Author Topic: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...  (Read 4129 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Arila

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 831
Hello, I'm a long-time reader/lurker, first time poster! I'm writing because I have a major communication issue I need help with. Most of the problems rise up to the level of needing a family counselor, but we just can't get in with them fast enough. We will be getting help soon, but I need help to survive the weekend!

Due to my Father's health issues, I need to be at their house to assist him for this weekend. However, my Mother and I recently had a rather big blowout. She sent a long email/laundry list of all the things which are hurting her feelings earlier this week, and also expressed a desire to open the lines of communication. Unfortunately, on my side, I think that she's wrong and/or being unreasonable, and I simply cannot agree with her on many of the issues. I have labored for hours over a response to her email, but both my sister and husband begged me not to send it (too cold/formal). I'm sure she's tortured by my lack of response, but I'm still angry and worry I'll do more harm than good. If she presses me or corners me, I'm afraid I'll tell her what I really think/feel, and everyone will regret it later.

I would most like to extend the cooling off period, but if that's not possible, I need to deflect! How does "Mom, I love you, and we will fix this, but I cannot discuss it calmly right now." sound?

Should I preemptively send this via email as a response before we arrive at her house in a few hours?

EMuir

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1386
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2013, 05:19:38 PM »
Do not send more email.  Email, in my experience, only makes touchy situations worse.  When you go there, respond to what she actually says in person, but nothing else. Don't read any email she sends you, maybe respond with a "I'd rather talk in person" if she insists on emailing.

Most people won't make a big fuss in person.  I'd bet that she won't say anything when you're there, and if you're ignoring her emails, at least you won't get in a huge fight. Good luck.

Two Ravens

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2338
  • One for sorrow, Two for mirth...
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2013, 05:23:17 PM »
I wouldn't send an email. If she brings in up when you are there, just state,
Quote
"Mom, I love you, and we will fix this, but I cannot discuss it calmly right now."


If she presses, just repeat, "I don't want to talk about it now."

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2432
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2013, 05:26:34 PM »
I'd suggest picking up the phone (or talking to her in person).

Say something like "Mom, I got your email.  I didn't want to think I was ignoring it or ignoring you, but I need some time to think things through and then I'll be ready to talk about these things."

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6374
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2013, 05:29:30 PM »
I think what you plan to say sounds great. Be prepared to have to repeat it. Maybe remind her "I'm here for dad right now and we need to be focused on him."

Welcome to posting!

I'd suggest picking up the phone (or talking to her in person).

Say something like "Mom, I got your email.  I didn't want to think I was ignoring it or ignoring you, but I need some time to think things through and then I'll be ready to talk about these things."

Okay, MT posted as I was posting and I think that's great advice!

CaffeineKatie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 372
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2013, 05:38:34 PM »
I think I would use some form of "I'm sorry, Mom--but we need to focus on Dad's health issues now" as bean dip until your weekend is over. That, and screaming into a pillow in a locked room.

Arila

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 831
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 05:39:21 PM »
Tango, I can see the value in actually addressing it proactively - by approaching her instead of waiting for the tension to build to a point where she approaches me.

Thanks for the advice and the WORDS to use! I'll keep my response in my back pocket if additional responses are needed.

ETA: Unfortunately any variation of an acknowledgement about dad's care is one of the complaints (She's not important, everyone is considered before her, she doesn't want to burden the Kids with his issues)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 05:41:40 PM by arila »

CaffeineKatie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 372
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2013, 09:15:10 PM »
OP, your last post made me think of a line from a Dolly Parton movie, said to a woman who was complaining and bemoaning her life.  Dolly said, "Come down off the cross, honey, we need the wood!"  I doubt you could say that to your mother, but maybe if you think it to yourself when she starts up...?

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2013, 11:14:04 PM »
I think your response to your mom right now is absolutely perfect.  It lets her know you understand there are issues and you do want to talk about them, but this is such an emotional time for the family now with your dad's illness.  Trying to deal with the illness and perceived or real issues will just get muddled up and it is best to wait til cooler heads will prevail. 
((((((Hugs)))))))))  to you.  My dad is terminal and right now dealing with our emotions and his medical care and my step mother who is driving my sister and I up a wall is taking it's toll.  We just keep saying to ourselves and each other "Yes, she makes us want to throttle her, but she is going through his illness 24/7 and we need to cut her a little slack."

Arila

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 831
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2013, 11:46:35 AM »
Well, it ended up being really awkward. I arrived for the first evening in the middle of dinner, so didn't get a chance for the quiet word we had discussed. Before I could do that, she was already asking if we could talk, and I said (so awkwardly, and despite practice!) "Mom, I saw your email, but I'm not ready to respond right now."

Everything outwardly calm, but a bit awkward. I wish she was more of a "say it and forget it" person like I am. I still don't want to have a long, drawn out discussion...but I'll have to wind myself up for one soon.

RooRoo

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 705
  • Iím out of my mind. Please leave a message.
Re: Can't discuss calmly right now, but need to be in the same room...
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2013, 10:02:37 PM »
Quote
I still don't want to have a long, drawn out discussion...but I'll have to wind myself up for one soon.
Why? Why not say, "We can discuss this with the family counselor. Why don't you make an appointment?"

And then, to whatever she says in response, repeat "We will discuss this with the family counselor. Why don't you make an appointment?" (Or, if you've been seeing one and she hasn't, "I will not discuss this unless you come to the counselor with me.") Memorize your phrase and repeat it, every time.

And don't JADE! That's probably the hardest thing for us people-pleasers to do... I speak from experience!  ;D  But when we Justify, Argue, Discuss, and/or Explain, we're just giving them more ammo to use against us.

"We can discuss this with the family counselor. Why don't you make an appointment?" or "We can discuss this with the family counselor. When are you coming to an appointment?"

"But I can't affoooooord it!

Repeat your phrase instead of allowing yourself to be distracted by a discussion about finances.

"Oh, you're so meeeean!"

Repeat your phrase instead of allowing yourself to be distracted by an am-not-are-too discussion.

At some point here, you can change your question to "Have you made an appointment with the family counselor yet?" or "When are you coming to the family counselor with me?"

I know this is going to be hard. The first time I managed to do it, I think my pulse was about 120! But it gets easier, I promise. I realized at some point that I was training my Mom to stop using emotional blackmail. That made it easier, somehow.

 >:D EvilRoo suggests "Shall we have some whine with our dinner?" >:D   I shall now stuff her back in her cage.

We're all standing by with the E-hell patented Shiny Spine polish!  ;)
"Someday we must write a book of Etiquette for sensible people," said Mrs. Morland, "though apart from a few rules it really boils down to an educated mind and a kind heart." ~ Angela Thirkell, Never Too Late