STANDING STILL IN SWITZERLAND
"You don't want to move forward, right? That's why your knees hurt," a neuroscientist from Croatia had told me during a body scan. My ego in my head immediately went, "No, I mean, I take all kinds of risks for my business. I am totally moving forward." Later that night, reflecting on the day's training with the founder of theta healing® and other theta healing® trainers from all over the world, Ohhhh wait, in my personal life of having a baby...I haven't moved forward at all. I discovered theta healing® as a way to deal WITH you, dementia.
"I blew up at him. We are going to have a meeting in the lobby of your hotel." It was a Whatsapp text message from a family member. We had all flown to Singapore to spend Thanksgiving with my mom and Graham (the him my family member was referring to). This family member had unleashed months worth of pent up frustration/anger on Graham. I couldn't blame her. I just watched as Edgar (my hubby) calmly spoke to Graham trying to mediate the whole situation. I didn't cry, instead I just comforted my sobbing sister. Ok, I did peel some skin on the side of my thumb (my go to stress coping mechanism), but overall thanks to all the theta healing® work I had done, I was in a better emotional state to support this family member.
"I hate you. I don't want you to hang out with us. I just wanna spend time with my mom," my family member had said to Graham through tears. I could see she had trouble welcoming Graham into our family. He was taking good care of my mom in Singapore, it was clear to see. However, just as we had trouble welcoming you dementia into our family, well, I think it will take time for my family member to welcome Graham into our family.
WHY DID MY MOM CHOOSE YOU?
Several years ago, over salmon at my house in Korea, my South African friend Chris asked me, "Why did your mum choose dementia?" I don't think I really understood his question back then. I don't think I was ready to answer it, and maybe it was because you were too close and I was still trying to accept you into my mom's life and my family's life. Now looking back on that question, having seen my mom, here's my answer:
Father And Mother I Love You. I learned this acronym from my university students at Yonsei University when I was teaching there in Korea. Now I understand that word to mean and incorporate so much more. Watching American TV shows about it is one thing, but living it is a whole different matter. I always wanted my parents to get along as a child. It wasn't until I was a high school student that I realized my parents don't get along, and it's not my fault. They still love each other. Is that an oxymoron? Maybe. But that oxymoron created me. The first thing my mom asked me about when she saw me was, "How is dad?" Seeing how my dad took care of my mom for two years in the US, I could tell he still really loved her too. Seeing how Graham treats my mom too, I have a deeper more compassionate understanding of the word FAMILY.
Awareness. Acceptance. Action.
When my mom was diagnosed with you, dementia, I was aware of you. I joined online support groups and found out how you have ravaged some families, and brought other families together. I am grateful that you have done the latter for me and my FAMILY. I spent two years in depression because I was trying to Accept you. Not easy at all. Now that I have finally accepted you, I understand what my life's mission is: you helped me realize that a people pleaser like me could become a healer.
"My mum is totally better at social media than me and my sister," Chris semi-joked. "She chose Parkinson's because she took care of everyone her whole life. Now it is time for us to take care of her, so when she posts on social media, she remembers to use #ME." Whoa. "Will you tell your mom that she is super inspiring?" I asked. "Oh absolutely. That will totally make her day!" Chris responded.
WHAT DO YOU KNOW THE MOST ABOUT?
When your 6 year-old family member asks you a question that you never really get asked, you have to stop and think: What do I know the most about? Immediately HAPPINESS came to mind. She asked me what are 5 things about Happiness that I wanted to share, and she then drew pictures in her journal and asked me to write those 5 things down:
So dementia, thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I have been meaning to write it for some time now. Maybe it is also part of my own healing/growth process to write it to you. My hope is for my future baby to read this letter so that he or she can learn that when seemingly scary things come up, when we use the Triple A method, and work WITH them, they aren't so scary. And sometimes, when we welcome them in, we welcome other parts of our selves that we never knew we had or we never knew we were capable of having.
Wishing you Happiness,
Happiness coach, Theta Healer®, author, WITH Warrior in Chief <3