I try to avoid interacting with my mum (parental avoidance) as much as possible because she’s not good for my mental health. Thus, I engage in parental avoidance. Although avoiding her to save myself the anguish of dealing with her isn’t the only reason I do it. I also don’t have any real attachment to her either, just like I have no real attachment to anyone I’ve ever met.
I do get a fleeting feeling of being overly attached in the first couple of months of a new relationship, but then that goes and leaves nothing behind.
Luckily, we don’t live anywhere near each other so I don’t have to see her that often. This makes engaging in parental avoidance a lot easier. But my mum will call me from time-to-time, whereas I’ll avoid calling her unless I absolutely have to.
If you’ve read Awkward Phone Call With My Mum About My Childhood, or my previous post, Let The Battle Begin: My Weekend With My Mum you’ll already have a bit of an idea as to why I try to avoid interacting with my mum.
I seriously hate talking to my mum, you can guarantee that she’ll make me feel like a waste of space before the phone ends: which is why I rarely call her. Every conversational encounter with my mum is depressing, frustrating, and annoying. I can go months, even years, without contacting her. I’ve never missed my mum, I’ve never felt homesick, and I’ve never felt connected to her. Because of this, I’ve spent more Xmas’s alone than I’ve spent them with my mum since turning 18.
But this wasn’t the only series of annoyingly difficult phone conversations. Almost every conversation comes back to me “working” and how I won’t be depressed if I work. Even though that’s never helped before with my mental health. It also ignores the scale of my mental health problems and completely ignores the life-changing problems my physical health problems cause me.
When she’s not belittling my mental health, telling me to “get over it” or “that’s all in the past, you need to forget it” – I’d love to be able to forget it, but that’s not how it works unfortunately – she’ll be forgetting or completely ignoring the difficulties of my physical health, boiling all my problems down to “everyone feels like that when they get up off the sofa too fast” whilst telling me I need to “exercise” more.
It doesn’t matter how many times I remind her of just how bad my physical health is for me, she always boils it down to this ridiculous idea that it’s on par with getting up off the sofa too fast. It doesn’t matter that I exist in a near permanent state that closely matches a vertigo attack.
Meaning I constantly feel nauseous, I’m always dizzy, my balance is always slightly off, my eyes feel weird, and I have foggy thinking that can become quite a cognitive impairment if my other symptoms get too bad or I become hungry. All of this can be made worse by movement, I can even become travel sick by walking, which is seriously annoying.
But that’s on a day-to-day basis. There are other times where my muscles become so weak that I can’t move, I can blackout, and I can lose control of my bladder and bowl. I’m lucky that I’m fully aware of when this is coming on, giving me enough time to slump down on a toilet. I’m also lucky that this only happens when I try to exercise (at least for now anyway), normally within the first 2-5 minutes of doing my warm up. It also only lasts about 40 minutes, although I’ll feel like death for a few hours afterwards.
That’s not even the end of the problems, my physical health problems and my anxiety disorders all work together to make each other far worse, causing a hideous cascading effect. But none of that matters to my mum, and she reminds me of that. Every. Single. Time. We. Talk.
My mum’s one of my biggest triggers for crashing my mental health, so the way she trivialises my mental and physical health problem really ticks me off. As a result, I try to avoid all interactions with her as much as possible.
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Unwanted Life readers.