Well, on Monday I got to have a colonoscopy and endoscopy to try to determine what’s behind the ongoing gastro issues I’ve been having. While the prep was just as horrible as everyone told me it would be, the doctor says I did wonderfully and there were no issues that required immediate action during the procedure. We should have the results of the biopsies within a week, and then we’ll hopefully have a plan of action.
I had a revelation while dealing with this whole process, though.
My mother will never understand.
While I don’t like to make my health front and center with my family, because it’s ALWAYS a sore topic, I felt it was important my mom know what was going on because we were trying to arrange a time for her to bring my son to us. Since my mom has had this procedure done, I figured she’d be sympathetic, or at least understanding.
I was wrong.
I planned ahead and told everyone I would be unavailable most of the weekend, as I knew I’d be doing the prep for the procedure. I don’t know about you, but I prefer to NOT talk to people from my bathroom. Call it manners, or something. And yet, my mother called repeatedly, and when I did answer, she was annoyed when I explained why I couldn’t talk.
On Monday, she called and asked if I had talked to my sister. I said I had not, as I’d been a little busy dealing with my own stuff. She again brushed it off like the procedure was no big deal. I told her I was leaving for the hospital then, and we hung up. She then called back right as I was getting checked in. I stared at my fiance in shock. What was she not getting about this?
As I had promised, I sent out texts to my mom, my dad, and a few close friends when I was released to let them know I was okay and heading home to rest. My dad (whom my mom swears is a horrible person who can’t possibly love me) replied immediately asking if there was anything he could do and thanking Scotty for taking such good care of me. Close friends responded sending their love and prayers. My mom?
She replied almost two hours later, “I’m glad you survived.”
I have never been so angry.
Why was she being so nonchalant about this all? While I realize the procedure is fairly routine, it was still scary for me. It’s also a part of the bigger picture of my overall health. Things have not been well so far this year, and this test was just another in a stream of diagnostics in an effort to find the best possible treatment plan for ALL of my autoimmune disorders.
I spent most of Monday evening in tears, frustrated and angry. I debated calling my mom to explain how she’d hurt my feelings. I vented on Twitter and finally begged my fiance for help. How should I handle this?
And Scotty, in his infinite wisdom, reminded me of something my therapist had recently told me.
While my mom is in recovery for her alcoholism, it doesn’t mean her personality is going to miraculously change. She will still be the same narcissist who doesn’t think anyone’s problems are as crucial and important as her own.
She will still be the mom who can’t face the fact that I am truly sick, that this isn’t something I’ve brought on myself, and that I’m not just making it all up.
This doesn’t mean that my feelings aren’t still hurt, it just means that I see the futility of trying to talk to her about it. Since she doesn’t believe it’s real, she won’t understand why I’m making a scene.
It takes energy to put up a fight. Is it really worth my spoons to keep trying to convince her to see life from my point of view?
The short answer? Nope.
So I journaled my feelings and let it go. I accepted the love that was pouring forth from Scotty, my father, and my close friends. I curled up with my dog and let that love wash over me while I reminded myself that there were plenty of people who genuinely care about me.
And suddenly, things didn’t hurt so much anymore.
What do you do when family or loved ones dismiss your health problems? Do you have any tips for me?