When Do You Get Jealous?


When Do You Get Jealous?

This morning on Your Caregiving Journey, Anna Stookey joined me for our monthly chat. Today, we discussed times during caregiving when you may feel jealous. For instance, your caree can't stop complimenting the home health aide or generously expresses gratitude to the CNA. For you, well, your caree just seems disinterested. Ugh, that hurts.

Anna shared a wonderful reminder: It may just easier for your caree to be kind and grateful to professionals like the CNA or home health aide. It's almost like they have a first date every time they interact; your caree will be on his or her best behavior. With you, because of your shared history, your caree may either protect his or her vulnerability (making it hard to say "thanks") or simply be very comfortable being just who they are (including, perhaps, crabby).

That doesn't mean that this doesn't hurt. You feel rejected, like you're failing. Anna encouraged us to keep our value, knowing that the relationship a caree has with others isn't about us. Caregiving is about letting go, Anna said, and letting go so your caree can enjoy a good relationship with others on the care team is good.

And, Anna said, simply being with your caregiving is incredibly valuable. You also have a choice: Who do you want to be when you interact with and care for your caree?

I wonder: Do you feel jealousy toward others, whether it be a family member or a professional, like a CNA? How did you work through the feelings? Please share your thoughts and experiences in our comments section, below.

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I feel jealous when others seem to be able to have a life that is carefree. While I know that everyone has their problems and challenges, I am totally frustrated that some family members are off on vacation whenever they want to be, go out to a dinner and a movie whenever they want, go visit friends or go to the beach or a drive... you get the picture. I miss having this freedom. And, yet, when the day comes that I lose my daughter, I will probably regret having the freedom and will wish that she was still in my life and keeping me at home! And, I get frustrated at myself for even feeling jealous.


I come at this from the opposite angle. I would <i>love</i> my partner to bond with other people. I would <i>love</i> for her to have her own friends and her own attachments. Years ago when I worked triple shifts she wanted us to join a group for a hike. I was pooped, but I encouraged her to go. She enjoyed herself and I was thrilled. I would be thankful for anyone who can be a part of her life, rather than just me, even if she seems friendlier toward them. Ralph Blum has a great interpretation of the Rune Gebo (Partnership): \"Drawing this Rune is an indication that Partnership in some form is at hand. But you are put on notice not to collapse yourself into that union. For true Partnership is only achieved by separate and whole beings who retain their uniqueness even as they unite. Remember to let the winds of Heaven dance between you.\" I still apply that however I can in our caregiver-caree relationship.