Cutting right to the chase is unusual for me. I’m wordy. I beat around the bush. I use long words, I’m not sure why. I use them without thinking, knowing what they mean but struggling to explain what they mean to others. I’m doing it again, being wordy.
So it should come as no surprise to learn that I’m pretty terrible at communication. Especially when it comes to communication with my husband, the person who is the closest to me in my life, the most important person to me and has been pretty much since we started dating in 1996. My way of telling him stuff has traditionally been for me to just assume he can pluck the information out of my head.
I also do a great line in sulking. Many times Elia has, sensing something is wrong, asked me ‘What is wrong?’. My frustrating response, ‘Nothing.’ This means ‘you should already know’.
Its quite funny I’m like this because Elia usually tells you how he sees it, and is not concerned if you don’t like the message! Whereas I get all worked up about how I assume the other person might feel about what I’m about to say, that it becomes really difficult to just spit it out.
What I’ve been learning lately is, communication is probably the most important thing ever in any relationship, and even more so when one of you has Parkinson’s. I’ve got to strive not to say I’m fine when Elia asks if I’m ok. I’ve got to work on facing stuff and being honest. Because we’re in this together, its not just me figuring this out, it is me and Elia, every day, with our kids, in our house. If I want or need something I have to say it.
I have just discovered a new podcast about Parkinson’s that I really like on Podbean called PDConnect by husband and wife Chad and Tonya Walker (Tonya is a person with Parkinson’s). I listened to an episode where they interviewed Dr Soania Mathur (‘Parenting with Parkinson’s – Challenges & Opportunities’ http://pdconnectpodcast.com/parenting-with-parkinsons-challenges-opportunities/) who is living with Parkinson’s and has done a lot of advocating for the Parkinson’s community. I could really relate to a lot of what they said. I especially heard and agreed with their message that communication as being the number one important thing that you need to do well to navigate these waters.
Elia has been telling me this for years, but I only hear it when someone other than him says it. Sorry love, I am a flawed individual. Even when I see my flaws and call them out, I still don’t change. But I’m seeing this communication thing now, I’m working to understand how to do it, and I’m calling it out, onto the stage, to sing and be a star.
Which reminds me of an amusing anecdote from today… I was hustling my kids into the car after a failed trip to the mall, which was in the process of ending in disaster as The Three Year Old was screaming at the top of her lungs. And Luka goes “Hey look Mum!”, and points at the pavement where someone has created a big chalk-drawn message that says “Use your voice!”
Yip. On to it.