Behind every depressed, suicidal, or even diseased person is at least ONE exhausted caregiver.
Someone who was forced into a position of ‘noble’ servitude, compelled to sacrifice their time, energy, and portions of their very soul all in the name of saving another person.
Despite having never signed up for any of it, they are unable to complain nor are they able to resign. Why? Because the risks are too high. Because if they were to make obvious their being disgruntled, they would suffocate themselves in guilt and they would be vilified by everyone around them. Ironically, by people who wouldn’t pick up the mantle themselves and start giving care.
If they were to make obvious their being disgruntled, they would suffocate themselves in guilt and they would be vilified by everyone around them
Countless times I’ve seen this quiet desperation in the eyes of men and women who entered into relationships with partners that they were incredibly attracted to, only to realise after the honeymoon period was over that once they checked in they’d never be able to check out.
Their honeymoon period was an intense, torrid love affair that most people could only dream of, but once the rose-tinted glasses came off it was nothing but blood everywhere.
When you have rose tinted glasses on, all the red flags just look like normal flags. None’s the wiser.
Caregivers are kept in their place by threats, implicit or explicit, that their partners would hurt or kill themselves if they left. So what do they do? They live their lives in quiet desperation, providing care to their broken partners out of obligation, as the resentment quietly builds inside of them. They dream of the day when they’ll be free of this chastity, one way or another, but the simple fact that they daydream about it makes them feel guilty.
“How can I want this? What’s wrong with me?” they’ll ask themselves ad nauseam.
Can they complain? No.
Can they leave the relationship? No.
Not without Tumblrinas and Twitter twats vilifying them for ‘not understanding the needs of the depressed and suicidal’, failing to realise that they know it all too well because they’ve been on the front lines dealing with it day in and day out as caregivers.
Because caregivers themselves suffer from their own brand of depression. But its a different kind of depression they suffer from. It’s the kind that they don’t even know they can find help for.
Caregivers themselves suffer from their own brand of depression
A caregiver’s depression is a silent one. A caregiver’s depression is not the type that you can milk for attention and validation on social media. What the fuck are they gonna do? Post a nice artsy selfie with the caption that reads, “I’m exhausted from taking care of my depressed partner who I secretly believe doesn’t actually want to get better; throw me some likes.” ?
No one sings songs about the caregivers.
No one romanticises caregivers on Netflix.
No one makes cute little Tumblr posts or starts virtue-signalling Twitter threads in support of the caregivers.
Nobody posts support hotline numbers about the caregivers when somebody dies.
So here I am, ranting through my words here to give you one piece of advice:
The next time you see someone seeking attention by whining about how nobody seems to care about them, about how nobody seems to rush to their aid when they feel like the sky is falling down on them, or whatever the fuck ‘woe-is-me’ narrative that they have chosen; I beg of you, take a good look at the people in the shadows just outside of the spotlight around them. Take a look at their boyfriends or husbands, their wives or girlfriends, or simply their closest friends and family members.
I beg of you, take a good look at the people in the shadows just outside of the spotlight around them.
In those shadows, there is at least person void of a soul, after having given all of it away to save the person in the spotlight, only to do so with little or no recompense.
Caregivers; I can’t do much for you other than tell you that you are not alone. We are like sleeper agents; we exist all around, but none of us can take the risk of blowing our covers.
But you are not alone.
You are not alone.
Further reading: “A Letter To A Friend Who Is Depressed & Suicidal”
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