Thanks Mom but no.
July 31, 2012 3:58 PM   Subscribe

I've got surgery coming up and Mom wants to be there for me. I don't want her there. How do I navigate this?

As a result of many years of alcohol abuse, my mother is very unstable. A hyponatremic coma two years ago left her with permanent brain and muscle damage. She isn't even sixty yet but she is as frail and unsteady on her feet as an 80 year old, constantly shaking, can't remember anything, scared of everything, undernourished because she won't eat, covered in unexplained sores... and that's on a good day. Other days, there's all of that AND she acts drunk as well: slurring, repeating herself, stumbling, falling down. You never know which version you're going to get, and sometimes it unexpectedly goes from bad to worse half way through spending time with her. Lately it's to the point that it freaks me out to go anywhere with her because I'm terrified she's going to hurt herself just walking down the street. Over the years she's broken bones, been in car accidents and gone to jail, spent weeks in the hospital, all because of her alcoholism.

Needless to say our relationship is very dysfunctional. She absolutely refuses to discuss any of this with me and will not get help, she downplays it, lies about it or simply won't acknowledge it, her mantra is "I'm fine," even when it is absolutely crystal clear she is anything but "fine." We end up faking "fine" an awful lot. She just barely manages to hold down a job and support herself though I don't know how much longer she'll be able to sustain that. I don't know if she's ever been diagnosed with anything but I'm sure she's got issues with depression, narcissism, self esteem, codependency and anything else you can imagine that goes along with many years of alcoholism.

I'm having surgery at the end of this month and she is insisting on being present for it. Surgery will likely take several hours and I'll be awake for it but not able to move around. My dad and boyfriend will be there too (my parents have been divorced for 30 years and are superficially civil with each other but don't spend any kind of time together, my Dad isn't totally aware of the extent of my mother's problems.) She wants to be there for me, but I don't trust her to be able to keep herself together for that many hours, and I won't be in any kind of position to manage the situation (keep her from falling down, remove her if she gets out of hand, try to get food into her...) Not to mention I'm just plain embarrassed by her. My boyfriend is strongly suggesting I tell her she's not invited because he knows it's going to be really stressful for me if she is there. He's right, but doing that opens up the whole long-term can of worms and may not be effective anyway (she'll have hurt feelings, she'll deny that she has a problem, she'll promise that she'll handle herself, and may even show up anyway. Or if not, she may feel so sorry for herself and unloved that she will stay home, drink too much, fall down, slip into a coma, I don't know what. Yes, I am catastrophizing, but it's based on experience.)

I know this is a huge overall issue, and I have started therapy. (It feels like a drop in a bucket compared to a hurricane.) I don't know what kind of treatment if any she is getting, if any. The topic is off the table for discussion.

What should I say to her about "being there for me" at my surgery?
posted by thrasher to Human Relations (35 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Can you get your doctor to say "only two people allowed" and then make your apologies for having invited bf and dad first?
posted by Michele in California at 4:04 PM on July 31, 2012 [14 favorites]

If it were me, I would tell her that I did not want her to be present for the surgery, and that if she did show up, you would have the hospital escort her out. They can and will do that.
posted by InsanePenguin at 4:06 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

What should I say to her about "being there for me" at my surgery?

Not that you should be worried even in the slightest about her hurt feelings or whatever might follow your "rejection" of her, but since you don't feel up to just saying no, maybe you can think of some things she can do to "help" you at your home (laundry, fresh sheets, dinner) so that you're setting it up as though she and your boyfriend are a kind of tag team, with him on first shift and her on second.
posted by headnsouth at 4:06 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Surgery is stressful enough without having to worry about who is "invited." Your wellness comes first.

If she weren't so frail and compromised, I would suggest just flat out telling her "no," consequences be damned. But maybe to protect her a bit, you could white lie, for example, tell her to come the next day during your recovery instead (if you are OK with that), that you can't have visitors, or (if she doesn't know what day/time it is yet) don't tell her until it's over.

If the truth must be told, be gentle ("I appreciate that you want to be there for me, but I want to do this on my own. Please respect my wishes.") but tell hospital staff to not let her in if she shows up.
posted by dayintoday at 4:08 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

Best answer: Yep, boundaries. I am sorry you are dealing with this. My line with my dad was

"Thank you so much for the offer, unfortunately I'm not going to be able to have you there so why don't we plan for $_LATERTHING and we can catch up then?"

No excuses, just a flat "You can not be there" This isn't an invitation situation. Do not tell her where or when it is other than the barest of outlines and if she pushes just tell her that you can't have her there and it's not a topic open for discussion. If she shows up she will be removed.

All the other agonizing issues with your mom are for another time (and good to work on in therapy) but if this is important to you, it's okay to just put up a wall for the sake of yourself and your dad and boyfriend and just say "No." You don't owe her an explanation and you don't have to get into a fight with her and you don't have to negotiate with her. The answer is no. You will be in an uncomfortable situation and managing her or worrying about her appearance will make it worse.

Your mom is behaving poorly. She is behaving like an alcoholic. You can't manage and control her as much as you'd like to and you have a worst case scenario in your head that is causing you stress. It's okay to have a me-centered approach to this. Your mother should not be like a child you have to manage, and your story [right down to the "I don't want to turn their unreasonable requests down because that might make their drinking/injury/mood disorder WORSE" concerns] sounds sadly familiar and I could have written parts of it myself. You'll feel better about this when you forgive yourself and absolve yourself for responsibility for your mothers addiction and/or terrible choices.

She is not invited. It's not negotiable. You may luck out and she'll realize that this is because she's unreasonable but probably not. I hope it all goes okay.
posted by jessamyn at 4:14 PM on July 31, 2012 [30 favorites]

Your mom sounds a lot like my mom, and consequently, I understand your reluctance to just tell her no. I once had a conversation with my younger sister about establishing healthy family boundaries. She looked at me and said, in a completely serious voice, "Mom is NOT going to like that!" And yeah, she was right.

You're having surgery, not throwing a party, and therefore, you don't need to issue invitations. It sounds like her presence will be a detriment to your overall recovery.

I would tell her that you have enough help between your boyfriend and your dad, and maybe suggest meeting up with her for lunch or something once you're feeling better if that's something you're comfortable with.

I also second the idea mentioned above of having your doctor say something about only two people being allowed at the hospital. Would your dad be willing to step in and talk to her?
posted by easy, lucky, free at 4:31 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

You are going to have to lie.

I know it sucks, but that is what your life has to be like with a mom like that. You can either tell her the truth and have it out (probably won't work) or just lie and save the drama.

If you don't want to tell her the "Doctor says two people" thing (because she might show up and try to talk the staff into letting her in anyway, that's what my mom would do) then you could give her the wrong time for the surgery. A time well after you'd already be done. If you're scheduled for Monday at 9:00 AM then tell her you're going in at 6:00 PM, or that it's actually on Tuesday morning instead. Then the poor hospital staff will have to deal with what will seem like a crazy, confused woman (maybe you'll get lucky and they'll commit her.)

I have a crazy mom too and I understand how mentally and emotionally exhausting it can be just to try to have a normal life. Stressful experiences are doubly hard. MeMail me if you need to chat.
posted by TooFewShoes at 4:39 PM on July 31, 2012 [9 favorites]

I'd also tell her a later date for the surgery. Then, after your surgery is done, tell her that your doctor was able to move up the schedule at the last minute. Give yourself a margin of a few days.
posted by quince at 4:54 PM on July 31, 2012 [14 favorites]

Response by poster: She makes a habit of lying, I don't want to as well. In the long run it certainly won't make things easier. Plus, she already knows the date and time, and telling her only one or two people allowed wouldn't stop her from turning up anyway.

I'm thinking of letting her think she's attending for the next month, then send her an email in the day or two before saying essentially what I said in my first post (maybe softened.) Thoughts?
posted by thrasher at 5:15 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Thanks Mom but no.

You already wrote it perfectly right there. She's making this about what she wants and not about what's best for you during your recovery.

You have the right to tell her no. You don't have to lie about anything. Lying about it makes it sound like she has a right to be there and you should feel bad denying her this time with you. That's not how it is. Pick your boundary and hold firm.
posted by 26.2 at 5:30 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing to the ultimate that you have the right to lie or to tell her no or to tell her whatever you want, whatever is the least stressful for you, and forget about how it makes her feel. This type of lying is not what your mom has been doing.

A normal person's response to hearing that you're having surgery is to ask what they can do. Most would assume that you would NOT want anyone there DURING a conscious surgery. (Even if they were 100% sure that you totally love them and their presence at any hour of the day). They MIGHT offer to provide transportation. And they would NOT be offended to hear that you have an escort already and don't want to see anyone until you've reached a certain point in your recovery. If your mom isn't following these normal types of behavior, then you don't have to act 'normal' either -- do what you need to and lean on those who can help (i.e., bf and dad).
posted by Tandem Affinity at 5:53 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

See if you can arrange for the hospital to not give out any information if anyone asks for it. See if your stay can be flagged as confidential, meaning nobody, but the persons involved in your care and whomever else you might give your room number/phone number to, can get any information about you if they call the hospital. I'm not sure how this would affect the phone number/customer pin number they might give you to give to select people who can then call and find out how you are doing.

Good luck with the surgery.
posted by SillyShepherd at 5:59 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Can you tell her the surgery's been delayed, then arrange to have your stay considered confidential by the hospital staff? See if the hospital has a privacy official you can ask about these things. I'm sure you won't be the first patient to have this situation. Scheduling changes can come up with regard to availability of operating tables, and dates do change.
posted by SillyShepherd at 6:05 PM on July 31, 2012 [7 favorites]

I sympathize. My dad has Alzheimer's. My mother had to quit her job a few years ago to care for him around the clock. She is chronically stressed out and short of sleep. My sister has been battling cancer for years. They mean well but some of their attempts to be helpful cause problems and asking them to stop tends to fall on deaf ears, plus they tend to take it as personal rejection rather than a practical matter.

I don't lie well so that wouldn't work even if I tried. I have taken to lying by ommission and generally trying to sidestep certain issues when possible. It isn't done to be disrespectful. They don't have the time, energy and fortitude to wrestle with me over bs and I don't have it either. I consider it a form of curtesy to avoid hurting their feelings and wasting everyone's time and energy.

If it is possible to diplomatically avoid the issue, do so. But also do as someone else said and tell hospital staff she cannot be there, it isn't safe for her, you, or other people. Do all in your power to not wind up feeling like you are at fault for a drunken accident but if you have tried your best and it happens anyway, make your peace with not having godlike powers to protect her from herself, especially given that you are facing surgery so your plate is likely pretty full even without this issue.

Best of luck.
posted by Michele in California at 6:10 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'm thinking of letting her think she's attending for the next month, then send her an email in the day or two before saying essentially what I said in my first post (maybe softened.)

Wouldn't this just result in a huge, stressful scene right before your surgery? And, from you said in your post, she just might show up anyway.

I understand that you don't want to lie and I agree that lying would not be a good long-term strategy. But, given the seriousness of the circumstances (surgery), the fact that this won't be a regular thing (assuming that is so), and all the ways that things can go wrong is she shows up, perhaps you might consider making an exception.

I hope you find something that works for you.
posted by she's not there at 6:49 PM on July 31, 2012 [8 favorites]

It appears that your father is very supportive of your needs. Would it be possible for him to spend some time between now and when your surgery is to take place getting reacquainted with her and seeing if he can handle her needs for those hours while you will be in surgery? Perhaps he can persuade her to accompany him on a walk around the hospital grounds or even up and down the street outside the hospital just to keep her distracted. This can't happen if they suddenly meet that morning, but if he starts to re-enter her life one day at a time over the next few weeks, maybe it could become possible by that time. Worth a try? My adult son spent the six hours I was in surgery keeping my wife entertained and it made all of the difference.
posted by Old Geezer at 8:51 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

You'll have to just tell her and throw in a white lie or two. "Mom, I love you, and I really appreciate that you want to help, but I'm going to be very tired and cranky after my surgery and the best way for you to help me would be for you to let me rest and recover. Once I'm home I would love to visit."
posted by xyzzy at 10:23 PM on July 31, 2012

I agree with she's not there that this is a time to make an exception to your "no lying" rule. Not all lying is dysfunctional but it sounds like because of your history with your mom you have an extreme aversion to all lies, even the little white ones that can help living among other people go more smoothly. If you lie about this is doesn't make you like your mom, it doesn't mean you're going down a slippery slope of lying all the time, it just means you're doing what you need to do to protect yourself.

I think your plan of waiting until the last minute would be really stressful, both in terms of the wait and in terms of the emotional explosion just before surgery when you're supposed to be as well rested and calm as possible. Lying is ok in this situation and not dysfunctional. I recommend it.
posted by hazyjane at 10:24 PM on July 31, 2012 [5 favorites]

Yeah, I know you don't want to lie, but it'll save you a load of trouble and it's the kindest thing to do for everyone involved here. Tell her it's been delayed to a date that's a couple weeks after the actual surgery; then once you've had it, tell her it was an emergency or that there was a last minute open slot or something. Two weeks should give you enough time to recover that her visit, if she still comes, won't be too bad.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:31 PM on July 31, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: "I appreciate you wanting to be there for the surgery, but I don't want you there; you might not think your drinking is a problem for you, but it is a problem for me, and my mental health is as important as my physical health when going through surgery. I'll have someone contact you afterwards to tell you how it turned out."

Then sigh the deep sigh of peace knowing you said it, and it was the truth, and when you arrive at the hospital make sure they know that she is not to be allowed to see you.
posted by davejay at 10:51 PM on July 31, 2012 [7 favorites]

I'm thinking of letting her think she's attending for the next month, then send her an email in the day or two before saying essentially what I said in my first post (maybe softened.) Thoughts?

No no no no no. This makes it negotiable by definition. No. When my mom wanted to "help take care of me" after surgery in a way that would have been quite the opposite, I dissuaded her, and I have never regretted it for a moment. In truth, "being present" is a little overrated as a gesture of support unless it's very, very explicitly a priority of the person having the surgery.

My rationale to my mom was that I've got the logistics (transport, food, meds, basics) for all needs arranged handily, and anything extra help is not helpful at that particular point. I did make sure she was called when i got out of surgery, which was HUGE in making her feel involved.

I told her that what I needed from her as a mom was to be available to chat on the phone during my recovery, and I made sure to do that. Yeah, it was more for her benefit, but also, I was on painkillers and a familiar voice and uh-huh conversation was nice and low-pressure, because getting groggy was totally legit. WAY more helpful than having her there in person.
posted by desuetude at 12:02 AM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

Best answer: I recently dealt with this same issue. It is part of drawing and enforcing your boundaries to say "no, I don't want you there."

Look, you either have to lie--which you're taking a stand against--or you have to tell the truth in a non-negotiable way. "No, I do not want you there. It will cause me stress and compromise my recovery. I have all the help I need, thank you."

It's exhausting being the adult when your mom is acting like this, I know. But you are strong, and I believe you can also be the adult who says what she needs. You have needs. They trump her needs. Say no.

Good luck.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 1:59 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: You tell her she can't be there and deal with whatever fallout that conversation brings.

You tell the hospital that your mother has been told she cannot be at your side on the day but that she has issues and that you worry she will turn up anyway. They will handle that side of things, should she decide to turn up as you expect. She should absolutely not be able to get into the surgery with you if you don't want her there.

Spend the next few sessions with your therapist leading up to the surgery talking about the catastrophizing you do around what could happen if she't not allowed to be there.
posted by koahiatamadl at 2:33 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Can you give her another duty that will make her feel needed, but keep her occupied and somewhere else? If she is a good cook, good housekeeper, good finder of books- tell her you desperately need her to do thing X and you have no one else who can do it.

I would not recommend springing this on her late though, she will need time to absorb the idea.
posted by nat at 4:28 AM on August 1, 2012

Call the hospital. You can't possibly be the first person to have unwanted visitors at the hospital. Ask how they handle this stuff and what they can do to help if she does show up anyway.

I understand your aversion to lying, but from what you've written it sounds like she is completely determined to be there and not at all willing to hear the truth about what you need or want. It may be the only way you can get your needs met here, other than hiring a body guard to stand outside your OR. I am generally against lying, but this is not a lie I would have a problem with. If people disrespect your boundaries and won't listen to your honest statements about what you need and what works for you, they don't deserve your openness.

I like quince's idea.
posted by bunderful at 4:50 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

Best answer: You need to give yourself a break. You are not your mother's keeper. You are not responsible for her in this world. She makes decisions and what happens as a result of those decisions is on her. Not you.

Check out Al-Anon, they're a great resource for strategies for dealing with alcoholics, and for help understanding how your actions fit into all of this. There, you'll find folks who know all of this only too well and who can give you support in moving forward, not just for this one event, but for the rest of your life.

As for this, you are going to have to establish a boundary. This is between you and your mom, and this time, you're going to have to choose to act in YOUR best interest.

Treat this as a mini-intervention. "Mom, I love you and I want what's best for you, but more importantly, I want what's best for me. Your alcoholism affects me in the following ways: you're unstabile, I never know if you'll be calm or argumentative, you're frail and I worry about how you might hurt yourself. Right now, this is about me, not you, and I need to be as calm as possible, and I can't get to that state if I'm thinking about you or worried about you. I know that you believe that being in the waiting room during my surgery is being supportive, and I appreciate that, but it will stress me out. Please stay home. I promise, I'll have someone call you and let you know how I am once it's finished. When I'm up to visiting, then we can see each other, but I don't need you at the hospital during the surgery. I'm leaving instructions for the staff not to let you in, and I expect that you'll abide by my wishers."

Do this as soon as possible. Be loving and be firm.

Your mom should not have this much power in your life. I think you know that. You now need to work on ACTING on that knowledge.

Good Luck.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:21 AM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

In your position, I would tell her that the surgery's been rescheduled.

If you really, really can't lie to her about it, then try to make her part of your recovery plans. Tell her that boyfriend/dad have it covered immediately after, but you're REALLY going to need someone to ___ - pick up food, bring over books, call on the phone to keep you distracted (making sure that they're things you can live without when she doesn't come through).
posted by lemniskate at 6:30 AM on August 1, 2012

Talk to your doctor and tell him or her that you're worried that the stress will make recovery from surgery more difficult. He or she will almost certainly agree that stress is contraindicated. If you aren't able to talk directly to the doctor, talk to his or her nurse.

Then you can truthfully tell your mother that medical staff told you to minimize your stress level.
posted by desjardins at 8:12 AM on August 1, 2012 [4 favorites]

Ask anybody who has had (1) a hospital birth and (2) a large troublesome family and they will tell you that nurses make the best bouncers.

I'm thinking of letting her think she's attending for the next month, then send her an email in the day or two before saying essentially what I said in my first post (maybe softened.) Thoughts?

That's lying, too, and way more complicated than just lying about the date of the surgery or telling her flat out she's not welcome.
posted by that's how you get ants at 8:41 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

What are the chances of ACTUALLY having the surgery rescheduled one day sooner? It's a big cop-out and it may cause a ton of problems for other people besides your mother, but if it's the only way to resolve this issue with your mother, maybe it would work for you. I don't actually recommend this, but I thought I would throw it out there to think about.
posted by CathyG at 9:33 AM on August 1, 2012

I'm sure this sounds awful, but for the record, one of the best stress-reducers I ever learned was how to lie to my mother.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 10:47 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

You have to choose how to deal with her. If you want to try for superficial niceness, then you lie. Or, you keep her out of the loop, and don't tell her about your life; too late in this case.

Or you are honest, as kindly as possible. Jess nailed it. Your Mom is not capable of "being there for you." She's not going to be capable of that, or of having a meaningful relationship with anyone. Not while her alcoholism is so severe. The better your boundaries are, the better you will be able to cope.

The hospital will be very good at dealing with her. Tell them, and they'll deal with her. They will not be at all surprised by your request; they will have dealt with this before, often.

that opens up the whole long-term can of worms and may not be effective anyway (she'll have hurt feelings, she'll deny that she has a problem, she'll promise that she'll handle herself, and may even show up anyway. Or if not, she may feel so sorry for herself and unloved that she will stay home, drink too much, fall down, slip into a coma, I don't know what. Yes, I am catastrophizing, but it's based on experience.)

You are not catastrophizing, you are making plans based on predictable behavior.
You cannot control her. You can't stop her from drinking too much. You have been propping her up, literally, but she's going to drink and act out. If she doesn't drink herself into a coma this month, then something will hurt her feelings next month, etc. I recommend you define, for yourself, your boundaries. How far will you go to protect her from her illness? How much of your own life and health will you compromise to try to keep her from harm?

I believe it's good to be compassionate to people. She is a serious addict. Stopping by frequently with food is a loving thing to do. Frequent (brief) phone calls. Telling her you love her, which you obviously do. You can talk to her about her addiction without being confrontational. You can disengage yourself from her unhealthy choices. If she arrives anyplace where you are, your job, home, hospital stay, etc., and she's drunk, put her in a cab home. If she calls and is drunk, tell her "Mom, I love talking to you when you're sober. I'm getting off the phone now." Etc. You can go to Alanon.

I'm so sorry your Mom has this terrible illness, and that it takes such a toll on her and on you. Your love and compassion for her are admirable.
posted by theora55 at 1:08 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks all for your input. Mom is used to being the number one person I go to, even though she's not been very reliable for that for many years, so telling her "thanks but dad and bf have got it" will make no sense to her unless I'm brutally honest about why. I think I'm just going to have to say that - "I appreciate you wanting to be there for me and help me out, but I worry about you a lot when we're together. I'm concerned that you won't be able to handle several hours of waiting, that you'll have one of your "episodes," that you won't eat and you'll fall down… just thinking about it is upsetting me and I really don't want the added stress of worrying about you while they're carving into my face."

On the lying front, I could see telling her only ONE person is allowed and it's the bf, because we live together and she knows he's my ride home (letting my mother drive me home is out of the question, her driving scares the shit out of me). That would require telling my dad thanks but no thanks, or something, but he'd be a lot more understanding than she would and wouldn't take it anywhere near as personal.

On a variation of that, perhaps they could do "shifts" - she could sit in the waiting room for the first hour or two then go the hell home and let dad/bf take over. The surgery isn't until 5pm, she has a dog that will need attention, she hates driving at night, etc - there are all sorts of reasons she shouldn't wait the whole time.

Because of timing of a number of other events (the surgeon's schedule, overseas visitors, my work schedule and for cosmetic reasons), rescheduling the surgery to earlier or later isn't possible.

I don't want to drag my Dad into having to manage her, my relationship with him is somewhat superficial and that would be asking an awful lot of him. if I absolutely cannot avoid my mother being there I would more likely ask my boyfriend to run interference and handle her, feed her, etc.

As for redirecting her and suggesting she help out with some other aspect of it, I really don't trust her with anything. I don't want her driving anywhere on my behalf, she doesn't cook, I don't want her in our house (she's a major snoop)… maybe if I think harder about it I can come up with something she can do, but I'm coming up dry at the moment.

If I tell her now that I don't want her there that gives her a month to guilt me, try to change my mind, feel sorry for herself and make our already strained relationship even moreso. If I tell her in the day or two before and say "I'm really stressed out enough already by surgery alone, please don't make it worse" I'm hoping the immediacy of the surgery will force her to comply to my wishes, then hopefully she'll have the decency not to lay a guilt trip on me during recovery.

Thank you all again for your input, it really helps to get other perspectives. I appreciate it. Any counter-arguments or other suggestions are welcome.
posted by thrasher at 2:53 PM on August 1, 2012

Yeah, I would hold off on telling her she can't attend until sooner to the surgery date, but I would TELL her. The lying opens up an even bigger can of worms, and it won't do a thing for the overall problem - in fact - it guarantees tons of drama right after your surgery, which is exactly when you don't want it.

I'm a bit concerned about how you're worried about managing everyone else's experience during your surgery. You're jumping through hoops right now trying to find a way to make everyone as happy as possible - except yourself. Can you schedule a couple more therapy sessions before your surgery to deal with this particular situation? You may be able to get some great techniques for building and re-inforcing your boundaries.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:28 PM on August 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Update: At the last minute the surgeon suggested radiation therapy instead. After meeting with the radiologist I decided to go with that. Surgery - and Mom involvement - averted, at least for now. Thanks for all the input in this thread.
posted by thrasher at 3:31 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

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