When someone near and dear to you is ill, it’s a good idea not to discuss anything important in that person’s presence when you are angry or upset. This applies even more so if the person concerned is in a depression or has a brain illness. I had to find new ways of communicating with my son. I had to be careful what to communicate. And I had to find the right way of doing so.
i tried to express only positive feelings; made a point of stressing the positive things he’d done that day that pleased me. I learned how to stand opposite him when I wanted to ask him to do somethiig as well as let him know how it would make me feel if he complied. Even though it was not easy, I tried to use phrases like; ‘I would appreciate it if you would do the following, ‘ OR ”I would like you to …’
If I had the need to express a negative feeling, I needed to tell him what had upset me and why, and all this using a calm, quiet voice, There were times when I felt the need to tell him something like: ‘It makes me very nervous when you pace around the room most of the time’ – instead of saying,’You are a frightening person when you pace and pace and pace …’
I learned the importance of recognizing any improvement in his behavior and attitude. I tried to tell him how I appreciated any new accomplishment OR that he’d succeeded in his new venture OR that he’d shown a great deal of courage the previous day …’
- I knew that every sentence that accentuated his strengths made him feel able to continue. BUT, I knew that we had to set boundaries. Some of them were emotional while others were physical. I was told by the psychiatric team that if I identified completely with my son’s pain, it would become my own and that the reason behind setting boundaries was for my good.