FACING THE DARK EMOTIONS OF CAREGIVING

EMOTION.jpgI want to share Joy Johnston’s recent post COPING WITH THE DIFFICULT EMOTIONS OF CAREGIVING on her site The Memories Project and also try to answer the question Joy raises.

Joy writes:

“Caregiving is a tough task, both physically and emotionally. There are many emotions that can arise while one is a caregiver, and many are not pleasant. However, it is important to recognize, acknowledge and process these feelings. Caring.com offers an excellent article, The 7 Deadly Emotions of Caregiving: How to Cope

The 7 emotions the article focuses on includes:

  • Guilt
  • Resentment
  • Anger
  • Worry
  • Loneliness
  • Grief
  • Defensiveness

The article explains how these emotions arise while caregiving, the risks that come with these feelings and most importantly, what you can do about it. Many caregivers will find the above list familiar; some of us will experience one emotion more than another. For my mother, it was loneliness and worry; for me, it was worry, guilt and resentment.

I think it is important as caregivers to acknowledge what we feel, and equally as important to figure out how to best process these emotions so we don’t damage our own physical and mental well-being.

What caregiving emotions do you feel most consumed by, and how do you cope?”

Most consumed by? Hmmm.

Guilt is always with me, because I am so frequently full of Resentment, Anger and Defensiveness, the terrible trio that I fight constantly if often unsuccessfully. Worry, too, because it is generally tied closely to Guilt, Resentment, Anger and Defensiveness. I find it impossible to eliminate or even order my priority of emotions. Loneliness is strongest when I am beside Ralph unable to share in the communication on which our relationship was built. Grief seems a bit strong, overblown and pretentious for what I feel since others have much more to grieve about. But maybe if I’m honest I work to repress the primal strength of grief because typing this sentence a black wave of emotion washes over me, emotion I do not want to feel.

Of course we are all dealing with these emotions in one way or another everyday in small and large moments. But looking at them as a whole has given me a sense of perspective I can easily lose or at least forget.

 

(P.S. Thanks again Joy, for allowing me to share and for asking the question.)

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5 thoughts on “FACING THE DARK EMOTIONS OF CAREGIVING

  1. I’m grateful to read the comments and stories to see that I am not alone in my situation. Sometimes when I feel so alone and desperate it is a blessing to know you re all there.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A pretty comprehensive list…! Really thought-provoking. I think my resentment comes from the non-optional nature of our jobs, and fact that the illness robs our partners of the ability to see, acknowledge or offer regular appreciation of our work on their behalf – the main feature of a functioning marriage, I’d dare say. Things have gotten real lopsided, and are not going to right themselves.
    That said, it’s why they have marriage vows – I’d be easier to say, gosh, I guess not, see ya….were it not for the seriousness of the union.
    Thanks again for a great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remind myself of my marriage vows when I start to wonder what I am doing. I appreciate the value of those vows now more than when I was in a give and take/ups and downs relationship with Ralph. Thanks for writing

      Liked by 1 person

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