I’ve taken care of people all my life.
Emotional, mental, physical needs.
It’s all the same.
I was born into this role.
My mother got pregnant with me because she was lonely. She told me so.
It’s no coincidence that my first name means “listener” in Aramaic. I think that was God’s way of branding me because my mom almost named me Amanda, but this lady she knew had a girl a few days before her and named her daughter Amanda, so my mom compromised.
I am very clearly a Samantha. It was meant for me to be.
As a natural caretaker, you often lose yourself in the people you are taking care of.
I lost myself in my family from birth, especially my mother and siblings, and then in my ex spouse. I’ve never had the opportunity to just take care of me.
Until now. For the past 9 months, I’ve only had myself to worry about. And Valentine, my pug. But he doesn’t really count. I don’t even know what taking care of myself actually looks like. I found myself longing for someone to nurture, to have someone to put all my time and energy into. Unconsciously trying to fill the need of caretaking by filling someone else up with love. But now I realize, that person should be me.
I don’t know how to balance my own identity while being with someone else. That’s work I need to do. My pattern is that I find someone and dedicate my time, energy and life to them. It’s very intense. And unhealthy. Because when I do that, I disappear. I become small. And I’m way too fantastic to stay that way.
I promised myself I would never do that again, but I almost did. Recently. I lost myself in someone and when he disappeared, I felt forlorn. I realized that I had put my life on hold, that my days had revolved all around him and his needs, while neglecting my own in the relationship. Because I was (still am) in love with him and that’s what I do when I love someone.
Funny how humbling self-realization can be.
I want to know what healthy love looks like. The balance of self and us. But I’m not there yet. I am accepting this fact now. I still need to learn how to put myself first. Especially now that I’m alone. Maybe if I get used to it long enough, I will learn how to slowly incorporate someone special into my life without letting the relationship take over it.
Being a caretaker fucking sucks.