How do I communicate to my mother that me being chronically ill isn't her fault?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by IvyLB, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    oooooo boy.
    Debated putting this in 'brains' or 'ita' forums but ultimately decided on general advice because I can't decide and its not too awful i think?

    Okay so to be upfront: I have a not-quite-final diagnosis for some form of Rheumatoid illness. I'm seronegative so there is not much my gp can do and he seems slightly unwilling to get me into treatments that could potentially make the baby factory malfunction (yay for afab medical bullshit).
    (There is also some other bullshit about bloodpressure, photosensitivity that may be autism related (but i totally don't have autism, according to mom), skin problems and hair and nail breakage, etc etc. Basically my body is super unhappy with me...)

    Now this winter had me see a big decline in my ability to get around without being in constant pain. As we're speaking I am contemplating taking painkillers for the fourth day in a row as someone who is barely on prescribed pain meds at all.

    My mother has recently started blaming herself for this because RA and related illnesses could have genetic predispositions (scientists are unsure but think its likely afaik?) and so it is 100% her fault because she has RA and still decided to have children. Nevermind that when she had me she didn't know she had RA.
    And it kind of hurts when she says that in the distant way that i dont like emotional distress near me and can't deal very well with it but since it has come up more than three times by now I think I might be failing at communicating 'No mom, when I say I am hurting or feeling bad, I'm not blaming you, its simply an expression of distress and unhappiness that means nothing at all'

  2. Aya

    Aya words words words

    It's kind of on her to work out whether she's going to blame herself or not. You tell her that you don't blame her, but she's going to have to deal with her own feelings on the topic by herself. It's not your responsibility to manage her feelings about your chronic illness. Which is good, because ultimately, you can't do that.

    If you feel like it might help, you can tell her that when she starts blaming herself and getting upset with herself around you, it's more of a problem and more distressing than if she said nothing at all. You're born now, you're here, it's all happened, there's nothing anyone can do to change any of that. All that she can do is try to help you in this moment. And one of the things she can do to help you is take her emotional responses to someone more able to deal with them. I would be careful with this, because I don't know your mother and you do, and for some parents this might make things worse. But sometimes things like this can help things.
    • Like x 2
  3. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    Adding to Aya's advice, you can just basically ignore her comments after a while and change the topic. Say "yeah mum, we've already discussed that, how was work today?"
  4. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    You know, would it work to point out that you're GLAD she had you even though it means you have RA, because the other option is not existing? Like, yes, this is part of my life and its shitty, and you can make it less shitty by (listening to me vent or helping in whatever concrete way) buy basically my life is good and I like existing?

    Cause I get the guilt--ask me how terrified I am little dude will end up with my depression--but it sounds like she's spilitting and it's not super helpful. Im sorry you're dealing with that, and hope you feel better.
  5. Ink

    Ink Well-Known Member

    I sometimes think that mom-guilt is hardwired.
  6. IvyLB

    IvyLB Hardcore Vigilante Gay Chicken Facilitator

    I talked to my mom and reminded her that it's all cool I'm just a bit peeved at my body for constantly being a piece of shit and it has nothing to do with her. She agreed to trying to tone the apologizing down.

    Thanks y'all :D I get i sound super whiny because at least my mom is one of the decent examples from what I've heard, but it was kind of distressing to see her beat herslef up so much over somethign she can't change and that I do not blame her for.
  7. Lissiel

    Lissiel Dreaming dead

    Your problems are what they are and that's ok. Dont worry. Glad it worked out. :)
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