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Psychiatry & Psychology--General/How can I not feel uptight about this


Tonight Mom (age 87) was watching TV with me in my bedroom. Her TV is not working (she will be buying a new TV soon).  Anyway two days ago there was a spider on the corner of one my bedroom walls near the window (not near my closet).   As we were watching TV tonight in my room the spider somehow landed on my bed so I swung at it and it disappeared.

Mom said "You always put your clothes on your bed, I never do, you see I always put my pants that I wear that day on my chair, and  you always tell me when we have company why are you making room in the coat closet for the guests coats you always tell me to put their coats on the bed, I refuse to put coats or clothes on a bed for that reason: spiders, bugs".

I told her that I am still going to put clothes on the bed, that what she feels is crazy"

How do I not care she feels that way and not feel uptight when I put my clothes from my closet on my bed when I need to?

Dear Debbie,

Thank you for writing.

There is a traditional prayer that is said at the beginning and ending of 12 step groups.  It goes like this:
God, Grant Me the Serenity
To Accept the things I cannot Change
The Courage to change the things I can
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

In the situation you describe, there is only one thing that you have the power to change.  That one thing is your Response.  The one thing you cannot change is what your mother says, what ways she says things, and in what manner.  So, what response would you believe works best?  In this case, I recommend ignoring the comment.  Anything else would seem to only escalate the situation, pushing you further and further into an area where you have no control.

Make sense?

Here is more information on how to accept things you cannot change.

Stress Management, How to Reduce, Prevent, and Cope with Stress

Recognizing and Overcoming Dysfunctional Families

Kindest Regards,

Monique Thompson LPC

Psychiatry & Psychology--General

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I specialize in treatment for survivors of sexual trauma. My clinical work has also included work with sex offenders. This has afforded me with the unique exposure helpful in gaining a better understanding of this particular cycle of abuse. I welcome your questions on this subject matter.


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Consultant for Southern Methodist University
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