When did you first become a caregiver?
“I don’t remember a time when I was not a caregiver.
I grew up with an alcoholic mother and drug addicted father who left when we were young. My older brother was in & out of institutions and abusive to both my younger sister and me. I was my sister’s protector and caregiver.”
What is your current status as a caregiver?
- “Today, I care for my best friend of 31 years, the loving father of our incredible children and the man I married 23 years ago. He just received a diagnosis of Epilepsy and requires ongoing emotional support.
I am currently learning a whole new language and meeting a group of people that I never would have met if not for this experience. I am still in the bargaining and anger stages, I am hopeful. I have been here before, I am in familiar territory. Fight or Flight. Diagnosis, fear, loneliness, isolation. Time is on my side and it will lead me to acceptance, perseverance, community, and support. HOPE puts my feet on the floor everyday.”
- “I am a caregiver for my 20 year old biological daughter who was a born at 24 weeks. Taisa’s twin brother, our son Levi, was removed from life support after 3 days. Taisa lived in neonatal for 6 months.
Today our courageous and fun daughter attends university, enjoys river rafting, dancing at the bar with her peers, working at SACE and, she happens to live with cerebral palsy. Taisa has a happy meaningful inclusive life. This would not be possible without 24/7 care and hope.”
How has your experience with the ACGA been?
“The ACGA provided me with support with a warm and safe welcome. I did not feel judged. I heard I mattered. I appreciated the stories in the group.
The most important message I heard was that caregiving is an action and we need to act and do for ourselves. We need to Walk the Talk if we truly want results, but be gentle on ourselves, give it time, we are all human.
I am thankful for the excellent, compassionate work ACGA provides in our communities. You are an anomaly.”