Friday, January 31, 2014

The Social Mask

Lyn's always been a very social person who doesn't like to disappoint.  She has her public persona and her private one.

When we were young, I called this her angel/devil complex because to me, at least, she seemed like two different people.  When she and I were together, should would deliberately work to irritate me, especially if I was working on homework.  She would be bossy and negative and work to instigate a fight.  The moment she heard Mom's car out front or another person was added to the mix, she was all smiles and helping hands.  We're seeing that behavior again.

At day hab, she's always smiling and accommodating to the staff and other clients.  When a new client is introduced, she's the unofficial welcome wagon.  She greets everyone and takes it upon herself to give the new clients a tour of the facility.  When suggestions for activities are made, she agrees to go along even when she doesn't want to go.  However, when she's in the car, she drops her social mask about half way home and starts venting to Mom.

Lyn works very hard to keep up appearances and knows that Mom's a safe person.  She's comfortable and in that home-level of one-on-one she drops the mask.  By the time she drops it, she's unfortunately very tired.  The fatigue and the diseased brain get things mixed up and blown out of proportion.  If someone doesn't hand her something in the exact way she expects them to, she believes they've rudely thrown it at her, for example.

While wearing the social mask is a well-honed skill with Lyn, it comes at a price which she is less and less able to tolerate.


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