Achieving Equilibrium …

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 sonI 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 exotic_garden_photo_3him 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.




3 thoughts on “Achieving Equilibrium …

  1. sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches.

    Excellent examples of communication – it’s so important to be aware of our communication when speaking with someone who has a mental illness or even simply having a hard day. One of my biggest fears is that the 20+ are so tied to their i-Phones and other i-gadgets that they no longer know how to look someone in the eye and carry on a conversation. I refuse to have a conversation [if that’s what you can call it] via text messaging!

    1. Jill Post author

      I understand you so well. Today’s trend seems to be to communicate via small messages instead of looking people in the eye and talking to them, something that can be infuriating especially when s health issue is the problem. Unfortunately, I can only see it getting worse rather than better. Please keep your readers in the picture, and you can call on us all to send messages to doctors en masse at any time if you think it will help. Thinking of you.


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