Don’t Forget The Caregiver

Don’t Forget The Caregiver

She asks for nothing but time
so she might remember
who she is and
that for one waking
moment she does not have
to worry about his needs
That she might be herself
The one she knows still exists
Someone carefree who brought
joy into a room with her smile
and a sense of playfulness and fun

She wishes to be left alone
to be perfectly selfish
To think of only herself for just a while
To worry not of doctors’ appointments
and transportation,
of groceries and cooking
To worry not of tending to another’s desires
To listen not to constant rhetoric
of the unfairness that has befallen him 
and hear not his reminders of her duty
bound by their marriage vows

Being constantly sapped of energy
She finds herself drowning in his pool
and litany of demands
Struggling to breathe her own air
Her face now a mask hiding
the weariness of caregiving
Her laughter silenced
and wishes go unanswered
Clinging to hope that one day
it will be different from the one before
Or she may just lose her mind


Copyright © 2022 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Lillian is hosting Open Link Night at D'Verse Poets

  47 comments for “Don’t Forget The Caregiver

  1. January 24, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    Christine: late to finish my reading for OLN but here I am. First poem I’m reading this morning under the San Diego sun. “Searing” is a good word for it….I notice others have used that word in their comments. To me this is a raw and honest rendering of a person who is exhausted but knows they must go on. Healthcare workers always warn the caregivers that their health is of prime importance too (mental and physical). This poem is a cry for that, loud and clear. Selflessness can only go so far without becoming martyrdom…and sadly, immolation. I think journaling is a wonderful therapy for a caregiver. It takes time away from the needy one; it takes time to pick up a pen or sit down at the computer screen; it takes time to just spill out feelings and reflect on them. In this instance, I personally think an actual paper journal is better than a computer screen. One can pick it up….feel the paper….sometimes see the blurred ink from a tear that has spilled onto the paper.
    This was a wonderful read. Thank you so much for posting it.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 26, 2022 at 5:29 pm

      You’re so sweet Lillian. I love journaling and cannot say enough about the power of our own words when we read that back after a traumatic event. To be able to reflect on how we felt at a certain time in our life and grasp the severity of it can be quite shocking yet therapeutic. I highly recommend it to anyone struggling with stress of any kind. Your observations were greatly appreciated here ❤️ Thank you ☺️

  2. January 23, 2022 at 12:43 pm

    Sooo perfect.. I loved your lines

    • Christine Bolton
      January 23, 2022 at 5:14 pm

      Thank you! I really appreciate it ☺️💕

      • January 23, 2022 at 11:04 pm

        My pleasure

  3. January 23, 2022 at 10:33 am

    I have seen this happening way too often… the non-reciprocity of many relationship can be so very hard…

    • Christine Bolton
      January 23, 2022 at 7:40 pm

      Particularly this kind of relationship. It’s easier to walk away from another type of non-reciprocity

  4. January 21, 2022 at 8:18 pm

    This hits close to home. My mom cares for my grandfather all by herself no help from her 9 brothers and sisters. And I can see the light fading from her eyes and smile.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2022 at 9:12 am

      Oh that is so sad 😢 I feel for her.

  5. January 21, 2022 at 5:54 pm

    We have so many to be thankful for, and considerate of, eh?
    We all need (and deserve) each other.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2022 at 9:11 am

      Yes Ron. We are fortunate in many ways. Sadly some just fall through the cracks unnoticed 😥

  6. January 21, 2022 at 3:57 pm

    Well written and said. We must look out for the Caregivers.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2022 at 9:09 am

      Thanks Bernadette. I agree ☺️💕

  7. sanaarizvi
    January 21, 2022 at 2:39 pm

    Oh my heart this is poignant! I feel everyone deserves a chance to be themselves and do things for themselves every once in a while.. yes! 💝💝

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2022 at 9:09 am

      Yes indeed, Sanaa ☺️💕

  8. January 21, 2022 at 12:27 pm

    I am so touched by this powerful poem. As the dependent partner in my marriage, I wish things were different. I mean, my husband and I don’t live together and that’s a good thing, because otherwise I’d definitely be a burden on him even though I don’t want to be. I understand disability activists fight the burden rhetoric because we all are valuable human beings, but even so the dynamic often changes when one partner becomes significantly disabled or chronically ill or suffers with cognitive decline. And as you so poignantly express, the dependent partner is not always able to look beyond their own demands.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2022 at 9:09 am

      Thank you Astrid for putting it in perspective. Yes, so true. I can understand the vulnerability and isolation that a dependent person feels. There seems to be no winners. Just heads down and getting through it as best you all can. Take care of yourself ☺️💕

  9. January 21, 2022 at 11:43 am

    Great write! Especially in these times…I have friends sitting in ER’s waiting for their loved one’s to be transferred, but the rehab centers are all full in Oklahoma with Covid so bad. I also think of all the overworked nurses who are stretched way to thin right now. 💓

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2022 at 8:59 am

      Thanks Tricia. Yes, nurses are certainly overworked as are nurse aides and everyone else in that industry. Stay safe my friend ☺️🤣

    • Christine Bolton
      January 22, 2022 at 9:00 am

      I meant to send a 💕. Not a laughing face

      • January 22, 2022 at 1:08 pm

        It happens, especially when I’m typing on my phone! 🙃

      • Christine Bolton
        January 22, 2022 at 7:52 pm

        Yep, me too. You never know what you’re going to get 🤣

  10. January 21, 2022 at 4:55 am

    Wonderful

    • Christine Bolton
      January 21, 2022 at 9:53 am

      Thank you Athira ☺️💕

      • January 21, 2022 at 10:08 am

        My pleasure

  11. January 21, 2022 at 4:28 am

    Oh, what a sensitive and heart-rending poem, Christine! I feel for the care-giver, I really do. Everyone deserves a break and a chance to be themselves!

    • Christine Bolton
      January 21, 2022 at 8:30 am

      Thanks Ingrid. Sadly until we do it we have no idea how physically and emotionally draining it can be.

  12. Ain
    January 21, 2022 at 1:36 am

    Just finished talking with an old friend in Afghanistan – there are such paralells to her current life and the words here…in fact some lines of this poem were searing, and the whole poem has left a lump in my throat…magnificently powerful, a poem with real purpose and in fact a stance against much of today’s corrupt world.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 21, 2022 at 8:38 am

      Thank you Ain. I am happy you can relate through your friend. Yes, searing is a good description of the words as the writer is raw with emotional and physical exhaustion. A cry for help if you wish. We see it all too often but do not always recognize it.

      • Ain
        January 21, 2022 at 9:18 am

        Right…it took me a moment…bit slow and all that…but I have sat up quick and taken notice….I think you are so right about poetry as therapy on your about me page I read…I have stumbled into poetry for slightly different reasons, yes, sure, therapy, but, because of the people I knew similar to you I met/knew in war situations – which is similar to you in the intense pressure and removal of freedoms, identity….and much more I can only guess at..There is only one thing good I can ever take out of my experience of having to see people suffer, and that is we never left anyone behind. ‘We’ never turned our backs. Sumaya, my friend and what is left of her family in Afghanistan knows that. We must find the road forward for the writer, a road where each step is important, a road where more time alone to clear the mind can be found. I expect I’ll be sending more messages in the next days plus, with ideas, actions, thoughts, support, hopefully, some bit stupid, others too, but let’s not have the writer facing this alone. War teaches that. The words in your comment remind me of that. And particular, exact times, as said earlier.

      • Christine Bolton
        January 21, 2022 at 9:53 am

        Your kindness came through loud and clear. I thank you for that message Ain and you have put a lot of things in perspective. There are many war zones in life that we find ourselves in. Some very real where people lose their lives and others that feel like you are living in occupied territory and there is nothing you can do about it. The only way is through. Thank you too for understanding that poetry can be healing. For the last two years I have been giving my time to a local charity. It is a new one and I have a friend who is the executive Director. It is solely for assisting those who have experienced trauma. Whether military, first responders, nurses, teachers, those suffering from domestic abuse. The list is very long. I have created workshops where journaling and then poetry become a form of therapy. It has been successful and I cannot tell you how much I have learned about myself through these people. We really don’t know what people actually suffer mentally. It was an eye-opener for me.

      • Ain
        January 21, 2022 at 10:36 am

        At the moment my main professional interest as well as passion is forestbathing, or shinrin-yoku in Japanese. I used to lead groups and things. Practised regularly, it definitely has a mental as well as physical benefit, and I think serves as a real background for any healing program. Will forward a book am putting together on the topic, but the practice of walking through a forest for an hour, alone or with a group has many benefits. These benefits have been measured and include an increase of white blood cells, key in strong immunity, as well as positive changes in blood pressure and cortisol levels. The concept of bathing means not hiking. The chemicals from various trees, usually coniferous, called phytoncides have a beneficial effect on us.I find that this activity is really very good for bringing stress levels down. There are added effects – composing poetry among the trees is wonderful. But it must be done more than once. A step worth organising and I will send more details. Often it is useful to focus by stopping, closing eyes and ‘listening’ or ‘smelling’ etc to activate the senses, though there are more than 5 senses…

      • Christine Bolton
        January 22, 2022 at 8:58 am

        I can completely relate to this Ain. I didn’t know it was a recognized practice. How fascinating! Thank you for sharing that with me. There is nothing quite like a beautiful forest, full of wonder. As a child I could think of nothing more perfect. If trees could talk ….
        The power of nature is immeasurable. I usually feel the same way sitting by water, whether the ocean or a lake. I love the calming energy and it always sparks my creativity.

  13. January 20, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    I know this one too well……

    • Christine Bolton
      January 21, 2022 at 8:21 am

      Then I empathize with you. It is the most difficult duty for anyone. And unintentionally the situation can turn both patient and caregiver into monsters at any given time. Thanks for stopping by Knifen☺️ Love your handle!

      • January 21, 2022 at 11:22 pm

        Thank you, for your empathy, and such an understanding post

  14. January 20, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    My heart goes out to all caretakers. It’s a thankless job but one that needs to be done.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 21, 2022 at 8:22 am

      It certainly is Lisa. Thanks ☺️💕

      • January 21, 2022 at 10:08 am

        You’re welcome. BTW I sent a link to your poem to Pat from Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss last night, as she is currently in the role of Caregiver for her husband.

      • Christine Bolton
        January 22, 2022 at 8:51 am

        Thanks Lisa. Yes I had recently read that in her blog. You are very thoughtful ☺️💕

      • January 22, 2022 at 2:45 pm

        <3

  15. January 20, 2022 at 8:59 pm
    • Christine Bolton
      January 21, 2022 at 8:26 am

      Thanks Jim. I had to Google it and read the lyrics. Wonderful old song and so fitting! ☺️

  16. January 20, 2022 at 8:46 pm

    Such a touching reminder Christine. These people are so often taken for granted.

    • Christine Bolton
      January 21, 2022 at 8:26 am

      Yes, in many cases used and abused. Thanks Sadje ☺️💕

      • January 21, 2022 at 8:27 am

        Yes, very true, unfortunately

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