This post was born out a conversation I had with a really good friend. One of her friends, who she happens to work with, was not responding to her calls or texts. It really hurt her feelings, and made her question their friendship. Especially since another friend was able to speak with her. All of these things I’m sure sound like they might have an issue. Except, in this case, there is a twist. Her friend is taking care of her sister, who has had a reoccurrence of breast cancer. She also happens to be the mother of a teenage son, and has a family that she works hard to support.
So, she is a member of the elite club called, “The Caregivers.” We’re more powerful than the “Avengers,” and have more patience and skills than the “X-Men.” Lives depend on our focus and strength. But, with all of that talent, we at times can be extremely hard to deal with. I know these words don’t sound like they go together; especially, when we are putting the needs of others ahead of our own, but that’s the main reason we can be so hurtful. We’ve put the needs of the ones we care for above the people who are there to support us.
We don’t do it intentionally. We’re just so focused on the person we’re caring for that we forget there are other people in the world that care about us. We get a serious case of “tunnel vision,” and need to be brought back to reality sometimes.
I explained “tunnel vision” to my friend, and explained that her friend doesn’t want to jeopardize their friendship. But, when you’re a caregiver, the person you are caring for needs consume you.
It’s not like caring for a child. A child you bear from your body, so the connection is different. A caregiver’s connection is built from love and obligation that has been established through your prior relationship.
“The Caregivers” are a special group. Not everyone can do what we do. But, with that responsibility comes a cost. At times it’s our health, sanity, friends, and life. Be patient with us and yourself. You may not always understand our silence: it’s not born out of something you did. It may actually be that we’re overwhelmed and trying to figure out our next move. Just be there. Your presence is always felt and appreciated.
Until we meet again! Pray for all the caregivers you know. They may not hear it, but they will feel it.
Pamela Davis is one of the “2 Chicks” of “2 Chicks and 1 Old Lady.”
”2 Chicks and 1 Old Lady,” is blog that Pamela started to share the adventures that she and her developmentally disabled sister are experiencing on their quest to live life and find love while taking care of their legally blind mother.
Pamela resides in Orlando, FL, and is a Digital Marketing Retention Specialist for the Orlando Sentinel. Pamela’s goal is to provide commentary that will help caregivers find comfort and support as they navigate this ever-growing aspect of society. Pamela is in this process of developing this blog into a full-scale website that will provide information on health & wellness, dating, and inspiration for individuals navigating the challenges of caregiving.
Check out her blog at www.2chicksand1oldlady.com.
Pamela can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org