As much as my brother and his family are ‘here for me’, and (on occasional) here to care for Miss Cathy, it’s still not the same.
Because they are not ‘here’ for the day in/day out, week in/week out events and changes (big and small) that string together to make a life (and when they ‘come to care’ whatever they experience or witness affects them differently because lets face it, they get to return to their own home and their own lives) so they can’t possible relate to the life that I live in a home that is not my own.
To be clear here, I’m just stating facts, not lodging a grievance. I signed up for who, what and where I am and do not regret any of it for a minute.
I just get lonely sometimes and wish there was someone to go through this experience with (other than Miss Cathy who, as the loved one with Alzheimer’s can’t be expected to do double duty as patient and pal).
As for the family, they call mom of course, to check on her and ask how she’s doing, but (unfortunately) it doesn’t seem to cross their mind to pick up the phone to check in on me.
So, after years of trying ‘this’ and doing ‘that’ to de-stress or re-relax, it got to a place (mentally and emotionally) for me where the isolation and “alone-ness” of it all was overwhelming. I needed more than just the occasional holiday or ‘day off’ to go out to a movie or dinner.
I knew that I needed to find someone I could talk to who could relate to what I was going through (which is a common lament among caregivers) other than bending the ear of friends far and near.
And friends, sympathetic though they may be, not being caregivers themselves, which I’m happy for them of course, still leaves me without someone to commiserate who’s going through the same thing and understands.
Sometimes, you just need someone to listen; no, more than listen, you need to be able to talk to someone who’s either walked in or is walking in your shoes and knows why at the end of the day you’re sore, can do no more but you do it anyway.
So, once again, I turned to Alz.org for help.
I knew that there were support groups out there, hell, I’d been advised to seek one out when this whole thing began but being the private (read-hardheaded) person that I am I thought I could ‘go it alone’ and apparently I succeeded because having ignored the advice to ask for help and seek out others for support, I am alone.
But, that was soon to change.