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This topic has 7 replies, 4 voices, and was last updated 1 week, 3 days ago by Crystal.

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    • #26051
      Alyssa Silva
      Keymaster

      Over the weekend, someone had stopped by the house and was talking to my dad outside. For reference, he hadn’t met us before.

      Upon learning that I’m disabled, he asked if my parents take care of me. My dad explained how they are our primary caretakers but that he works, so my mom does the majority of it. (I had more help pre-pandemic.) The man responded with, “wow that’s a lot of work.”

      This bothered me. A part of me understands that taking care of a human life, whether your own or someone else’s, takes work. But, jumping to that conclusion based upon his own assumptions felt wrong. He knows absolutely nothing about me. My parents have never once made me feel like a lot of work or a burden, but this man’s words made me feel like I’m a chore.

      What would you make of it? Am I overreacting? It definitely put a damper on my mood when my dad came in and told me about his conversation with him. He didn’t seem to think anything of it, though.

    • #26062
      DeAnn R
      Keymaster

      Oh, I get where you’re coming from.  I get that vibe from my own family sometimes.  I still go to my mom’s every other weekend.  Although I do understand it is more physically challenging to take care of me than it used to be for her I know she enjoys having me.  Of course it seems like my sister always shows up when mom’s taking me to the bathroom (which typically is only once during the day.)  She makes me feel like I’m a chore for Mom.  She actually suggested I find a weekend caregiver.  Little does she know I’ve been looking, but it has nothing to do with her prompting.

      Maybe when outsiders look in they can’t imagine the added responsibility.  From the inside though you just do what you have to do.  It’s not an added responsibility or an extra chore, it’s part of day to day life. Haven’t figured out how to make others see that.  If your dad felt like it was a chore he wouldn’t have told you about the conversation.

       

       

    • #26065
      Alyssa Silva
      Keymaster

      You’re absolutely right. Thank you for sharing that with me. If you figure out how to make others see that we’re not a chore, please share how you cracked the code haha.

    • #26073
      Crystal
      Participant

      It also depends on the person I guess. One of my moms acts like I’m a chore sometimes, but that’s just how she is. Literally everything is a chore for her, including giving herself a bath. My other mom admits that it’s a lot of work, but I never feel like I’m a chore with her. Nor do I feel like a chore for my brother. But even when they don’t make it seem like a chore, I feel like I’m a chore simply because I know I am a lot to deal with. And that really bothers me sometimes, but my brother tells me to just let it go cuz there’s nothing I can do about it and letting it get to me is pointless.

      • #26085
        Alyssa Silva
        Keymaster

        Your brother and my brother give similar advice! I get what you’re saying. I think part of my issue with the interaction is that, even though my parents don’t feel this way, I feel like a chore to them sometimes. So to hear someone else say it almost made it feel true.

    • #26071
      Mike Huddleston
      Participant

      Hey Alyssa –

      So, I don’t think you’re overreacting, but perhaps it would help to just accept this as a manifestation of this person’s biases and or their ignorance or insensitivity.  I know we often struggle with not wanting to be a burden to those helping us, so comments like this are pointed and hurtful.  But it is on him, not you.  We can’t control what others say or how they feel, but rather our responses to them.  I’ve given up on educating everyone.  However, depending on how your father reacted, this  could have been a good opportunity for a follow-up discussion with your parents.  And it sounds like with your sister as well.  In other words, maybe it’s an opportunity to discuss how you would prefer these conversations go or what your loved ones reveal…especially to complete strangers. What would YOU prefer your father to have said in this situation?

      Just like I’ve had to tell people not to answer for me (“I’m right here”), letting them know what you want revealed about you and the care provided for you, is personal to you.  Have that conversation, then if someone else asks or makes an insensitive comment, your loved ones will know how you want them to respond…because it is about you that they are speaking.

      • #26088
        Alyssa Silva
        Keymaster

        This is great advice— I actually felt such peace and acceptance reading it. Thank you for taking the time to share this with me.

    • #26110
      Crystal
      Participant

      That is great advice. I’m gonna have to use it myself as well. Lol. And yes, hearing someone say what you’ve been feeling does make it more real and  it can hurt. But again, all we can do is  try to brush it off.

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