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A Caregiver’s Lament

Okay, I will start with saying that this probably has a lot of baggage with it – growing up as the youngest in a family of eight, having a disabled and depressed father, a mother who worked and took care of said father, being not noticed despite whatever I did good or bad – a lot of baggage,


None of that helps with my present feelings, namely feeling unappreciated, not chosen, and taken for granted.  I know this is the lot of caregivers world wide but does it have to be?

I spend a lot of time helping people, listening to their challenges, trying to be understanding of the pulls on people from so many places, and in general just trying to be there for them.  Therefore, when I express a need or suggest something that I would really want to do, why is it that I am met with reasons why they can’t meet that need or obstacles that keep what I really want to do from happening?

I am a caregiver.  I give of my time freely.  I love the people I have to care for.  I understand where they are and I am generally accepting of things, gently but surely helping them to recognize the things they need to in order to progress.  I am, however, also a person.  I need to be recognized.  I need people to care about me.   I need someone to take me in their arms and tell me that they understand the challenges of caregiving.  I need to be chosen – to be the one asked out for coffee not the one doing the asking, to be the one invited to dinner, not the one entertaining.  I need to be chosen – to be the one you want to spend time with, to be the special friend.  Is that asking too much?

I guess so. So Mohammed will continue to go to the mountain and hope that someday the mountain will come to Mohammed.

– Bernadette


4 Responses

  1. Wonderfully said; I relate in so many ways – as a mother, a widow, an unemployed woman, a friend, and in so many other ways. Ironically, I am not technically a caregiver right now (except as a mom will always be, and as my personality has disposed me to be). But I am worst at caring for myself … :-/ If I could, I’d take you out for a Starbucks. (And I don’t even drink coffee! But I’d take you for one.)

    All the best,

  2. I’m sorry you’re feeling unappreciated and unchosen. You sound like a very caring and loving person. I hope you shower yourself with as much energy as you put into others. 🙂

  3. omg, it’s like we share a BRAIN!!! I’m feeling this quite a bit lately. caring for my elderly mother who is also clinically depressed and mild dementia is taxing. hugs to you, and all of us!

  4. You struck cord with me, having worked with elderly and children with disabilities and along the way have taken care of family members who needed help with their Activities of Daily Living!

    I feel guilty for saying this but sometimes feel like I am being taken for granted or misjudge as a superwomen. Currently working in special education as a paraprofessional just once and a while I would like to be acknowledge not so much by the student but the case manager I work with it! It would be nice to just be treated as a person not as a caretaker, aide or educational personnel. Great post.

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