I matter! I matter! In the midst of emotional mayhem I am reminded that I matter.
I no longer even tell relatives how I truly am because my answers are useless. I don’t tell them when I’m going to have surgery, not when I just have. They don’t remember, they don’t care. All they want is for me to do something for them, something that will cost me money. And with the most recent phone call from the sibling of someone I’m caring for already, all that has been running through my mind is, “I don’t matter to her. We are family, but we’re not. Family cares about each other and shares burdens. This woman wants an already burdened me to shoulder more burdens that even God requires of me. I don’t matter. I don’t know if I ever did matter.”
I kept quiet. She recounted how we are already buying grocery and electricity for these people she wants me to help. Monthly. Yet she also wants me to hire a caregiver. (Again! ) Pray tell me how you’d feel if you’re already bending over backwards for people who call you a “waste,” who say you are a Pharisee for NOT wanting to hire someone to be a slave that works 24/7, 365 days a week. Would it not already hurt you to be in the presence of ungrateful people who slander you while you ensure they stay alive?
Would it not be even worse when the actual SIBLING of one of these people expects you, a sickly mother of young children, to go even beyond what is right while said sibling does absolutely NOTHING? I know that this relative the sibling wants me to cafe even MORE for financially, used to care for HER siblings when she could. She used to send them airtime and pay unpaid electricity bills for two late siblings. But now that this relative is in need, I’m the only one expected to help. I hate injustice.
Even if I had extra money lying around. I would not. There are many more deserving poverty-stricken people who are alone in the world with family that CAN help them. These people have chosen to abuse caregivers I’ve hired and drivers too. They have chosen to live with an alcoholic thief who eats the food we buy the people. I refuse to enable even more of their entitled behaviour.
But that’s not the main point. I’m using this weekend conversation to compare how a non-related to us couple spent time with my older four children and wants to do it again. More than that, on top of wanting to spend time with them again, the wife told me that should I need a break, I must shout, and they’ll take the children for me. Sadly, the twins are the ones who need me physically and can’t go out with strangers, but I appreciate the gesture! And having some peace from many questions that make no sense so have no answer. is not something to be sneezed at! It’s awesome.
It means she sees me. She sees fatigue. Busy-ness. Ill-health. Someone who, contrary to popular belief, is NOT frittering her time away doing nothing.
I matter. Someone (close by) wants to make my life EASIER. What a contrast to the person who phoned me over the weekend wanting to make my life difficult by demanding the impossible.
That hurt. Not being seen.
Sometimes, Black people treat you like your worth is in your giving to THEM out of your pocket so much that you end up partly believing them that you’re not doing anything worthwhile on this earth, that you hold no value. To be ignored when you’ve told people your health problems, chronic and triggered by STRESS only for them to STRESS you more shows how unloved one is.
The offer to give me a “break” (Chance to rest, relax, not worry about finding something for my children to do) changed that.
I matter. I am seen.