Bach Flowers. Care for the Carers
Care for the Carers.
A few weeks ago, I caught a snippet of a short video on TV, of a man who was telling the presenter about how he was caring for his wife, whose dementia had got progressively worse over the last six years. His dear wife had all the emotional symptoms of dementia: no short term memory, was constantly wandering off looking for what, she didn’t know. And was extremely irritable and bad tempered when he tried to help her.
This poor man was at breaking point. As he told the presenter of the problems of trying to care for his wife himself, and run the home (he had to give up work to look after his wife), he was on the verge of tears.
While watching this video, once again I thought (as I so often do) “I wish more poeple knew about the Bach Flower Remedies”).
There’s a vast army of people who work as Carers. And there’s an even bigger ‘army’ of people who care for their own family at home, do all that needs to be done for their family and loved ones.
All those who selflessly work in the Caring profession, whether its the hands-on carers like the man mentioned above, or the thousands upon thousands who work within the social care system – at some time, all need emotional care themselves. Probably more often they admit to themselves.
There’s lots of stories about those in need of care but not so many about Carers. So I would like to share Wendy’s story with you. It’s a little unusual, but it shows you how the remedies can work.
I knew Wendy and helped her choose the remedies that would help her the most.
However, we’re all different and you may have different experiences, so perhaps you need other remedies. These 2 FREE Bach Flower Guides can help you choose the remedies that suit you best.
And now, here is Wendy’s story….
Wendy is a prime example of a Carer needing care too. Wendy became a Carer suddenly and under very trying circumstances. Here is Wendy’s story of needing Care for the Carers.
She’d been married to Donald for over 25 years and she hadn’t been happy for a long time. In fact, for Wendy, life was pretty miserable. When she looked back, it seemed as if Donald’s character had been slowly changing over the last years, and he had become – the only polite thing she could call him was – “a grumpy old sod”!
She’d seen the children grow up and they had now settled in their own lives, but she and Donald were not getting on. And she decided, that as she was a young 50, she was going to get a divorce and start to enjoy life.
And then came a cruel blow! Both she and Donald were devastated by the news. The bottom fell out of their world when Donald was diagnosed with cancer!
Wendy was horrified – how could she possibly leave him now? Well, the answer was simple – she couldn’t.
So, overnight Wendy had being a full-time Carer thrust upon her.
Change of attitude
She left her job, and continued to do all the normal things to run the house. She now realised she had to change her attitude. She had to start ‘caring for Donald’. Donald now came first!
This change of attitude was hard for Wendy. She was shocked by the news. Although she could hardly admit it to herself, she was angry with him! Just as she was going to have some freedom and start living her life again – he got sick! Of course, she knew it wasn’t deliberate – but she felt she’d been dealt a rotten hand. (Willow is the remedy for feeling as if you’ve been treated unfairly). Wendy definitely felt she’d been treated unfairly – even before Donald became sick.
Over the next 3 years, Donald’s care demanded much more of Wendy and she turned to the Bach Flower Remedies to help her get through each day.
Donald was irritable, intolerant and extremely critical of everything she did. According to Donald, she did everything wrong. No matter what she did, he was always angry with her and with life! She found his relentless anger and criticism very difficult to deal with and she too became irritable, angry and intolerant, and would quickly slip into resentment (Willow).
Impatiens, Holly and Beech helped them both with their irritability, anger and intolerance. As their irritability and anger seemed to fuel each other, and these remedies helped them both.
Slowly Wendy’s bitterness gave way to genuine regret that she hadn’t made more of an effort to make the marriage work. (Bach Flower Pine helped Wendy heal her feelings of guilt).
As Donald’s illness progressed, there was little time to feel anything but exhaustion. Some days she didn’t know how she found the strength to go on – but she did. Olive and Oak helped with these feelings.
Gelief and Relief
Can two seemingly opposing emotions reside in us at the same time?
Yes they can. We sometimes have so many feelings, seemingly all at once, that its hard to identify them.
Wendy was sitting with Donald, holding his hand, when he quietly slipped away. It’s a debilitating and cruel disease and it had been a hard fight for him and an extremely exhausting time for Wendy.
She felt numb for a while, and used Rescue Remedy to help “stick herself back together” and to help with her grief. She grieved the loss of her husband and also the loss of a marriage that had ended up on the rocks soon after the children left home.
The years of caring had taken their toll on Wendy. However, through the use of the Remedies she had changed and come to know herself a lot better. But for now, she needed rest and reflection to allow the next stage of her life to unfold.
Recap of the remedies
Rescue Remedy – with Star of Bethlehem for sadness and Impatiens for irritability about slowness
Willow – for being angry when treated unfairly: leads to complaining, bitterness and resentment
Beech – critical and intolerant of the characteristics of others.
Oak – for carrying on, even when exhausted
Olive – for physical and mental fatigue.
Red Chestnut – for anxiety of loved ones
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Over to you.
As always, I love hearing from you, so please leave your comments in the Comment box below. Leave your questions too. I always answer all comments and questions myself. Thank you for calling by.
This message has come to me at “just the right time”! Over the past 8 years my life has been “on hold” with caring and more recently I have recognised emotions coming up in me which I know need support. Much though I respect and love my elderly parents I am finding that I am experiencing so many of the emotional charges you tell us about in Wendy’s story. So I reached out to my ever open wooden box for Willow in particular because there is a deeper thread of “sensing unfair treatment” going back further.
Thank you so much for these insights and for bringing the flowers to life for me again.
Dear Marion. Thank you so much for writing. I’m glad the blog has nudged you to return to your ‘ever-open’ box of beloved remedies. When we recognise a feeling (and such a marked one as being treated unfairly) we can often see how far back it goes into our childhood. And we can then see how it colours and taints all of our life.
I can see that Willow is needed by so many today.
I know it’ll help you feel better (along with some other remedies) and it’ll be much easier for you to care for your parents – and you’ll all start to enjoy each other again. Much love. Rose.
Thank you for your work
Jaromir from Vancouver ,
I am from czech rep, living now in canada.
Hello Jaromir. Good to hear from you. I hope you’re settling in Canada. Vancouver is a beautiful place. Take care. Rose.
Thanks Rose for sharing such a moving story and helping us clearly understand how the remedies helped this person.
As always, such a joy learning from you!
Hi Matilde. Thank you for your kind words. I*’m glad you found the blog helpful. Caring takes a lot of commitment and love. I hope all is well with you. Love Rose
Thank you for that Rose. I resonate with it all! I know what it feels like to give up freedom and financial independence to care for someone. To feel all those emotions tangled up inside. Luckily my training has enabled me to practice self awareness and separate the feelings but it’s hard to do sometimes when you’re feeling like your life energy has been sucked out of you!! Resentment, bitterness, anger, guilt, sadness, insecurity, fear and dread of another day are the ingredients that I’ve certainly felt. I am so very grateful for knowing you and obtaining the knowledge from doing my diploma. Bach Flowers have truly helped me get through the last year. I love having my kit at hand. They’re a life saver!!
I may have found my niche, helping other carers take care of themselves in order to cope with the tasks ensued upon them while looking after their loved ones. Before you know it, you’re in that situation but love, dedication and conscience won’t allow you to walk away! Life has changed drastically but when you live in the moment and feel gratitude for what you do have then it doesn’t seem quite so bad.
Thank you for your continued inspiration and staying connected with us all x x
Dear Sue. Thank you for your very candid comments. You summed up all the feelings that arise while you’re careing for someone really well. As you mention, to do the Caring, you have to give up your freedom and independance. Few realise this ! Thank you for mentioning it. You know these feelings well from experience. I do know how difficult the last years have been for you.
indeed Caring for Carers could become a niche for you. There are thousands of people ‘caught’ in Caring. I think its a great idea. Much love Sue.
Thank you dear Rose for this story. I only wish I knew about these remedies when I was taking care of my (divorced) sick parents with dementia and Parkinson. I have regrets now that I didn’t have more patience but was overworked with them, individually and with my own problems with my family and work. I can relate. I always appreciate the way you are able to see deeper into each person in order to know exactly what remedy they need. After all the hardships and regrets, it is difficult for me to maintain any kind of hope for a good future. But I keep reading all your blogs for enlightenment.
Dear Sylvia. Thank you for your comment and your kind words. I’m glad to help.
Well done on caring for your parents. Illnesses of the Mind are particularlly difficult to deal with – not only physically and emotionally, but because seeing our parents in that state is soul destroying.
I too wish I had know about the Remedies years ago. Although I was introduced to them 40 years ago, it was some years before I began to learn about them and use them regularly. There are remedies to heal your feelings of regret. And, as you know, when you take a good remedy that heals your feelings (even deep feelings can be healed), it give us hope for the future.
Take care. Love Rose.
I was really surprised that she never used Elm.
I’m feeling a little overwhelmed at the moment being my mother’s caregiver. Elm seems like it would be a fit for me.
Hello Barbara. Thank you for leaving your comment about the remedies for the Caregiver. And suggesting that the Carers could do with some Elm.
Bach said we should only mix together 6 remedies, so I don’t suggest more than 6 remedies. I chose some of the most intense feelings that a Carer could be feeling.
Yes, if you’re finding the responsibility of your mothers care overwhelming, Elm will help you.
I always choose the remedies for the most intense feelings. In this case, Elm was not one of those remedies.
Caring for our loved ones is difficult and indeed a labour of love. Much love to you. Rose.