Society and caregiving


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 in my  mind, I 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 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.

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