It’s very frustrating and hurtful when people think that you are not listening to or paying attention to them, while you are trying your best to act normal. This happen all the time with my daughter and the last thing I want her to think is that I don’t care or I don’t pay attention to what she has to say. It’s called mind fog and it’s common with chronic illnesses.
I know that it’s really important for kids and teenagers to feel that their parents are truly listening to what they have to say. It’s incredibly frustrating when I’m putting all my energy to keep up and still can’t due to mind fog.
On a good day, I’m the person who doesn’t only listen to your words, but to your tone, you body movements, your eyes, your subtle facial expressions. I interpret your silences and pauses. I can hear everything you are saying and all the things that you don’t say in words.
This is because I’m an introvert, but also because I took an active listening class back in high school. It was important to me to be present for people who needed to be heard and may not necessarily know how to put it into words.
This is why days where mind fog robs me from this skill is so frustrating. It robs me of a part of my personality, a part that I value.