Healthy Caregiver Relationships Can Be Imperfect

Jodi Enders avatar

by Jodi Enders |

Share this article:

Share article via email
Caregiver Relationships / Myasthenia Gravis News / An image of two women standing in the forest. One has her arm around the other's shoulders.

Gajus/Shutterstock

Throughout my thymectomy recovery, I am learning that we need to accept help when we need it, even if our lives aren’t precisely what we’d imagined.

Consider that we want to keep growing into the most whole version of our potential selves. In that case, we have to let go of the perception that we can do life all on our own. This approach may have served us previously, but with myasthenia gravis (MG), the stress of carrying all the pressure ourselves is unneeded and will hold us back.

Receiving support can be a more complex emotional and mental process for some personalities than others. However, that doesn’t make it any more acceptable to put the frustration of our situations on our caregivers — those who stick by our sides and provide us care even when we may not always deserve it.

Initially, those we choose as our caregivers may have seemed like a perfect fit. They might have checked all of our ideal boxes. But as humans, we all have flaws that lead to imperfect relationships.

Recommended Reading
women and MG

Standard MG Care Less Effective for Women, Danish Study Suggests

We need to be fair and accept our caregivers’ shortcomings and capabilities. Be realistic about how much energy someone can give us in addition to their lives and passions. We must be honest about reality versus perfection. We are not any more worthy of compassion than our caregivers.

Our caregiver relationships may not always require a more profound connection than a job position. Like me, some may be in situations where having family as our caregivers is the most convenient or only option. Regardless, relationships become more comfortable when we accept people as they are and stop striving to change them.

Suppose we want to see positive change in our relationships. In that case, some of us may need to break out of our comfort zones to address issues and implement boundaries with caregivers.

Imagine we have attempted all restorative measures to implement and consistently enforce boundaries. In that case, it’s most likely the other individual who isn’t willing, wanting, or ready to change. Others need to initiate and, most importantly, decide for themselves what they want to change. We cannot make our caregivers into something they are not.

Disappointment happens. We need to accept that we will not always understand how the other person in our relationships thinks and why they do or say what they do.

Few people we cross paths with in our lifetime will want to understand and support us, knowing all that comes with us. We must focus on the critical people in our lives — those who stay and remain patient with us.

Patience is one of the purest characteristics an individual can possess. If we stop forming expectations for our caregivers, we will live more comfortably, for disappointment is inevitable. Expectations commonly lead to the ongoing shame of the other person and withdrawal from those relationships. We owe it to our caregivers to remain patient with them as well.

All humans are flawed and make mistakes. We all are occasionally stubborn and avoid apologizing, and can find ourselves being emotionally immature and breaking promises. Relationships are imperfect, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be healthy as well. A happy and healthy relationship is not one without problems; it involves a commitment between two people to work through issues.

***

Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

Comments

Nina P avatar

Nina P

Welcome to the group. USF has some of the best neurologists to manage MG in the world. You are in good hands. I have been living with MG for 10 years.

Reply

Leave a comment

Fill in the required fields to post. Your email address will not be published.

2021 Myasthenia Gravis Survey Results

BioNews Survey Infographic

Myasthenia Gravis News conducted a survey from Feb. 11-March 28 to gain greater insight into the characteristics of the MG community and disease management. Results of the survey have now been published. Click on the image to view the infographic, and click here to read the story.