Perception Is The Mother Of All Mis-Information

Everyone approaches situations differently. Perception can vary between individuals thus skewing each person's view of situations.


A few of you know that my mother has not been doing well this year. She was in hospital for the first 3 months of this year and is once again, on the inside. Without going into too much detail, my mother is 86, has had 3 open heart surgeries, part of her small intestine removed plus a host of other problems.

Let me tell you that nothing catapults you back into your original family unit then when one of your parents is really sick. You are thrust into dealing with your siblings on a daily basis as opposed to the occasional family holiday or phone call. Differences in your personalities are magnified in crisis situations. (I will leave those details for another post and/or therapy session)

Anyway, suffice it to say that it has been difficult for a multitude of reasons. But one of the biggest problems that keep surfacing is our individual answers to the following:

  • Is she getting better or worse?
  • Are the doctors doing everything they can?
  • Are the nurses treating her right when we are not there?

Every one of us would answer each of those questions differently. Why is that?

I can only answer that two ways:either my family is hearing impaired or their perception of the information shared with them is skewed. Considering they can hear what is being said about mom at the nurses station down the hall, I have to go with #2. And why is that? Attitude.

For example: The doctor says “We hope A will happen but B might. If B happens, then we have to do C”.

Awesome. I come away with, we have a plan of action. Everyone else:B is happening right now! Say what? Were we all just in the same meeting? Panic ensues.

Yes, I am a very positive person. Yes, I always think there is hope.

I’m not delusional in my positivity. I realize that my mom is really ill and there is always a chance that she may not make it but I refuse to dwell on that or surround her with negativity. Everyone else is the complete opposite and I see it affects her greatly.

Why? Why would anyone do that? Why would you make someone live in constant fear on top of everything else going on? Why would you not be a ray of sunshine in someone’s life when they feel like they are surrounded by darkness? Why would you project your own fears on to a person that is already filled with their own?

I will continue to believe in her recovery. I will continue to nurture her mental wellness. I will continue to believe that this is not her time till the very end. That’s just the way I am.

Do you think that attitude affects one’s perception of situations or conversations?

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  1. Perception really is majorly important. I am by nature a glass half full person, but I know when my anxiety and self doubt cast a less positive shaddow over me, situations can look very different to how they do when im well.

    1. Everyone is guilty of that once in a while but for some people it can really snowball. Anxiety and self-doubt is a terrible thing. I hope you are doing well right now.

  2. Everything is perception, and we all have our own filters, which makes everyone’s story different. Nice that we at least get to choose our reality. Good for you for staying in the positive, there’s just no joy in the alternative. Hugs to you in this challenging time.

    1. Thank you Kimberly. It’s the only way I know how to be in this situation. I realize everyone has their own coping strategies but why choose one that sinks you further? I’m sure it’s not her time. She will probably end up out living all of us!

  3. Your attitude/perception, from your mums side, is probably ‘just what the doctor ordered’.

    Bless your beautifullness hun… I’m sorry your Mum’s so poorly, (which despite your positivity), must be such a worry for you. I wish her (and you) well. *hugging you* x

  4. Thank goodness at least one of you is thinking that way. Attitude is King. It can rub off on others too. Both my parents are in their late 80s and over the last 20 years, they have both had Cancer. My sister and I have NEVER subscribed to the doom and gloom approach. We were like you, we stayed positive and supported them by being at every appointment, asking questions, doing our own research. We did not tell anyone else in the family until they were both well again. We believed that if people were sitting around talking about our parents as if they were going to die, it would be a bad thing. My dad had bowel cancer two years ago at 87 – he is now thriving again after having major surgery – none of us ever accepted death as an option. We were very lucky that he survived because so many do not. I am sure that even with a positive attitude, of course people still die – but you have to try. Thank you for your story and I wish you all well.

    1. Thank you for sharing your story as well Gilly. I’m so glad your dad is better now. I think another issue with my family is that they can’t seem to grasp that recovery time is so much longer as we age. Just be patient. Keep them positive, encourage physical therapy and celebrate small victories. Enjoy the time you do have, regardless of the final outcome. Thank you so much for your support.

  5. As a stage 4 cancer survivor who was given a year at best to live, I can tell you with all assuredness that attitude and perception is EVERYTHING. YOU have the right attitude. I went thru this same thing when I, myself was ill and when both of my parents were. It was so sad and frustrating and irritating that other family members had this doom and gloom perspective.. I didn’t let them around me. – Peace and comfort to you and your mom.

    1. Thank you for posting the view from the other side. It is comforting to know I am making a difference no matter what happens. Thank you for your kind wishes and I hope you are celebrating your life to the fullest.

  6. I totally know what you mean and you even see it from the health care providers. It is as if the negative is easier to accept than the positive possibilities. Perhaps that is their way of coping and preparing for what they see as an eventuality? I don’t know, I’m with you, let’s try to think positive!

    1. Honestly, my mom has been in and out of hospital for 30 years. She also had many wonderful, active years in between illness. If I had dug a grave everytime they were convinced she was going, I’d be in China. Thank you for reading.

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