Damn that Wonder Therapist. Sometimes she gives me the you-know-whats. Of course, it’s only because she’s right – she’s ALWAYS right – and she’s a certain star-sign, so she LOVES being right. Hmph.
It’s been a chaotic week here, running around to doctors and tests for Mum, organising the nursing home for the father, and dealing with things in my life (yes, apparently I still have one). I haven’t had a minute to myself, and it’s taken its toll.
I’ve also been overwhelmed by my mother’s incessant negativity and nagging – much of which I’ve wrongly taken personally. As a small example – driving home from one of the many hospital visits, I decided not to take the main road as I knew Mum would complain about the traffic. So, in a bid to protect myself, I took the back streets, only to have to endure this as we got near home:
Mum: “Why didn’t you take the main road instead of all these small windy streets?”
Me: Thinking, ugh, I can’t win. Because I knew you’d complain about the traffic, so I went the back way and instead I got to listen to you complain about the small streets.
I realise now this had little to do with me and was just mindless venting on my mother’s part, and thankfully I had the presence of mind to bat it back to her, but it’s still exhausting.
The Wonder Therapist pointed out that this is exactly why I went to see her in the first place, and that I’ve very rapidly fallen back into old patterns.
Yep, I have. And I hate it. No wonder I’ve been feeling completely out of control and like I have no ‘self’. I even remarked to myself during the week that I felt the same way when my father had his strokes and my life became a cycle of hospital visits and work.
The Wonder Therapist also pointed out that I’m falling back into that hideous co-dependent thing with my mother: “who needs who here?” she asked.
Yep, I’ve done that, too. It’s true that I need Mum here, both in the physical sense, and the metaphysical. It’s nice to be needed. We all want to be needed. At the moment, I feel like my mother is the only person on the planet who needs me (though she doesn’t, really). I could list a whole lot of other people who “need” me, though at the end of the day they don’t really – we are all dispensable.
After wallowing for a couple of days, and alternately ranting and raving or laughing at the Wonder Therapist in my head, I’ve resolved to try not to get trapped in the old pattern anymore. I’m much healthier mentally when I don’t do that.
My mother will be coming to stay with me while she has medical treatment. There’s a geographical, as well as emotional/physical reason for this. Her treatment is to take place in town, a little over an hour’s drive from her place. She’ll have to go in to the hospital every day and as the treatment goes on, it’s likely she won’t feel much like driving home. It will also be nice to have her close by, so I can look after her a bit, make sure she eats properly, and all that jazz.
So this is going to be a testing time, in many senses of the word. A time also to try my hand at some new ways to break those old patterns. A friend suggested I try things like:
“Mum, in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m a grown up now and I can decide when I need to eat/drink/sleep/wee” or
“Mum, how about we set ourselves a challenge and have a whinge-free day?”
I like those, I might try them. They might not be perfect, but they’re a (safe) start. I also thought this might be the impetus I need to get back to yoga. There’s a lovely little studio just around the corner from me. And, double bonus, this will get me out of the house when my mother’s around 🙂