I've noticed throughout much of my life that witnessed events between people and would pass some form of judgment to the situation, only to later discover myself in similar situations reacting and acting in a similar manner.
It is often when I experience a thing that my eyes are opened to the realities that many other people experience and that I see playing out in the world around me.
When I was younger I remember seeing elderly parents shopping with their grown children and seeing the children be short with the parent, or irritated by them...and I used to think...that poor person having to deal with the grumpy child of theirs and my heart went out to them.
I also, primarily thanks to television felt horrible that people would put their parents into a nursing home and then never come to visit. In fact many times when I was younger I'd visit nursing homes with friends and hear these poor people talking about how they miss their kids that never came to visit.
Well...now having the experience of having an elderly mother with dementia has forever changed my perspective on those situations...realizing that the truth is, I've gotten grumpy with mom when she took off in the shopping mall and we couldn't find her.
I've been tired, irritated and I swear had a permanent scowl on my face when dealing with her in public...well and at home too at times.
As we get nearer to her leaving us to go to a Nursing Home, I realize she will likely be telling people about how she hasn't seen me in years....even if I came by just that morning.
So while it might not seem like a big thing...my eyes have been opened with experience...I no longer hold those people in judgment like I used too...but instead feel a great deal of compassion...all the way around.
As I prepare to step away from being the primary caregiver and take the roll of secondary caregiver, I suspect I will be doing a lot of reflecting on the past year and a half.
I am grateful for the opportunity to understand deeply these things and to have a whole new intimate understanding about something I used to be so ignorant of.
What are some of the things you've discovered up on reflection, after becoming a caregiver?