A Caregiver's Lament
Updated: Dec 9, 2020
It's here again. That strangled feeling. That desire to shake Mom off me. To push her away. To forcefully seize and hold just two feet of personal space of my own; erect an invisible barrier that prevents her from encroaching on me, burying me alive with her needs, her sadness.
I want to run. Flee. Take big gulps of freedom in my mouth and spew them in her face. Scream at her "You can't drag me down with you! You can't anchor me to your anguish. I won't fill myself with your fears just so you have someone to keep you company in YOUR misery! I won't do it!"
I hate days like this. For both of us. My depleted care giving resources aren't her fault, and while I skillfully hide my resentment, I think it's subconsciously detected. She is, after all, my mother. She literally made me. She then spent her lifetime shaping who I am now. I believe even if she can't identify in her mind the difference in my actions, she can still sense in her bones when my outward is inwardly false.
But luckily, these days don't happen often, and help is on the way. The Other Girl will be here this afternoon to take her off my hands for a couple of days, and an SOS out to friends for bawdy, crass companionship has been answered. Tonight there will be laughing, there will be bitching, there will be beer, lots and lots of beer, and then tomorrow morning there will be a renewed sense of purpose, a replenished reservoir of love, patience, and humor.
And once again, I will be able to carry her heart in my heart.