I am not a doctor. I am providing information based on experiences that my mom has with natural remedies. The purpose of this blog is to help folks to educate themselves. Use this information with your own discernment.

23 October 2009

Expectations of a Caregiver

There's no ball like family hard ball.

It's no secret, I'm my mom's caregiver. I enjoy caring for my mom. It's awesome when she remembers something, it makes her happy when she can remember. I am proud of what I've accomplished with her. She has way more good days than bad ones. I believe it's because of my deep love for family that I've been able to overcome each challenge.

It always wasn't this way. I was mad with my family for a long time. I was angry with everyone because I felt that no one cared about ME, not just my mom, NO ONE came to see me or talk to me.

I felt trapped and alone for years. I couldn't abandon my mom so that I could live my life. She was abandoned as a kid when her dad died and her mom was admitted to a mental institution. I couldn't leave her alone. I still can't. I won't.

Some like to call it guilt, I like to call it my responsibility. She cared for me when I was helpless, she deserves the same in return. If I can do it for her, which I can and do... then, I will. I believe this is the root of all my trouble with my siblings who are mad at me.

My mom, she doesn't want to die alone. This morning she asked me if I'd be there for her when she died, she doesn't want to go by herself, she knows that she doesn't have long. I promised her that I'd stay with her right to the end and pass her hand to my dad on the other side.

Am I selfish for wanting my family around?

Care giving comes with lots of expectations. I know that the expectations are what destroy family relationships. The hardest topic to discuss are the caregivers expectations because a lot of times, we are too damn tired to even think, let alone discuss our expectations to our rested family members.

I am no different from any caregiver, we all have expectations of our families. When the expectation isn't met, that's when everything breaks down. Communicating the expectations is my biggest challenge. I probably did it all wrong.

Accusations. Blame. Displaced anger. All of these negative energy holding blobs are not helpful, they hurt everyone. Personally, I'm crushed with the realization that no one really gives a shit about anyone except themselves. Maybe I'm guilty of it too, or I wouldn't be so hurt.

I swore I wouldn't go there. But I did. I spent weeks trying to compose yesterdays blog post so that I wouldn't offend anyone too much. It was stuff that had to be said. Not just for myself but for other caregivers who feel the frustrations brought on by the lack of help from family.

It becomes expected that the caregiver is doing it, that they don't need to do anything. Well, that's how it makes a lot of us caregivers feel, true or not. It is easy to get sucked in to self pity.

At times care giving can feel like a prison sentence with no time off at all, no nights, no weekends and absolutely no vacations. Without a good rest, we become worn down, cranky and say things that would be better off left unsaid. But... I've never been good at keeping my mouth shut. I try. Big mistake.

Yes, I do have balls! Don't test me.

One of my siblings read my post yesterday. She was angry. I felt it in her words. I knew the inevitable was to happen, an excuse for her to stay away. My fault. So, I made it so. I gave her an out. It was wrong of me to expect anything from her or anyone. I'm sorry if I hurt you. I will always love you.

Love is all we've got.

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