Do Not Let "Loved Ones" Run Your Lives

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Mikie, Aug 31, 2003.

  1. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    In my 2 1/2 years here, I have read soooooo many posts from people whose families do not support them and make them feel guilty for being sick. Why do they do this? Because they can!

    It is up to us to take care of ourselves and take control over our lives. Family and friends will just have to adjust. If they can't, they don't have our best interests at heart. During times of illness, we often find out who our real friends are. Just because people are family does not give them the right to roll their eyes, make nasty remarks, or treat us with disrespect. This behavior is toxic to our healing and we should not put up with it.

    We may have to make some hard decisions about the relationships in our lives, including unsupportive spouses. In the end, we have to have self-respect and stand up for ourselves. We have to teach others how to treat us or we are not in control of anything.

    Love, Mikie
  2. kgg

    kgg New Member

    and Amen!
  3. vnr27

    vnr27 New Member

    100 percent i agree. bless you mikie, val
  4. Notonline

    Notonline New Member

  5. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Throughout the over two and a half years I have been on this board, I could honestly see that if many people did a good house cleaning where friends and relatives are concerned that their lives would be so much better, and their illnesses could be somewhat controlled.

    It took me a few years to really get the stressful people, non-belivers(as in my illness) out of my world. But as of a few months ago, I am as close to removing the 'toxic' people out of my life as I can ever hope to get.

    I am not well, but I am surely a lot better physically/mentally than I was before I started cleaninghouse!

    First, you need to start 'loving yourself', enjoy your own company, get out of the habit of needing others to make your life pleasant, learn to be self entertaining, KNOW that you are a real person and demand the RESPECT that is your right, concerning your health and welfare. If others can't accept you are you are, than you don't need them.

    Do not let anyone make you feel quilty because you are ill, this illnesses is not our fault. So why do so many of us feel guilty that we are sick? If you think about this a little it will be quite an eye opener.

    Some of us need to take drastic steps to get where I am, but others simply need to make a few changes, get rid of a few people, and invest in Caller ID! Its worth its weight in gold where toxic people are concerned.

    Thanks Mikie, this is a subject that is much needed for everyones health and wellbeing.

    YOu helped me a lot just lately in this same area.

    Shalom, Shirl

  6. granmakitty12

    granmakitty12 New Member

    I love it when you give us this pep talk. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my chest. The only problem is that I have housecleaned so well, there aren't many friends or relatives left!! lol!! But that is ok, we have to do what we have to do.

    Peace, Granmakitty Hope everyone has a great Labor Day
  7. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Shirl, you said it sooooo well.

    I know I've mentioned this before, but we have so many new people that I think it bears repeating. As y'all can see, I'm protective as a mama bear when it comes to people new to our illnesses who are being abused by family and friends. How dare they heap guilt and nastiness on top of what we already suffer. Our illnesses make us stronger in spirit and part of this strength comes from dealing with our relationships. People who abuse those who are sick have a worse sickness than FMS and/or CFIDS; they are sick in spirit.

    We need to surround ourselves with positive energy and not waste our precious energy on dealing with negativity. I pray for strength and peace for all who are stressed by difficult relationships.

    Love, Mikie
  8. aaron19

    aaron19 New Member

    great input guys, or should i call ya girls :)

    thanks, love ya both
  9. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    Thank you both for your uplifting and compassionate posts. You're the best.

  10. keeponsmiling

    keeponsmiling New Member

    Thank you, Mikie and Shirl, for telling it like it is. I applaud your honesty. :)

    If someone refuses to accept the illnesses that we deal with every day of our lives, then that's THEIR problem, not ours.


    BILLCAMO New Member

  12. fullarmor

    fullarmor New Member

    Even before this DD, I ended 4 friendships with people I had hoped would be "forever" friends. They treated me like garbage, I got fed up and told them straight out that I'm not going to tolerate being treated that way. Not that this was easy. I shed many many tears over it, and still miss the good times with some of them. I'm pulling myself away just slightly from my parents, as they have a poor marriage, and they try to get me involved, to take sides. I've started telling them, if you're going to fight, i'm leaving. and I get up and go. It's working. As far as my husband goes, he's not mean or cruel. He doesnt seem to understand the severity of this DD, and he finally admitted that he's scared of my getting sicker in the future. I pick my friends so carefully now, i have only 2 that i consider to be close, but fortunately they are anything but toxic, and i'm so thankful. being strong and getting rid of the toxic people is hard, but well worth it in the long run.
  13. Solstice

    Solstice New Member

    Thank You.
    One of my life's mantra's is "If you can't change the stimulus, change the response." I think that fits here too.
    We do have to be so self protective.
  14. Rheal

    Rheal New Member

    First post here.. anyway..

    About 15 years ago, I was in such a state that I had repeated episodes of my heart suddenly feeling like it wasn't beating properly, I couldn't catch my breath and barely had the energy to move. Even between these episodes it was a huge effort to get out the door to go buy rice and carrots which is virtually all I ate for the 4 or 5 months this went on.

    A few months into it, I went to see a doctor. None of these attacks happened to hit me while I was actually in his office. He all but said it was all in my head, and at the last visit he seemed to get angry and yelled at me to get off my lazy ass and get out there and do stuff. I got up and left quickly rather than cry in front of him.

    Part of the reason I say all this is that I think that many (not all) people simply don't have the capacity to empathize with such a state (and other equally unpleasant states) unless they have experienced it themselves (as someone else posted, and I'm sure most of you know)

    These people may or may not otherwise be good people, but they are definitely NOT something you want in your life.

    So I guess that's my way of saying thanks for the posts. Excellent words, thoughts, sentiments and meanings. Much appreciated as I begin to read these posts. (and still after all these years try to figure out how to feel good enough to do "normal" things in life)


    - R
  15. bubblegum

    bubblegum New Member

    Mikie you hit the nail on the head with this phrase:
    "We have to have self-respect and stand up for ourselves. We have to teach others how to treat us or we are not in control of anything."
    So well put Mikie and just what I needed to hear.

    Since I moved out of my b/f's (boyfriend) house last month, I have been so tired and in so much pain and to top it off, I haven't been able to sleep at night in the new surroundings. During this last month my b/f, my friends, and my family have reacted to this flare in such a way it's disturbing. My sister suggested she take custody of my 12 yr old son. She feels that because of my illness I am not capable of giving him what he needs and she can. But she did offer to bring him every other weekend to visit us. The nerve!!!!

    During week 2 of the move, exhausted and in aweful pain, my b/f took it upon himself to pile up (not pack) things he felt were getting in his way then preceded to ask me every hour if I was going to pick these things up. It wasn't like he needed the room. It was obvious how much pain and how fatigued I was. At this point I realized that I needed to do some thinking and make some changes.

    First of all I would no longer confide in a sibling about my insecurities as a single mom because it poses a potential threat to me and my 2 kids. I know I am a great mom. And I don't want anyone making me feel I am not capable of giving my children what they need.

    Second is the tough one. When my b/f was pushing the issue of me moving that stuff, I wouldn't let myself believe the truth: He is selfish, selfcentered, and will never change when it comes to accepting this disease. I have been making excuses for him too long. I ask myself is this who I want to spend the rest of life with. We have been together 8 years as lovers and the 10 years before that we were best friends. It's hard to imagine life without him.
    The fact that he has only been here once this whole month, (and we live 5 houses apart) makes it easier for me to ween myself from him.

    These are just 2 examples of what loved oned can do. They are making me sicker. I love myself too much to allow anyone to make me feel sicker. This is a major accomplishment for me. I am taking control and refuse to let anybody minimize the truth about my health. I may not look sick, but God knows I am.
    I didn't plan on writing so much, I just really wanted to thank you for reminding us that we can control our lives.
    Ciao 4 Now
  16. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Some of y'all have really had to make some heartbreaking choices, but what is gratifying is that everyone knows she did it in her own best interest no matter how difficult it was.

    Gracedancer, what you describe is just another variant of what we are talking about. It's not abuse; it's family and friends in denial. They keep thinking if you do just one more thing, everything will be OK. You have to treat this the same way by not letting them make you feel bad. If, "I have a serious illness and my doctors and I are already doing everything we can," does not stop them, then you have to decide whether these people are worth it. They are just masking their behavior under the guise of just trying to be helpful, but they are not being helpful; they are giving you stress.

    Thanks for all the feedback and for sharing your experiences with us. I know this has affected most of us at one time or another.

    Love, Mikie
  17. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    It is not as easy to do this when the toxic people are relatives who live right next door and behind you, and you can't possibly afford to move, but I have tried. They all think I am "anti-social" and "strange" because I do not visit them, and make a point of avoiding them. I use my illness as an excuse (the da*n thing had to be good for something!) I have actually managed not to have to speak to one of them for over 2 yrs. now....we put up a six foot privacy fence.
    I agree that you must be comfortable with yourself before trying this. I have very few people in my life now as a result of this house-cleaning, and if I couldn't handle being alone with myself, I'd be in big trouble. I am an introvert, and I feel very sorry for the majority of people who are extroverts, as I think the isolation of this illness must be much harder for them.
  18. jadibeler

    jadibeler New Member

    this thread is. I couldn't believe it when I saw it today.

    Just last night I came to the decision to detoxify my house! This decision was brought on by posts I've been reading and encouragement to stand up for yourselves, not letting the people in your life make you worse.

    My husband is only minimally toxic but what he does has been making me so much worse. He's just plain lazy and used to being taken care of like a 6-yr. old. (I'm his 3rd wife and I finally saw why). He has a lift chair but he can't get out of it to do anything. He calls me, even if he knows I'm resting (because I have to). When he's hungry, he makes me get up or stop what I'm trying to do while I'm up to it to make him a sandwich. Ditto with dinner. He yells for me to walk all the way to the other end of the trailer because he wants to tell or ask me something that could have waited until later or is unimportant in the first place - like seeing something cute the dogs are doing. This isn't bad once, but he does it repeatedly and all the time.

    He knows I'm sick, he's glad I'm finding help here, he's not a stickler on housework, but he keeps reminding me to do things that I haven't been able to to do yet. He also refuses to get a part-time job (retired) even though we are drowning here and can't even buy groceries that we run out of by the end of the month. Now, all these supplements and the new food I have to eat are getting expensive. I'm trying to get well so that I can go back to work but in the meantime, the financial stress is adding (and has been for a long time) to my problems.

    Last night I made an outline of what I'm going to say when I sit him down, the changes that are GOING to be made, whether he likes it or not. From the above, I'm sure you can guess what they are. Last, but not least, I'm going to tell him that if he doesn't like the New World Order, he is free to go find someone else to coddle him. I need him, for the things he does do for me, like grocery shopping and running other errands, and - let's face it - the money he does bring in with SS, but at this point I wouldn't miss him and I would have a lot less to do and a lot less stress.

    I wasn't going to tell all of you until I had done it, but this is the perfect opportunity to tell you what a difference you have made in my life and my outlook on it.

  19. Adl123

    Adl123 New Member

    You are really right, Mikie! I am lucky, in that I have lived pretty far from family members who didn't "get it", and I just stopped seeing those who were close and didn't,including my best friend of over 20 years. But, out of the darkness came a wonderful cousin. We had not been that close, but when he found out I was sick, he started phoning me, to chat and see how I was. He continued phoning me 2 or 3 times a month, even when he lived thousands of miles away, and this has been since 1993. When I moved into my little cottage, he and his daughter came and helped me set up the house. He has returned many times to visit, and he always makes it a point to do something helpful around the house or yard. This helps, as I am alone. Luckily, I found out that family can also be there in the bad tmes. As for the rest, God bless them . I let them go.
    Thank you for telling me how to "bump". Terry
  20. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Have you ever heard the expression; 'chew up the watermelon but spit out the seeds?' That is exactly what you need to do with those well meaning relatives and friends.

    Instead of trying to explain 'why' you are doing thus and so for your illness, just ignore them with a 'will try that! with a big smile', and just go on about your treatment.

    As for guilt about taking your meds, well that is just uncalled for! If necessary, do not let outsiders know what you are taking. Its none of anyones business anyway, its a private matter to say the least. No quilt necessary there at all.

    You are not doing anything wrong, if what you and your physician feel that this is what you need, where does the guilt come in? There is no room for guilt in our lives, we do what we have to in order to function.

    This is coming from a lady who can't take pain meds at that! I am allergic to most of them. I sure don't look down on anyone that can take something for this pain. I wish I could.

    Be nice, but firm!

    Shalom, Shirl