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 Post subject: Stuck.... with my Mother...
PostPosted: Mon Aug 24, 2009 7:21 pm 
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I don't have enough distance now to be able to think of more alternatives.... I am in the midst and need some help on coming up with healthier options. This situation has been brewing for a couple of weeks... actually historically, much longer. It feels very uncomfortable to talk about I think because it is close to home (virtually at home). It's my mother. I will have to put this in a nutshell because I feel that I am exposing my family business to the whole world.

In a nutshell my mother moved in with me a few years ago after retiring. I've been under an extreme amount of stress lately which caused me to have my life to unexpectedly unravel majorly. I've essentially temporarily shut down my business and I've been withdrawn & cutting off communication - now this has been affecting everyone in my household. So a few weeks ago both my mother & myself went to visit our doctor (we have the same one). I'd gone in to see if I could get some anti-depressants & my mother had a follow-up visit related to some medical issue. After the appts. my mother had asked (for I had not told her previously that I would be visiting the doctor as well) why it was that I had gone to see our GP. I'd told her that it was because I've been 'stressed out'. She then went on to ask if she was the one that was causing the stress. At that point, I'd shared "sometimes, some of it". Well, there was a bit more said after that but essentially, that's all she wrote... its been downhill ever since. My mother has launched herself into a depression and seems to be barely functioning. So the problem that I am facing is that my mother is depressed & I feel like there needs to be some sort of intervention. My greatest fear is that she will lose the will to live & will decide to die. This is all so in my face now & the feelings are extreme. Bumped up against these feelings and concern, I also feel incredibly angry (which I feel is hidden in my depression), because essentially what I was saying to her was that I am not as strong as she thinks I am and that it is really hard for me when she regresses & wants to be taken care of - granted, my mother is a senior citizen now. Its still hard. At this point she seems like she is barely dragging herself through the motions & is on the verge of tears & she is isolating herself in her room. So I think both my anger and fear are preventing me from coming up with a solid three plans of action. None of them feel like they would work well.

1. Option 1 - give up my Tx appt. this week and allow my mother to go instead (this seems like the most viable plan that I can think of). The drawback is that I myself have been in crisis and would be giving up the support I need.

2. Option 2 - Try to talk with my mother about her feelings. - No, this one I don't think will work... I have tried it before & my mother tends to play victim & I tend to feel angry, so I am not very open in the conversation & things don't get resolved.

3. Option 3 - Don't talk to my mother. Simply wait for her to pull herself out of her headspace. This also doesn't seem like a good option for I am concerned that my mother is isolated and launching herself deeply into depression.

So, I am pretty stuck. I am sure there are other options....I feel like my feet are stuck in the mud though. If anyone has any other ideas, I'd be greatly appreciative.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuck.... with my Mother...
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:40 pm 
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I think maybe the first part of the reason you are stuck with this is you have yet to define ONE problem sufficiently. I hear you state many problems and various aspects of them.....but for the 5 steps to work (IME), you need to boil each problem down seperately.

Such as:
Problem #1: "I've been under an extreme amount of stress lately"
Problem #2: "I've essentially temporarily shut down my business and I've been withdrawn & cutting off communication - now this has been affecting everyone in my household."
Problem #3: My mother asked a question which I answered honestly. Now, she is severely depressed by my response and I feel guilt about it and am consumed with concern for her safety-- or something like that (use your own words, I'm surmising based off your post)
Problem #4: "So the problem that I am facing is that my mother is depressed & I feel like there needs to be some sort of intervention"
Problem #5: "So I think both my anger and fear are preventing me from coming up with a solid three plans of action"

Those are just some suggestions for boiling it down into more manageable problems. I think you can come up with your own, then try to list out 3 possible responses to each individual problem. And don't forget #5-- DO IT! Once you decide on a course of action, it's really an important part of this tool to follow through. If you would like to work this out on here, we'll be happy to help.

Another tool that will help is to check in with the Twisted thinking section as you form your problems and your 3 things. If you spot anything twisted, you can untwist that first and get further toward solving the problem.

And one more-- don't forget the separation of stuff tool. It really helps me in recovery to seperate out my stuff vs. other's stuff and then set some healthy boundaries for myself.

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"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: Stuck.... with my Mother...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:30 am 
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Thank you so much for your reply Harmonium. Honestly, I have been so overwhelmed at the accuracy at which you were able to clarify (for me) all of the other problems that I have rolled into one. I found that when I read your reply I was feeling absolutley overwhelmed. I ended up having to spend a good deal of yesterday evening having to 'manage' my overwhelmed feelings as it has related to feeling 'seen and heard'. I realize too that I am truly a "newbie" at this. I struggle now with these feelings, as I write this. I feel that I do now have some tools that will be very helpful and even though I do not feel very skilled at all in using them, it's a starting point. I will come back to this post... I want to work through each problem. I am excited, afraid and overwhelmed. I can give myself persmission to have all of these feelings and to take it slow and easy. I am still sitting with these overwhelming feelings creeping in as I sit here and type, but recognize that I can take one problem at a time and 'chew' on it for the course of the day. I don't have to rush myself. I am telling myself 'this is okay'. Feeling overwhelmed around this is 'okay'. I just have to take one step at a time.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuck.... with my Mother...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:43 am 
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We have all been overwhelmed with our issues, just like we were all 'newbies' at this recovery process at one time. Please know that you are not alone.

I really liked your thoughts in your last post. When you feel ready, we will be here to help.

Best wishes to you! :biggrin

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Temet Nosce-- The Oracle
"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: Stuck.... with my Mother...
PostPosted: Sat Sep 05, 2009 12:08 am 
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Its interesting that I have been thinking about this post since I first posted it... I have actually been observing my own internal process around the whole thing.... I think initially I felt overwhelmed and anxious because my post had been responded to. I also felt exposed because this situation with my mother is really core stuff. I later felt profound relief because I could actually see that there is a way to work myself out of these situations.... I felt somewhat skillful although I was not using the skills effectively at all. I returned to feeling overwhelmed around all the work that needs to go into resolving the situation and making it feel more manageable. I then felt stressed out and pressured because it seemed like so much work and I was not feeling gung-ho about jumping right into it. I later felt relieved and supported when I received a re-affirming message that it didn't need to happen all at once and that when I was ready, support would be available. This support led me to feeling embraced by this community which then reflected in a bit more self-assurance in my moving through the world. And for the last week or so, I've somehow shifted into a feeling of shame and have stuck in shame which I have allowed it to prevent me from coming to this site. I have not pinpointed where the shame is coming from (it seems like it often doesn't want to be known). I think though that part of it is my returning to some expectation that I have set for myself that I have been given the tools and am not really working them around this issue of my mother, so I can't complain, I can't say anything. I deny myself a right to visit this site (where I am learning soooo much). So tonight has been about allowing myself to peek around or up from under this shroud of shame.

Although I am still struggling to use the steps around my mother & the issues I have with her, I have been consciously engaging with my mother. The biggest window that has opened for me pertaining to her is that I always have choices around how I respond. So this one step is a start for me, even when I can't sit down and dedicate my mind to focusing on them. Simply knowing this in my interactions with her has been freeing on some level. I still need to come back to this post and work it like a math problem or something. Some of the issues have resolved... but I still feel a great amount of internal resistance around approaching them systematically. Because of this resistance, I'm going to continue to challenge myself to come back to this post - even if it takes a year for me to work through.... I need to move away from an automatic door coming down at the thought of systematically approaching these issues with the goal of resolution.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuck.... with my Mother...
PostPosted: Sun Sep 06, 2009 6:16 pm 
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That 'resistance' you describe is perfectly 'normal' and natural. It's okay to be at that place, Amharra. I also believe it's good that you are challenging yourself to move past it! It might help you to do some inner-thought work to more fully understand your own resistance, therefore knowing better how to challenge that feeling successfully.

In the first part of your post, you described your various emotional states very well. I believe that just by identifying and writing out these things, you are moving forward. You are making progress; I do hope that you can 'see' that for yourself.

Again, we will be here when you are ready. I will continue to watch this thread and whenever you need some help, please just let me know.

All my best,
H

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Temet Nosce-- The Oracle
"Pain is resistance to change."
--Ida Rolf

BRING IT ON!! -- personal mantra


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 Post subject: Re: Stuck.... with my Mother...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 1:25 am 
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@Harmonium
I too was overwhelmed by the clarity with which you broked down her situation into precise manageable problems. I do hope you will work your magic for me sometime or perhaps show us how its done? Do you just have a very logical mind or do you sit down and highlight each problem with a marker or something of the sort?

@Amharra
The first time I wrote something here I also felt very exposed. Also because I first signed in with my real name, and even if it is really unlikely for someone to make the connect from my name to who I am, it felt too personal..
I dont think its too late if you want to find a pseudonym you feel more comfortable with. It might make it easier to say some things..
Even know, as 'redsocks' im still too ashamed of someof the things i do to write them down. But the fact is, we are all in the same boat here. Just read other people's posts here. I think it's easier to be kind to yourself when you see you are not some freak of nature but a person among many other with a handicap when it comes to managing your emotions.
Also, what you write doesnt sound so bad really. I myself have major problems handling my relationship with my mother. She is not a senior citizen but she has a chronic disease called spondilytis something-something which means she always has pain and other problems, and she also is lonely with almost no friends and most of her social life taking place on internet blogs, and she gets depressed. And yet - I don't know how to deal with her. Everything she does either hurts or exasperates me. So uhh, you are not alone. Chin up and be kinder to yourself. Self deprecation only hurts you more.


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 Post subject: Re: Stuck.... with my Mother...
PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 3:46 pm 
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You did a really good thing by coming here and getting it off of your chest. Sometimes it really helps to connect with others when we want to withdraw... I know that is the case for me. My advice would be to connect more. If you have any close friends to talk with that would be good. Seeing a therapist would be good. Putting yourself first is important. You can't care for your Mother if you don't care for yourself first so think of it as a act of kindness for both of you if you can.


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