Sometimes times I get a little jealous, when I see kids reaching normal teen milestones or people achieving something I would like to. Back to school, prom, taking a great job or doing up the house. I don’t begrudge them in the slightest, heck in fact I’m pleased for them every single time. I just perhaps feel the walls around my choices around our lives a little more strongly that day.
When my children were young working part time worked well, it meant I could be the one who picked them up from school, I could attend every school event and my eldest needed a little more support due nuerodiversity and schools struggles with the nuerodiverse. I had always planned on moving into a more academic field once they were all at senior school level. I have plenty of qualifications ready to go. Charlotte of course just wants to be teen and do all the regular stuff that goes with it.
How does the saying go “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” J Lennon, and so it did. Anyone who reads this blog knows what happened next. My daughter developed cancer, followed by a diagnosis of Cowden Syndrome and later Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Postural Orthstatic Syndrome, OCD and anxiety. She needs me, she needs me to there, to help her with homeschooling, to take her to appointments, to make her food, to look after her. Life took a detour and my daughter became disabled and I became her carer (as much as I dislike the word). Now I want to make it quite clear that I do not resent that in the slightest, I would not want anyone else to do this for her. What I would wish is that we both could have a normal life, that she could be at school and out at the weekend, worrying about crushes and ridiculous fashion, that I could be out at work and furthering myself in some way. That our lives had not detoured. But they have and I think it’s ok to occassionally mourn that, to acknowledge that I wish things were different. To say “honestly I wish my daughter had the opportunities yours does, I wish I had the opportunities you have” I wish we didn’t have a wall around our choices.
I know I’m not alone in this, carers of all ages all over the world face the same thing, it’s a tough thing to talk about though as I am sure none of us want to make our loved one feel that we don’t want to be there for them. Of course we do, what I mourn and again I’m sure it’s the same for most people in my situation is the life we both should have had. I know at times she feels left behind behind by her friends and I feel left behind by life. I feel like my family runs just to stand still as the chance to move forwards just isn’t there, we still fight to every day.
I also know there are those who look down on me for being a “yoga teacher” while their careers have soared, It;s been made clear in both subtle and not so subtle ways. I guess that one is on them for having a narrow perspective of success. It never ceases to sting though when someone puffs up in front of me, boasts of this that and the other then asks with a hint of derision if “I’m still doing my yoga thing” in a way that makes me feel small in comparison.
In reality this year has been a success just in a different measure, Charlotte and I started the year with us both desperately nervous about full time home schooling and by the end of June she had sat 3 GCSE,s at 14, quite successfully I’m sure (we don’t know yet and are rather excited). She is happy and by god that means more to me than anything else in this world and we have time together, a luxury not many families do.
I have freedoms a full time working person doesn’t have, I can run in the middle of a day or go to the gym in the middle of the day while Charlotte is resting. I enjoy the job I have as a yoga teacher, actually I LOVE it especially where I teach at the moment.
Please forgive me though if every once in a while I have a pang of jealously when your teen is off to prom or you get a promotion or buy a new house. I’m happy for you, I genuinely am I just occasionally feel the walls around Charlotte and I.
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