Feeling Overwhelmed, son is ill

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  anita 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

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    The title pretty much says it.

    My mind is having a hard time.

    I was reading around here on this site last night as a way to distract myself.  I encountered a post by someone recommending this bald guy on youtube at  I really felt at peace after watching his vid about getting over the past.

    This evening, my mind once again feels in turmoil.  I feel mentally drained over having spent time grieving today.  I tried not to.  Then I tried allowing myself to grieve.  Then I tried focusing back on work so I can do my job.  Then I vented some to a friend.

    I fluctuate from feeling desperate, helpless, etc. to finding ways to be productive, then to seeking ways to cope. The meditation tho did help me gain inner calmness.

    I do not know if I shall force myself to behave as normal as possible so my body can stay in a sense of routine and familiarity, or should I just allow myself time to curl up in bed as right now, I could not care less to wash a dish or such.  Or maybe if I wash a dish it can help me stay in the present “now?”

    This am I made a list of things I have control over, and things I do not.  Things I  must surrender to.  What is possible of me, what is not posssible and needs my acceptance.


    What am I doing wrong?  How do I cope better with the fact my kid is suffering in chronic pain from his disability?  I feel so selfish!

    Oh, I did also write a letter reaching out to an organization this evening where they assist folks with his condition.


    Kevin Mahoney

    Hello Lyssan,

    I am can feel your anguish when I read your words. I am sorry for your pain. I will pray for you and your son. As I read I thought “support” , she needs support. This goes beyond meditation and distraction.  If you feel comfortable sharing your son’s condition please do. Someone in the online community here might be able to direct you towards resources you are unable to find on your own. No doubt that there are people who know the challenges you guys are facing and have gone through it themselves. Those people, if you can find them, are a potential source of help. Good luck.



    Dear Lyssan:

    Reads like you are aware of a lot of things: the importance of routine for you, the value of accepting what you cannot change, the value in being productive (changing what you can, that is), meditation and probably a lot more that you didn’t share about.

    Of course, there is no way to not feel badly at times, as you do. No way to feel okay all the time, for anyone, really.

    Your son has a disability and suffers from chronic pain as a result. It is my experience, when I was focused on a loved one’s pain, when I was overwhelmed with empathy, tortured by feeling too much of it, I wasn’t able to listen to the one I loved so much. I was in too much pain to listen. I projected my pain into the situation, not really seeing his.

    If you can gain some objectivity with your son, you will be able to listen to him better, I am thinking. Get to know his experience of his pain and of his life, separated from your experience of his pain and his life.




    Hi Lyssan,

    I’m very sorry to hear about your son. I know it is easier said than done, but worrying, and being upset (although very understandable), is not helping your emotional well-being. You need everything you have right now to be there for your son. Try not to get overwhelmed. One day at a time. Focus on things you have control over. Research his condition, are there any experimental research being done on his condition? Make a lot of calls for outside resources. You also need others. Others who are going through the same thing. Is there any way you can locate or create a group of parents who too are hurting, so you can be there for each other? To see each other through, to talk to, to vent, a listening ear. Also, I’m not sure if you attend church, but I am in bad health myself, and I talk to my former pastor. I was told the other day, they formed a prayer chain for me. They can do this for your son too. Reach out, pray, read, research, focus on a cure, the positives. When you start to dwell on the negatives, your son can pick up on the negative energy. Try not to go there. You need each other. God bless.



    Thank you all for your responses.  Sorry I took so long to find my way back here.



    I do appreciate you expressing the need for support.  I did read that that day and wept.  It is true and I am often having inner conflict on how to be strong that I forget to surrender to seeking and receiving enotional support.  Your words very timely, thank you!



    Yes, I think more objectivity would help us both.  I went to temple a few weeks before this post.  It was a classroom discussion and he asked what causes me suffering.  Without going into detail, I mentioned my sons illness. He metioned that in Buddhism, we are all equal.  I have since been tossing that thought around in my head to try to gather the meaning better.  He mentioned that he also is ill.  I get the feeling he himself may have a terminal illness.  While I do feel saddened also towards the teacher that evening, it does not compare to the sadness I feel for my son, I did not dwell in a state of suffering for him.  I am trying to sort out my beliefs that allow me to be more objective or seperate from the teachers suffering, but not my son’s.  I suspect that if I can see my son as equal importance as all others in the world, then maybe I will not force suffering upon myself via my view of his experiences?  Or maybe I elevate myself to a position of responsibility for son’s suffering and I need to adjust my self view/self importance?  Maybe I feel it is somehow my job to erase his suffering or make meaning of it. Idk, I’m still mulling this around.



    Thank you for your thoughts on my situation.  My worry does not necessarily serve the situation.  Tbh, to some extent though, it can be a motivating force for me to take action.  Had I not been so worried, I would not have tried coping via reaching out and obtaiinng some good info into his condition.  Yet, excessive worry and suffering on my part does not enhance this.  Sometimes I can feel guilty, so hearing this can be helpful.  My guilt over his difficulties really doesn’t lessen them.  Yes, he is very empathetic and can feel my ability to cope or not cope, very true.


    Thanks again for listening and replying…  This feels like such a taboo topic in my life.  No one cares for me to discuss this, it feels like an alienating topic so I am especially grateful for the interaction here.  After posting this, the next day my good friend “broke up” with me impulsively.  I think my life and sharing it with him suddenly became overwhelming.  My other friends would find the topic too depressing for me to disscuss much at all.  Anyway… thank you!!!




    Oh, forgot to mention…

    I did end up reaching out to the national organization for his major condition that evening.  They replied kindly with a long email of resources for me to spend time reviewing and researching.  I am still working on that at my pace.  It is a lot to digest.  I forward it to son for help figuring it all out.  So that was immensely helpful also.



    Dear Lyssann:

    You are welcome. Regarding objectivity and your visit to the Buddhist temple where the man told you that in Buddhism everyone is equal and that he too is ill: it is true, that in reality, every person is born equal in value. Every person feels pain and pain feels the same for every person, unpleasant, distressing. Every person suffers at times. And every person, knowing death is a certainty and sickness is always a possibility, feels anxious at times.

    It is wise to keep the bigger perspective in mind, the bigger picture of Reality.

    In that bigger picture of reality, there is you too: you are suffering too. Your suffering matters too and needs to be lessened, if possible, just like your son’s suffering.

    I hope you post again, anytime it may be helpful to you.


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