How becoming a kinship carer can teach acceptance
Becoming a kinship carer can often strain our relationships with family who at one point we would of considered ourselves close to. In this position we find it difficult to accept and process the changes in our lives especially if we feel it could have been prevented.
It can be hard to move on and simply look the other way, when we see behaviours, or the actions of others causing chaos and further hurt to those we care about. We get emotionally invested in bad situations especially if when it takes place it involves and effects close immediate family. We feel torn, but we want it to STOP, we wish for a realization, a hint of remorse, an apology anything!
Firstly, we all need to know that its okay to be angry, its a valid emotion! BUT it is important to know all the anger you feel can be more damaging to yourself than the person you wish to aim your anger at. If you're not naturally an angry person and over time you become resentful (of that person) or the situation itself, it can prove exhausting and conflict with your natural personality.
I am also speaking from experience too, I was extremely ANGRY! I said things I knew would be hurtful, I wanted to show just how much I disagreed with everything they were choosing to do. I wanted them to know I had seen the real them, their true colours so to speak. More than anything I wanted them to feel the crushing disappointment I have for their life choices. I needed them to show remorse for how they have affected not only themselves, but everyone around them.
But did it help? In the short term it felt wonderful to express how I really felt and finally say all the things I was thinking, and what others were thinking (but didn't)Sadly this feeling didn't last! After I finally offloaded my emotional weight with anger, it seemed to stay with me. Even after I vented, for quite some time. I had let the anger consume me, and in truth It did very little in terms of making a real change to the person it was aimed at, but I did feel it changed me and my outlook, but not for the better. I couldn't focus on the future, whilst I was still living in the past.
One of the hardest parts of Kinship care is the fractures it can cause to close families. The relationship I had with my parent took a huge downturn and was probably the most strained our relationship had ever been, and I felt similar feelings towards those I was close to, who had disappointed me along the way through the lack of support during the whole process who I initially thought would be there for me.
My parent made me a kinship carer at the age of 22, in my mind I knew I had tried preventing what I could foresee and subsequently warned against expanding the family further and having more children. I felt these children were paying the price for their parents poor choices. I felt as the eldest sibling it had to be me to tell the truth to my parent as I knew my siblings wouldn't want the hassle or drama that comes with it or were simply too young to form their own opinions. By this point I had nothing to lose, I was ready and prepared to turn my back on my parent anyhow, given the decline in our relationship, and the resentment that had built over the years.
At some point though it had to STOP! I had realised just how unhealthy the anger and resentment and pure overload of feelings was. I had to make steps to let go!
I thought to myself this is my LIFE, I need to take back control of my life and control my temper. I had to stop letting my anger consume me, and since then I have learnt to accept. Instead of expecting an action, remorse or apology I have accepted it may never happen.
It sounds negative in a way, like I have finally given up. In truth in some ways I have given up, I have given up my expectations that things will change, and through this, I have accepted my family dynamic and differences, I have shed the burden of my strained relationship and childhood, as it is my past.
Some positives of my acceptance are the realisation of the things I CAN change. I CAN provide care for my sibling, I CAN accept that my family's past isn't my fault, and I can accept that I CANNOT always change a persons life, personality or choices, if they don't want to change themselves. BUT I CAN learn to change my own and finally find peace with my anger!
With some situations it can be too hard to simply forgive and forget but acceptance is possible and can come eventually if you're ready to move on in the future.