Post # 1
This past week, my mom told me that she was depressed and tearful and is only happy when she’s sleeping. I think that it’s for three main reasons: (1) being MOB makes her feel old, (2) she has to face her ex-husband, who has been causing all sorts of trouble in the wedding planning process, and (3) having my wedding is a reminder that my twin brother (who died seven years ago) won’t ever be having his own wedding.
I’m so proud that she has called a counselor to work through her emotions. I’m just having a few problems working through mine. She doesn’t want to go with me to dress fittings. She doesn’t want to hear much about the wedding, and constantly says, "Just surprise me!" I feel like I’m missing out on a happy time with her.
How can I be sensitive to her needs and still try to meet my own?
Post # 3
If she can’t be part of the wedidng planning now, try to take lots of photos and document everything. This way you can at least share it with her later when she is feeling better.
Post # 4
MissTrifle: I totally feel your pain. My 21 year old sister ran off shortly after I got engaged and is refusing to have any contact with my family (despite the fact that she is supposed to be one of my Maids of Honor). While I try to tell my mom that she will be at the wedding, even imagining my wedding day is hard for my mom (and me!) because we don’t know if she will be there. So, needless to say, it has been difficult to do wedding planning with her. I have found that she does better with artsy type things (ie. making invitations) rather than big picture things. She has been seeing a therapist, and I will tell you that has been helping.
If you have a sister or a friend that can do the dress fitting with you, it may not be perfect, but it isn’t the end of the world. And maybe she would be more comfortable if you bring someone else too, that way if she gets overwhelmed and starts having panic attacks (like my mom did), she can step out of the store and catch her breath without feeling like she has abandoned you.
I have no idea if this will help, but I wish you all the best!
Post # 5
snmcdowell has a great idea. I’d also suggest looking into getting your own counselor. One of the many hardships of depression is how it effects loved ones. Talking to a trained professional will help you learn how to handle your mother’s disease as well as be a place for you to be honest about your feelings.
Your mom is seeking help so try to look at that as a bright side. She’ll work through this and so can you.
Post # 6
I’m so sorry you’re both having a hard time. Have you told her how you feel? I know it may seem like you’d be giving her a guilt trip but I’m sure you can phrase it so she knows you love her and want to be supportive; the last thing she would want would be for you to be unhappy during this exciting time. While it’s important that you respect her feelings, it’s equally important that you express yourself honestly. Maybe set aside some non-wedding time each week where you can just enjoy each other’s company? It’s so great that she’s seeking help — hopefully her counselor will give her some tools to help her enjoy this process with you.
Post # 7
- Wedding: July 2010 - The Tower Club
I am so sorry for your loss. I second the "document everything" approach. Your mom has several valid reasons for being depressed about your wedding (the most serious being the loss of a child). Depression has a way of twisting one’s view of the world, and it’s possible your mom just isn’t able to see how her depression affects your wedding planning. Later, when she is feeling better, she will appreciate that you’ve saved things for her to experience later.
Post # 8
I’m sorry Miss Trifle. I’m sorry your parents are divorce. I’m sorry your brother dies. ANd I’m sorry that all of that is now affecting your mom/daughter bonding time. What’s worse is that if your mom doesn’t come togehter, she’ll probablylook back and regret that those other painfully experiences continued to rob her of what’s supposed to be another wonderful life moment.
Have hope that counseling will bring her around. Maybe ask her if she’d like you to go with her one time. Maybe talk about the hub bub of wedding planning…
Post # 9
*Hugs* to you…this sounds so difficult.
I second all of this advice, including possibly talking to a therapist yourself. Wedding planning with good friends can be very fun and a great way to bolster those friendships. I’m also wondering, how is the loss of your brother affecting you? You might be distracted from its full impact now, but you don’t want to be blindsided by new feelings of mourning closer to your wedding.
Post # 11
Thanks for all your thoughts and ideas, girls. Fortunately my Maid/Matron of Honor is an excellent photographer, and she has been documenting the process.
august15bride, I’m so sorry to hear about your sister, and I’ll be thinking about both of you.
Habibi, thanks for the suggestion about seeing a counselor. I do have one that I have seen off and on since my twin died. I think you’re right that it might be time to make my own appointment.
MissMagnolia, I have told my mom how I feel, but it hasn’t really changed anything. I think that her own issues are bigger than her ability to think about mine right now. She’s not much for being needed in general, so when I tried to set up a weekly meal together after my brother died, she thought it was too much pressure on her. Setting up a time at this point (even if it’s non-weddingy) won’t work, I think. I’m certain that her depression goes back to that very difficult time, and it’s just now coming to the surface. I went through intense counseling after my twin’s death, but she couldn’t face things then.
fizicsGirl, I have definitely had to face the loss throughout the wedding planning process, so it won’t sneak up on me. Most of all, I wish my brother were here now. He’s the only one who can truly understand our parents and what they sometimes put us through.
More advice is welcome. Thank you again.