Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: Now that my daughter is 1, I went to see a therapist for help. She diagnosed me with postpartum depression. Honestly, it’s a HUGE relief. Three years ago I got the same diagnosis (my son is 4 now). Back then (and now) I was treated with cognitive therapy and antidepressants. Back then (and I hope that now, too) I was happy and “on my own” after eight months. Everything good, right?
Except that my mother is a therapist and is HIGHLY AGAINST meds. When I mentioned I was going back to therapy she emailed (all in caps) stating that my “case” is not for meds and other statements of that tone. I replied that I was not going to read or hear anything else about my personal treatments or choices of therapy from her, only from my therapist. I haven’t heard from her again, which is rare.
It’s been a few days and I want to reach out and ask, “Hey, can we talk about other things?” but I don’t feel like it. Should I ask my sister? My mom lives abroad and, yes, she is an expert in her field.
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Your job now is to take care of yourself and, in doing so, your children. It is not your job to listen to, indulge, or make peace overtures toward your mom.
Besides, even experts in their field disagree.
I’m sorry your mom has chosen this as her hill to die on, and silence as her apparent response. If her patients asked her to treat them from overseas without so much as a telephone conference about their history and symptoms, she would refuse on principle.
If you can and want to, forgive her this blind spot — whatever helps you to focus on your work ahead with your therapist. If you find that’s harder now with your mom’s reaction rattling around in your head, then one way to manage that is by seeking a second opinion. Not to validate or satisfy her, but to put to rest to your own satisfaction any concerns she might have raised.
Dear Carolyn: I have been married for eight years and I’ve worn my engagement ring and wedding band every day. Early this week, my engagement ring caught on something and one of the prongs was bent pretty badly. Until I can get it fixed, I’m not wearing it for fear of losing the diamond.
I actually quite like not wearing my engagement ring. I’ve always managed to catch it on something or snag delicate scarves or sweaters with it. It’s a beautiful ring and I love that my husband picked it out for me, and I know it would hurt his feelings for me to say I don’t want to wear it every day. We can’t afford to have the ring reset to a flatter setting that won’t catch on things.
Is there a way to tell him that I like going without the ring without making him feel like I’m rejecting this very meaningful gift?
Just Wearing My Wedding Band
Tell him you’re not going to fix it, but rather start saving to have it reset; next time it catches, you might severely injure your hand — and not recover the stone.
Email Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at 10 a.m. each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.