I’d like you to understand that the life of a 24/7/364 caregiver for a chronically ( terminally) ill person is not the same as parenthood, checking on your parents by phone from a distance or helping an ill friend. It’s an all-consuming job. It means making priorities flexible on a daily, often minute-by-minute basis. It’s also an incredibly PRIVATE thing, meant for immediate family only. This is not fodder for your “news” about family & friends to be spread like wildfire every time you drop in unannounced on them.
I’d like you to know that if I don’t answer the phone, return a call or message; I’m either extremely busy or want time without interruptions. No exceptions, no special rules for “special people”. Emailing me until your fingers are stubs isn’t the solution either, in case you were curious.
I’d like you to realize, you aren’t listening no matter what you think. You also drain my precious energies and time away from where I need them because you aren’t listening and I resent that.
I wish you’d see I AM AN ADULT. In fact, I’ve been one for the majority of my life. Time to adjust your viewpoint and let go of whatever old vision of me you’re holding.
When I want your advice, I’ll ask. Don’t assume I **need** your advice.
I wish you’d understand I don’t owe anyone an explanation for anything. It’s been that way for the majority of my life, I’m not about to change now. When you commandingly inquire as to my schedule, plans or whereabouts, you are intruding and are quite frankly, out of line. When you pay all my expenses, then you have a right to know…until then, stop demanding.
I wish you’d wrap your head around the fact that many, many people don’t need a church building, service or clergy to have a firm relationship with God. Implying otherwise is just insulting. In fact, when people make those insinuations, I immediately see a person so insecure in their own faith they must condemn others to shore up themselves. I see a person who has missed 2 of Christ’s most important lessons: Love one another and Judge not. I also lose respect for them. I pray the good Lord finds a way to open your eyes and widen your mind.
I wish you’d understand there is nothing wrong with introverts who crave privacy, solitude and who work hard at achieving those things. I also wish you’d understand that being an extrovert does not make you “healthier” than an introvert. In fact, I think you should reexamine why your personal life is so lacking that you have the overwhelming need to insert yourself into every situation you can whether you belong there or not.
I wish you’d hear me when I say “this is my ME time” and leave me be. I enjoy working with my hands, staying busy is vital to MY personal well-being, so please don’t dismiss this small need of mine by jumping in to “help” with something I don’t need or want help with. You’re robbing me of MY ME TIME when you do. That means you’re depriving me of my private prayer, reflection and worship time. I know, you can’t grasp it because it’s not in a church building but that does not give you the right to rob me of what works for me.
I wish you’d pick up on the fact that asking Hubster about your car, house, lawn mower–whatever, is not as helpful to him as you imagine. In fact, it’s quite devastating and usually means the girls and I are in for a rough night or two while he works through his resentment towards his condition and inability to do anything he loves now. Doesn’t seem to matter how I say it, you aren’t getting the picture. I resent your blind attempts to include him (and us) in a life that no longer exists. Each time you do this, we are set back weeks.
I won’t apologize for not “leaning on you” when I need things. I won’t apologize for drawing close those who understand on a deep, personal level and avoiding those who think they know because they’ve read a book, watched a movie, or had a friend once, for reaching out to the ones I trust the most, the ones who cry because we’re hurting and laugh when we’re having a good day. Until you’ve walked the soles off your shoes doing what I’m doing 24/7/365, don’t say you understand or know. Don’t offer “helpful” hints or advice because you clearly don’t have a clue what it is to open water bottles for your husband every day because he can no longer grip the cap, to help him bathe and dress, to manage multiple medical conditions along with the vast array of medications required to keep him stable and semi-comfortable.
Think you can try to wrap your brain around any of this or should I just explode on you in person the next time you show up unannounced?