My parents house is an escape from my 28 year old life. But at the same time it is also a place of the glaring reality of my life as a 28 year old daughter. I don’t live in the same city as my parents, therefore I don’t see Mom everyday. I don’t even see her every weekend for that matter. Because of that I talk to her very frequently, but it also means I am not visually seeing the effects of MS on her life everyday.
So when I go home it is sometimes a tough experience. Tough because it forces me to wake up from this fantasy I am in and enter reality. This reality isn’t the positive phrases we so often rattle off to people when they ask how Mom is: “Mom’s doing so much better;” “Her walking is really improving;” Instead, I can see with my own eyes her struggle to walk, her struggle to move, her cognitive issues that we don’t talk about and the reality that maybe she really isn’t improving. But, the fantasy of Mom in my head is sometimes better than the reality. It is that fantasy that allows me to hope, even if it is just for a short time. Because my harsh reality tells me my Mom has MS and it may be headed somewhere bad.
I am not sure if this is a coping mechanism or just me- but my mind thinks of Mom one way only to find out in person she is different from what I envision. I don’t know if it is okay to live in that fantasy or if I need to focus more on living in the reality.
Do you ever find yourself struggling to deal with the reality of a situation verses the fantasy of it? Have you ever had an issue with envisioning someone close to you as being healthier than they are when you see them in person? Do you think you always need to live in reality or sometimes you need to live in the fantasy to allow yourself to hope?
I can relate to this and know how you feel. Actually I was living in a fantasy about my own M.S. Thankfully (knock on wood) I really don’t have any effects yet from this besides fatigue and cognitive issues at times, but I was in denial about my diagnosis for the past four years. It wasn’t until I went into therapy that I was told I have not accepted my diagnosis at all and don’t even act or tell myself that I have it.
I thought it was a good way of dealing with it, but come to find out it wasn’t. So I can understand how easy it is to use those defense mechanisms to protect yourself.
But I think your responses and the way you are dealing with it are healthy. You understand the seriousness of your mom’s conditon and sounds like you are handling it really well.
Be well my friend! 🙂
Your own journey with your acceptance of the disease sounds similar to my Mom’s actually. The difference is we have had major issues with any sort of therapy because she is against it for reasons that don’t make sense. So while I think she has accepted it, I also think she is living in various levels of denial and “not dealing with it” at the same time. The defense mechanisms are very prevalent and one of them is avoiding the MS and placing it somewhere in her mind where she doesn’t have to deal with it. On the flip side we are all very much trying to deal with it which is one way this blog has been so helpful for me. It just helps me to get my thoughts and emotions out there- it helps me to dissect them and interpret where they are coming from. Hope you are doing well and had a nice weekend!
Yes, I totally understand living with the “denial.” And it is hard to accept that your life can change so drastically. It takes a total family effort, and you are doing such a wonderful job as a daughter!! In her own time, she will come to terms with it. And blogging is s a great way to let out all of those feelings. So glad you started this, and let me know if I can help in any way!! Be well my friend and hope you have a great week!!