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Looking for Understanding

by Cathy

I have been a caregiver my entire life. How can I accept that I need to learn to be the one who needs care and how can I ask for help when I'm the one who helps? I can't do it.

Everyone in my life, past and present, is unaware of my plight and assumes that nothing has changed. I can do anything and take care of everyone and that's what is expected of me because that's who I am. I don't know where to begin or who to ask and I fear I will keep playing the part of caregiver because that's what I am and no one will know I need help until it's too late.

It will shock anyone who knows me when I end up in an early and unexpected end of life. I can't stop trying and it's not fair that I can't do anything any more. All the things I was so good at I've lost. How can I let on that I'm not that person any more when I can't even admit it to myself?

I am the one who cares for the ones no one wants and it's what I was born to be. I still want to be there to do what I do naturally. If I lose all my abilities that make me who I am, I'm nothing but alone and frustrated and in so much pain I want to scream.

It hurts to play my guitar. It hurts to even try and to keep the neat and cozy and inviting home the way I've always been able to. It hurts to even try and create a place anyone would be comfortable in and like to spend time in. It hurts to try and keep doing all the things that came so effortlessly, and now I'm unable to, no matter how much I try and I have to try because it's what has always been; who I am and I don't want to be seen as anything less than who I am.

I don't want to be seen as any different from who I've always been and who is expected; to always be as though nothing has changed. I have to keep my pains and my lack of abilities hidden so I keep trying until the pain gets unbearable and then I move on to trying something else and by the end of the day every part of me hurts. When it lets up eventually, I go right back to trying to do it all.

It even hurts to type now. It hurts to craft. It hurts to hold a book, or a pet, or a broom, or a steering wheel, or a plate, or a glass, or a pair of scissors, or a hair brush, or a shower hose, or a telephone,... Wow! Whaa, Whaa, Whaa.

Get over yourself and remember your positive attitude. I can refuse to be defeated and I can refuse to complain and I can learn to adjust and I can learn how to slow down and I can learn that I don't have to do everything.

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Cir & Akrista

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