Saturday, September 18, 2010

What, me worry?

I woke up in the early hours of the morning and couldn't get back to sleep. So, I lay there and wondered what was that low flying plane doing at night over our peaceful city? That thought entertained me for a short while, and then Ian woke up and padded into the bathroom and back to bed. Instead of playing possum like I normally do so I can get some decent sleep, we talked. And what did we talk about? Chris? No. Taylor or Alex? No. We talked about Ian having his mercury fillings extracted and I warned him that doing it quickly can lead to psychological trauma and he could go insane! We laughed. Insanity has no hold on us any longer. I know of someone who claimed that her daughter having all her fillings replaced at once led to years of pychosis. I also know someone who claimed that having them all removed quickly cleared up his physical and mental health. Go figure.

I am so grateful that waking up in the middle of the night these days does not lead to constant worry like it used to. Ian and I have passed our one year anniversary of not discussing Chris with each other. We made this pact when Chris left the psych hospital after his relapse. In the past, Chris's peculiarities and our dealing with the doctors drove us mad with worry and we would confide our worries to each other. This invariably led to strife because we each had a different idea about how to handle this.  We no longer seem very interested in what Chris is doing. We have taken the long term view, that if we just leave him alone and provide whatever professional support we can, then he will get better. He certainly seems like he's getting better, but we are no longer there to take his pulse.

This is our own version of practicing low expressed emotion. It means not discussing Chris. This strategy has miraculously allowed us to stop worrying. We trust that all will be well.

1 comment:

  1. When our daughter was out of my life and only in my husband's for nearly six months at the beginning of the year, we enjoyed what you and you husband must feel - a sense of relief from worry. (Maybe my husband was worrying but he was stoic and didn't let on.)
    My husband and I tackle the worrisome stuff right off the bat when he gets home. I HAVE to get some of it off my chest - my mother's phone call, any updates on son's girlfriend (he is trying to shake her off without a conversation... avoidance?), and a cursory look at where is and what is going on with our daughter. Then, we agree, we are done and move on. This happens everyday. All the stressful gets left behind for the evening. I don't even answer the phone.
    The truth is the way these stress-relieving conversations usually go down is in the form of humor. I am sure that our good laughs at the expense of my mother have healed me over the years. And, now we are so inured by my daughter's behavior, we can translate some fairly bizarre stuff into laughable moments. No one listening in on our conversations would probably understand the profound feelings that lead us to being able to make light of, for example, another destroyed computer...
    Anyway, it sounds like you are lucky, as I am, to have found a mate who can manage stress and have a life, too.


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