Dealing with family

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by DemonFairy, Mar 21, 2009.

  1. DemonFairy

    DemonFairy New Member

    After part of your family has accused you of lying about your illness (yeah, because FM is so so fun!), how were you able to deal with family occasions after that? One of my brothers (I have three) accused me of faking Fibromyalgia (and for having back surgery unnecessarily - yeah, having surgery for the first time at 41 was delightful) and I know the family gets together often when I'm not there (hey, I've felt crappy lately) and I'm sure I've been the topic of conversation, which I hate. I have what I have, and the stress of recent events in my life (lost my job, my car, house is in foreclosure, etc.) have made me worse, and lately I don't do much more than go to doctors' appointments, the grocery store, and the library. Thank goodness for our new library - I can request books online, and the staff gathers them up, slaps my name on them, and then sends me an email telling me when they're ready. It takes me less than five minutes to get my 15 or so books sitting on a shelf together at the front of the library, check out, and be back in my car to come home. I doubt that I'd have the energy to roam around the library to get those books myself.

    Anyway, last weekend, my brother was a huge jerk and accused me of faking not only FM, but even stuff going back to when I was a little kid. Talk about fighting dirty. No one has ever accused me of faking anything before, nor has anyone ever accused me of faking anything to get meds (another accusation) before. I've been taking pain meds since my herniated disk 3.5 years ago and I've never been "stoned" on my meds, and no one has ever seen me act any differently than I've acted my whole life. I have an ex sister-in-law who is a drug addict/alcoholic (pretty much a practicing one most of the time) and a current s-i-l, who is married to the accusing brother and who participated in barrage of attacks, who is also a mostly recovering drug addict/alcoholic. Gee, when she fell off the wagon, where did she come to dry out? Oh yeah, at MY house, because my brother insisted I take her off his hands, and this is the thanks I get. I'm not doing what she did, avoiding the family because she was drunk - my financial problems have caused a huge flare-up and for the last six months or more, I've been *extremely* fatigued and in lots of pain. It takes all the energy I have just to shower, so as you can imagine, I'm often feeling too lousy to go out. Or, if I feel kind of okay, I know that after I shower, I'll be exhausted, so there's no point. While I'm a recluse kind of, I do have a partner, so I'm not home alone, drugging myself into oblivion while pretending to have FM. We both have FM, we've both been stressed, and we're both in pain and exhausted by, well, life. We have a small animal rescue (as you can imagine, the pets have been accused of making us sick) and the pets keep us sane. We're also active online. We have a message board, blogs, Facebook accounts, etc., so if family wants to get ahold of me, they can. But, I was told that it was harmful to "the children" (they're all 18+, and three of them have mothers who are drug addicts/alcoholics!) when I write that I'm feeling lousy.

    Anyway, after being accused of faking illnesses, drug seeking (I've been seeing the same pain management doctor for 2.5 years, every single month), having surgery unnecessarily...I honestly don't want to be around ANY of them (including my parents and my oldest brother - my other brother lives in another state), knowing that I've been the topic of conversation. I feel guilty because my parents are in their 80's, but they haven't been overly supportive regarding my FM. The herniated disk was incredibly obvious from the MRI I posted on my blog (except to my one brother, who apparently can't see a very large herniation), so no one hassled me about that. But, with FM, I've been told that "maybe (I) have too many pets", "maybe (I) need some fresh air", "maybe (I) shouldn't take so much pain medication" by my mom. And no matter how many times I explain FM and that fresh air isn't going to help and that my pain meds are for PAIN, I'm sure I'm accused of being lazy or something. After the harassing emails and blog & Facebook comments, I don't want to see any of them. I can't imagine EVER wanting to see my brother and his wife again (we were supposedly friends), so it makes me not want to see any of them. Have any of you ever dealt with anything like this...and what did you do?
  2. pitoune

    pitoune New Member

    I know how hard it is to deal with family. You have to understand that unfortunatly for us, you can't see pain. Mind you, my hubby can see it in my eyes and he's right every time. On my side of the family, I had 2 sisters, one that passed away 6.6 years ago to Cancer and the other one also has Fibro. I also have an aunt that has Fibro so there is loads of info going around for everybody to read including the ones posted by Rocky76. Some of them are more receptive about it now but not everybody. On my hubby's side of the family, it's a struggle cause nobody is sick with anything and they just don't believe that anything is wrong with me (or most of them anyways). They all try to tell me what to do and how to do it but I just ignore them now and try to stay away as much as possible from them. The stress they put on me is huge and I don't need it one bit. They have also accused me to be a drug addict because of the Morphine I have to take for my herniated discs. In my case, they can't operate because it is degenerative so if they repair one, they will cause 2 new ones so they are waiting for me to paralyse before they will do anything (that way I can't sue them). If you know the pain of one heaniated disc, you can imagine what I'm going thru with 8 of them and that's the reason for the wheelchair now. Still, they think I'm just faking it. I now brush them off or tell them off. If they won't respect me, I won't respect them either. They have all the documents to read but have not touch them. To tell you the truth, I don't care anymore. I have my Fibro family and they are more a family to me than my hubby's family will ever be.

    You hang in there hon. You have us here and we do believe you cause we're in the same boat. Family can be very ignorant at times but you have to look behond that and just keep on with life. They don't want to believe, their problem. Don't make yourself sick over them, it's just not worth it. I cryed a lot because of them but I don't cry anymore. Maybe some day they will understand, who knows.

  3. TeaBisqit

    TeaBisqit Member

    I went through it, too. After my mom died, she was the supportive one. The rest of them decided there was no one to protect me and attacked me like crazy. I was told I was faking it, after eighteen years on disability for it. I was told I'm mentally ill and belong in a nuthouse. All kinds of horrible things. They said I'm lazy and don't want to work. Yeah, right. Like I choose to not be able to leave my apartment. They blackmailed me by forcing me to try and do things I wasn't well enough to do. They said they wouldn't pay my bills and I'd be homeless. I ended up collapsing on the front lawn and fracturing my leg to where I couldn't walk for four months. And they called it a sprained ankle! They don't live near me, so they didn't see it. They wouldn't believe me that I really broke the leg. God stepped in and gave me some life insurance money and I was able to cut them out of my life. I have nothing to do with them now. And they have not tried to contact me in a long time. I am better off.

    You need to cut the relatives out of your life. They are making you worse. I've come to realize that sometimes blood and DNA mean nothing. These people don't know what real family or love is. If they did, they could never treat us this way. We are better off on our own.
    [This Message was Edited on 03/22/2009]
  4. nixon

    nixon New Member

    people in our lives!! It's a damn shame when family and long time friends just DON'T get it!! It only will make you sicker!! I'm sorry to hear about all the "crap" you are going thru personally. You definetly don't need LOVED ONES making you feel crappier!!
    I can't believe they couls ACTUALLY think you're faking all of this.....Especially when it comes to SURGERIES!! Who would want to suffer the EXTRA PAIN of a surgery if it wasn't absolutely necessary???!!!
    I'd just cut off contact with them.....they will only make you sicker.

    I've had to cut off contact with my brother's a sad thing, but necessary for my "well-being". I wish you the best through all of this . Andrea