My caretaking duty is coming to a close

published on 2024-05-21 by hyperreal

The bittersweet end of an era

For the last three years, I’ve been living with and caretaking for my grandfather. He’s 87 years old, and his needs have progressed beyond what I’m capable of handling. The hard reality is that he now has to live in an assisted living home. From what I’ve heard from the family members who helped make this decision, the assisted living home sounds like a 5-star hotel. They took my grandpa on a tour and they were all impressed by it. Compared to the other assisted living homes I’ve seen and heard about, I don’t think they really get much better than this. He’s reluctant about how expensive it will be. He’s sad and nervous about leaving his house of 48 years to go to a completely foreign place. I would be too. The memories that were made in this house are deeply cherished. For my entire life, this was grandma’s and grandpa’s house–a moniker that has a far greater meaning to us than the literal words alone. It carries with it the wholesomeness, the hospitality, the love, the childhood memories. This house will be put up for sale when my grandpa goes into assisted living, and he wants me to live here until it gets sold.

What’s next for me

I’ll be going back to live with my parents. Over the past few years, both my parents have shown improvement in their willingness to understand my mental illness, neurodivergence, and the limitations these place on me. They seem to be taking it more seriously, listening to me, and valuing my perspective and experiences. Living with them again will still be somewhat of a toxic environment because they are stuck in their ways, but I’m hopeful that their improvements will make it more tolerable, even if only marginally so.

I feel confident enough in my skills at this point that I can start actively looking and applying for a remote system administrator job. My mental illness is mostly under control as long as I don’t have to be in the physical presence of other people. I’m not exactly in a position to be making these kinds of requests from employers, but I would hope they would be okay communicating with me solely through text. Otherwise, my social phobia, alogia, and speech articulation issues would make communication significantly more challenging, which would certainly interfere with my value to them as an employee.

A perfect example of the kind of job I’m looking for and for which I feel I’d be a great fit: Tails - Privacy loving Linux generalist. Unfortunately that particular job opening is on hold and it is too late to send an application, but I’m quite sure there are other similar jobs openings out there. I’m excited for the future. I have a passion for FOSS and digital freedom and a drive to contribute to those efforts. I’m also looking forward to making an actual salary because, along with basic survival, my sequestered lifestyle, goals, and special interests cost money.