I’ve always been a caregiver — that’s just who I am. Mothering has been ingrained in me since the days that I used to help care for my brothers, changing their dirty diapers and babysitting. Now I am the one that is being taken care of, and I hate it.
I hate being dependent. I hate being a drain on society and my family. Unable to work or support myself, I have just filed for disability. I’ve worked since I was fifteen, trying to be independent – to be able to buy and pay for things I needed or wanted all by myself. I feel like a failure because I have become dependent. Because I am 30 years old, broke both financially and physically, and being supported by my parents.
Suicide is now something that I contemplate regularly, and it’s not from the pain of the disease or the depression that comes with it, but from the feeling of being a failure. I feel like my life is a waste of my family’s resources. I contribute nothing and take everything. Now, don’t freak out. I won’t actually do it, because I know that it would kill my parents. But, I feel that this is something that many people with chronic illnesses go through and can relate to.
We hate being dependent and needy. We just want to be productive members of our families and of society again like we once were. There is a deep shame that comes with being young and disabled, especially in this day and age when we can see all of our acquaintances conquering the world when we open our social media pages.
Chronic diseases dash all of the hopes and dreams that we once had for ourselves as we watch our bodies crumble and destroy itself from the inside out, and we are no longer able to care for ourselves – as we lose our identity as a caregiver to those in need and instead become the one in need of care.