Caregiving does give your loved ones a license to abuse you. Caregiving, by definition, is giving care. Now that may sound pretty silly to a lot of people but when you think about the heart of the caregiver (by definition) they want to do what’s best for their loved ones.
Where is everyone who was going to help you? We all have folks that seemed to disappear when the loved ones need help. Many caregivers know what I’m speaking of. Oh sure, the sibling might be around to give advice or money but not the time and the care it takes to make sure that our loved ones are safe from harm and enjoying their life.
The balancing act. Are you exhausted yet?
So, how do caregivers enjoy the life they want to live and balance it with the art of not taking abuse or feeling abused by their loved ones? The very loved ones who gave them care all their lives. The very loved ones who took care of them. Oh, the guilt.
This balance is found in the strength of the caregiver setting boundaries.
Caregivers sometimes want to sit on the fence. And when they do decide to sit on the fence they get overwhelmed by their own families demanding more time and attention and pulled in the opposite direction by their loved ones wanting more time and attention. In the meantime, no one is looking out for the caregiver.
Get off the fence. Take a stand. Drive that post into the ground.
I love the explanation this caregiver shares with her audience on how she and she alone decided it was time to start enjoying her mom.
Here is a perfect example of honesty and truth.
“No one needs to be putdown and shamed and treated badly. Just as children try to get away with bad behavior from one parent while the other parent will not So you know, I am listening to the advice I have been given. I went to visit mom, do her hair, and fix her pill box. Same ‘ole thing today when I first got there. Complained about the cable, must not get good cable here, nothing on this tv. I used to get a lot more movies on my other tv. Never could get her to understand that cable is cable–it is not the place and not the tv. She became upset and told me she wasn’t going to go through this with me again today. We went to do her hair and she sat in the chair and said, “get this over with so you can go back to your palace.” First of all, I hardly live in a palace-ha, second of all I am NOT taking it from her today. I stopped dead in my tracks and told her exactly what I needed to many times ago. With all your help, I have been able to do what I know needs to be done. So here it went– I told her I wasn’t going to do it today either and for that matter I wasn’t doing it ANYMORE! I told her that I have decided as of today I am not coming back and taking this from her. The put downs, the yelling or her complaining. No more! I began to tell her how hurtful it was. That I come to see her and help her the best I know how. I also stated to her that I want to come for a pleasant visit, and we haven’t had one yet. I didn’t stop until I said what I needed to say. She got very quiet and just looked at me as I spoke. I told her to find something else to talk about beside complaining. After washing and fixing her hair, she looked at me and said, “will you trim my nails”? I said that I would be happy too. After doing her nails, she asked me to do her toenails, I did. She asked if I would take a walk with her to the other levels and sit on the covered patio. Gladly I told her. We actually had a nice visit. She talked of everything from where she used to work to things when I was little. I still watched how I answered questions and made sure I didn’t reply to something that would set her off, but I did say what a long time was coming. I usually go and stay about 2 hours, today, I was there for 6 hours. Wow, I was shocked and so was my family. They wondered what happened to me..Ha! She kept trying to find things to talk about to keep me there. I could tell she knew I meant business. Before I left, I told her I enjoyed our visit. Thanks to all for the much needed encouragement and for letting me realize I get to decide everything!!”
What a wonderful moment shared and never forgotten.
Find your boundaries today.