“I am not my care”

Ever since I can remember I have voluntarily given myself to the needs and care of others, without
question. I always have felt that I was a caretaker until I recently decided that I no longer want to
be. I realize it is my time to focus on my own needs and wants.

I married my ex husband in 1967 at the age of twenty four. I have been told growing up that
you fall in love get married, have children and create a beautiful happy home , most of the time.
Oh how wrong I was! My marriage ended in 1978 three children later. I was extremely sad and felt
very lonely inside. In 1980 I started my own daycare and found myself devoting all my time taken
care of the needs of many children. I did this extremely needy job not to lose the only home my
children always knew. I became a caregiver for many children in the twenty plus years that I kept
my business open. I was giving, giving and giving to others without realizing that I lost myself in the

I met someone after my divorce and asked him to move in. Years after that he started
a business without talking to me about it and had no money coming in. I found myself once again
a caretaker.

Years later my sister fixed me up with her ex- brother in law, who I ended up moving in with.
For over four years we enjoyed many happy times together. Then the time came again. I was
a caretaker for him. He became extremely ill with a debilitating rare condition. I would wake up
with him calling me in the middle of the night several times as he was unable to get out of bed.

He is unable to walk or do anything for himself, and is in a wheelchair and needs constant care.
I once promised him at the very beginning of his diagnosis that I would never put him into a
nursing home. I don’t know if I can keep this promise.

I know longer want to be anyone’s caretaker it is now time to take care of ME.