This week I was chatting to another SN Mum I met last year. We chatted about how we can defuse anger in ourselves and in others.
It’s so easy to listen to that internal narrative. You are angry, upset, irrational maybe and totally focussed on the thing that is causing you stress. It might be the unsuccessful meeting you attended this week, the annoying letter discharging your child from a service which they clearly shouldn’t have been (that was me last week) or the ‘well meaning’ comment from another parent/relative. You know the kind, right?
“When you get in your head, you’re dead.” Tony Robbins
You are so focussed, going over and over the experience in your mind and not seeing a way out of it – you are in your head totally. One of the best ways out of this is asking yourself or others open questions. No-one wants to hear ‘Don’t be silly’, ‘It’s fine’, or ‘Well, that’s not how I see it.’ None of that is helpful is it?
This constant going over and over in your head ultimately causes us suffering.
Feelings of anger, failure or rejection are totally normal. However, if you can’t ask yourself open questions to get perspective and make a plan, those feelings can lead to self-doubt, self judgement and negativity.
Changing your narrative can lead to perspective, knowledge of what is realistic and a plan for how to move the situation forward and get out of your head.
Initially, I was fuming that the hospital had sent out a standard letter discharging Freddie from Orthotics due to a ‘missed’ appointment. I had actually tried to get hold of them to explain that we couldn’t attend between Christmas and New Year but couldn’t connect with them. So, rather than getting myself into an angry state about the ridiculous waste of time and money writing to both me and my GP and then subsequent wasted time and effort it would cause to make an appointment to see the GP to get re-listed, I got asked myself a couple of questions. Can this be easily resolved? Yes. Is it a massive deal? No. Am I prepared to just get on with contacting them? Yes.
I wrote a firm but polite email explaining and suggesting the Trust look at their protocol. I received a really pleasant email within 24 hours acknowledging the situation, advising that he had been reinstated to the register and giving me a new appointment date and time. My contact also assured me she would pass on my thoughts to management. It possibly won’t make any difference but it’s always better to highlight it than not. So, yes it was irritating but i just let it go. I got out of my head. This was something quite small really but add that to the hundreds of other irritations we all have and it can all build up in a negative way.
This is a section of what I wrote:
“I have received a letter stating that my son has been discharged from Orthotics for missing one appointment, in line with Trust Policy.I did try to call a few times to inform you that we were unable to make the appointment due to two out of the five of us in our family having a bug. There was no-one available and I wasn’t able to leave a proper message.As a frequent user of the NHS for our disabled son, I fully appreciate the cost of missed appointments and the frustration it must cause when people repeatedly miss them. My apologies that on this occasion we did not attend. However, I would suggest that perhaps rather than wasting time and paper/postage writing to me and my GP and the further time and money for us having to re-register, it would be useful to look at our record of attendance and the patients needs. One phone call would have been sufficient for finding a solution.You will notice from his records that we have not previously missed any appointments. You will also clearly see that my son is disabled with a life long condition and will therefore most likely need these services for life.I would like you to reinstate Freddie to the surgical appliances register and I would be grateful for you to re-issue another appointment.I look forward to hearing from you with confirmation that the discharge has been lifted.”
Two of my three little heroes. xx