Impact on professional life and career


So moving forward, probably about the summer of 2007, I was at a point where I needed a job. So, I got a job doing barista—I was a barista—and I also got a job as sales worker, retail. And it was good. It got me out of the house and it allowed me to have a little financial security. And it was very interesting at this conference I just attended how most youth caregivers suffer from presentism. Like you’re present at work, but my mind was never really at work. I remember, like, I got a lot of flack at my retail store because I might have overcharged someone or did something wrong on the computer. And I apologized for it, but I knew I didn’t want to say it, but I knew that was because my mind was probably thinking about what’s going on with dad because he was by himself. My mom was at work and so it was difficult. Like, I enjoyed the fact that I was out, I was doing something productive other than cleaning toilets, but I know that work definitely suffered because of the fact that I was thinking about my dad. And not that it was a bad thing. I think if I would have told my employers, I probably would have gotten a little bit, you know, some slack in that term. But it’s like in the documentary says; it’s definitely a stigma. You don’t want to tell the world that your family isn’t perfect. […] You want them to think that you have a perfect family; there’s nothing wrong.

But it came to the point where work was really suffering, and I was eventually fired. But before that, like at the barista, I had to quit because it was just getting too much. And then I was fired from this job, […] but when you’re looking back on that experience, that was probably the best thing to happen because that was right about the time when we were in the final stages of dad’s life. So at that time, that’s when I became his full care attendant for him. And 3 months prior to that he had twisted his ankle. And being a diabetic, that was going to take months and months and months to heal.

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