Sunday, 3 August 2014

Bleeding Hearts

Sometimes (no, it’s often)
she hangs there, just hangs there,
a string of bleeding hearts
slowly tightening round her neck. 
I loved you once y’know she says
(she whispers it, pulsates it out).

I know he says as
he sits there drowning
in a blood red caring sea.  
(Those bleeding hearts bleed out
for him and not for her.)  
They come for me he says,
they come for me.

And so they do.

She is collateral damage
in the strange battlefield of care. 
She is expendable.
His needs string the noose around her neck. 
He will be the death of her.

Anna :o]

This is a re-write of my previous post which was so convoluted I don’t really understand it myself.

Life at the ranch is pretty bad and has been for some time.  Handsome one was hospitalised for two months earlier this year and his needs have increased five-fold.   Before hospitalisation I was finding it increasingly difficult to cope, what with meeting his needs and holding down a full time job.  Due to financial commitments giving up work is not possible, nor do I want to.  I have my needs too.

I did not expect him to come home, rather enter care, and with this came a sense of relief.  However he was deemed to have capacity and expressed a wish to come home – so he did.  My needs and my ability to cope did not enter the equation.  He came home with an extensive care package in place – its supposed intention to help me.  But oh how I hate it – it is so intrusive and my right to privacy is gone.

The carers are good folk – but in their caring are drowning any independence handsome one had, pushing him deeper into the sick-role, deskilling him and giving him entitlement, an entitlement he feels to do less and less for himself – and thus increasing my burden.

This feeling of entitlement has brought about a personality change and he has said some hateful things to me, this from my best friend of many years – I can honestly count on one hand how many times we have rowed in our married life.  And now I no longer love him.  I cannot forget what he has said, can’t deal with how selfish he has become.

When I was a student nurse, I had a sixteen week placement with the Community Psychiatric Team, my mentor ‘Dave.’  We regularly visited an elderly couple – Charlie & Margaret – Margaret having dementia and Charlie finding it extremely difficult to cope.

Across the weeks I saw Charlie’s mental health deteriorate rapidly but Dave was determined to keep them together, keep Margaret out of hospital or care home.

I informed Dave I thought he was terribly wrong, in that he was sacrificing Charlie’s mental health for an egoistic unreachable goal.  He smugly said I was wrong.  (Both Charlie & Margaret ended up in care…)

In all my years as a student, I only received one bad end-of-placement report.  It was from Dave – he thought I was opinionated.  What really annoyed me was that he didn’t have the balls to discuss this whilst I was on my placement – rather hide behind the report.

And now I am Charlie.  For the first time in my life I am depressed.  I have no rights to determine my future whatsoever. I hate my home life – but I am expendable.

The above shared with the good folk at Poets United – hosted by the lovely Mary.

I must admit to not reading everyone’s posts in other prompts I have entered this year – and for that I apologise.  It is just that other things get in the way or I lose heart motivation due to my oft miserable state.   I will endeavour to be a good girl and read yours – if I don’t, sorry.

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:  flemming christiansen from hammer, denmark


J Cosmo Newbery said...

The rework improves it.

alan1704 said...

I can feel you in this and the words are very powerful. Full of the heart and this is very well done.

Björn Rudberg said...

A situation like this has to be almost unbearable.. This was such a painful read.. And all are different.. There are others just wanting it this way.. I think the point is that you have to listen to both of sides.. You shouldn't be collateral damage... Best wishes for any type of improvements.

Sumana Roy said...

all hurdles will be overcome with time...and i agree with what Cosmo says...

Brian Miller said...


i am sorry. what a hard place of being....tying it back to your confrontation with dave as finding yourself there...oy perspective...

i am sorry, i wish at times like these life had easy does not though....

Claudia said...

sounds like you're going through a real rough time anna... wishing you much strength and sending you hugs...

Gabriella said...

I agree with Björn that your own perspective should have been taken into account too. Sacrificing one person for the sake of the other cannot be right. I can feel the pain and sense of unfairness in your words, Anna, and hope a more satisfactory solution can be found.

James Toma said...

I can see that saying in your poem. That one where someone will be your downfall. It makes me think of advice from one of my relatives: discard of the fakes and live on...or let go of those who will only bring you down. Good job!!!

Mary said...

Anna, I have read other poems you have written about your situation in the past. I know it may seem trite to say, but I do understand your burden. I think so many times, in such situations, people are scurrying about worrying about the one cared for; but the caregiver is lost and no one attends to his/her needs. And meanwhile it becomes harder and harder for the caregiver to live their life. I feel the pain in your poem, and I feel that there is just no relief anywhere in your life & that few understand!

^.^ said...

This write comes from the heart ,,, Love,cat.

R.K. Garon said...

Excellent piece!
I have met many "Daves" that only encouraged me to surpass them. Your inner strength needs affirmation and your creativity needs to find the solution. Keep the horses saddled :-) giddy-up...


jo-hanna said...

I so wish your situation could be 'reworked', like you did the poem.Something's got to give, and soon. Will the lap of the Gods provide this change? It's a cruel world and getting more so by the day, with infrastructure collapsing right before our eyes. Have you tried punching something soft, like a pillow or cushion? That sometimes alleviates anger/tension/despair. [Just be careful there is no cat/head on it :-). You've got to smile].

rallentanda said...

Your poem is beauiful. I wish I had not read the background story.
Writing is cathartic...I have seen poets do this daily on here and it seems to work for them.You have to accept that He does not mean those awful things he says to you. When people are mentally unhinged it is not them saying these words.You must make a time out daily for yourself...something special that you like to do and will look forward to.Very difficult time for you ...Courage!

ADDY said...

O Anna, I am so sorry to read the background to the poem. As you know, I lived with my dying alcoholic husband for the last 6 years of his life and felt like my life was given over to the care of him and a string of counsellors who meant well but didnt have a bloody clue. I was suffocated in the process. I am so sorry you are going through similar circumstances AND having to keep a job going at the same time. Try to get though one day at a time. It's the only way. x

Stacy Lynn said...

this was a powerful, heart-wrenching write...a story of love, the battle.

they say bad times never last, good ones too.

great poem, you made me reflect quite a bit.

stacy lynn mar

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Anna, my heart goes out to you. In working with clients of home support, I have seen how intrusive that "service" is, and how little actual help, especially to the caregiver, that there is. Have also seen how the caregiver's life is completely given over to the one cared for. Hardest of all is the change in your husband. I am so sorry. I hope that somehow, in the course of events, all of this changes soon enough to give you some relief. I cant imagine having to work full time on top of it, but I do know it is often necessary. Life is so hard sometimes. But YOU are truly heroic. Believe that.

Nataša Dolenc said...

painful, but powerful.. a lot of emotion in this one.

Martin said...

I hope you will be able to manage this very difficult situation ~ all of us need some independency and free space.
Of course, now the meaning of your writing comes out much more clearly.

Jenny Woolf said...

This is very sad and I am so very sorry to hear this Anna. I hope I am not speaking out of place but I find it hard from what you say to feel that it is your "real" husband speaking now. I know myself that it can be inexpressibly painful when a beloved person does bad things because they cannot help it - the memory somehow lingers. One does take it seriously - it seems as if it is really them, instead of a person who has cruelly lost their sanity. I wonder if there is any way you can refuse to be a carer at this time? Surely they cannot force you to do it, however much it suits their budget. In your present state it should not be up to you to say that the time has come for the issue to be realistically thought about.

love HAPPY Notes said...

Beautiful expression of your heart. A pouring of emotion. I wish you much love.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...
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Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

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