This blog has been inspired by several individuals I’ve recently spoke with regarding the impact of their illness/condition on themselves, their mothers and acceptance (or not) of the situation. This is their story, the story of a daughter to her mum. It can equally apply to a father and son, to the son and mother relationship or the daughter and father.

Dear Mum,

It’s been a year now since I suddenly got ill. So much has changed. Some days when the fatigue and pain gets too much and I can’t do anything else, I feel like my body is broken. Other days, I feel I have come so far in the past year, I am so proud of myself and feel on top of the world.

I’m aware of the impact this has had on you and everyone else in the family and I feel guilty. I took so much of everyone’s time and energies and caused so much worry. But I am so thankful that you were there for me. It must not have been easy for you.

I wonder mum, how is it for you now? From here, where I am, it doesn’t seem any easier. I am sorry for bringing this on you, I really am. If I didn’t get ill… but that is a wishful thinking.

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Illness and mother and daughter relationships. B Babcock 2016


I think I feel how hard it is for you. Sometimes the way you look at me, it looks as if you don’t quite believe me when I say I don’t feel well. I know on the outside I look like the ‘old me’. I look fine, well even. But on the inside, some days I feel awful. The crushing pain and fatigue I feel is like a heavy heavy blanket that I cannot push off. On these days I can’t do much even if I look ok. But know mum, I’m not faking it. Trust me. If I could just jump up and go out with you to do something fun or to help you around the house, I would.

I see how hard it is for you when you refer to me as the ‘old me’ and the ‘new me’, that wishful look in your eye. But when you refer to me like that, it hurts. I wonder if you don’t like who and how I am now. I have changed. I’ve had to. I can no longer be the high-achiever. I simply do not have the strength physically or mentally. My achievements made you proud, but I hope you are still proud at what I am achieving, despite the achievements being so much smaller.

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Mothers, daughters and illness – The wish and the guilt. B Babcock 2016


Maybe you can’t accept what has happened, I don’t know. Some days I am not sure I can accept it myself. But Mum, please understand, I didn’t want this to happen. If I had a choice, I would go back to the ‘old me’. But I don’t have that choice. What has happened has happened. I have to deal with what is in front of me. And I am doing that the best way I know how.

You could not have prevented what had happened to me and if you could have, I know you would have tried everything possible. I need your help now mum. I need you to dispose of the wish for what was. I need you to trust me when I say I am not well. Because I don’t know if I am going to get any better. The doctors don’t even know. I sincerely hope this won’t be it, but it might be. And if I will always be as I am now, will it be enough? Will I be enough for you?

You’re my mum. I need you. I need to know I am ok as I am in your eyes despite my body not working as it once did. I need to know that you still love me. Know that I love you. This love is all I ever want for us.


Your daughter

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You are my daughter, you are enough. B Babcock 2016


What’s it like for you?

Have you ever felt like the daughter or mother in the above story? What was your situation like and what did you do? Feel free to share your story below as it can resonate with other people and help them see that they are not alone.

If this blog has sparked something inside you which you would like to talk through, have a look at how we can work together and get in touch for a free no obligation consultation.


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I have started to research the concept of ‘acceptance’ within the context of long-term conditions and serious illness/injury. If you or a loved one experienced the onset of a long-term condition or serious illness/injury in the past 2 years and are struggling or wondering with what acceptance means for you, I would love to speak with you. Click here to find out more.

© Copyright Barbara Babcock 2016

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