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advice on people who are offended by discussing mortality?
alz+
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 8:04 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3560


I had a troubling experience with a person who profoundly me resented my discussing end of life issues regarding this illness, inheritance, and a wish I made "I hope I live long enough to see..."

she replied "That is MORBID!" and I got a cold blast in my direction that went over my head until an hour later I thought, I offended her.

I do not register MENTALLY people's shots at the moment any more which is one of my favorite aspects of dementia. But later on in day other things came up, my grand kids were removed from my presence and - still not cognitively knowing this person had taken great offense to me but being able to feel some thing saying "Time to go!" So I told my son we would be leaving shortly instead of spending another night, he said "That's probably a good idea."

There was one last accidental event that got us packed and gone in a hurry - but even so I did not cognitively compute into a realiztion of any kind until I was in the car, back seat, eyes down, that events started to form an understanding of what happened.

In the beginning of this my sister and brother were both dismissive of the diagnosis, since then my brother has been able to recognize this is not going to get better, my sister and I do not discuss my situation.

Any one have advice or thoughts on if I was out of line or impolite or worse that I spoke of my life as having an End coming within sight? There are markers in my head of little deaths: no more driving, no more cooking, no more long walks, no more long phone conversations, no more long road trips, and the up coming no more making sense, no more projects, no more writing, no more swallowing, and so on. Life feels like it is forming a sense of value changes when there is an official end in sight.

It was normal in my family to help people when they developed an illness and to prepare for that time between diagnosis and death, to be gentle with these people. I was in such a state of shock when my mind finally said, "you will now be GONE for the Offensive remark you made," which was about the peace it gives me to think of my grand kids blowing some money from Grandma on some thing fun like horse back riding, doing it for me, that I would enjoy it with them after I was gone. I was feeling relaxed and happy knowing my GKs (grand kids) might remember me and how we laughed and played.

My ability to know if I was out of line is shaken. How do you deal with people who are angry about what you say regarding mortality? I believe this put me in a category of Toxic Drama Queen and maybe there will be repercussions. Reality check: was I offensive? Do I need to do something to atone to this person?

I never really knew what was normal. Help.

Iris L.
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 2:16 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 16574


alz+ wrote:
I had a troubling experience with a person who profoundly me resented my discussing end of life issues regarding this illness, inheritance, and a wish I made "I hope I live long enough to see..."

she replied "That is MORBID!" and I got a cold blast in my direction that went over my head until an hour later I thought, I offended her.



Alz+, you cannot offend another person. Every person is responsible for her own feelings. If she is offended, she chose to become offended. This concept I learned in another support group for codependent people.

The only thing I am concerned with, about your subject matter, is bringing it up at the right time, and with the right preparation. It may be a good idea to preface such a discussion with something like, "I want to talk about something serious that I have been thinking about for a long time. These are my thoughts. I do not expect anything from you."

This is, of course, if you do not expect anything of them. People nowadays are self-centered and do not like to do anything for others, regardless of the relationship.

Do not worry about offending people. Keep your own counsel, as it says in Desiderata.

If people do not want to listen or participate, that is on them. Do not pursue them. They have lost an opportunity to deepen the relationship.

We have an illness that causes us to become more and more isolated. We must protect ourselves because only we know what is actually going on with us. The shallow people will fall away. What are left are the true, real, people.

Iris L


storycrafter`
Posted: Monday, February 16, 2015 7:10 PM
Joined: 12/17/2014
Posts: 1123


I appreciate all of Iris's reply. I would just add, it is their loss, their issue. For those unprepared and naive, Iris's suggestion about preparatory remarks is a good one. It gives people a moment to switch gears, if they will. A sad reality is, many people have not un-learned the silly attitudes imparted by others early in life, or they have not received education on some basic life matters; there's a lot of mistaken thinking out there. You are okay just as you are. Kudos for being authentic and "awake" to real life. Wishing you peace...
llee08032
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:49 AM
Joined: 5/20/2014
Posts: 4405


My ability to know if I was out of line is shaken. How do you deal with people who are angry about what you say regarding mortality? I believe this put me in a category of Toxic Drama Queen and maybe there will be repercussions. Reality check: was I offensive? Do I need to do something to atone to this person?

I don't think we have to deal with others who are angry about what we say regarding our mortality. That the anger about mortality lies with them, not you! You have a terminal illness and a right of passage to discuss such issues. Your issues! alz+ I get the feeling that there is nothing you could have said or done right in this particular person's eye's. That she was on a fault finding mission to begin with. She had this preconceived idea of you doing or saying something wrong long before your arrival.

An, I'm sorry, if you were uncomfortable with my discussion about my final wishes, should be sufficient to keep and restore peace in the family. Don't give her power or lose sight of your mission to keep peace in the family!




alz+
Posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2015 10:41 AM
Joined: 9/12/2013
Posts: 3560


thank you for replies, all saying more or less Stop worrying about other people so much.

I spent some time in prayer and came up with some answers for myself too. The problem is not me, yet when some one in my family circle with power to alter my life I do try to be careful.
What confused me was how happy I was that my son and I had a chance to talk in his office about some concerns I had, so when we came out to kitchen I continued to talk.

I decided to accept that when this person feels I am offensive, morbid, out of line, dramatic I will accept that and maybe even say you are welcome to think any thing you want me, dear, do what ever you need to feel safe. If they need to label me something, go for it. I take no offense.

and then basically the whole problem is mine, to not take offense, and that is something I always wanted to learn to do better.

back into heat and waiting for repair man to call from midwest to say our furnace is running or the pipes froze and the house is soaked.

love and courage (and thanks for understanding what I wrote, when I re-read it I did not )