Carer’s rights — and obligations

A few weeks ago I noticed a woman who was clearly having trouble walking a dog. I offered to help. Basically, the demented Dalmatian was walking her.

She was talking care of a neighbour’s fido and, well, wasn’t used to being around canines.

‘He’s not doing it to be bad, he’s an animal. He doesn’t know any better so he’ll just naturally push any limit’ I explained and gave her some tips on how to be the pooch’s alpha.

The same can be said of our bipolar relations. i was thinking about this when reading about advocates for the rights of caregivers. I’m slightly ambivalent about this sort of thing outside of a professional context. Unlike an employment contract, we’re binding ourselves to our mentally ill parents out of a sense of duty. Having set this expectation for ourselves, we are obligated to be civil.

No matter what repetitive stupidities come out of your bi-polar parent’s mouth, keep quiet. Having set yourself up as care giver, and you’re supposed to know better. Just don’t say anything. While I have been sorrily tempted to make a rude gesture behind my bi-polar parent’s back, or when reaching into a string bag, I have never done so. I have told her to fuck off and occasionally laughed in her face, but those were immediate reactions and hopefully few and far between.

You don’t owe your bi-polar parent anything, but having put yourself in the situation, I think you’re obligated to be civil, at least when within ear shot. After all, we’re supposed to know better.

This is the part of my job I hate

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