Worth another posting.
Care-givers get a unique chance to work through all that crap that gets left unfinished from childhood. You don’t really hear about that much. Though the first thing I would tell people is not to expect to be super-human. There are going to be times you have emotions that aren’t perfect. We care-givers are not saints and nobody should make you feel you must be. Doing it at all can be very taxing and imposing sainthood on yourself –you mustn’t ever feel a base emotion — is an unrealistic demand and not even healthy.
Situations vary, too. Sometimes care-givers and the patient know there isn’t much time left. People have terminal illnesses that move quickly and things can move fast depending on the person dying and their need to wrap things up (or not). The dynamics can be different if there is a slower reversal of roles due to something like Parkinson’s (in my case) or Alzheimer’s or certain cases of strokes or cardio-vascular issues.
In my case, it’s harder for Dad to let go of his independence and therefore, some of the old dynamics get revisited even if you don’t want to go there! But while this can be dangerous waters on the one hand, it’s an opportunity. (Like Martin says to Frasier early on–“you wanted to build a relationship we never had –that doesn’t happen over night.”) A friend of mine visited a couple weeks ago (love you Carol), and she said as much. It’s a chance to work through some of the crap AND to see things as they really were and are now. It’s also a chance for me to accept something I never wanted to–that Dad can’t live forever.
But I warn you–I feel like it’s all happening to me. People who prefer assisted living often are avoiding this and do it for this very reason. But it’s the “real” stuff of life.
So while so much of this is painful (and I have real human emotions, resentments at times), it feels right. For us both. It’s too bad more people aren’t willing to pay this price. Sometimes you really can’t if jobs or physical problems prohibit it–but many more people could if they chose to. And they are missing out on an important part of life.
Happy Friday. My kids and grandson are coming and we will carve a punkin. JM says he wants an “angry” punkin. My menu will be challenging since yooper Cornish pasties and tacos don’t really fit on my diet. but will make do with bacon and eggs and things. My allergies have been bad ahead of that hard freeze that’s a ways off. And having migraines and drainage that is upsetting the old gut. So need to be careful.
Dreams: Dad and I were driving in his golf cart, only I was driving. He was giving me directions and correcting what he thought was my bad driving (he hit the ladder with the cart today, so he isn’t one to talk).
How about you? Have you been a care-giver? Even short term?