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help me understand

Hi. Haven’t been here for a while. Can anyone help me? I live with my mum, I’m well grown up (44 yrs old), I retired from teaching last year and have a number of problems. I use a wheelchair, I’m always desperate for the toilet, I sleep a lot, have difficulty getting into bed, no longer drive because of my sight in my right eye, take a tablet to help swallowing. Is that enough?

The thing is I met up with a good friend last week. She is about ten years older than me and retired from teaching last year as well, also due to her health. She has been through such a lot. She had breast cancer, also had an eye problem, runs to the toilet a lot, had a hip replacement, had pneumonia twice and recently had treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She has a very cheery disposition despite all of this. According to my mum, I too should have the same disposition. Even when I’m desperate for the toilet or have a pain somewhere.

‘-- doesn’t complain,’ my mother has said to me a few times since I got home after seeing my friend on Thursday.

It’s not the first time I’ve felt my mum was comparing me with someone else. She told me my dad never complained - he had kidney disease and died when I was 7. Last week she told me I had no gumption when I was teetering on the edge of the wheelchair.

Am I being horrible? Am I being a drama queen when I say I think it’s unfair to compare me and the 's with other people who have very different health problems? Why is it when I get annoyed with my mum when she says stuff, I say something horrible and I’m the one who apologizes?

Hi Danny, I don’t think you’re being horrible at all, or a drama queen! We all need to vent sometimes & as your mum is with you she’s probably the one that gets it. It’s not nice being compared to other people & I think your mum shouldn’t do that, but maybe she has problems herself that you’re not aware of?

I envy your friends sunny disposition, but we can’t all be the same all of the time, perhaps your mum has only seen your friend for a short time & not ALL of the time. I don’t think anyone could be cheery all of the time, we all have our down times. Perhaps when you’re having a bad time it would help you to come on here to let off some steam? At the very least you’d know that we understand how you’re feeling & not compare you to anyone, we’re all different & cope in our own way Have you explained to your mum how she makes you feel? Possibly she’s unaware how her words hurt you.

Rosina x

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Don’t feel bad. You’re in a tough position Danny & I think the parent child (no matter what the age!) is a difficult one to navigate at the best of times. Those we are closest to are the ones that can hurt us the most even if they don’t mean to. my closest friend who I’ve been friends with from primary school thought it was okay to say she thought I was maybe playing up my diagnosis when I had to start using a stick to help with my mobility. I was mortified & it’s meant I’ve become a bit more closed off but whilst we don’t want sympathy a bit of empathy wouldn’t go a miss. Parents have a way of getting under our skin like no one else. It’s hard cos you feel you can’t really call them out on it, after all she gave birth to you lol I would be the same though & have said horrible things to my mother when I get stressed or annoyed at her.

The point I’m trying to make is you are human. She shouldn’t come out with the things she says but she’s human too. We all mess up but you are the bigger person for saying sorry. Try not to let the resentment eat you up. You are allowed to vent, it’s healthy to vent. Maybe try therapy. I know it sounds terribly new age but I have to say having a weekly session with someone who just let me talk, didn’t have a connection to the people I was speaking about, didn’t interrupt me, didn’t try to “fix” things or make me feel bad or selfish or make me feel my issues were silly really helped. I honestly wouldn’t be as positive today if I didn’t have my 18mths of therapy (yup you read that right. 18mths of me yapping on. God love that therapist lol).

Speak to your GP it’s worth it. X

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Hi Danny

I had a mother like that. She seemed to enjoy playing all the siblings off against each other. Thing she learnt with me though, was has I got older I wouldn’t tolerate it.

I left the family home at 19.

Life taught me that for whatever reason, my mother can’t have been a happy woman. She did have many good points compared to many mother’s at the time…I’m 59 and that is what I choose to remember.

I am afraid it is down to you, how you respond to another person. It occurs to me, your mother maybe scared of losing your attention?

Good luck

hiya

i agree with anon.

you need to be assertive too.

its easy to slip into the cared for role-often to make life easier for others to cope with you but its so much harder in the long run-espec for you!

we are all different and dont need anybody to tell us how we should be feeling/coping…ggggrrr!

hope you sort it-for ur sake

ellie (one of the annoying smiley copers!)

I know how u feel

hi all.

Im new to all this. Was diagnosed last march but only now just started talking an reading about MS.

My mum has ME and likes to make sure everyone knows how she is feeling. when I try talking to her about how I’m feeling or how tired or week I feel I just get a reply of, " I know how u feel I got the same" (no u don’t)

It so frustrating an really gets me down as the 1 person u should be able to talk to is ur mum, but I can’t even do that an when I try it always ends up about her.

Lots of good, thoughtful advice there, DannysTeacher .

It can hardly be helping your mood that this is happening when you have a lot to be feeling a bit low about. Our nearest and dearest can always push our buttons even at the best of times, and these are not the best of times - of course you are going to be a bit susceptible.

Try not to take it to heart. Your life isn’t quite the way you wanted it to be (and boy do I know that feeling!), and it isn’t quite the way your mother wanted it to be either. People who love us and are distressed for us can say some very unhelpful things, and their own complicated hopes and fears can leak out in our direction, even if they aren’t really about us at all. I second Liv’s good suggestion about getting some counselling, where you can air your own feelings openly without fear of offence or a row. It can be surprisingly helpful.

Alison