Caring for the carer

Since I was seven, I’ve been caring for my mother. She has MS. She’s in a wheelchair. Nine years of being her permanent carer has been exhausting. It doesn’t start at nine and end at five. It’s endless. It’s sleepless

For the past four weeks I’ve been at a wellness retreat in the desert. It was very much needed. I’ve been in a bad place for a while. This has given me the time to think about my relationship with my mom and I’ve come to realize it’s as unhealthy as people have been trying to tell me.

My mom isn’t an easy person to care for. Some might say she’s a nightmare. She has a disease that is robbing her of her mobility and her life and she is in pain and she is ill. I make a lot of excuses for my mom’s behavoir but the truth is for the last nine years, my mom has been abusing me. She has been manipulating me using her disease as an anchor to keep me attached. There are other people in our family who could help, but they don’t. She’s too difficult.

It’s me and her. Our team she calls us, like twins, always together. She has stopped me from perusing opportunities, using her disability to keep me close. She has sabotaged my relationship and she has manipulated me in countless ways. It’s been difficult to see what others have been telling me. This time away with no other responsibilities and no other voices has allowed me to see what our relationship is really like. It’s not a healthy one. She uses guilt. I reject other relationships because I’m scared I’ll be pulled into the same thing I have with her. She has taught me to distrust men and it’s worked.

Something that I’ve been focusing on over the last few days is how my mom has clouded by relationship with my submission. It’s stopped me from standing still. I run here and there avoiding it because I don’t want to be cared for. It frightens me. I don’t want to be the manipulative person in the wheelchair. That’s not what submission is. That’s not what I wanted it to be.