Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Tonight I jumped in on the caregiving.com conversation going on (http://www.caregiving.com/2011/10/what-advice-would-you-give-to-a-burnt-out-family-caregiver/). Like the last time I jumped in, it was actually quite random and last minute that I saw on Twitter that it was going on.

I cannot begin to say how truly nice those ladies are. It's just so comforting to listen to them, let alone take part - no tshirt or tote bag necessary, ladies ... although I do love your pens ;o)

I take comfort in the topics they discuss and lessons they seem to be learning every day (wish my mom could/would find the time to explore the site). I read the blogs on the site when I can too - although I haven't found a lot of time recently. I cannot deny that it's probably not just work that has been taking up my time ... I believe my depression is still involved. I believe I am not caring for a lot of my personal contacts and valued relations for reasons which I really don't want to dig up much more than to say to let them slip away now makes me less associated and less likely to get hurt. Rational? Right? No and no. However, I think that is going on at some level.

Anyway, so I chimed in tonight via the chatroom going on during the discussion. The comment about the difficulty in trying to find someone to relate with/confide in among those my age really hit home. The closest I have come are discussions with those caring for their young children ... even that is difficult though. They have the important task of shaping new lives, figuring out how to properly teach them about life and lessons in it. Caregiving for my dad is not going to get better, I have nothing to "teach" as he is not learning. He is regressing.

To be entirely honest though, my caregiving role has greatly changed in my family. I have had a boyfriend of more than a year now and two jobs with schedules that are constantly changing (and often odd hours). I can no longer be relied on to be a caregiver.

I wish I could get home more. I wish I had more good moments with him ... but I need to remember to take care of myself too and with two jobs, I usually feel pretty wiped out pretty quickly. What time I do have off, I spend mostly resting.

I can't deny I like this change/lack of responsibility too though. Among other things, not being at home much has made my dad glad to see me.

However, being able to step away has unleashed different feelings for me as well - tougher ones. Mostly I am referring to the fact that I cry every time I'm alone with my dad. This used to just happen when we were in a car alone together and I assumed the physical nearness, but overwhelming aloneness I felt was the cause. Perhaps that's what it is now too ... just all the time.

In a way, his lack of being emotionally present allows me to just cry and not care that it's in front of him since he doesn't care. I cry and I apologize for crying and I tell him I'm crying because I miss him.

Less time there also means I am a bit better with my patience and my creativity with our time together. I'll ask him to watch a movie because who cares if he grinds his teeth or gets up to walk away a lot - it's only for an hour or so and not something I've been putting up with for days.

I also always try to tell him I love him before I leave and get a hug. These are things I rarely did towards the end of my time where I was primarily with him. What was the point? He never said it back. The least effort from him is an "Ok" and wave when I say I love him and I'm leaving. On rare occasions though, he's really hugged me back and one time a couple weeks ago he said he loved me back. Of course, he'll probably never say it again since I promptly started bawling my eyes out lol but still... Again, I used my words and didn't care what I said since there'd be no judgement - "I'm sorry I'm crying," I said. "You just haven't said that in a very long time." I hugged him again.

On that note, I'm ending this post.