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?