Just this past week I had the pleasure of talking with a male caregiver over the phone who has been a caregiver for over 25 years. God sent our materials to him and he called me for more information. Very timidly he asked me if he had ever felt like I wasn't allowed to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, angry, or sad as caregiver. I immediately and probably loudly responded, "Yes, oh, yes!" The problem for caregivers is that we feel guilty or that we are complaining when we express how we are feeling to others. Then comes trying to share with the one we care for. That can be very difficult, too.
I could not tell my husband how I was feeling because it would make him feel terrible. He would begin to cry and tell me how sorry he was for putting me through all this. That was never my intention but it always ended that way. So, many times I would keep it all inside and at times I would collapse or burst with emotion. I had to find a few close and trusted friends that I could vent to but at the same time they could not fully understand how I was feeling.
Let me tell you about the ONLY one who ever understood how I was feeling. His name is Jesus and He became my dearest, closest, and most intimate friend during my first year as a caregiver and that has never changed. Jesus felt all the feelings I was experiencing on the cross when He died for me. He is my caregiver and so He really does get how I am feeling.
I would love to see how many caregivers respond to this blog. Be real and share. It helps so much to share so that other caregivers see they are not alone!