Communication Breakdown

During my visit on Wednesday 11th December Gordon said he would be discharged sometime on Friday and asked me to collect him to take him home. I can’t tell you how chuffed I was – I had felt so helpless as a parent up until now. I told Gordon that I had the whole of Friday free and that I would pick him up when he was ready.

When I got home, I contacted my musician friend Simon and withdrew from my Friday night gig (a Christmas barn dance in Oxford for some special needs young adults). Simon understood and said they’d manage without me.

On Thursday evening, however, I got a message from Gordon to say there had been a change of plan and his friend Matt was doing the pickup instead. I was quite upset to read this. However, there was a perfectly understandable reason for the change. Let me explain.

On Wednesday, while visiting Libby, we discussed plans for me to collect Gordon from hospital, take him shopping, get him home, sort his bedding, make tea and stay overnight. That was all clear. But although I’d cleared my diary and was all set for the pickup and journey home, I had been chewing over the possibility, once Gordon was settled at home, of slipping out and back in the evening to assist my friends. The band of five musicians was down to three that week. Simon’s wife Lesley was one of the three, but she had cancer (and sadly, died the following September). I felt awkward about letting them down hence I had thoughts about helping them once Gordon was both happy and comfortably settled in at home.

That wasn’t the problem though. My mistake was to write down my thoughts as if they were plans. It looked as if I was planning to fit Gordon in around my friends, but nothing could have been further from the truth. I really had cancelled all of my plans for the day in order to look after Gordon and I hadn’t been back in contact with Simon. I wish I’d kept my thoughts to myself.

If you’re interested, look up “verbal processor” to find out more about those who do not think silently, but do it primarily through the actions of speaking and writing. I am one of them!