Hi We Can Get Through It
I believe the state of our relationships comes down to how we relate. Whilst you relate to mental health challenges as being a serious and private matter, your mum appears to relate to this issue differently. And whilst you both relate to priority in different ways (family gathering vs studying for exam), the tension in your relationship makes sense.
Can you think of ways to get your mum to relate better to the incredible challenges you're experiencing?
- 'Mum, was there ever a time in your life where you faced incredible challenge, mentally? Perhaps someone close passed away or you were having serious problems with a relationship. At this time, did you have someone who was your 'go to' person, who could help you cope and sort things out, such as a close friend? Now, can you imagine if I went around telling people in a humorous way 'Mum's not coping mentally which is why she has to talk to someone'?'By the way, if that uncle your mum spoke to can relate to the seriousness and the privacy aspect of mental health challenges, I imagine (in his mind) his heart would have gone out to you
- If your mum goes out to work, you could perhaps say to her 'I have something on next week during the day which I want you to come to. You can take time off work to come. I want this thing of mine to take priority over your work' Of course, this may not be the case; you don't have something on but the objective is to get her relating to your situation regarding your work
There will be folk in life who, when you try getting them to relate, will say 'But that's different!' My response will typically be 'It's basically the same'. In other words, the base issue is the same even though the specifics are unique/different. In your case 1) Support and guidance during a mentally trying time and 2) Priority given to work. Of course, like your mum, you would take time off work if there was an emergency. Understandably, you do not see an engagement dinner as an emergency.
Whilst relationships can dissolve based on an overall inability to relate, they can also strengthen based on the ability to relate through greater understanding, compassion and so on. If we can find ways to 'turn up the volume' on a person's level of understanding and compassion, they will typically be able to hear what it is we're really saying.
Take care of yourself WCGTI