Mike and Lynne came to the meeting yesterday. We briefly discussed the new website which will be more or less completed by the end of the month. You can look at it now if you are interested by clicking on www.headwaysouthwestwales.org.uk. Any comments or suggestions will be gratefully received. Hopefully, the website will attract more people to our group. If it doesn’t then I’ll keep coming for as long as people turn up.
The other announcement is that the get together this year is on 3 June in St Fagans, Cardiff. It’s not certain but I believe a bus will leaving from central Swansea to take those that want it to the venue. The plan is to start with a couple of icebreaker exercises to help people connect with people from the other branches. Lunch will be laid on. Then people will have a choice of going on a treasure hunt or joining a music session led by a highly recommended music therapist who is happy for people to just sit in if that’s how they want to participate.
Lynne said that she’s been having a challenging time of it with an acquaintance who suddenly started to snub her. Her first response was to feel very hurt. She tried to reconnect but without success. She then decided to avoid contact which was difficult because she bumped into her every weekday. We discussed how avoidance tends to maintain anxiety and distress. In this instance, it also reinforced Lynne’s underestimation of her ability to manage the situation with strength and confidence.
Lynne said that this challenging experience had yielded unexpected rewards. She said that she had been keeping her mother in law at a distance but had found that her mother in law’s robust support has enabled her to be in that acquaintances vicinity – though she still snubs Lynne. The reason for the snubbing is unclear but Lynne’s best guess is that it’s probably because Lynne and Luke didn’t sell their house to her daughter, and she has similarly snubbed several other people in the village. Lynne said that she is grateful to her mother in law and appreciates her strong character.
The other big plus is that she has been meditating more and has found that that is enabling her to develop a more assertive response. She’s still a bit angry with the acquaintance but she’s on a path that she hopes will end in her maintaining a compassionate distance. She has been meditating in a Buddhist centre. Though not Buddhist herself it has been a joy to meditate with people who are so welcoming and positive.
Mike told us about his short break with his son in Amsterdam. He said they had a great time. Lots of laughs plus a bit of football. He said that they missed their flight back because they were so involved talking at the airport. Fortunately, they got the next flight back at no extra charge.
We talked about how well Mike is getting on with his children. He has been very worried about how they would cope with their parents’ divorce. Since the break-up he has decided to do whatever he could to show them that he is there for them. His current good relationships with them show that he was successful. This led us to discuss the fact that the most important thing for children is to know that their parents accept them as they are. Whether they have lots of money or a high-status job is far less important than knowing their parents love them. That is true for all families including those with a parent who has a brain injury.
The next meeting will be at 1.15pm on Monday 8th May 2017 in Llewellyn Hall, Swansea Road, SA4 9AQ (Take the Gorseinon exit from Junction 47 of the M4, turn first left at the next roundabout, and Llewellyn Hall is almost on the immediate left, next to the church).