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Dear Caregiver

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#1 thismoment



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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:10 PM



Language is more than words.


Meaning is always more than what is said-- images, references, metaphors, irony, satire, sarcasm.


A tender brain struggling with withdrawal imagines it all-- words and phrases arrive in barrages, bucketloads, and downpours! Sometimes they all hurt!


Part of withdrawing is surviving that multi-dimensional world of communicating, and sometimes that means not getting out of bed.



Dear Caregiver--


The words I'd like to address today are 'won't' and 'can't'.


"Jane could be doing something to help herself, but she won't get out of bed."

"Jane just sits in front of the TV. She won't even get dressed. She won't go outside. She won't try to get better."


I was where Jane is, and I can assure you it isn't 'won't', it's 'can't'.


What's in a word?


When you say somebody 'won't' do something, it means that you have drawn a conclusion based upon evidence you have gathered. "She won't do it": that's a conclusion arrived at, following the collection of empirical data-- facts.


When we say 'won't', a whole host of other elements tumble obediently into that mold. Won't means Jane is responsible for having made that decision, and she is therefore accountable: it's her own fault! Now, you can justify any lack of compassion.


And now both of you are in pain.


But what about 'can't'? If you have no data to support the accusatory 'won't', then the only rational conclusion has to be 'can't'. And look: suddenly the floodgates of compassion fall open; disdainful looks melt away; and unfounded conclusions and accusations can't get a foothold.


'Can't' removes the assignment of blame, the imposition of guilt, and the administering of punishment. 'Can't' will free your mind, Dear Caregiver, of the conclusion of disappointment, and the justification of anger.


'Can't' is the best tool for your own survival while you care for your loved one who is struggling so.

#2 fishinghat



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Posted 16 January 2018 - 05:29 PM

Absolutely true. Well Said.

#3 gail



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Posted 17 January 2018 - 10:17 AM

I love this Thismoment, thank you.

#4 TryinginFL



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Posted 23 January 2018 - 04:31 PM

Thank you for that much needed help for many, thismoment.

If only I could have read this when my daughter was still with us.

I have missed you and your wise words.

Much love to you

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