People Are There; a Paradigm Shift


People Are There; a Paradigm Shift

Caregiving means learning to think differently. And that's hard!

It's a journey - this caregiving thing. There are lessons to be learned. I love learning. I've often said that if I could figure out a way to be paid to go to school, I'd be a lifer. But I don't love learning the lessons this stage in life is offering. I want to argue and fight with the "teacher." I want to dig my heels in and refuse to go any further while screaming, "It's not faaaaair," at the top of my lungs. I want to skip the homework and say my dog ate it. Or sit in my chair stewing about it; saying to myself, "This is just too hard. I'll never get it. I'll never figure this out."

But the truth is - I'm not incapable. I just don't want to do it.

When family or friends;
Don't show up when they say they'll visit.
Show up and visit me without even saying hello to mom.
Let it slip that they went out to dinner at mom's favorite place.
Are too tired, too busy, too sore, too...too...too to visit.
Have too much to do to visit.
Disregard what I've said would help me the most and do what they want instead.
Spend more time with a virtual stranger than with mom.
Don't call when they say they will.
Won't commit to doing anything on a regular basis.
Comment on something like a light bulb that needs changing, but don't offer to help.
(and the list goes on)

So...back to the truth. Over the last few weeks, mom has had visits or gone places with friends or family members.  It was wonderful...for both of us! I love it when she has a life, no matter how tiny - that's beyond me. Was it perfect? No. Was it at the most advantageous time, like when mom is feeling the best, or when I can take full advantage of it? No.

Anger is easy.

Someone told me once that depression doesn't stand alone. She went on to say that the reason for depression is futility. What she meant to say was that when you feel that your life or aspects of your life, are futile, that leads to depression. And depression is a result of trying, and trying, and trying but not getting any results, or at least not the one you hoped for. That conversation has been rolling around in my brain for a few weeks now.

Yes, anger is easy. So is feeling that no matter what I do, I can't get anyone to understand what I need, what my mom needs. But the reality is that it's not true. What IS true is that people don't act or respond in the way I want them to - it's not that they don't respond at all (mostly).

So who needs to change? Me. *sigh* Sometimes a paradigm shift is downright painful. It's easy for me to go back to old ways of thinking. This will be a process. I find myself, even as I write this, wanting to let my mind go to the "Buts." I could list them here; I won't let myself.

Here's another reality; in the last few weeks mom has had some fun. She's gone to lunch with a friend, had visits with two different friends. She's enjoyed being with family. That's not nothing. It's something. It's a big something.

And those somethings; both big and small - I see them. I'll continue to try my best to keep seeing them.

How's your paradigm?


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