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I have been experiencing anxiety for years , which affected my physical health badly. Finally I consulted a doctor who brought the situation under control. This whole experience has changed my perspective of life for the better.
Perhaps a mindset that near enough is not good enough. A right thing does need to be done in a right way to be effective.
Thank you for this. I had my most challenging life situation as a teenager, when I was devalued and controlled by my stepfather. I thank God every day that I survived that situation and grew into a loving and productive adult.
I decided to go back to school when I was about 22. It took me 11 years of working full time and going to college at night to get my Bachelor’s degree. I got much personal satisfaction and a better job so it was worth the struggle.
I worried and worried and worried for months about a virtual event I had proposed to host, feeling passionate about it but not actually having speakers, and it all came together and went great, except that in the opening minutes when the Zoomers were arriving, I look like I have imposter syndrome 😐
This was a fun question – I loved the answers 🙂
Being available to friends when they have been in crisis. This is something new for me. Moving towards them and offering what I can, instead of shying away due to my own discomfort.
Divorcing my first husband and having primary custody of my two daughters resulted in the realization that I truly was the stable, reliable parent they could count on when he let them down due to his alcoholism. This continued through his premature death and on into our current phase of trying to resolve his estate (which is a big word for leaving a pile of debts and a legal wrangle with his brother who co-owned a duplex with him and is fighting the sale that’s needed to wrap things up). My daughters will end up with very little in a financial sense, and unnecessary pain and suffering because their uncle has destroyed his relationship with them (not only ignoring court orders but screaming obscenities, showing a handgun–frightening behavior). This all has made me vow to make sure I have everything in order and everyone is clear on my wishes before I die.
Sorry this has been so scary and difficult. There are too many guns in the hands of volatile people. It reminds me of my mom having to go to court to have my paternal aunt release some money from my father’s estate so I could have braces on my teeth. My father and grandfather had terrible tempers so if they were alive now times would have been more like what you went through. People do seem to ignore the rule of law these days.
Rabbit, that sounds really hard for a young person to have to go through. It’s good that your mom could tackle the problem for you.
Oh, Barb, what a story – warm hugs and good wishes to you! 🙂
Thank you, Mica!
One of the current challenges I face is caring for my aging mother, whose dementia has begun to move into a new phase. Since Daddy died, we all rallied around mom to support her through his loss and into her independence. Our journey has been a loving family experience; one of success for everyone, including siblings, grandchildren, and in-laws. Mom’s friends have been a part of this effort from their place in her life. I’ve supported her with many items that compensate for her loss of memory and limited mobility; such as memory clocks, bed assist devices, medicine dispensers, etc. Each of us have lovingly given of our talents and time to expand the quality of mom’s life over the past years.
Recently, her memory is weaker, her desire to be isolated has increased, and her behavior is shifting to a new level of concern. She doesn’t want her caregiver to visit so often; she’s lost a very nice bracelet, she was afraid of being alone at night in her house and asked my brother to spend the night with her, and last week she imagined that an in-law was gossiping about her at a grandbaby’s birthday party. Her imagined story was so real to her that she was crying uncontrollably and could not shake this imagined event for 2 weeks.
The difference with her recent delusion and fear was that it made me very sad. They were completely unfounded – all imagined from some trigger. Not being there made me so sad and a sense of urgency came over me to try to set her straight. This time, I can’t buy her a memory clock or assist devises to make her life easier. She needed consoling and I was long distance. Our brother manages all of her day to day needs and care. I have become the one who coordinates her broader needs, usually checking in with her twice a day. Our sister calls more frequently and manages to visit her every other month. Fortunately, I can depend on other family members to intervene when needed. Her caregiver is responsive along with family.
I realized yesterday, mom’s beginning a new phase of dementia, and fortunately, each of us offer ourselves to protect and love her. I don’t have to solve every situation alone. I can let the pressure go and trust in our family to be a part of the solution as we move through this next phase of mom’s dementia. I’ll still check in with her daily and get a feel for what’s going on. I can coordinate Mom’s support has needed with just a phone call. I don’t have to see myself as singularly responsible for being there when she needs support. We have years ahead of us to care for mom as she ages. Realizing each family member’s unique ability to address her needs comforts me and eases some of my self-imposed expectations to be there for her and to make her troubles go away.
Thanks, Sylvie, for your positive spin on this difficult situation! Warm wishes to you 🙂
I’m so sorry your family is experiencing this. My mom (who is now gone) developed vascular dementia and we dealt with these kinds of things for years. I described it as the woman who had been my mom packing and leaving a little bit at a time. It’s hard to let go of expectations and retain memories of who they were. Taking care of yourself is essential to your ability to support your mom and siblings through this and I wish you all the best.
Offering a couple of perspectives that helped me: A friend who went through this with two parents suggested I think of it as being an anthropologist. I’m there to observe a culture I don’t fully understand–I’m not there to try to change the people and they aren’t going to conform to my own cultural or societal settings. And my younger daughter who majored in theater, which perhaps gave her this wise perspective, suggested that when I visited I could respond not to her verbalizing (which made less and less sense over time) but instead to her body language. Watching her facial expressions and listening to her tone of voice, I could say things that supported or soothed. This worked really well and took me to a different place in interacting with her, much more attuned to her whole self and not relying on words that she no longer had. My older sister who was a teacher had a harder time–she seemed to be looking for those “teachable moments” that were never going to be there and early on it frustrated her when Mom couldn’t remember to do certain things. I felt sorry for her that her own expectations were creating additional pain.
Thank you, Barb, for your inspiring post 🙂
Your analogy of the observing anthropologist and the unlikely “teachable moments” are good perspectives. Thank you for helping me navigate my role in mom’s journey as she makes a turn to a new area of her aging.
You’re very welcome, Sylvie, and all the best to you. Expressing our love takes many forms over the years.
My 6 week post op appointment is tomorrow and will be a challenging situation as I fear that the surgeon works for his ego and wealth aspirations, not my long term well being. He did not visit my bedside the whole time I was in hospital, and his advising treatments without even seeing me leaves me very suspicious. His pre-op intake left me fearful. His other behaviours did send up red flags. Yet, as the surgery was not elective was delayed by a local surgeon who finally felt that he didn’t have the background experience to do the surgery: a specialist in reconstruction had to be found and I took the first one. The challenge- a fearful mind, needing answers in tomorrow’s appointment and having no confirmation that answers will be forthcoming and the continuation of being treated like a commodity. And a fall that could have been avoided if I had had a surgeon that cared. The challenge: be at my best compassionate and wisest self in the face of what is looking like narcissistic behaviours.
Seeing you as the whole and perfect being you are.
Hugs to you, dear carol, in this difficult situation! 🙂 Words fail me as I seek to say more 😐
All the very best to you , and hope you have the opportunity to advocate for yourself to get what you need .
I’ve had many, but the first one to come to mind was my first marriage. I don’t want to get into it but getting thru it definitely brought out the best in me. I’m grateful for all of the lessons it helped me learn, which all have helped me step into a better, stronger, truer version of me.
Many years ago I was asked by a respected member of my church to lead a program that would prepare adults and older teens to become a part of the church. This came out of the blue for me … my educational background was for work with younger children. Anyway I thought about it, prayed, read, talked to a couple of ministers I trusted, and was encouraged to say yes. As it turned out it was the gift and work of a lifetime, expanding my heart, being privileged to hear the stories of each person’s journey as they came to a decision. The level of trust offered was such a privilege, as was witnessing new friendships develop among those gathered. The experience changed my life utterly.
I just had a few blessed moments of reading the answers from yesterday’s question. They primed the pump for today’s one. My relationship with my stepdaughter is proving almost daily opportunities to see if I am grounded in the work that I’ve been doing. She is my anthesis and my mirror. I want to open my heart to her and rebuff her simultaneously. I’m a work in progress. I am grateful for this opportunity to grow in my capacity for compassion and love.
If I’m honest, challenging situations have often notbrought out the best in me. I tend to panic and want to micro- manage everything- particularly with chronic pain.
BUT Within the darkest sadness, least hopeful times, God has been able to develop strength and light within me. I am always amazed at the miraculous ways God can work with very unpromising raw materials. X
Amen, Helly. Thank you for realness!
I can think of 1 challenging situation: A family member went off on me in front of the family, for a perceived slight. Amazingly, I did not “fire” back but allowed the vicious rant, then quietly explained the situation. This did not ease the distress at that time and tensions were still high.
My hubby was ready to pack up and leave due to what was said to me.
In private, I shared with him that you don’t walk out on family, and that this family celebration was for my niece and not about us. I asked him to stay through the celebration and then if he wanted to leave, I would go with him. I also shared that I appreciated him backing me.
We stayed. It was a beautiful celebration and tensions totally dissipated.
As the celebration continued, things normalized, all went back to the status quo.
We stayed the entire time planned.
During my forty years of working with children and teens, I came to discover, perhaps unfortunately, that I was at my best when working within a crisis situation. I served on a sudden death response team in my area for several years, and as gut-wrenching as the news was that a child or teen had died, or, in rare cases been murdered, I seemed to have what it took to do trauma and grief work with groups of teens who suddenly lost a classmate, teammate, or friend within schools or in community-based settings. I did have some specific training in this area, but not a lot. I always said to myself, “How in the world did I end up doing this work?”
You clearly have a gift for it and you made many small and big worlds better. Thank you for what you did. I am sure you are still finding ways to share your gift.
You were the right person.
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