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Thread: Uncomfortable Caretaker

  1. #1

    Default Uncomfortable Caretaker

    I've been a part (an excessively silent part, mind you) of the AB/DL online community since 2011 and in that time I've taken care of dozens of Littles and have long-standing relationships with quite a few. However, towards the beginning, my behavior with and towards them was a lot more...open than it has become lately. I used to be much more apt to baby them over Skype calls and our general rapport was that of a caretaker to a very small child.
    Lately (as in the past year or so) I have had a much more difficult time treating them as Littles on a general basis and most of that conduct has transitioned to just being displayed in RPs and only RPs. I've even started to become excessively anxious whenever any of them even hint at wanting one-on-one Little time with me which forms into a complete inability to take any form of action when I'm asked directly. It's almost as if I have a block against it.
    So, I guess my question to all of you is, why have I all of a sudden become somewhat "unreachable" as a caretaker?

  2. #2

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    Has anything happened that has changed your feelings about it? (Negative experiences?)

    Have you entered situations where you feel like you've "bitten off more than you can chew"? (Feeling that Littles are dependent on you, caretaking for long periods of time until you're exhausted, etc)

    I have been a caretaker myself, and my SO has been a caretaker for a *very* long time.

    When I was getting to know her, I noticed a few instances where she would get exhausted. Those times, these were the reasons
    - Watching two Littles at once, in person (It took a lot of energy she said)
    - Another time, watching two littles for a whole day (She said it was the prolonged period of time on top of the pressure of hosting that wore her out)
    - General pressure to do a good job and make the Littles happy


    Or maybe other things are going on in your life that are making you feel drained, distracted, or "unreachable"?

    I might need a little more information to help pinpoint possible reasons, since there are lots of reasons caretakers can go through this. I understand the feeling very well though!!

  3. #3

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    I think mood modulation has a lot to do with it, to be honest. Before (I can't really say for sure) I think I might have just always been "in the mood" (maybe because it was new and interesting at that time) or I might have been better at not letting my mood affect my "performance," but I can definitely relate to what you describe as being drained. I know for a fact that it doesn't seem as "glamorous" as it once did and I also know that there is a lot more going on in my personal life now as opposed to when I first started.
    I guess one of the main reasons I'm reaching out for help on this issue is because there is a definite disconnect between how I feel and how I would like to feel on the subject. On one hand, of all the things going on in my life right now, caretaking is definitely pretty high up on my list, but on the other hand, I just can't muster the strength and energy I know it takes to do a good job. I have this problem in a lot of other areas in my life, so it's really nothing new, but for something I hold to be so important, I find it extremely difficult to just lie down and take it.

  4. #4

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    Maybe you just need a break from it, especially if there is a lot going on in your personal life!

    Sometimes taking some time off from caretaking can making you feel really refreshed again! Or taking some time to straighten things out in your personal life so you feel peaceful/comfortable with it, then do the caretaking thing again ^_^.


    Sometimes when you take a break from something and then come back to it, you realize why you enjoyed it in the first place and those positive feelings about it are renewed

  5. #5

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    Growing up involves a lot of changes in what you find rewarding, preferences to what you find worth spending time on can change. I absolutely love ceramics, but lately I just haven't found it worth the time it would take to do. If I was going to work on my ceramics right now, and I got to chose the circumstances of my working on it. I would probably want two months straight to devote to my ceramics, otherwise it wouldn't be rewarding to me. Main reason? Because If i were to take a week on it, all of my stuff I was working on would be crap, and it would be a waste of my time. I would need a large amount of time because I need to get warmed back up, and then I need some inspiration of what to make, and I need nothing else to distract me.

    How this might relate? Being a caretaker is a lot of devotion of time, and emotion. I could imagine that you develop a lot of love towards some of the little's you associate with. If I was in your position, I'd probably be hoping that I was able to develop a deeper long lasting relationship with one of the little's just because of my personal preference, and unfortunately, i cant avoid my own wants. Do you or did you find that some of your time spent caretaking you hoped to find a relationship?

    If not, then that premise is pretty much failed. Otherwise I'd say maybe it is difficult on you to have caretaken so many littles, and have some of them dissapear, and others reside far away out of reach, never to actually make a person to person contact. I could see that as being a non satisfying resolve. It would be like me being told that for the rest of my life i can only make ceramic bowls, I'd pretty much not care about my artwork anymore.

    Anyway, that observation is given with a lot of assumptions involved.

  6. #6

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    I appreciate both of your insights and I can definitely speak to the fact of being a little "overworked," but like I said above that's also something that has been affecting other parts of my life as well. I do think a break might be in order, but at the same time I can't help, but think that there might be something...emotionally wrong that isn't tied to my being "overworked." I've always had a hard time making deeply personal connections with people, at least on the surface. I'm someone who doesn't so much say they love you as they do their best to show you instead.
    Now, to be a little less vague, all of the Littles I caretake for are only accessible to me online, so it does seem a little disingenuous to caretake for them over Skype calls, but this never stopped me before. I will say that I went from taking care of almost a dozen Littles (with constant RPs and Skype calls and so on) to essentially just two, maybe three on occasion. So, I haven't really exercised my person-to-person caretaking "muscle" in quite a long time. So, obviously I'd be rusty, but to shy away from it completely. To feel sick and anxious at the thought of even "baby-talking" one of my Littles over Skype just makes me feel like a bad caretaker and makes me wonder what has happened in the past year to make me this unreachable.
    The only thought that I have, and it's a silly one, but I guess I'm a little afraid of having that much power. I've been told multiple times by multiple different people that when I really want to I can "baby someone into oblivion" and I guess that thought really scares me. I know I trust myself to not hurt anyone, which makes me feel like this might not be the answer, but it's the only thought that continues to re-occur in my mind every time someone asks me to baby them.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxyFox View Post
    The only thought that I have, and it's a silly one, but I guess I'm a little afraid of having that much power. I've been told multiple times by multiple different people that when I really want to I can "baby someone into oblivion" and I guess that thought really scares me. I know I trust myself to not hurt anyone, which makes me feel like this might not be the answer, but it's the only thought that continues to re-occur in my mind every time someone asks me to baby them.
    So are you afraid that your actions might accidentally negatively affect that little? Is it that you get them into too deep of a little head space that something happens that you don't know what to do? I'm a little confused, but I guess not wanting too much power is a good thing.

  8. #8

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    Like I said before, my investment in caretaking lately has been really dependent upon the mood I'm in. I guess I'm just afraid of getting in too deep and then losing interest or not being interested in the first place and being disingenuous by forcing myself into it. What upsets me most about that, however, is the fact that in that situation it's supposed to be about the Little and not about me, which makes me feel like a bad caretaker when I can't put their needs ahead of my own. I also feel bad about making them wait until I'm in exactly the right mood because once again I don't feel like I'm being fair to them or their needs.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by FoxyFox View Post
    Like I said before, my investment in caretaking lately has been really dependent upon the mood I'm in. I guess I'm just afraid of getting in too deep and then losing interest or not being interested in the first place and being disingenuous by forcing myself into it. What upsets me most about that, however, is the fact that in that situation it's supposed to be about the Little and not about me, which makes me feel like a bad caretaker when I can't put their needs ahead of my own. I also feel bad about making them wait until I'm in exactly the right mood because once again I don't feel like I'm being fair to them or their needs.
    Well it sounds like to me that you are putting unessiary stress and guilt on yourself. The thing is, I could see this lifestyle of being a caretaker as much easier for you two years ago. When you were 19, you would have just been finishing up high school probably, and it would have felt nice to have some type of feeling of responsibility meanwhile you are still in this weird stage of life, where you really have zero commitments, and not a lot of worries. Now you are getting more into the stage where you are becoming required to think about your own problems like education (and/or) a career, dating, housing, taxes, car expenses. The stress in your life either has, or will soon escalate, and the amount of time and dedication you have available cant really be spent largely on other people. Yes it is important to do selfless things for people in need, but the problem here is, you are becoming one of those people in need.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't give your time to other people, but you certainly have to learn how to say no, simply because you are now one of the few who are watching out for yourself. You might still have your parents, but you no longer have a slew of teachers and councilors, and an outline for your education, you have to start determining that yourself now.

    I personally think it would be unhealthy to stay in a situation where you are feeling guilty because you don't have the energy to caretake, when clearly you are in a situation where you are trying to take care of yourself. It would be different if it was a relationship where you had a companion who was also taking care of you, in that case, you can take care of each other and the losses are made up, but here, you are clearly spending your time and energy taking care of somebody's emotions who can not do the same for you as easily.

    You might have to consider scaling back. Maybe you can be their uncle, maby you have to let one be adopted(kindly putting it). Unless you are spending your time working full time in what you would consider your career for the rest of your life, or at least a very long time, I doubt you have the time necessary to spend on a long distance commitment like this.

    Don't feel guilty either, people should be selfless, but there is an extent of selflessness that is not healthy, and it is wise to understand what that line is for yourself.

  10. #10

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    Role play games are popular on the internet. It is easy for such games to become an obsession for a time but most people get tired of them sooner or later and move on to other things or other games. I'm guessing part of what you feel is simply the normal desire to move on to something different. If this was just another MMORPG it would be easy to simply stop playing when you have had enough of it.

    The role playing you are involved in is much more personal and has a much greater degree of psychological investment, but it is still just a game. For me, a red flag went up when you said "...it's supposed to be about the Little and not about me, which makes me feel like a bad caretaker when I can't put their needs ahead of my own". It seems the line between fantasy and reality is getting blurred. If you are talking about the needs of the game where you pretend to take care of others who are pretending to be babies, then failing to be a good caretaker, if that is the case, is just a minor disappointment in game play and should not be carried over into real life.

    The reality is these are adults, many of whom are probably older than you, and they have the same adult responsibilities as you do in any mutual relationship. If they cross the line between reality and fantasy, and start becoming emotionally or psychologically dependent on you... well, this could very easily become scary and overwhelming because most of us aren't equipped to handle that kind of responsibility, and it is no fault of yours for feeling this way. This kind of game will always have a level of emotional attachment, but feeling guilty or overwhelmed by it is a clear sign that something is wrong.

    Your instinct tells you to take a break. Follow your instinct. Don't go back to it until the time comes, if and when it does, that you are able to overcome your guilt and set clear guidelines regarding separating reality from fantasy so the experience can be enjoyed by all involved.
    Last edited by Drifter; 24-Nov-2014 at 18:08.

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