I am working through a lot of feelings in my mind over the past 24 hours. I am trying to find a way to somehow get a grip on the changes going on with Mom. As I sat in Mom’s doctor’s office yesterday while she was getting upset at Dad and me I had this realization- this is not Mom speaking, this is MS speaking. It reminded me of what I used to say to my Grandpa when my Grandmother who had Alzheimer’s would be so mean to him- it’s not her, it’s the Alzheimer’s.
It is incredibly difficult for me to on one side be so angry at Mom but then on the other side I am laughing and talking about meaningless stuff. I can’t hate her. She is my Mom. I am not going to cut her out of my life. She is my Mom. I’m not going to stop speaking to her. She is my Mom. But in the same breath, as I sat there yesterday and watched her I couldn’t help but think, this isn’t my Mom.
In a perfect world I wouldn’t have to split these two identities up. In a perfect world Mom would cope with the fact that she has MS and start to accept it and deal with it instead of lashing out with such anger and borderline depression. But I don’t live in that perfect world. In my world I have a Mom who sometimes is the most wonderful Mom in the world and is the woman who is one of my best friends and confidante. Then it flips and I have a Mom who is angry, depressed, hurting, upset and creates a person who I don’t recognize. A person who I struggle to understand and a person who makes me angry in return.
I am not sure if it is the right frame of mind to take or not, but for the next few days I am going to try it out. Try to rationalize my two Moms to see if it can help me get a grip on the mix of emotions I am currently feeling.
**I can’t thank you enough for the support I received from such wonderful readers yesterday. Your comments, feedback and support meant the world to me. I pour my heart out on this blog and I never know how it will be received or how it will be taken by others. I am finding that I have made my own friends here in this virtual world as I navigate this sticky part of my life. You come here to listen to me share and not to judge. It means so much. I wanted to say thank you for being part of my journey in dealing with my Mom’s MS.**
Have you ever seen two distinct and conflicting personalities in someone you love because of a disease? Do you think this is a good or bad approach to try to take?
My dad was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia when he was in his early 60’s. His bad days can be really bad, and I’ve learned that it’s perfectly natural to mourn the loss of a parent who’s still with you.
Hi Traci, Thank you for your comment. I think what you said is important for me to remember. A big part of this is that I am mourning the loss of a parent who is still with me. It seems strange to say that or even write it because in many ways it doesn’t seem like it makes sense. But when I really stop to focus on that and allow myself to feel the sadness and mourn, I think it helps me deal with Mom’s MS. Thank you for your comment!
You are handling this wonderfully and what feels right for you. It is tough dealing with a parent with a chronic illness. One that can alter their feelings and emotions. And I think the approach you are taking is an honest and healthy one.
I can’t speak as far as dealing with a loved one with an illness, but I can speak for myself. I have MS and once I was diagnosed, my family saw a rapid change in my emotions. I didn’t deal with it well and lashed out at everyone for no reason. And 99% of the time, I didn’t even realize I was doing it. It made me say and act in ways that were foreign to me. Some of it was the medicine I was on. Three of them cause depression and anxiety. And the other thing was because I never really came to terms with having this illness. It wasn’t until I went to therapy that I began processing all of this. But me going to therapy took three years after my diagnosis. I didn’t feel that I changed, but gradually I understood my emotions when I stepped back and finally heard the horrible things I was saying to those around me.
Your mother might not be ready right now to go to therapy. But hopefully in time she will and will be able to accept all this disease and the changes that is happening to her.
Stay strong and keep on being the great daughter that you are!!