It’s 4:25 a.m. and I’ve been awake since 3:00 a.m. pondering why I feel the need to take care of others before myself.
In the case of my mom, I believe I have stepped up out of obligation. In the case of my kids I do it because God forbid if they struggle, fall flat on their face and learn skills to get back up and survive. In the case of my friends, I’m an easy target because I listen, I encourage and I guide them through obstacles they are facing.
Yet, in the end, l don’t come close to treating myself the same way, with the same respect or wisdom or encouragement.
I find it interesting and quite disheartening, my mom doesn’t appear bothered by the little regard my siblings have for her welfare. She’s constantly relaying to me how busy they are working, where they are traveling and how they’re getting along in their personal lives. It’s totally wearing on me because I have made a choice to be burdened with taking care if her. Yes, finally I have admitted it is and has become burdensome. Which is why I have chosen, right or wrong, to back down from visiting every day to twice a week. In doing so, I have had to work through some guilt because when I told my mom of my decision I was no longer going to be able to come every day to her rehab, she commented ‘I’m getting good care.’ Which gave me a sense of relief until she said, ‘I know you have your life to live.’ And she’s right.
I am angry my siblings continue on living and help out my mom when it’s convenient and doesn’t interfere with their personal going-ons. I’m at the point where I am no longer going to be able to keep my opinions to myself. However, the disregard my siblings have displayed seems to not have affected my mom. After all, the time they choose to spend with my mom isn’t and shouldn’t be an issue between myself and my siblings as I have made it. It is something between my mom and them. And it hasn’t seemed to affect their relationship at all. Matter of fact, they are probably all still sleeping and I’m the dumb ass for even letting the situation get under my skin and cause me to fret over it!! I can’t change the behavior of others. I can only change myself.
For now, I am learning to live without guilt and appreciating the week of normalcy I gifted myself. It’s been a long time coming. I believe it’s time to continue being selfish in order to make peace with my anger, realize I have nothing to feel guilty about and to keep my spirit from fading.
This is my time. I definitely need to take care of myself like I do others. That doesn’t mean I stop caring, just not so much. Because if I am drowning by gifting myself to the extreme then I will be no good. I have to learn to save myself first then the hand I extend will be a bit stronger, given because I want to help not because I feel obligated and the love I’ve given to myself will be allowed to flow freely and unconditionally.