First, I want you to know that YOU are an INCREDIBLE human being. Seriously.
and if you are a caretaker, you are BEYONDDDD incredible. know that. if anything, just leave with that.
Us caretakers don’t get the love we need and deserve. Especially if we find ourselves in these positions at such a young age … ( in my mindset right now— 30 & under).
I tend to call us the unseen victims of a tragedy. I say this because I have lived this. And I felt this way from time to time.
I’m writing this post, for two reasons. The first, and most important to me, is to acknowledge all caretakers and let them know they aren’t alone. Care-taking is TOUGH WORK. Many caretakers often don’t have a voice because they are too damn busy taking care of other people’s problems to realize they even NEED a voice. Oh also, we need to know that it is 100% okay to not want to be a caretaker (ever or anymore). So hi, i love you, && i hear youuu. lets talk.
The second reason I am writing this is because I feel like the general public/ our society/ anyone who comes across this post, should understand REALLY what it’s like for a caretaker. So the next time they come across one, they can just give one of us a huge hug, because they will know we need it.
Now that my small rant is out of the way, lol, let’s get started.
I was somewhat forced into the caretaker role, as many are, when facing an unexpected, life altering situation. My partner at the time was in need of an organ and after his family had deemed the situation “too much” to take on, 100% of the responsibilities landed on me. Twenty- five year old me. We moved into the master bedroom of my mom’s house. I kept the house clean. I worked everyday so I could keep up our lifestyle. And of course, paid most of the bills. I forfeited “me time” to bear the weight of his depression or to entertain and attempt to distract him from the current situation at hand. My world revolved around taking care of someone else and making sure their happiness and comfort was top priority.
Naturally, after a while, my identity started to shift. I was losing the essence of my being. I started to forget who I was and what made me happy.. all caused by ignoring my own self love and care.
Time and time again, people would naturally ask how everything else was…things like, how my partner was, or what was the progress with the transplant, how was my family handling this, was work too hard…?,
it was extremely rare when I had someone look me in the eyes, give me a hug, and just say, “hey, I know you’re healthy, life is “good” but girl, this shit is hard, & you’re doing a great job”.
Life started to get harder. My care taking hours were taken for granted. “ please tell me what you actually do to help? ”. That stings.
The days blurred together. The hours out in at work seemed useless. Day in and day out. Monotony. I had barely anything to show for my hard work. The things I did enjoy doing seemed pointless and would leave me with a feeling a guilt. “How could I enjoy myself when the one I love is suffering ?”. (Seems silly, but wait until you’re there. I hope you never are though. )
Day after day, I felt my old self slipping away. I cried at the most random times. I lived with an internal battle. Would I still be a good person if I left?
What do you think?
—more on that later.