What about me?

It is all well and good that as parents, we have to be strong for our kids.

Let us be real, if we are in a position where we have to be strong, it means things are not going well for us either.

Allow me to take a moment to express that adulting is hard. Adulting while considering others like a spouse and kids is not always a walk in the park. If you add to that grieving a loss, of a person or health, whether it be financial health, physical health or mental health, it is harder still.

As adults we are sometimes scared, terrified even. We are human after all, and we know or can imagine how badly things can go.


We are at the top of the ladder. Often, the buck stops at us.  It isn’t always easy when we are thrown into a tailspin and have to straighten out the plane without any flying lessons. That is basically what happens when dealing with serious illness or an orphan condition since little information is out there.

The reality is the children are watching, listening and feeling while you may be navigating all of the craziness.

You owe it to them and more importantly to yourself to take good care of that parent they are watching.

Here I feel I am adding to an already full plate. I am not saying “all you have to do is…” because those are about the worst words you can say to someone dealing with insane stress.

I am offering a suggestion that you may take or leave. Please consider being courageous enough to speak up about the situation. You might find that person who, not only understands, but might lighten your load even if only a little.

In reality, I am always impressed by watching the smart honest and courageous people who can say what they need. They are the ones who know when to turn to others for help.

Sadly, our society tends to view getting outside help as weakness. What a lot of malarkey since it takes a special kind of strength to let go enough of one’s own power and open oneself to other people’s suggestions.

In a sense I am the result of the society. I feel, on this front, I am part of the problem. I share what I did or tried to do. I have not included outside help since it wasn’t available to us until the end and it wasn’t in my nature to use it anyway. When we did have access, we had figured out what seemed to work for us.

I think I am lucky.  I live with my sounding board. If I need to talk it out, my poor husband listens or at least pretends to.

I also tend to journal. I do it to put words to the things that are too difficult to say or may be too hurtful. I then reread to see if I could see it from another point of view or even from the point of view of one of the people in the situation. Most of the time that has been enough for me to recognise the other person’s needs and move on.

On a few occasions, it was not enough. Many years ago, I spilled a coffee while I was driving. That situation sent me to speak  to, not one, but two psychologists. What brought me there? Me saying outloud “ENOUGH!”

You see, someone close to me had been suicidal over the years. When I said ENOUGH! I quickly stated out loud to no one in particular, I wasn’t talking about wanting my life to stop, just the craziness.

I walked into the first therapist office. I looked at the poor woman and said: “Since I pay by the hour, let me give you a quick run down so we could get to work.” Then I gave her a run down.

She gasped. At the first gasp, I knew she wasn’t the one for me. You can’t gasp at what happens to me and expect me to continue talking.

I, especially back then, needed to not have to take care of another person.

This does not mean that therapist was not a good one, but it did mean we were not a good fit.

I found another I met once as well. I did the same thing, I gave her a run down. Her response was perfect for me. It was a simple: “that’s interesting! Let’s see what you are willing to do.” She then asked me a few questions to understand where I was at and we ended with an open ended non commital”If ever I needed her.” I have never gone back but her name stays fresh in my mind and that meeting was an incredible help that still resonnates today.

May you be braver than I was. Speak up. Get yourself support  and information.

Come back next week for a few lighter words on Loving them enough…