Autonomy, Initiative, Motivation Gone....Forever??
Recently I was talking to a friend of mine who did a long agonizing caretaking job with his mom. He told me that it changed him forever and not in a good way. I got to thinking about that and I realized that for all the surface things I complain about, that are totally valid, the thing I haven’t explored is what this has done to my spirit.
I am a person who, whenever I found myself in a situation that wasn’t to my best interest, I would change it. Whether it was a job, a relationship, or a place I lived.
I always had the autonomy, the initiative, and the motivation for changing my situations. But taking care of mom for eight years has robbed me of all that.
Slowly and subtly, I see it has eroded over the years. I have lost control of the most important areas of my life which comprises about 80%.
I now only have control over the minor 20% of daily decisions that mean nothing. I’m living in a place I don’t want to live, and I’m not living the relationship that I have in my life.
The clincher that makes it depressing is, I have no control over when it’s going to end. All the advice to get respite care, take a day off, take a week off, means nothing.
I want to move forward with my life and I am stuck in a circling pattern over the airport, waiting to
land, and my plane is running out of fuel.
I am bound to this woman until the day she dies and then I will be free. When that happens, where will my spirit be?
Eight years of the last best years of my life for adventure and exploration, spontaneity and fun, have been taken from me. At this point, I just want to crawl into a cave and recuperate.
I don’t feel bitter, angry, or resentful anymore.
I don’t have the energy for that. I just want it to end. I hope that when that happens, my spirit will revive, like water to a dying plant, and I can once again be the motivated person I know myself to be.
But I don’t see that happening. It feels like my spirit has been taken down a notch and this is how I will carry-on in life after this is done. This isn’t meant to be a pity-party and I don’t want advice to get help, get out, quit feeling sorry for yourself, do something.
I’m just expressing my feelings this morning. This is a deep-seated part of caregiving that people don’t understand. It’s not just the things we can see that are taken from us, it’s the things we can’t see.
We can’t change the roads we’ve taken in life, and sometimes we can’t even change the road we’re on, but when I finally come to the next crossroad, I hope my autonomy, initiative, and motivation are waiting there for me.