How do I reply when people ask "how is your Dad?" Do they really want to know? For a long while now I have just said okay, or he's not too bad which is how he will also respond to people when they ask him; I have seen him keep up appearances for tohers for so long as he doesn't want to worry them. Now I can't do it any longer, especially in the last month. Whenever anyone asks how is your dad to my face or even in an email, I find I am pouring it all out. Its unfair that they should have to be bourdened with my worries. I know that most ask as they gueniunely care but I can also see it in their faces that they are not prepared for my frank and honest response. Then there is the question of how are you coping with it all? Do they REALLY want to know the truth....because if I start telling you how it honestly is I will hear your reverse beepers going as you back away from me 🙂 Im angry, Im sad, Im scared, Im content, Im happy, Im tired... all at once! And yes there is a smile on my face most of the time that you see me cause if I don't smile everything else will take over and its the only way that the tsunami of feelings are kept inside. Maybe I should put out a broadcast to everyone - Only ask me if you REALLY want to know and be prepared for my response...if you don't want to know then please don't ask and know that I understand xox
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Deceased
Hi Jods77 We all have a similar problem. When people ask "how are you" do they really want to know, or are they just being polite and a bit concerned? You need to work at a standard response that will meet the social need to be a bit concerned and polite, but is not a trigger for you to let out that tsunami of feelings. So the "He is doing as well as can be expected" or something similar is fine, it won't trigger the reverse beepers. Those who really want to know and who can cope and then help you emotionally will go beyond that. Sometimes, words aren't what is needed and hugs are wonderful. I've just received a great teddy bear hug from a friend. I have one friend who just grabs my hand and holds it - no words needed. If you don't manage to find a ritual to cover "How are you" situations then it just becomes intolerable and you end up running away from people. Take care Sailor
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Contributor
Hi Jodds, It is ok to keep the tsunami in check for a while but make you you let it wash over you regularly or else it will wipe you out. I am lucky in that I have a friend who has strong shoulders and it is with her that I let the tsunami take over, the release is immense and helps carry on with the journey. I hope you have a friend with strong shoulders who can hold you when the feelings overwhelm you. Keep taking care of yourself and your dad. S
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Frequent Contributor
Hi Jodds77 I floundered with this for many months before my counsellor suggested having a third party who could be the information point for interested people. My daughter happily took on that role and only let me know about enquiries if she thought there was something I needed to know. With that in place my wife and I were able to concentrate on what we needed to concentrate on without our energy being drained by the well meaning demands of others. It worked brilliantly. If you are the carer for your dad then I would strongly suggest you find a trusted source who can field the questions and give the basic information, thank them for their concern and say their messages will be passed on. Preferably someone with email skills. Generally, you need someone who can gatekeep and politely and firmly let everyone know that it needs to be hands off emotionally for a while. Nobody owes anyone anything. H
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Regular Contributor
As the others have said, I guess it depends who is asking. You do need someone who you can allow the tsunami out with, however. I also agree with Saior in that with namy of my good friends who have stuck by me, it is the hugs and a certain gentleness that always seems to help. I think that there needs to some level of honesty but as Sailor put it, keep it neutral. Also remember to take help whenever if it is offered. May it be emotional or physical. Your Dad is lucky to have a doughter so full of care - remeber to care for yourself as well. S
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