Saturday, July 4, 2015

More About My Last Caregiver…And To My Future Caregivers

I am still losing spoons alot lately because i am still going through so much hurt and anger about my last caregiver.. Not only did she walk out on me abruptly, i discovered that some of what she bought me when she made her last trip to the grocery store for me before quitting me, like a whole package of Colby jack cheese sticks, and 5 pints of Haagen Dazs chocolate ice cream, had bad dates on them. The cheese had 7 days till its expiration date, and with cheese, it can go moldy on you in a heartbeat, and WAS already tasting bad. The ice cream was dated March 2015. I had to throw both the cheese and the ice cream out. My last caregiver knew that i always requested good dates on all of my perishable items, even bread. This was a good $40 dollars worth of food i had to toss in the trash. $40 dollars that i could ill afford to throw out!!
Then i discovered…..actually, my new caregiver……..told me that all of the boxes i got from my mom and Amazon got thrown in a huge sloppy pile in the middle of my converted garage room….and she and her seven year old niece spent Weds. cleaning that all up for me.
But i truly think in the last month of my last caregiver working for me, that she was growing to hate me. I could see it in how she would ignore me, tune me out, and blow me off more and more when i would talk to her, and her moodiness was becoming intolerable for me to handle anymore.
For a normal person, it takes time to get over someone walking out and giving up on you. But for an Autistic, it can take alot longer. It does for me, because i already have extremely deep PTSD and deep trust and abandonment issues from a lifetime of abuse by family, schoolkids, people in the churches i have gone to, to government agency people, to friends i have had, turning their backs and turning mean towards me, and now, 20 caregivers who have been mean and abusive.
All my life i have battled and fought to love and accept myself, even though few people have believed in and loved and accepted me. That is a hard battle to learn to love yourself when others around you don;’t believe in you and are always walking away, because of “behavior” that they can’t or don’t want to take the time to understand.. When your own family thinks of you as a penance, a burden and piece of shit….you tend to think so of yourself too. it just works that way. I still to this day grapple with deep-seated self doubt and self esteem…..especially when someone tells you that yes, you can trust them, yes, that they have your back, and then they fucking turn and walk out on you.
Yet….i am still here fighting. But if i am half here lately, please forgive me. It is going to take me a long time to get over my last caregiver walking out on me when she promised me she would never do that to me, and that i could trust her, and that she had my back.
Trigger warning for discussion of hateful, cruel, ableistic racial slurs, and slurs against the LBGTQ community….
My apologies, but i need to get this out, because this was one of the things i had to endure and suffer through with my last caregiver……. and it felt awful to be in my own skin when she would get like this and go off on her rants:
Now that she is no longer my caregiver and on my FB policing it and me, i want to share some of what i, as a bisexual who supports the LGBTQ community full-on, as well as transgender rights….and as a white person who knows racism still very much exists, and who fully supports People Of Color……had to go through with my last caregiver.
I used to really dread and hate it when she and i would have “talks” about LGBTQ rights, and about racism and the police shootings of Blacks…..only they weren’t talks where each of us were able to equally participate in the conversation……when we would have these “talks”, she would come on like a flaming dragon, usually after seeing a news piece on the evening news that i would be trying to watch and listen to…… and she would start her rants, doing all the talking, and standing over me, wagging her fingers, with her eyes bulging angrily out, talking loudly and belligerently over me, telling me why she felt transgenders should not have the right to use the bathroom they want……and she would use crass language to explain her views…and then, she would go onto say why she felt that transgender people are taking it too far when they have the transitional surgery……i would try to tell her she was being wrong and unfair, and she would get even louder, continuing to talk over me, and refuse to listen to me.
About the riots, she called the ppl doing the riots thugs, and even used the N word, and even said that white officer had valid grounds to shoot‪ #‎MikeBrown‬…..and on and on she would go till i was in meltdown mode, imploding, because she would try to force her racist, bigoted beliefs down my throat, just like my late father always did….and then when she would leave, leaving me to be upset and unsettled all night, and on weekends, all weekend long.
She would then change the subject, not letting me say anything back in defense against her awful views…… leaving me with so much i wanted to say back to her, unfinished. To let her know she was being disrespectful and unfair……and WRONG.
In short, i feel that ppl like my last caregiver, are fuckin’ bigots, who take their ignorance of the subject of transgender issues, all LGBTQ issues, and racial issues and then run their bigoted mouths,—-and it is worse that they did this in my own home. Before having the chance to be educated. And not letting me educate and talk to them.
I had to listen to these rants, as part of my caregiving, and these rants she did, really affected me, like i described above. Her rants were so demeaning to me deep inside, because i am bisexual….and i have alot of transgender friends, i have alot of gay friends, i have alot of bi friends, i have alot of queergender friends, and i have friends who are People Of Color, and i have read the truth about what happened in ‪#‎Ferguson‬, and with ‪#‎TamirRice‬‪#‎EricGarner‬, etc…..and i KNOW, for a FACT, that racism still exists!!! And that the police brutality and murders of PoC also happen, and that this needs to all fucking stop!!!
And then one day, my last caregiver also came into my house to start flaming at me about the Josh Duggar sexual assault story, shocking me by defending him all up and down in my living room, only this rant was worse than all her other rants. With this rant, she was almost screaming….and again, i could not get a word in edgewise, and when i did, she screamed at me that this happens in EVERY family, asking me, “Didn’t this happen in YOUR family too? So should all young boys be sent off to jail?”…..and then she went farther, yelling “Let’s jail everyone who makes ANY mistake and send them before the firing squad!”
Again, i apologize upfront for bringing this up…..but this was how awful things would get with my last caregiver. Her rants were abusive. Her rants were me being in front of my own abusive dad all over again. I never want my last caregiver to come near me ever again. I never want any caregiver to come into my home and abuse me ever again.
To all of my caregivers from here on out….i am a nice person, i am generous, good-hearted, and kind…but when you come to my house you work for me. I am the boss. I set the hours. I am a Democratic Socialistic Liberal, i am pro-choice, pro-LGBTQ, bi-sexual, and i like my indie rock alternative with New Wave and electronic and good quality hip hop thrown in….and i am also an Autistic adult. So when you come to work for me, i expect you to understand, be patient with me, learn all you can about me, the way i like and don’t like for things to be, and about my Autism, my sensory issues, and do not push me to be normal and neurotypical when i am clearly not. I also do not drink, or smoke. If we go to a party, i do not want to be forced or pressured into drinking, as a way for me to loosen up…..let me loosen up at my own pace, or i will be afraid to go out again.
In my house, i do not tolerate racial slurs, or disabled or abelistic slurs. No R word. No N word. I am also housebound, on a fixed income, and can’t go to the store when i want, so please bring your own water, beverages, and snack food. And when i talk, please listen with all of your heart, and without interrupting me or talking over me.
If i have a meltdown, do not react with anger or yelling or scolding me. Remember, as an Autistic, i process and deal with things on a much different level than a normal person. Please respect that, and if i have a meltdown, please talk to me in a calm voice. Yelling and scolding me will only agitate the meltdown and make it worse. It is perfectly okay to ask me, in a calm voice: “Is there anything i can do to help you right now?” Then give me time to tell you. If the meltdown was caused by something you may have done, let me explain, and then please do your best to fix the problem for me. If it can;t be fixed today, then tell me when it can be fixed. I will understand…..unless you tell me it has to wait for more than two days to be fixed/resolved.
Also, if you promise to do things for me, please, please follow through on those promises. Nothing is worse than getting my hopes up that something is going to happen, and then it doesn’t happen. I can’t take that. Please only promise me things that you know you can do for me.
If you find that you cannot handle working for me, please give me two weeks notice so i can have time to find someone else. And please….if you have any problem or issue, i want for us to talk it out.
And now, i try to move forward as best as i can. Please remember, PTSD is not the same as people just dwelling on the past. PTSD is a very real thing, and i am trying to move forward and heal.
But to all who come aboard as my caregiver, please respect and treat me as the human being i am. I am not less-than because of my disabilities.

1 comment:

Rochel Badger said...

Finding the right caregiver is all about comparing companies and even asking others about their own experiences. I know how difficult it can be to find a good caregiver who truly does care, but they are out there and they are a whole lot more beneficial when you finally hire them for either yourself or a relative who needs them.

Rochel Badger @ Homewatch CareGivers of North Atlanta