The One with the Therapist
To be completely trite, lately life has been like a roller coaster, just when you think you’re on the upswing, things come crashing back down. A week after I posted about my dad’s one year stroke anniversary, he had a seizure that landed him back into the hospital. Since that time - potentially unrelated - he and my mom have been having a really difficult time navigating his mental health (as well as hers). His is based on frustration at being trapped in his body (his words) and not being able to advocate for himself. Hers is around anger at his emotional outbursts, which have been directed at her. My dad has never been an emotional person and this is a new road that they’re both navigating. My sister found them a therapist that they have since talked to. I’m not sure that the therapy experience was what either of them expected, however it’s a step in the right direction and a way for them both to get to share how they’re feeling about what they’re going through.
My mom has also been embarrassed about my dad’s emotional outbursts, as they’ve happened in public and when friends / family are around. I haven’t been present for any of these occasions and was in the UK last week but received panicked calls about my dad’s behavior. Staying neutral as a bystander is near impossible. Both my sister and I have opinions about what we think they both need to do to improve the situation. We don’t have the “right” solution but we both agree that professional interference is needed.
I’m not usually the type of person who shares the intimate details of my family / parents, but I do think these experiences and what we’re going through is important to put out there. The more I talk about what we’ve gone through with my dad’s stroke, the more people I find who have gone through similar situations. If anything, this serves to highlight how important both physical and mental health are in your overall well being. Be kind and patient - with yourselves and others.