I am 28. This is not a newsflash around here. But the newsflash is I am 28 and still want my Mom’s attention and approval. I know it sounds selfish and whiny, I know it is selfish and whiny- I want to be able to call her and have her available to talk to me; I want Mom to respond to any issues by being on my side; I want my relationship with her to remain the same. No changes.
But there has been a change. But this part of MS doesn’t bring challenges as obvious as the other changes. It’s more of a secret challenge Sister K and I get to face. It’s the the challenge of communication- especially when the primary tool we use to communicate is the phone. This challenge peers its head when I call Mom wanting to talk to her but she is dizzy and laying down because of her spasm medicine. Or she is having difficulty focusing and following what I am saying. Or she can’t help me through my problem or issue by responding the way I want.
This happened last night. I was walking to my car to drive home from work. I wanted to chat with Mom. And we did briefly but then she had to go because she wasn’t feeling well and laying down. I felt kind of defeated. Frustrated. I know this is selfish. Very selfish. But it doesn’t make the feelings go away. It’s hard that Sister K and I comment to each other when we have a really good conversation with Mom now- When she is listening and paying attention and responding and we are interacting. This used to be the norm. It isn’t anymore and it’s difficult.
But this is the side of MS not everyone sees. It’s a side that not everyone notices. Don’t get me wrong, that is good. I personally don’t want everyone to have one more thing they decide to ask me about concerning Mom. But at the same time dealing with it makes me feel alone. It also makes me feel guilty for even being frustrated with the situation given what other circumstances could exist. I know avoiding this frustration goes directly back to taking life one day at a time. The frustration of having a good conversation one day but a bad one the next. It’s tough. It’s hard to deal with because there is already little predictability with MS and I feel like all I am trying to do is grab on to something constant and predictable. Instead I am finding myself adding one more item to the list of “things I cannot control” regarding my life now with Mom’s MS. And even moreso I never would have predicted “talking to Mom on the phone” would be on this list to begin with.
Do you face any communication challenges with people in your life? How do you cope with conversations not meeting your expectations? Do you think this ties into taking life one day at a time or just acceptance of change? Do you still seek your parent’s communication and approval?