I will start this off like an AA meeting. Hello, my name is Raven and I became a caregiver in May. I remember waking up that Mother’s Day morning feeling fantastic, I put on this cute high low hobo dress with a wide brim floppy hat and I walked to work. Before my work day was over, I received a text from my grandmother stating that my mother was in the ER. When I got there they let us know that my mother had pneumonia and they didn’t understand why she didn’t have enough blood. For some reason, I kept thinking maybe it’s some type of cancer. The next day we were told that she had a rare form of leukemia that made her bones consume most of her white blood cells.

The doctor continued to explain the illness and asked my grandmother, older sister and I if we had any questions, but I didn’t. Everyone else asked questions, I stayed quiet. The doctor then said that my mother would no longer be able to live alone, the room went quiet. My boyfriend and I had our first child in 2016 and bought our own house, so they knew I had an extra room, I had no choice but to volunteer.

Since that day, it had been hard. I had to go on unpaid leave, I have a one year old run around and screaming and I cry every night. Not only am I sad, I am angry. I feel so bad feeling angry, but I am. I have a house that needs electricity, food, and so much more and I can’t help pay for it. I’m angry because I have an older sister who won’t help because she thinks she can’t, but she has a job, she just doesn’t have the initiative.

Ever since I was a little girl, my sister and I have never really had a relationship. My mother was young when she had her and still wanted to live her young life, so she left my sister with my grandmother. When my mother had me, was ready to settle down and take care of a baby. My sister resented both of us for this, so she ran away and got pregnant and never left the security of my grandmother’s house. Now my sister has 4 children by different fathers and she still doesn’t have anything together for herself. I’m angry because I am drowning and the people around me are still mingling around the pool.

I guess, I feel alone, like I shouldn’t have these feelings. I feel like there is no help, I have looked for resources for financial help, but I still haven’t found anything. This year has been a whirlwind for me, my depression has been so relevant each day. In February, one of my best friends committed suicide. I had never cried so hard for someone in my life, not even a family member. I cried for weeks, maybe even months. That was the first time the stages of grief were real to me, I went through each and every one. Now, my mother has leukemia, I have lost much of me this year. I used to be so compassionate and I was full of empathy, but I have lost every sense of empathy I used to possess. I wish I had a happy ending, but I don’t. I really needed to get this out, I haven’t had anyone to talk to about this.

Raven Varnado-Glenn

ravenMy name is Raven, I am a nerd, my nerdiest attribute is that I am a trekkie. My love for Star Trek must now battle with my love for The Walking Dead. I don’t know how to properly give myself a bio so I tell people about the things I love. If you would like to link up on social media, my profile names are below.

Written by Guest Author
The Caregiver Space accepts contributions from experts for The Caregiver's Toolbox and provides a platform for all caregivers in Caregiver Stories. Please read our author guidelines for more information and use our contact form to submit guest articles.

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