I’ve been blogging for 3 weekends and think it’s time to step back and take a few moments to reflect.
My original intent for taking on the weekend writing was to give Elizabeth a break. Well, I don’t think she’s had much of a break. Even though she’s not writing the blog, she does edit the pieces for me and puts in all the photos. She still ends up doing 1-2 hours of work each night. Sometimes I wonder whether it is just easier for her to do it on her own.
One of my fears was that taking ownership of the blog on weekends would leave Elizabeth in a vacuum. While I have colleagues at work, family members, a counsellor and Elizabeth to give me emotional support, all Elizabeth has besides me are all of you. And all of you add up to a lot of people for which I am very glad. I don’t know what she’d do without you.
But when her blog is her only way of communicating, whether sharing, giving or receiving support, I think I’ve done her a disservice. Many reader comments offering support are directed to me and while I appreciate the sentiments I sometimes feel uncomfortable reading them. I believe the intention is to encourage, but in the process I think it discourages Elizabeth. The majority of comments are for me, suggesting how important it is for me to have my own time. But from another perspective, it could be telling Elizabeth that my time is more important than she is and doesn’t she know that? Or that if it wasn’t for her I could do a lot more stuff. That she’s a burden. From that perspective I think these comments could hurt her. And that makes me feel bad.
On weekends her volume of email decreases so when she opens her inbox and finds more messages addressed to me than her that makes me feel guilty. I know I’d be miffed if my inbox looked like that! And I imagine for her it feels like I am taking her friends away.
So, where to now? Elizabeth and I have discussed on numerous occasions the value that I can add to her blog by presenting a caregiver’s view. This is still true; however, I don’t want to take away from the value the blog currently has – to be Elizabeth’s voice and support network. This network is so important to her. I don’t want her to ever feel like it’s not her space any more or that people care more about me than her.
She needs you. When she’s not at doctor’s appointments or exercising to keep her autonomic system functioning she’s home and usually alone. I, on the other hand, am at work all day surrounded by colleagues, I get to do exciting things like fly to Vancouver in a float plane for important meetings, help define green projects and rollout training on our new computer system. The best support you can give me is by supporting Elizabeth.
I’m not sure what this means in terms of my writing here in the future. Maybe we’ll do more ‘she said… she said’ pieces where we both have a voice or maybe I’ll just guest blog on an ad hoc basis when Elizabeth needs a break or I have something really important to say. Either way, I won’t disappear from the blog. You’ll still hear about me through our day to day events Elizabeth writes about.
11 hours ago