I'm So Tired of This
I'm so tired of this situation and there's nowhere else to complain but here. If I complain to my brother, he can't fix it so he doesn't really even want to hear it.
If I complain to friends, they're sympathetic but that kind of help only goes so far. Other family members only want to know how Mom is doing and they marvel at all the abilities she still retains and how long her life is.
Everyone has come to accept this as my chosen life, never acknowledging that for all the longevity my Mom is reaching, my best years left are dwindling. This was chosen out of obligation and duty, and yes, love and compassion, but realistically there was no one else to do it.
Honestly, I'd rather be my brother calling long distance and visiting twice a year. And it's an open-ended game! I've been here five years, she's 95, what if she lives to 100? She can't drive, can't see very good, can't live alone but her health is good, and I take marvelous care of her.
I'm moving through my 60s now. Older cousins are having major health problems and that makes me realize that my better years are now.
There's no way out but a waiting game.
I've never once had anyone ask me, not even Mom asks me, what would you be doing if you weren't doing this? Where would you live? They never acknowledge MY life.
They always put the compliments in the context of my Mom. They say, your Mom is so lucky to have you. But they never venture
into the other side of that in which my life sits on the shelf while Mom is lucky.
After I hear about their cruises and vacations, their new house-buying, their moves, they ask me what's new in my life? What am I doing? It baffles me that they have no idea of the extent of what it takes to care for another person completely.
This is not taking care of your own children. This is taking care of an aging parent, that you moved past years ago, and now are back.
I have plans for when this over. I have things I want to do, places I want to go. I have a long distance relationship waiting for me, and no one ever acknowledges any of that.
They have me boxed up in the role, they've slapped a label on it, and that's all I am to them.
I do the best I can to take care of Mom and live my life, but there's limits. I don't just walk out the door and do whatever I want, at any moment, and for any length of time.
When this is all over people are going to compliment me. They are going to tell me what a great thing I did. But they are never really going to know how it affected my life. It will all fall into place in their conceived picture of how things worked out for everyone, and I will pack up what's left of my life and move on.
I pray to God that there will be quality years left in my life to enjoy it.