I Am Going
I Am Going
We met on Twitter today for our #carechat, which happens every Tuesday. Today, we talked about our perspectives on help. At one point, today's host for our chat posted this question:
Where can we go for help?
I shared my answer:
I ask siblings for help (I just asked a brother yesterday). I often ask Google for help ("how do I...").
Another tweeter replied that I am fortunate, that she does not have that kind of support, that she wished she had that support because of hard it is for her without that support and that many don't have that kind of support.
I can't tell you how much this pissed me off.
I do realize how many family caregivers don't have help because I've been surveying family caregivers for the past 20 years and interacting with them daily since 1996. (I interacted with them regularly between 1990 and 1995.) What I provide here, for some, is the only support they receive which is why I do my best to be here so much. It's why I host events like our 36-Hour Christmas chat and give up so much of my holiday for the past five years to be available for others who need support.
I also didn't like feeling like I had to apologize because I have siblings who help. (I also have a sibling who lives five minutes from my parents and who flat out refuses to help or have a relationship with my parents much less with my siblings and myself.)
The more I stewed about this, the madder I got. I am single. When my parents have some awful episode happen, I face the gore on my own. I clean up the gore while comforting the other parent who witnessed the gore. And, then I go home to process what just happened on my own. Sure, I'll call my siblings with an update. But, I'm in it on my own. I'm standing in it on my own. I'm in the car getting there on my own. I am feeling it on my own.
I do have siblings who help and I call on them to help because it's the right thing to do. And, I deserve their help.
Please, if someone has something good happening for them during a caregiving situation, celebrate it. I'm happy when a fellow family caregiver has a spouse or an adult child or a best friend or a family member who helps. I would never begrudge them that support. We need to always celebrate the good that's happening for another during caregiving. We can't resent it and turn it into our own personal pity party. We can only know 1% of what another endures during the day. Let's make sure we don't make the other 99% any harder than it has to be.
So, when I tell you I ask my siblings for help, please simply say, "You go girl."
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