Conversational Disconnect

For the past several weeks, I've noticed that my conversations with my sister have become more one sided if we are on the phone.  The conversation usually starts with her asking about my husband and children.  After we get through the questions, I'll tell her what is going on in my home or what my plans for the day are.   I'll ask her questions and try to get her engaged in the conversation.  Normally, her responses to me are "Yeah, Ok."  or "Uh huh."  She'll say response phrases like that even if I'm not taking.  Anymore when she asks me a question, I'm not even sure she is listening to my responses.  If she is, I seriously doubt that she's processing them.

I just hung up from speaking with her before sitting down to write this.  When she asked about my husband this time, I started to let her know that he was out with friends.  She interrupted "That's good.  Did he have a hard day?"  I started to answer and she just continued with her thought.  Her next thought was to ask about my eldest.  I started to reply and was cut off as she asked about my youngest who was already in bed.  I stopped talking and just listened.  Lyn didn't notice.  She was off talking about the 63 cents she won at the casino.  She plans to use the 63 cents to buy her plane ticket to see us.  She rambled for a few more minutes as I just listened.  Suddenly, she decided I needed to go and passed me off to Mom.

The first part of the conversation felt like Lyn was pushing hard to get her normal questions about my family out before she forgot.  After that, the thoughts were very disconnected and all over the place.  I asked Mom if Lyn was confused today and Mom just laughed  "Is that the first conversation where she's done that to you?"  It was.  Mom reports that conversations like that are happening more frequently.

I've not noticed this pattern when we Skype.  I think, and it is just my theory, that she's still able to engage more solidly because she can see and react to our facial expressions.  She can see my children pop in and out of the camera view to say hello or to show her something.  The visual aspect of those conversations definitely seem to spark more interest and responses from her.

As Mom and I were wrapping up our call, confirming our next Skype time, Lyn asked Mom to tuck her into bed.  Now it was Mom's turn to be caught off guard.  Lyn has not asked for a tuck in for years.


Popular Posts