Friday, 15 February 2013

Who is watching you?

As a part of my quest to get deeper into the issues affecting those with chronic migraines, I have joined a migraine sufferers groups on facebook.

One thing I have discovered I have in common with many members of this group, is the concern about how our children perceive us  because we 'always' get migraines.

Some members have even gone so far as to pretend they are doing something else to avoid letting their children know that they are dealing with ANOTHER migraine.

This got me thinking, how do I deal with this worry? Could I be doing better to help my boys understand what is going on with Mum? Am I setting them up to be able to deal well with their own and other people difficulties?

Out of the mouths of babes.

Earlier this month, I found myself lying on the couch in our lounge area while my four year old played in front of me with some lego. I was still in the aura phase of a migraine and was unable to look at what he was doing because opening my eyes made me want to chuck.
 'I'm sorry I've got a migraine' I said, 'I know it is annoying'.
Little Dude replied, 'You don't have to say sorry Mum, you're not being rude'.
So what am I telling my son through this exchange? Nothing good. Luckily he is smarter than me and didn't buy into the underlying messages of;

  1. I am being annoying because I am sick again.
  2. It is my fault.
  3. You have a right to be cranky with me because I am sick.
  4. I feel guilty because I have a migraine.
These are all completely unhelpful lessons to be teaching my children, and I am sure that this language from me is NOT isolated.
I know it is hard to be switched on mentally when suffering from a migraine, so I need to think in advance what I will say to them when they occur. 
I don't want to send the above messages, and I don't want them to see my illness as limiting me and what I can achieve. 
Problem is I am so mired in actually believing the messages I am sending I am having trouble thinking up alternate conversations. I need your help.
What do you say to your family? How does this help them to understand and appreciate how migraines work?

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