing strength and character and taking care of the infirm, just as Jesus wanted us too. The pay-off doesn't seem to be worth it, but I think that is because we are looking at just today, not the future.

If you need to get away, do so. I read a lot and that helps. I live on a creek and often go down there to get away from the turmoil. I am turning all of my negative experiences into a positive experience by using what I learned to write a book to help other caregivers. All that it takes besides a little strength is a will to see the positive side. Since you aren't married, it is a serious step to decide how long you will stay with him. Being paralyzed will either cause him to become a bitter old man, or hopefully decide to find out what he can do to enjoy life and maybe help others. Whatever he decides, you can't let his reactions ruin your life. Easy words of wisdom to give, but very hard to practice.

I do pray for you and hope that you can get through this period.

Recovery.
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There is a good possibility that he is depressed. Medication and counseling could be necessary. The problem is that I don't know if counseling is available in home. Men are very degraded by being helpless and some get a little boost in power by bringing you down a little. But medication is a good bet, and if he is already on it, it may need to be switched or adjusted.
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You're so very welcome Renee. I wish you strength and happiness. It's out here
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I thank you for your comment, I really needed to hear this because i'm thinking that's the reason that he's so mad with me at times, but at times he can be so sweet. The only reason I have hung in so long is because His Family turn their back on him and he has no one but me, but I'm knowing I don't deserve all the verbal abuse. we are taking steps now to seperate, thank you so much for caring to tell me this.
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I also cared for an accident victim (who was my boyfriend as well). The anger he went through was unbelievable (which I'm sure you've seen as well) he was very abusive as well even before the accident. As much as I tried to help him at times he seemed to just hate me until one day he cut loose on me. He asked me what the H*** I was doing with him? He said if he were me, he would be the happiest person in the world! He wouldn't allow sympathy to enter into his tirades because then he couldn't justify his attack on me. The truth was that he was angry that he was paralyzed and I wasn't. He seriously wanted it to be me and not him because he saw himself as far more valuable a person than me. There was nothing I could do to make it better for him because I was a constant reminder that he wasn't perfect and it made him mad! I went to the rehab center and gathered some information for him on returning to school. Eventually he went into computer analysis and eventually graduated. Now he's teaching at the university he attended. The point is that he accomplished something that was his and that made him proud of himself again. I didn't last in the relationship. I stayed long enough to see him through 2 semesters of school and then I had to go. Truth is, it was better for both of us that I left. I'm not sure he would have hung in there if I were there to always make his disappointments better. He needed to face them on his own and triumph.
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