Chronic pain, changing relationship with daughter

Hi Mary Jo,

I live in chronic pain. How can I better relate to my loved ones who can’t see my pain, don’t want to see my pain, or really don’t care?

Thanks, Scott

Scott,

I’m sorry you lack support from those you love most, but I think you’ll feel better when you quit trying to make them understand how you feel. The only person you can change is you, so stay away from labeling yourself as a chronic pain patient and focus on what you can and enjoy doing. You’re so much more than what you suffer from. I think if you focus on what you feel passionate and excited about in life, others will see you in a different light and begin feeling closer to you. They may then soften their minds and hearts about what you’re going through. Whether they do or not, you’ll feel better and more optimistic about your situation and future. Your chronic pain does not limit the interesting and wonderful things about you unless you allow it too.

Hi Mary Jo,

My daughter is 10 years old and I can see our relationship changing. How do I know when I should stop treating her like a little girl?

Thanks, Brenda

Brenda, your relationship is changing right on time. Naturally, your daughter is learning more about her world and seeing herself separate from you. That’s a good sign. Experts lovingly call this “going from mommy to mom.” This is a great opportunity for you to begin talking to your daughter about her health, her body changing, and her transition into middle school, which isn’t too far in the future. It’s also a good time to hold her accountable for her choices and allowing her to take on more responsibility.

Teaching your daughter about the consequences of poor choices is a learning process. Watching the struggle and holding your child accountable is when you become their mom. It’s a bit of a balancing act – allowing her to go back to “little girl behavior” but also encouraging her to take on more freedom and accountability. Just be sure to follow through on your end when she faces situations where she made poor choices.

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