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“Silly laughter and acute tragic joy,” oh boy I relate to that. Thank you.

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You're very welcome! I always say 'love bubble' for those days ...it wasn't all light and air but we kept our fragile bubble afloat just enough, above the sharp egg shells...via our very weird 'had to be part of our bubble to get it' slightly hysterical (not haha) freaky laughs.

Sometimes words fail but a mash up helps ;-)

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This is so helpful, Victoria! I loved, "Do what you can, no one is perfect." So hard to remember some times. Saving this to refer back to, as always. Thanks for sharing more of your own personal story!

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I hear you, Cherie. Sometimes, I feel like I need a disclaimer—this is what I try to practice, but I'm just a little 'ol human, too! Who knew that writing these articles could be a personal echo-chamber to bolster my own spirit through comments like yours!! Thanks to YOU. This article had a little journey all on its on - I won't tell you how many drafts of drafts - so many angles I could've taken....but this one 'spoke to me'. xo

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I Love 💗 Dr. Barrett’s work. A key resource for my rhyming graphic novel. Aren’t our brains amazing? Well done: 👍🏼 applying her findings to caring. Finely attuned.

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Ohhh let me know your thoughts on Dr Barrett's work and books. Thanks, Christine! As with most things, I'm curious to learn to build my insights-knowledge and then I apply a caregiver lens and I find my perspective completely kaleidoscopes because we act on behalf or for someone else.

Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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I am caretaker for my mother with whom I have never had a good or positive relationship. But I’ve known her long enough to have an intuitive understanding of her needs sometimes. She is regressing emotionally more and more and sometimes her needs are in direct opposition to her wants. She gets angry at me and I struggle not to return the anger, not always successfully. She tries to use guilt against me (‘you don’t care’) and I struggle to maintain confidence in my intuition. This essay was helpful.

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Hi Debbie, If you're someone who takes hugs, I'm sending you a very warm hug of empathy. Otherwise, I'll just pull up my chair alongside you and sit in the frustrating messiness you've described. I hear you. You're doing what you can, and that's all we, perfectly imperfect humans, can do!!.

I'm glad the essay was helpful. I don't want to offer solutions because, as I wrote, every situation is unique. I just hope, for your sake, there are others supporting her and you. A third person or support can offer time-outs emotionally to recoup but figuring out what works for you, as a routine is not easy

Thank you for sharing. We all need to talk more about the realities of caring. Take care of yourself as best you can xo

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Telepathy. I’d never have come up with word, but that’s what it is isn’t it? Intuiting. Patience. Experience. Compassion.

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Absolutely, Jodi! That's why I want to dispel the myth and cliché that caregivers are 'superheroes'. We're only human, going above and beyond what's usually humanly possible to intuit (thanks; I missed using that word, and it's perfect)—the needs of someone else. For us, empathy is MORE than just stepping into someone else's shoes. Often, I literally felt the pain and angst.

We have to be more capacious to feel and predict more, but at the same time, all the relationship histrionics and dynamics can make this more complex.

This article morphed a few times, so I'm glad it resonated with you. There are so many other points I put to one side to focus on the telepathy and burden - blessing, principally because we're still in Mental Health and Awareness Month. Thank you for your comment and support.

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