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Old 11-20-2012, 06:06 AM   #1
ebtbmom
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Mama drama, why does she drive me so insane?

DS has a history of anxiety and panic attacks. The panic attacks are very specifically related to an intense fear of world ending/apocalyptic type stuff.

He and my mom are watching TV and he sees stuff about the fighting in Israel and he asks her what they are fighting about. Her response is that they are fighting because it was prophesied that would happen before Jesus returns to Earth. He has an anxiety attack, calls me to talk through it and later breaks out into hives.

The most upsetting part is that when I tried to talk to her about it she said that he was fine, he wasn't acting bothered and just kept eating his pizza. She believes that he was telling me this to make me mad at her because we don't agree on religion. I know this is not true as DS didn't even want me to call her about it, this is a typical presentation for him when he hears about this kind if thing, and you can't make yourself break out in hives.

I can't believe that with her history of mental health issues that she would be so quick to blow his off and not even try to help him. Basically I think it's easier for her to blame him than admit mistake and try to change her own behavior.

How would you guys handle this? DS sees a counselor and is on anti anxiety meds, probably why this reaction was smaller than they used to be (he used to get sick when having anxiety).
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:24 AM   #2
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First, I would take a deep breath.

Now, let's give mom a little benefit of the doubt. Two people can be in the same room, experience the same event and come to two very different descriptions of what happen.

So maybe how she viewed it, he was fine. what happens typically when he has a panic attack? I know people who have them and you wouldn't know it, they excuse themselves and if you don't see them in the bathroom trying to pull it together you would never know it. did he show her the hives, once again let's say the break out along his back, if grandmom doesn't see them, she may honestly not know what's happening.

You yourself say this was a very mild attack.

I would probably just ask mom to be a little more sensitive to grandson. explain that you feel he was a bit upset after watching the current events and that you'd like some help from her on this. Maybe a little filtering of news events. stuff like that.

I don't think mom was trying to blow him off, I think she just may have missed some clues or read the situation different than you did. One of the things that makes mental health issues so hard to react to is that very many times the person suffering seems absolutely fine.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebtbmom View Post
DS has a history of anxiety and panic attacks. The panic attacks are very specifically related to an intense fear of world ending/apocalyptic type stuff.

He and my mom are watching TV and he sees stuff about the fighting in Israel and he asks her what they are fighting about. Her response is that they are fighting because it was prophesied that would happen before Jesus returns to Earth. He has an anxiety attack, calls me to talk through it and later breaks out into hives.

The most upsetting part is that when I tried to talk to her about it she said that he was fine, he wasn't acting bothered and just kept eating his pizza. She believes that he was telling me this to make me mad at her because we don't agree on religion. I know this is not true as DS didn't even want me to call her about it, this is a typical presentation for him when he hears about this kind if thing, and you can't make yourself break out in hives.

I can't believe that with her history of mental health issues that she would be so quick to blow his off and not even try to help him. Basically I think it's easier for her to blame him than admit mistake and try to change her own behavior.

How would you guys handle this? DS sees a counselor and is on anti anxiety meds, probably why this reaction was smaller than they used to be (he used to get sick when having anxiety).
Quote:
Originally Posted by eliza61 View Post
First, I would take a deep breath.

Now, let's give mom a little benefit of the doubt. Two people can be in the same room, experience the same event and come to two very different descriptions of what happen.

So maybe how she viewed it, he was fine. what happens typically when he has a panic attack? I know people who have them and you wouldn't know it, they excuse themselves and if you don't see them in the bathroom trying to pull it together you would never know it. did he show her the hives, once again let's say the break out along his back, if grandmom doesn't see them, she may honestly not know what's happening.

You yourself say this was a very mild attack.

I would probably just ask mom to be a little more sensitive to grandson. explain that you feel he was a bit upset after watching the current events and that you'd like some help from her on this. Maybe a little filtering of news events. stuff like that.

I don't think mom was trying to blow him off, I think she just may have missed some clues or read the situation different than you did. One of the things that makes mental health issues so hard to react to is that very many times the person suffering seems absolutely fine.
I agree.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:41 AM   #4
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If the two of you disagree about religion I would kindly ask her to refrain from proselytizing to my son in the future. "Just the facts Ma'am" in the future. Frankly, I would be furious.
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:49 AM   #5
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This all sounds very familiar. My DS15 has an anxiety disorder too, although his is generalized with not just one trigger. My mom does the same thing with the news. Her favorite saying is "I'm so glad Jesus is coming back soon!". I know she loves my son but she thinks his anxiety disorder is something he needs to just "get over".

In my experience with my mom, saying something would just start an argument and not change anything. Maybe your mom is different. I think you would be better off coaching your son on how to escape the situation when it comes up.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:06 AM   #6
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Number one, she spoke to your son re: religion and her religious beliefs, knowing that you might have some different ideas/beliefs.

Number two, If you saw the hives.. and if you heard him describe what happened... No way would I be inclined to believe your mother. Why would he want to purposefully lie or twist the truth against his own grandmother. So, the fact that she is trying to blame a child in this situation, instead of having any concern about his well being, also raises another big red flag for me.

I would have a hard time with my child spending time with her, alone, under these circumstances.

I can only send hugs!
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebtbmom View Post
She believes that he was telling me this to make me mad at her because we don't agree on religion. I know this is not true as DS didn't even want me to call her about it, this is a typical presentation for him when he hears about this kind if thing, and you can't make yourself break out in hives.

Me again,
This, above, says it all.
Just SO wrong, in every way.
Not okay to put this on a child's shoulders.

Something tells me that this is nothing new, and you need to realize that your mother is just wrong, and is not, ever, ever, going to change.

Think about how you need to change and adjust on your end to deal with this type of thing.

PS: It is not okay to expect a child to know how to 'escape' a grandparent at mealtime.
Mealtime should not make one become somebody else's captive audience.

When mealtime with my FIL became something that my son might have felt he needed to escape, that was when I had to make changes. That was when I had to draw some lines and handle it pro-actively on my end.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Wishing on a star View Post
Number one, she spoke to your son re: religion and her religious beliefs, knowing that you might have some different ideas/beliefs.

Number two, If you saw the hives.. and if you heard him describe what happened... No way would I be inclined to believe your mother. Why would he want to purposefully lie or twist the truth against his own grandmother. So, the fact that she is trying to blame a child in this situation, instead of having any concern about his well being, also raises another big red flag for me.

I would have a hard time with my child spending time with her, alone, under these circumstances.

I can only send hugs!
I would also avoid leaving my child alone with her if at all possible. My mom always wanted to have my son stay at her house. She has some medical issues, so I was always a bit hesitant. Finally, I agreed and left him there by himself (I can't really remember why or when) when he was 4 or 5. We come to pick him up later and she tells me all about how she let him poke himself with her used insulin needle, and she still does not think that there is anything wrong with that. Needless to say that was the very last time that he stayed at her house alone.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mermaid02 View Post
If the two of you disagree about religion I would kindly ask her to refrain from proselytizing to my son in the future. "Just the facts Ma'am" in the future. Frankly, I would be furious.
This is my reaction as well. Just don't discuss something that has a potential to make him anxious. I'm sure Grandma knows what topics that includes by now.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:43 AM   #10
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I'm sure Grandma knows what topics that includes by now.
Ohhh, I am pretty sure of that myself.
Unfortunately, actually, that what makes what happened so much more wrong.

She knows...
She doesn't care...
And, that isn't going to change.

That is why in situations like this, it is important to learn that you have to be the one to figure out what steps to take, what decisions and changes you have to make, and how to deal with it pro-actively on your own end.

Remember the old adage...
You can not change or be responsible for the attitudes and actions of others... You you must be be responsible for your own.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:00 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebtbmom View Post
DS has a history of anxiety and panic attacks. The panic attacks are very specifically related to an intense fear of world ending/apocalyptic type stuff.

He and my mom are watching TV and he sees stuff about the fighting in Israel and he asks her what they are fighting about. Her response is that they are fighting because it was prophesied that would happen before Jesus returns to Earth. He has an anxiety attack, calls me to talk through it and later breaks out into hives.

The most upsetting part is that when I tried to talk to her about it she said that he was fine, he wasn't acting bothered and just kept eating his pizza. She believes that he was telling me this to make me mad at her because we don't agree on religion. I know this is not true as DS didn't even want me to call her about it, this is a typical presentation for him when he hears about this kind if thing, and you can't make yourself break out in hives.

I can't believe that with her history of mental health issues that she would be so quick to blow his off and not even try to help him. Basically I think it's easier for her to blame him than admit mistake and try to change her own behavior.

How would you guys handle this? DS sees a counselor and is on anti anxiety meds, probably why this reaction was smaller than they used to be (he used to get sick when having anxiety).
How would I handle this?

I would focus 100% of the situation on my son. This is one of those times where a teachable moment rears it's ugly head and this is a pretty easy one to walk through.

I would tell you to bring this up with the counselor first and then go from there.

Aside from that is your son on a theraputic dose of meds? I know my dd's meds were raised recently.

Many hugs.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #12
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I agree with the PP who quoted the part about your mom suggesting your son did this to make you mad at her. As the poster stated, this is one of the more telling parts about her personality. I have one of those parents, with among many other issues you deal with narcissism, paranoia and passive aggressiveness to a disturbing level. While everyone can see those tendencies in almost everyone they know, unless you have a parent with near or full pathological tendencies towards those behaviors, you just can't understand. One thing your post reminded me of is how my parent, perhaps like yours, simply can't grasp that children are children, not adults with adult mindsets. So, for instance, a child who is spills something did it on purpose to be willful or spiteful, rather than simply not having good coordination. God forbid a child doesn't show adoring preference to anything and everything that person does or offers, from food to time to toys, as now they're doing it on purpose just to make that adult feel bad. They simply don't grasp that kids, and honestly everyone else, isn't playing the same mental and emotional games that they do. It's hard enough as an adult to deal with this, it's harder when a child has to. As his mother, I know this must make you both sad and furious. If this was just you, you've probably learned to deal with it over the years, but I can appreciate that you are not willing to put your child through the same experiences.

The only thing I can say is that the first lesson to learn is that they are who they are. In a way, the hardest thing is realizing what you're feeling isn't so much surprise and hurt when they act this way (again!), but a fresh grief over the relationship you wanted but never had or will have. It's 100% true that they will not change; you can only change yourself. And that doesn't mean accepting what they put out, but doing what you have to do to protect yourself and your family (and being okay with that choice). Whatever your choices are, just wanted to let you know your feelings and reactions are normal and understandable.

Now, that being said, I know your child's anxiety is much more than just a fear of the end of the world, etc, and that addressing that one concern isn't going to eliminate his anxieties. But, sometimes tackling one block at least means one less obstacle, right? So, I wanted to tell you what helped when I was little. I didn't have full blown panic attacks, but when I was around 9 I was feeling some anxiety (sleeplessness, etc) over persistent worries about nuclear war. There was A LOT of focus at that time, "The Day After" was playing on television, etc., and it really got to me. I remember telling my grandmother one day that I was really afraid, and to my shock she said, "I worried about the same thing when I was your age. And so did your mother. That's something people always worry about. It's normal. But even though we worried about it all those years ago, we're all still here, right?" I know, perhaps a therapist would say there was something wrong with that, but for me...it was mind-blowing. It didn't just validate my feelings, but made me realize that these problems had always been around, but we hadn't destroyed the planet yet! It felt like a burden was lifted from my shoulders. Just wanted to share.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:18 AM   #13
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Thanks for the perspectives. Just to top it off she went and posted on Facebook that she was thankful that she lived in a country where she was free to believe as she liked even though some people thought that was foolish, and then on and on about her savior and stuff like that . Why would a parent purposely antagonize her adult child? And my primary objection was not to her sharing beliefs with him, I don't mind if he hears various ideas and forms his own ideas, but that she didn't take his issues seriously. Plus If she wants to share with him why use the one part that you know he has a phobic response to? That's how u was raised though, taught that the end was right around the corner!

They were eating at Pizza Hut and he excused himself to the restroom and called me. Thankfully it does seem like he's handling these attacks better so it did not escalate to him getting sick. He didn't break out in hives until later that night at home.

I think I'll wait until after Thanksgiving and attempt to discuss it with her making my concern clear. He can't stay there anymore if she's not capable of helping him when he needs it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:23 AM   #14
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Its possible that due to your mother's beliefs she doesn't see it as something that would cause fear and anxiety. And remember that for her those are the facts not just something she believes.

I think you do need to focus more on your son and his dealing with these subjects. They are likely to come up more than just with his grandmother. And you don't want a sudden break with your mother to cause him more anxiety.

Maybe you could just talk to her in a non-confrontational way and mention that the things on the news bother him and it might be best if he didn't watch it.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:35 AM   #15
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Its possible that due to your mother's beliefs she doesn't see it as something that would cause fear and anxiety. And remember that for her those are the facts not just something she believes.

I think you do need to focus more on your son and his dealing with these subjects. They are likely to come up more than just with his grandmother. And you don't want a sudden break with your mother to cause him more anxiety.

Maybe you could just talk to her in a non-confrontational way and mention that the things on the news bother him and it might be best if he didn't watch it.
You might be right, she said that the idea of Jesus coming back to her was a happy idea, I guess since our views are 180 degree apart I just don't get it. I just need her to believe him and not blow him off. He tries hard to cover his anxiety because he doesn't like to worry people and now that he's a teen he gets a little more self conscious about it.
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