The Fine Art of Not Caring

Not caring! Well - I am working on this.
I came back from my holiday feeling so relaxed and laissez faire about everything. it took a while for real life to kick in, so this lovely feeling lasted for a few days, even though quite a variety of new problems immediately raised their ugly little heads. In Nick's world it is a rare day that passes without incident. 
But with the insight of a few days’ worth of stepping back and the world not having ended as a result, I thought, oh well – no point in getting upset about these things.
It felt unfamilar. But I decided that I would let myself off the hook and not try to sort it all out instantly and perfectly.  I would do what I could and not let it derail me.
It was a good, an amazing feeling. It had taken a proper holiday and some physical distance in order to be able to feel like that, and to be so objective.
And some of the things sorted themselves and the others seem to be long drawn out soap opera state of affairs that will not be influenced in the slightest by me getting my knickers in a twist. But then today.…today, it all just got to me. The neighbour, the carers, the door. The Huntington's fall-out.

I shouted at my brother and was arsey with his carers. I think I had good reason for both but I felt really bad about it afterwards and cross with myself.
It took a big stompy walk and some mental self-beating-up and a swim and a glass of wine to get back to some kind of equilibrium, and then I realised this: when you do care for someone, you CARE, in capital letters. It makes it hard to let go, and almost impossible to be objective for very long.

One of the things I learned from my dad is to be nice to people. Those who know me very well might be a bit surprised to hear this, perhaps, but I do try, and it is kind of a default setting for me to have a positive outlook. Kind words cost nothing and I feel better when I'm seeing the good in others and having some kind of positive exchange. 
But becoming a carer made me mean. The constant fighting for basic rights and services; the discovery that asking nicely does not do the trick, but kicking arse often does; the utter frustration of being the only advocate for a helpless person when no-one seems to be listening, or even just doing their job. When even sympathetic, well-wishing people just do not get it unless they have been in your shoes, and every little thing seems to take such a lot of your energy and so much time. 
All this has made me a mean, mean girl with a mean old gnarly knot of fear and resentment and fury that had taken up permanent residence in my stomach - the result of too many emergency call-outs and unforseen fuck ups and me having to manage it all, all of the time. 
Having a few days away from this kind of rebooted my settings and I started the week feeling sunny and expecting only good things. Nothing drastic had happened while I was away and I was clearly not as indispensable as I thought. Great. Surely I could now step back a bit. 
Life of course had other plans.

The thing is, being mean makes you feel sour inside and it's exhausting. Also, it might feel better at the time to kick some arse because God knows some situations deserve it and you need to vent that frustration somehow, but when even being really, really mean does not get results (yes, I'm talking to you, Sheffield City Council), it is better to save your precious energy for the things that light you up and nourish you for the long term. That's what is really needed here.

So no, I'm not on holiday any more and life with Nick is back to its old complexities, but I'm wanting a holiday from mean. I was thinking about what made me so relaxed and happy over the last week, even after the plane touched down on rainy Manchester tarmac and the summer clothes went back in their trunk. 
It wasn't just the total lack of a to-do list, although that has been a blessed thing.
It was something to do with not caring - not that I don't care, or will stop caring about Nick or being his primary carer, of course, but just - not taking it all so personally. 
I can't ever be objective where my brother's concerned, but the twisting sourness in the guts and the arse-kicking attitude hurts both of us. There has got to be a better way. 

I am going to try looking after number one as well and do the things that nourish me so I can look after him as well as I can. And it is also something to do with being kind, being responsible without being nasty or feeling that twist in my gut all the time; seeing that some things will just take their course whether I try to intervene or not, having the courage to step back a little bit, and ultimately caring for the person I love but where the daily annoyances and obstacles and curveballs are concerned, caring but not caring.