Caretaking, and required caretaking, and coerced caretaking are traumatic for me. I took care of my mother from birth to college and I gave her everything I had, and I gave her everything I could after that; all of this was more than I had, really, and I am in the red, as it is said.
People have long said, and still do say I should be a caretaker and then do amateur music or crafts as something “for me.” I do not want that life, never wanted it and seriously, I would rather sign up for Iraq and take a bullet. I dislike recreational music and crafts, sewing and knitting and canning, all the things girls are expected to find pleasant. I only barely tolerate spa days, and I truly cannot tolerate bed and breakfast inns.
The reason I wanted to work at a good university or other high level institution is that I have done all I can of caretaking for the ill and the infirm. I did it when I was a child. In these institutions where I work, one is a servant or nurse to the disabled freshmen and the supercilious administrators. I am a traitor to academia, I am told, because I did not go into it to do that, or to be that person, and because I can imagine another kind of life.
I am interested in research, not in taking care of people or in socializing with the wives. At present, I am also writing a paper which as it has been astutely pointed out to me, is being done for caretaking kinds of reasons. I believe I broke the computer so I would not have to be in this caretaking role. I would rather sign up for Iraq and take a bullet. I am interested in work as a site of vitality but my university is a kind of tomb. I am interested in research as a source of vitality not as a service to the ideas of others or a social obligation.
Everything is an obligation, everything is something to adjust to beyond the boundaries of what should deserve adjustment, everything is for others’ sake. If I had really cared about others, though, I would have submitted and cooked and done crafts on the side. I did not and it hurt people, and I would do it again, for the sake of the few years of actual life I had. Rather than submit completely now I would sign up for Iraq and take a bullet.
I am really exhausted emotionally and have been since July. I really want to take better care of myself and not submit so much to others’ needs and requests for care. I wish I did not feel that I must daily give blood so that others may live. I wish that knowing other people liked me did not mean to me that I had to sacrifice myself for them, give them everything, invade me completely. I wish I deserved to be at the center of my own life. “Bitch, you think you are so smart.” “Play the piano for me.”