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Taking Life Off Hold

My last post was written two years ago after an extremely traumatic event, this was the first in a series of further events which would fundamentally alter my brain chemistry and the way I viewed the world.

I wrote my last post while I was caring for both of my parents in the UK, my Mum as severely depressed and had tried to take her life through an overdose of my Dad’s pills. She was not able to care for my Dad; a double above knee amputee. Let’s face it, that’s a lot of work for one person, to be a carer for your partner, the emotions that come with the fact that your partner is no longer able to care for themselves and it falls on you to make their life possible. But let’s really think about this, if my Mum had passed away do you see someone else caring for him 24/7? No, that would be an unrealistic expectation of a human. Humans need to rest.

Mum didn’t get a rest though, and that caused her to look for the ultimate rest.

I stayed with them for three months, I took two months off work and then gently started getting back into work virtually and worked towards getting back home to California.

My Mum’s sister and I worked towards encouraging my parents to get an additional carer, was Mum’s action not enough of an indication that this was too much for one person?

Apparently not.

I organised couples therapy for them, they did it for six weeks and it did have some impact but I could sense that this wasn’t going to happen long term. Soon the therapist focused just on Mum, and then before you knew it Mum pushed help away and we were back to square one.

I was exacerbated, my parents were so disconnected from reality that they could’t see how severe their situation was.

What more do you do as a child at this point? I had given more that I have to help, I knew more about their lives than a child should. I had to go back to my own life and let my parents navigate themselves. My being there did nothing.

Back in the States I became a new version of myself. Becoming a carer for my parents, I had been living for their existence and not pursuing my own life, and I was prepared for that going in…it was codependent for sure, but for me it was temporary. A period of time where I would prioritise people I deeply cared about to help them in a time of need. My boyfriend broke up with me, I was alone with my emotions.

My biggest shift was that I became emotionally open, I stopped caring about what other people thought in the urgency and trauma of the situation. I was desperate and needed my family and friends around me. It was the most liberating shift I’ve ever experienced. Opening up completely.

Cue the arrival of the best app I’ve ever downloaded; Bumble BFF.

I met my soulmate in a best friend. The next four months would the first time in my life I felt genuine happiness, connecting with someone so deeply that it made me question every relationship I’ve ever had.

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