One might argue that it’s questionable whether I truly am a family caregiver.
Now that I am living at home I get three meals a day.
I don’t have to cancel meetings, appointments, dates, plans with friends because I don’t have any money for public transit or money in my pocket in case the plans alter and we end up meeting for lunch or a coffee and I have to make up an excuse that I have to go because of an unexpected “emergency” when in fact I am too humble to say I can’t afford lunch, I can’t afford a coffee, I can’t afford public transit.
I walk but sometimes it feels like I am creeping
Now that I am home, I ask my Mom for $20, or I return some empties and I can take the transit into the city for my doctor’s appointment, my dentist appointment, my psychiatrist appointment. I can turn the one and a half hour commute each way into the city into a bit of a day trip, with that $20 I can find a place that has a $4.99 lunch special, or if I do the math right I can catch a matinée with a friend. Hold the popcorn, my pockets aren’t that deep, and hope that nothing goes wrong.
I can’t afford to take a risk.
I know that my Mom would give me $200 if I asked. I know she would give me what will be my inheritance now if I needed to. It should never have to come to that.
One might argue that I have moved home so that my mother can take care of me.
The flu is going around and I borrowed $20 from her so I could go to the store and buy some Gravol and buy some chicken soup because I know they would both be good for her. Good for me. The shelves and the fridge and the freezer are always well stocked at home. There is plenty of everything.
My prescriptions are sitting at Shopper’s Drug Mart, two of them are not covered by the Ontario Public Drug Program. My mother has the flu, I want her to rest, I don’t want to ask her for the $109 it would cost for me to pick up the prescription, I know that she will worry and now is the time for her to rest and for her mind to be at ease. She is a Mother. Mother’s worry.
In my capacity as family caregiver, it’s a two way street.
Family caregiving for me is mutually beneficial.
The corporate creep and greed exercise their will to make this experience mutually exclusive.
Poverty is humiliating.
However, I am being cared for and someone cares about me. We live in a world where you best take care of yourself because no one else will, unless you have the no one else.
I am enjoying the experience of caregiver, it’s a bonus chapter in my life where I feel safe to explore and to continue to learn and grow. I don’t feel particularly supported in this journey, but I am OK.
Don’t worry about me because I don’t care for you.