I don’t want to stop being a caregiver, but I think I’ve reached that point where I need respite.
I dreamt I murdered my mother last night.
It’s true that I’ve been feeling really exhausted lately. More than just physically tired, really exhausted in the depths of my soul. But I had no idea how in need of a rest I really was.
That’s how caregiving is. Not taking care of her isn’t an option, so I just keep going, no matter how exhausted I am. I have so many things I need to do for me, for us, but what can I do? She needs me more. She can’t be alone at all, so if there’s no one else to watch her I’m on duty.
I would never harm my mother. I love her dearly, beyond words.
But lately I’ve started thinking those things. One day, after her passing. I’ll do this. I’ll do that. One day, when I have free time again. One day, after this list of chores is finished. One day, after my mother is gone from this world.
And I guess I need to take care of myself before that day.
I don’t really want her to die. I want her to not be sick. I want her to be well again. I want us to get lunch, take her dogs for a walk in the park, giggle over what we might buy at the mall this weekend. I want her to not be dying.
Every day it feels like part of me is dying. Or already dead. One foot in front of the other, the next task on the list. What does she need? What will she need? I’ve forgotten myself.
I’ve forgotten myself for too long.
This is a wake up call.