The past 2 years has been a bit of a shit show. I went from being a normal 27/28 year old seemingly with a whole future of experiences ahead of me, to feeling trapped. Now I’m desperately trying to find some balance.
I’m not a fan of the word trapped, it makes me feel some kind of way and its not the most positive connotation out there. Obviously I’m not trapped, but let’s say I feel obligated. Obligated to stay here, and care for my Nan, because it has been left for me to do. This sounds derogatory, I love my Nan, but when things are thrown at you out of nowhere. I was caught a bit off guard.
When I was little I had all these hopes and dreams of leaving this little town and making “something” of myself. Whilst I do feel like I’m making something of myself in my own little way, leaving this town has become a pipe dream. My Nan’s health and the care needs associated with her illnesses have taken precedent.
Of course I don’t have any problem looking after her, she took me in and adopted me after all her children had grown up and I’m forever grateful for the care and love she gave me growing up.
Knowing how things would have turned out with my “real” mother, she gave me a life I would have been dreaming of. But I’m not my Nan’s only “child” yet I’m the only one really caring for her. That’s something which has really got me down lately.
I feel abandoned in some respect, the two other children of my Nan’s, who have grown up before me, and are now living their own lives. They seem to have forgotten that I haven’t had the chance to truly live mine yet. Sometimes the thought of not being truly able to experience things like a “normal” person hurts.
Moving out or away is out of the question. I can’t go travelling on my own, my independence has been taken away without any thought from the other two. Which is more than frustrating, when they could easily do more to help. They don’t live far away, but make minimal effort.
In the last few months I’ve been struggling to find a balance between, carer, boss and just a person trying to live life. I don’t get a day to myself. Even on holidays I’m being contacted by people in work which infuriates me more than anything.
I never truly understood the phrase “weight of the world on your shoulders” until now.
I do find myself grounding myself regularly. I’m by no means in the worst position in the world. There are so many people out there in far worse situations than I’m in, but it’s all subjective. I just have to remind myself of that.
There was no preparation for this, it all just happened. One day my Nan had a lot of independence and capability, and then one operation later, she became restricted.
[edit: My Nan has end stage renal failure and requires dialysis 3 times a week. Putting her fistula in, they damaged the nerve in her arm which has restricted what she can now do with that arm. For reference, anything heavier than her purse is too much. She’s also riddled with arthritis in her fingers, legs, back and feet.And her medication causes confusion, memory loss and loss of balance]
My life literally revolves around work and Nan. I’ve got no real friends, I don’t go out anywhere, work is my social life and days off are about catching up with housework I haven’t been able to do.
What I’m hoping for this next year is to find or create some balance. I’d like to reconnect with old friends. I want to leave the house for something other than work. I’d like to have a fragment of time for myself during the day rather than waiting till Nan is in bed (like right now… it’s currently 1.30am)
I’ve realised over the last few months that I need to look after myself to be in the best position to look after my Nan and to be the best I can be in work too.
To finding balance.
Take care, stay safe
James. aka Anothermaleblogger