I was just talking with a caregiver and it made me think about myself and how I would never be able to do this kinds of jobs. At least not with my current mindset.
Whenever I see some disabled person (e.g. blind, cripple, etc.), I always feel sad for them. It makes me think that some people weren’t lucky in life and I would be probably depressed to be in their position. I tend to think about how they can live this way: how hard it must be for them to find a wife/husband, to have relationships with assholes like me that don’t want to bother, grocery shopping, go through life and perform tasks that look so easy for me, as a healthy person. I truly feel a brief moment of sadness when I see a handicap person, but it’s really brief as I can move on with my life one minute later not thinking about it anymore.
I remember helping a blind woman a while back ago. I was walking down the street, she wanted to cross the street, and I felt so sad for her that I decided to help her. I asked her where she needed to go and luckily it was close by and I had nothing to do. I crossed our arms and I walked with her. I was also clumsy that she bumped into a car’s door and at one point she said she was looking for a specific building, and I naturally said “Oh. There it is. I see it.” I felt ashamed for not being sensitive to her. However, when I left her, I felt so satisfied for helping a disabled person out. It made me feel like a good and worthy person. I liked it.
So when that girl told me she was a caregiver, I immediately told myself, “wow! She’s a great person: generous and pretty brave. She’s definitely a person I could look up to.” I can’t see myself doing it because I’m pretty selfish. On the one hand I tell myself that I have nothing to offer them. I can’t help them because I either don’t know how, or because I don’t want to put the effort into it because it’s too hard. It’s probably harder to cheer them up if they feel down. For example, if you want to cheer me up, you take me out to dance, play some music, reserve a tennis court for us, or just take me to the beach. However, I can’t think of something like that for disabled people: blind people can’t watch a movie, play tennis etc.; crippled people can’t play tennis, they can’t dance, they can’t access most of beaches; deaf people can’t listen to music. It sucks for them, but I don’t know how to help them.
It’s easy to say, “Well, you can learn it.” You know what?! I am too selfish to put effort into it. While I’m feeling sorry for them, I also think that I also have things to take care of in my life and I don’t want to spend time with someone that is going be very complicated for me.
Here’s the thing, my life is a mess right now (I.e. I have a hard time following a schedule; I’m struggling to build my own social circle… real friendships- not just some acquaintances I go out with when I’m bored; finish my degree and start working; take care of my shitty sleep; etc.), and taking care of it is already a burden. So taking care of someone else’s life that is shittier than mine feels like too much work. I get it that I come across as an asshole, and honestly I don’t like having that mindset. I shouldn’t be discriminating people I’m going to have a relationship with based on some physical disabilities, but I do and I don’t like it.
I really need a good incentive to go out of my way and help someone (i.e. disabled people or people in need of help like poor or old people). Money and good time are usually good incentives. I was tutoring a blind girl with her school work two years ago. I made friend with her flatmate who was blind too, and since both of them were opened with their disability, I felt so relaxed to spend time with them. So we would watch TV because they would feel comfortable to just listen, they would talk openly about their disability history, and I wouldn’t have to be self-conscious about how I look like or I sit/stand. That’s how it should be. I don’t like it when I have to walk on eggshells around people and not to talk about the problem, or restrict myself when I want to ask a question or talk about some topics that might hurt their feelings (e.g. talk about art when I’m with a blind person). I always feel neurotic that I might come off as the bad guy for not being sensitive so I alienate them instead of treating them as normal people and have fun. Anyways, I needed money as a student, and that was the perfect deal: get payed to spend time with people I’m enjoying with. I could get off my way and spare 4 hours a week.
Bottom line, I’m a self-serving asshole, and I really need to change that ASAP.