Thursday 31 December 2020

My Breakup Letter to 2020

Dear 2020,

I'm breaking up with you. I can't live with you anymore and I'm done trying. In fact I never want to hear from you or see you ever again. 

At first you seemed normal and fine, nice even. I remember last New Year's Eve. Everything felt hopeful and I was relaxed enough to skip the midnight celebration and go to bed early, thinking everything would be just as I planned for the next year. That was back when I imagined that I had some control over my life and the lives of those I love. 

January and February passed as usual for us (I think they did, it's hard to remember now). By March, the skies were darkening and I could tell you were angry. What did I (we) do wrong to make everything into a fight - like you were beginning to obsess about how to punish me/us in every way that would hurt us most. Like a jealous and cruel lover, you began to show your true colours. 2020, you have been an abusive partner. 

First, you brought a plague and if that wasn't bad enough, you separated us from those we love and care for. Typical of your cruel and controlling nature, you kept us separate from our families. That, I can never forgive. But that wasn't enough - then you made us into pariahs - vectors of the plague. You said that we caregivers were too dangerous to allow by the bedside of our parents and even children with disabilities. And that was a lie. But 2020, you have never liked science, have you? You don't care much for facts when truth can be spun into rules that are first made by fear and then unchanged because change is too much trouble. 

2020, if there's one thing good I can say about you, it's that you made me connect more with others like me - caregivers. We came together like never before and we made noise. "Look at us and value what we do!" we shouted, "because our loved ones will become frail without us. Without us, they die from loneliness and sometimes even neglect!" We even got our name changed from 'visitor' to 'essential family partner in care'. By locking us out, 2020, you showed how important we are. I'll give you that. 

The trauma of a toxic relationship takes time to heal. 2020, like all abusive partners, you exposed our weaknesses and then you exploited them. Old cracks and flaws split us open and made us feel helpless. 2021 has promised to be a better partner, but there's a lot of repair work to be done. You know what? I'm up for it and I think others are, too. We can do better, BE better. And by God, we'll do it together instead of apart. I'm betting on a much better relationship with 2021 and I'm staying up tonight to see in the New Year, that's for sure. 

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Amen!!! Happy New Year Donna! Keep making waves :)