The Perils of Responsibility
I have previously written about the sin of kindness. Nice guys and gals really do finish last, and thanks to a culture of contempt for anybody who takes care of anybody else, it is really not wise to stop and take care of anyone.
Having children is also unwise, since you are effectively producing taxpayers at the expense of your own wealth. Although I have never begrudged the unemployed, elderly or disabled their pittance, I have frequently wondered, back in the days when I worked 20 hours a day for actual money, why I should pay for other people’s children to enjoy school and healthcare when I cannot afford children myself. Why should I pay for everybody else to get what I was told I should not have, since I was dumped with the job of taking care of my parents and this house at the age of 25.
I would have liked to have children. I worked very hard for a career. I would have liked a pension. I am to have none of these things, thanks to my caring for my parents. My siblings, who effectively announced that they wanted nothing to do with taking care of them, told any number of lies to make my life in Glasgow impossible, on the assumption that I would have no option other than to play family whipping boy forever.
Things are somewhat different now. I have ensured that I need never suffer the sight of them again, and they are still able to visit their mother in her own self-contained room in the lower house. I have worked on the Ina Disguise project for two or three years, and whilst I eventually had to give up working to take care of mother, I did not claim the benefits I was entitled to for several years after I really ought to have stopped to take care of everything. When my mother had the stroke, I was working three jobs, one full time, and two part time, whilst taking care of my parents and their property. All the time my siblings did nothing, and continued to invent more lunatic stories about me.
I have no idea how I will respond when she dies. My day consists of a list of things to do for her, timings for doing them, which vary, interspersed with creative work, which she enjoys watching, and thinking about future writing. (the hard drive is definitely finished, by the way, which means I will have to restart Best Adventure Ever and Lucifer Ogilvie again) I have no hope of making money out of either, currently, and so I worry, as I have for several years, that I am to be left homeless with no pension.
You would think somebody in this situation would consider this, but they do not. I am stupid for taking care of her, ‘nobody asked you to do it’ is the family motto, and my mother seemed to imagine for several years that Prince Charming would appear at the front door to make the problem simply vanish. It never entered her head for a minute that my being stuck in this house for most of my adult life was a problem, or that I should be considered in any way.
Of course, since it is inevitably a career politician that makes decisions on how carers are to be dealt with, it must make perfect sense to have people imprisoned in their own homes, earning £60 per week for a 24 hour a day commitment, in my case unable to get the free help I am entitled to as a carer because it would put my mother’s life and property at risk from the local council. Hence, through other people’s stupidity, my hard work in the course of my life has been utterly wasted for other people, and there is no chance of financial recovery.
This is very dispiriting, and yet I keep trying. There is no way of discussing it with anybody, because I do not know anybody who genuinely cares what happens to me.
I have wondered whether I should perhaps give up Ina Disguise and do a sensible but dull course leading to a sensible job for the pre-elderly, such as funeral advice, or financial back office work. I could do such courses from home, instead of what I am doing. I cannot help but think this is a good idea, and does anybody really care whether this project keeps going?
Then I think that I already had to give up two post-graduate courses for my parents, that this fits around the constant roller coaster of stress, and that not many people would tolerate this life for very long, never mind try to achieve anything.
At least my sisters were unable to inflict themselves on any children I would have had. That is a blessing.