Being a Caregiver

I had such a wonderful time with the family in Destin, Florida this week. The weather cooperated only one day, but that day made up for everything. Navarre Beach was delightful: powdered sugar sand, crystal clear water and not more than 6 people stretched out in the sun there. We also went to the quaint town of Seaside to spend the day. 

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I’d like to extend a special thanks to Kate and Jesse for manning the helm in my absence. Also, thank you, everyone, for keeping your emails and FB messages to a minimum during my down time. Enjoy today’s post! 

Me: Can you give advice for the mentally ill and their caregiver? Actually, let’s expand that to any one with an illness and their caregiver, but if we need to do it separately, that’s okay.

Erik: Well, if we’re talking about mental illness, there are tons of those.

Me: Well, let’s just talk about those who are chronically ill and unable to care for themselves. How about that? I’ll simplify it for you, Erik!

Erik: Dumb it down, Mom!

I chuckle.

Erik: Okay. For the caregiver, I think it would be best if every day that they wake up before they go to dedicate their day and their life to caring for that person, they say this: “Even though this person, this child, parent or maybe their career–(You gotta take care of that, too.) Even though that person cannot do for themselves, they are still honorable and respectable on the inside.” The part that sucks about becoming incapable when you were once capable or just coming in to this life incapable is that you are truly on the inside. You’re really there. You’re still processing shit. It’s normally the fucking body that becomes broken, even if it’s a mental disease. The soul is not broken though. So the soul can comprehend, communicate, reach out, see all the goodness, see all the pain, everything, but the body cannot relay it. It’s like you need a megaphone to communicate, but the megaphone is broken. You’re carrying around a broken megaphone.

Me: Aww.

Erik: But you’re totally fine. You’re saying the words, everything.

Me: Mm.

Erik: But nobody’s ever fucking listening.

Me (with sympathy): Aww.

I know he can empathize from his own struggles in life.

Jamie: He’s talking about a girl who is, uh, her story of being mentally incapable, but the parents never gave up, kept pushing her, and she learned how to use the computer.

Me: Oh, that’s a real story isn’t it? I saw that on TV.

Erik: Yeah.

Me: Yeah. Yeah.

Erik: Everyone in the world should read her fucking book. They should be forced, commanded to read her story.

Hm. Being a little harsh, Erik? Who made you dictator? Talk about overkill.

Me: I don’t think you can force people to do that, Erik.

Erik: There should be a fucking curriculum for every human being, and I swear to god, the book Nonviolent Communication should be in there.

Me: Yeah!

Erik: And this chick’s book, because it would put into perspective that no matter how the body is misshapen, who’s to say you’re shaped right or wrong, if it works great or poorly? Who’s to say what that fucking is? The way that you treat, love, care, provide care for someone should be that way you would want it for yourself.

Me: Mm hm.

Erik: And if you cannot do that, you need to fucking walk away for a while. You need to take a break. Caregivers, care providers often don’t know when that is, because they feel too responsible, and they won’t set up breaks for themselves; they won’t call in reinforcements.

Me: Well, what if they can’t afford reinforcements or don’t’ have those resources?

(Long pause)

Erik: Then you do what you’d do to your two year-old when you can no longer stand to be around them, because you’re not providing good care, and they’re pushing your buttons.

Me: You beat them?

I’m joking here in case you didn’t know.

Erik: You lock them somewhere safe, and you sit outside the door and you catch your breath.

Me: Yeah.

Erik: Not in the bathroom where they can turn on the fucking water or pull all the toilet paper out but in their room or in their playpen, and you step around the corner and you breathe. There are ways to train yourself to take a break, but many people won’t because they feel like if they do, then they have the right to say, “I pushed myself. I am a good person. Measure me by this,” when really, you’re a dick [to yourself].

Me: We’ll it seems like most of the time it’s like, “I’m a failure if anything happens to this person. I need to do this for them. I need to do everything I can and more.”

Erik: Trust me. I don’t care if the person is two years old or a hundred or if they’ve been incapable since they were born or fell into incapability, they know that you can only go so far.

Me: Yeah. But there’s also the public. Others. Others in their lives that would see them. “Wait. You weren’t caring for them these past two hours? You had to watch your show? What the hell?”

Erik: Two hours is a little too long to be by yourself. I’m talking about stepping around the corner, not leaving for two hours.

Where a two year-old is concerned, two hours is often not enough. And I disagree with him here. You need more time away, as long as the person you’re taking care of will be safe for that period of time.

Erik: There are other things that people don’t think of like turning on the fucking music.

Me: Yeah. That would be good for both!

Erik: Yes!

Me: And meditation! Don’t forget about that!

Erik: Yes. Smells. People don’t think about smells.

With his smellier pranks, he obviously thinks about it a lot.

Erik: You know when you have an incapable person and they’re calm, give them the smell they know they like. Is it a food? Is it aromatherapy, you know, an essential oil?

Me: Uh huh.

Erik: And then when they’re going nuts and pushing your fucking buttons, bring out that smell.

Me: Okay.

Erik: It’s your way of communicating, “No, we gotta get calm.” People forget about using senses. They forget to set the mood, because they go into protection mode. The caregiver goes into protection mode and can’t think about providing any more care than protecting themselves.

Me: Protecting themselves from what?

Erik: Going off the deep end.

Me; Oh, okay. Got it. Anything else on that?

Erik: Oh, we can talk about that one forever.

Me: Well, I don’t gots forever, so…

Here’s a little bonus post for you guys, because I’m feeling so refreshed! (That feeling should last at least six hours.)

Me: Erik was there any other solution for your mental illness besides suicide?

(Pause)

Erik: Tons of pills and a fucked up reality.

Me: Oh, that’s no good.

Erik: So, for me, that could have been a solution. I could have chosen that, but it’s not what I did choose. It’s not what I sought. It’s not what I wanted. So, if you’re asking if there was some comparable answer to what I found here? No.

Me (Somberly): Okay.

Erik: I wouldn’t have found that relief, that release and this joy, this kind of presence that I have.

Jamie (chuckling): I’m watching his hand gestures. They’re very, um… Sometimes he has this, I don’t know what to call it, like a hip-hop way of moving. I don’t know what to, like “Yo, yo.”

Me: Oh yeah. Right.

Jamie: It’s those gestures like they do in hip-hop. Kind of ghetto talk.

Me: I know exactly what you’re talking about. With their fingers down sometimes (I show her.)

Jamie: Yes! He’s demonstrating it in front of me.

Talk about a major distraction. I bet Erik is tapping his foot in impatience.

Me: News flash, Erik. You’re a white boy.

Jamie giggles.

Jaime (to Erik): Called out!

Erik: Well, you know what? The soul of a black man is in me. I gotta let it out.

Me: And the soul of a black woman sometimes, too!

Jamie and I laugh.

Erik: I love me some big, black women.

Am I going to get in trouble with this? Sometimes I regret my “no editing” policy.

Me: What were we even talking about? Seriously. Oh yeah. Anything else on that?

Erik: No. I just couldn’t’ find anything that would give me what I needed. Nope. Nope.

Me: Okay.

Next week, I plan on doing a YouTube on aliens and possibly interviewing a Tall White and/or Short Gray (which is kind of scary.) I have tons os questions, but if you think of others that you’re SURE I don’t have on my list, let me know in the comments section, NOT VIA MY EMAIL. Thanks!

Because so many people requested it, I plan to ask about the Malaysian Airliner during my next session if it’s not resolved by that time.

Also, many of you have looked for Jamie and Erik’s small group channeling calls since Jamie is booked up for 2014. These “mini-readings” are booked through March, but they have openings through July, from what I understand. I had trouble finding the link, so here it is. PHONE READINGS

There are three types: The first type of call is the famous/infamous Erik’s “Call-Outs,” which are designed for general questions about career, spiritual mission, past lives, relationships, health, etc. The second type of call is the “Group Phone Readings” which are Jamie’s gig, but you can still call in Erik if you want. Again, these are for all questions. Finally, there are the “Grievers Call.” With these, you can talk directly to your deceased loved one. Erik will bring them forward and, if necessary, help them communicate. You can use the other two types of calls to talk to your loved ones. This is nice to know if the Grievers Calls are booked for a while. As many will attest, all three are very powerful and immensely healing.

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Elisa Medhus


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