Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Silent Treatment

My mother has access to patient records at Peace Health due to her job position. She broke into her lab tests and read that the growths in her remaining breast are benign. When she informed me of this, I responded with a neutral, “That’s good. I’m glad to hear it.” Mom was pretty upset that my reaction was not more joyous and energetic; since it turns out that she’s ok. I pointed out that she has made it clear that she does not want to talk about her health with me, even going so far as to tell me to shut up recently. She said, “Well I think not having cancer is a little different than you wanting me to lose weight.”

Something snapped in me. I started yelling, “I don’t give a shit if you lose weight. I give a shit that you have heart disease, and diabetes, and joint immobility, and you are in denial. You don’t want to do anything about it.” She silently got up and starting down the hall to her bedroom. I yelled after her, “See what I mean? You just walk away from the truth. I give a shit that you are going to die!” She locked herself in her room and spent the rest of the day in bed, only getting up to take the dog to the vet. Then it was right back to bed.

I tried going in and talking to her in the evening. She said that she is “done being abused” by me, and until I apologize for my behavior, she had nothing to say to me. I said that I was done being polite about her health problems. She responded, “Then we have nothing to say to each other.” It’s been the silent treatment ever since.

This is ridiculous. Why doesn’t anybody else in the family want to hold her accountable? Should I just put on a good face and pretend this is not happening? She has completely given up, even going so far as to start using a motorized wheelchair when she has to walk long distances.

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