Being a carer is an all-encompassing role.
It takes it out of you mentally, physically and emotionally.
Add to the mix being the full-time carer to your own child and you are laden with the unique guilt only parents can have, that your child has to experience a harsh reality - all because you brought them into existence.
This brings an insurmountable pressure that you put upon yourself to give them anything and everything they need for a better existence.
Being a full-time carer can be a sobering and saddening reality because this job is essentially forever....
Let me clear this up, it is not a sadness in being a parent forever. It is sadness that this unrelenting, taxing, unpaid and monstrously demanding job does not ever stop.
Day after day you will enter a daily battle of doing hundreds of micro-tasks for your child often with little sleep, little support, no pay, no holidays, and no real rest.
It can create a cycle of never-ending activities that render you chained to a groundhog existence. Often pushing you further and further away from normality.
Creating an ever growing distance from people around you. Not intentionally do you push people away but life pushes you away...it can be lonely....
Or is that just me?
Sometimes I just need to do nothing. To have nothing around me - no noise, no tasks to do, no people to need to ring. Nothing.
Guilt free alone time.
Just so I can catch my breath, catch my own thoughts. Find my own wants...
Guilt free is the key because as a carer it can become habitual to keep "doing". Never stopping these tasks for fear that if I do I would be viewed as lazy.
Because being a carer isn't highly respected in our society. People do not give the role the right level of respect and regard I believe it deserves.
How many times do I have to tick the box "unemployed" - when in fact I work day and night? Society can make you feel like you are not doing very much at all. A burden in essence...you and your child.
This in itself is ostracising and feeds into the feelings of loneliness.
But on this Carers Awareness week 2017, I wanted to say to all those carers...I see you.
I see you in the shadows.
I see the tireless work you do, day and night for your children, your mothers, fathers, aunties and uncles.
I see the sacrifice you make, giving up your careers, sacrificing your own health and well-being for someone you love.
I see the unwavering support. I see your anguish in the dark times and I see the tears you hold back when it feels all too much.
I see the never ending fights you take on for your loved ones, the plethora of paper work you need to wade through.
I see the never ending appointments and organising it takes to keep them well looked after. I see the extra costs you have to pay to be able to do and have what is easily accessible to others.
I see you.
I see your pain and unfathomable happiness. Your selflessness and self-LESS-ness.
I see your worries about the future, I see your need for freedom. Need for time. Need for space. Need for an existence where YOU are at the centre of your needs. I see you.
I see your confusion and guilt in loving them wholeheartedly but wanting to run away all at the same time.
I see you.
I see you.