The past year has been a bit of a shit show. I went from having that 27 year old freedom, the ability to pretty much do what I want, to feeling trapped.
I’m not a fan of the word trapped, it makes me feel some kind of way and its not the most positive connotation out there. So I’m not trapped, but let’s say I feel obligated. Obligated to stay here, and care for my mother, because it has been left for me to do.
When I was little I had all these hopes and dreams of leaving this little town and making “something” of myself, and whilst I do feel like I’m making something of myself in my own little way, leaving this town has become a pipe dream for now, and my mother’s health and the care needs associated with her illnesses have taken precedent. Of course I don’t have any problem looking after her, she took me in and adopted me after all her children had grown up and I’m forever grateful for the care and love she gave me growing up, and knowing how things would have turned out with my “real” mother, she gave me a life I would have been dreaming of. But I’m not my mothers only child yet I’m the only one really caring for her, and that’s really got me down lately.
I feel abandoned in some respect, and for the two other children of my mothers, who have grown up before me, and are now living their own lives they seem to have forgotten that I haven’t had the chance to truly live mine yet, and the thought of not being truly able to experience things like a “normal” person hurts. I can’t move out or away, I can’t go travelling on my own, my independence has been taken away without any thought from the other two.
In the last few months I’ve been struggling to find a balance between, carer, boss and just a person trying to live life. I don’t get a day to myself, and even on holidays I’m being contacted by people in work which infuriates me more than anything. It seems I can’t be left alone anymore, and for someone who is a massive introvert and needs some time to be left alone to recuperate, it hasn’t helped. I never truly understood the phrase “weight of the world on your shoulders” until now.
I do find myself grounding myself regularly. I’m by no means in the worst position in the world and there are people out there in far worse situations than I’m in, but it’s all subjective, I wasn’t prepared for any of this, it all just happened, literally, one day my mum had a lot of independence and capability, and then one operation later, she became restricted.
[edit: My mum has end stage renal failure and requires dialysis 3 times a week. Putting her fistula in, they damaged the nerve in her arm which has restricted what she can now do with that arm. For reference, anything heavier than her purse is too much. She’s also riddled with arthritis in her fingers, legs, back and feet.]
My life literally revolves around work and mum, I’ve got no real friends, I don’t go out anywhere, work is my social life and my days off are about catching up with housework I haven’t been able to do – oh and more recently my driving lessons (test this month so fingers crossed)
What I’m hoping for this next year is to find or create some balance. I’d like to reconnect with old friends, I’d like to leave the house for something other than work, I’d like to have a fragment of time for myself during the day rather than waiting till mum is in bed (like right now… it’s currently 1.30am)
I’ve realised over the last few months that I need to look after myself to be in the best position to look after my mum and to be the best I can be in work too.
to finding balance.