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Diana talks about directives, part 10

May 18, 2011
Lisa Newburger, L.I.S.W.-S./a.k.a. Diana Directive provides humorous ways to deal with difficult topics. Check out Diana’s webpage at
It was awful … to learn my waterproof makeup wasn't waterproof. My co-worker Iris really upset me. I couldn’t handle it, so I made an appointment to see the social worker Marsha up at the hospital. It was quite embarrassing to talk to someone about my problems. But, I am lost and don’t know what to do. How am I supposed to do my job and take care of my mom? I can’t do it… I don’t want to do it. Why can’t my dad be a man and take care of her? I hate being an only child.
There is no one there for me. Bruce is great as a friend, but I need someone to take care of me. I know that I come across as a ditzy airhead at times, but the truth is it is easier to keep this “wall” up instead of letting people know the “real” me. Have you ever felt that way? I am not an idiot. I only play dumb so that I can get free drinks in bars as I look for my prince. I want men to like me. It isn’t insecurity. I call it strategy, but this crisis is taking its toll on me. I am not even flirting anymore!I’ll tell you a secret. At times, I want it to be over already. Why can’t she just die? I know that that is a horrible thing to say, let alone think. But, this has gone on for so long. When can I get back to my life of shopping, entertaining, and botox?The social worker was very honest with me. “Diana, you are having normal feelings. Give yourself permission to get mad and angry. It is ok.” Me… angry? I really don’t do anger. I try to always be positive, but it’s hard. But, I do get angry when people don’t take me seriously. What am I going to do? I went back to the office and talked to Marissa my office manager.“Marissa, I need your help.”“Ok, what’s up?”“I am going through a really difficult time right now, and I just can’t handle the stress.”“Diana, what if we talked to the girls and you told them how you are feeling?”“I don’t know if I can do that. I am afraid they might gang up on me. I just don’t have the energy now for that.”“I think you should give it a try. I will arrange a dinner after work so that we can sit down and talk about this away from the office.”“You handle it. I need to be at the hospital every night after work.”“Ok Diana, I will talk to them.”I felt better after that conversation, but now I have to get back to the hospital. They texted me “Your mom is awake.” This is good news, right? I hope she can talk and tell me what to do. Maybe she will get back to her normal self where she puts me down all the time. Maybe I will luck out and she will change into that loving mother I always wanted. That would take a miracle from God. But, what a delicious fantasy that would be!Racing back to the hospital, I found mom was being fed some lumpy pudding. Gross! Looking at me, she said…. “Di.” She can’t be talking to me. Maybe she thought I was Princess Diana. Something… seemed… off. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It wasn’t that she looked horrific with matted down hair and no make- up on. Note to self… keep the mirror and sharp objects away from her. I had tried to keep up her appearances in the beginning, but it took too much energy. Something was different. Ethan the intern asked to meet with me outside the room. I followed him out. “Diana, we don’t know if she will be able to regain her language and cognitive skills.”“What does that mean?”“We don’t know if she can understand things and be able to communicate with us.”“Is she brain damaged?”“That is a possibility. We just don’t know yet. We are going to keep evaluating her.” I never thought about what if mom doesn't die. What if I have to put her in a nursing home? Please God, help me through this mess… I am really scared. If you have ever had an experience like this, please email me at [email protected]. I feel alone and really could benefit from hearing about your experience.
Editor's Note: To read past installements of "Diana Directive," please click here.