Thursday, November 10, 2016

Feeling Not Good Enough

I've heard many wonderful things from people.  "I don't know how you do it" they say.  "You have done an amazing job" they say.  So how is it I can feel that I haven't been good enough??

Being Ty's caregiver I learned to analyze every move I made.  If something didn't go right I made it MY FAULT.  It was a tremendous pressure to put on myself.  Case in point:

We were at Disney in Florida and as we were getting off of the Jungle Cruise (which he did not like) he managed to push a little girl.  Even though she wasn't hurt and her parents were extremely understanding, I was crushed.  I had positioned myself to his rear left to protect the ride attendant who was holding the boat to the dock, and left his front right exposed which is where the little girl crossed.  I had failed to keep him from making a mistake and I had failed her because I left her exposed.  As his Dad I had failed.  It might be easy from the outside to think that point of view is silly, but this is the intense pressure I had placed on myself.

After a while I felt as though I had to be perfect.  His well-being and the well-being of those around him demanded nothing less.  So given that level of expectation there is only two options: being perfect or failure.  That's an impossible standard to uphold.  That's an unfair standard to uphold.

There is no true answer.  As caregivers we are giving everything we have for our loved one.  We never settle for anything but what is best.  My advice is to remind yourself that you do not control everyone and everything.  Mishaps and mistakes will happen to the best of us.  Tell yourself you will apply what you have learned and the mistakes are behind you.  Mistakes are actually great things so long as we learn from them.  Give yourself a little benefit of the doubt and don't let it drive you to depression or dispair.

God bless you.  Tom

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