Expectations

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by shari1677, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. shari1677

    shari1677 New Member


    Am I wrong for "expecting" certain things from my family since I fell ill? I've had FM for about 5 years now, give or take. I've had trouble working (short-term disability and welfare for 6 months) with multiple days off for sick time due to flares. I also have a child.

    My mom lives alone in a large 3 bedroom house. Is it wrong for me to "expect" her to allow me and my daughter to move in there? She told me I could move in temporarily, but not permanently.

    My sister lives on 20 acres, makes over $100,000 a year (along with her husband). I live with her now, but not in the main house. I live in an abandoned karate studio on the property. It has minimal heat (average 55 degrees - and I'm in the snowbelt) and no running water. Even when it gets very, very cold, I was told my brother-in-law does not want my daughter and I in the main house, except for showers and restroom. I pay $300 a month rent and all the utilies in the abandoned karate studio.

    Is it wrong for me to "expect" them to allow me to live in the main house in the cold? Is it wrong for me to "expect" them to allow me to live here rent free until I get on my feet (of course, pay for food and help clean, etc). My sister told me I had less than 1 year before I had to move out.

    These "expectations" I have are making me very angry that they are not being met. Very angry. I feel alone, like I have nobody to count on.

    Does anyone else feel like this?
  2. quanked

    quanked Member

    We all have the right to expect or not expect any given thing. When I was much younger I expected much more from my family than I do now. Now, I expect nothing and want nothing. I am not sure that I felt angry when various family members did not live up to my expectations. I think I was confused, hurt--I did not understand why they would not do for me as I had done for them.

    "I feel alone, like I have nobody to count on. " Based on what you say here and other postings that I have read by you I would say that your assessment of the situation is nearly accurate. Your family is telling you that they are there for you only in very limited ways so in some ways you are on your own.

    There are many ways to view their response depending on where one is standing. Some of us have great and supportive families, some of us do not and some of us get some kind of support but not all we need. Unless what you are experiencing with your family is new behavior on their part it would seem pointless to waste what little energy you have on anger. Not that this statement will make your anger go away. You feel what you feel.

    I understand that your needs are great--I can empathize with you. As I tell my son--we can be caught up forever in what should be but until we deal with what is we will not be able to move on.

    These dd's take so much from us and in the end from those around us but ultimately we are the ones who pay the highest price. However, we cannot make our family or friends give what they do not want/cannot give.

    Have you considered applying for help with housing? Subsidized housing can be fairly decent. And probably a lot warmer.

    Family stuff can be very tough to grapple with. I hope your find some peace at some point.

  3. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    As adults, no one owes us anything and we don't have the right to "expect" other family members to take care of us. Without knowing your family, we don't know what their reasons are for not wanting to help out anymore. There could be circumstances that we aren't aware of. Not everyone is easy to live with and some people wear out their welcome over time, or overstay their welcome.

    It's nice when family members are willing to help out, however, they do have the right to say no. It doesn't matter how big their house is, or how much money they make. Sometimes they have to say no for their own mental health or if it is starting to cause problems within their relationship/immediate family.

    It sounds like your sister isn't kicking you out immediately, but giving you time to make other living arrangements.

    The bottom line is that it isn't fair to expect other people to meet "our" expectations.
  4. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    There is a huge difference between paying university tuition and having an adult child move back home. You can't possibly compare the two.

  5. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    I'm guessing that your experience with your own family is one of a constant source of disappointment.

    You don't know what Shari's family's reasons are for being unable to help Shari, yet you label them as being "horrible people". Shari has mentioned before that she has problems with depression and several suicide attempts; possibly that is a factor in that it is too stressful for family members to deal with this. You don't know the age of her mother or if she has health problems that make it impossible for her to help care for Shari. The same goes for Shari's sister and her family. You don't know what their relationship is like with Shari, yet you label them as horrible also. Do they have young kids that they are trying to raise? Shari's sister hasn't kicked her out onto the street and left her homeless so I'm guessing that she isn't the monster you portray her to be.

    I'm saddened that Shari has found herself in this position, and I hope that she can get help finding a new home to live in. I just don't think that we should be so quick to judge her family members when we don't know their side of the story. As I said earlier, there could be a lot that we don't know. Not everyone is easy to live with.
  6. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    You don't get it, and you never will.
  7. JLH

    JLH New Member

    TigerLilea, I agree with what you have said, and will not respond to aussiewoman because, as you said, she does not get it. What other countries do has nothing to do with me.

    I do think it is wrong for you, Shari, to "expect" certain things from your family because you are ill.

    Your mother may live alone in a 3 bedroom house, but that does not means that she owes you and your child a place to live. She has fulfilled her responsibility as a mother by raising her child. You are an adult now and responsible for yourself and your family. Like others have said, we do not know what kind of health her mother is in to take in an adult child with depressive/suicidal tendencies.

    A parent has their right to some peace and quiet and not have to live in constant turmoil, which it would be for her and her child to move in. Those who let other move in "temporarily" usually can not get them to leave.

    Having another family live with you disrupts every minute of your life. You have no more privacy, you worry about the food they need to eat, you clean up their messes because they don't feel good, you pay the additional utility and food bills, you listen to them argue, and it ends up creating a stress upon you.

    I watched my MIL and FIL let their adult daughter and child move in "just until they got on their feet." At the time of my MIL's death, they had been there 3-4 years and had no plans on leaving. This situation contributed to the early death of my elderly MIL.

    Adult children who "expect" their parents or other family members to take care of them are normally the "very needy" type who will drain everything they can from you. I am not saying that you fit into this category, Shari, though.

    And as far as expecting your sister to let you move in her main home, she does not owe you a place to live. What income she makes has no bearing on anything. She and her husband have gone out every day and worked for what they earn and what they have. As far as she is concerned, you could very easily have the same as she does. All you have to do is work for it. Just because you are ill does not mean that you are not able to be employed. How do we know that your sister is 100% healthy? We don't.

    There are many people working every day that are just as ill, and sometimes worse off than what you are, who are working every day. You do what you "have to do" to stay alive and/or provide for yourself and family. Sometimes, it's all a matter of perspective and your mental attitude.

    I have have fibro and a host of other major health problems and I worked full time, a long way from home, for 30 years, in order to help raise my 3 children. There were some days that I thought I could just die because I felt so bad. But that is all another story and is not what we are talking about here.

    My husband has a sister who "expects" everyone else to help her out, including a rent-free place to live, help pay her bills, etc. Well, when you give her money to buy groceries or pay bills, she spends the money on nonsense things and still has no food or paid bills. You have to physically do it for her which gets really old.

    I think it is wrong to expect everyone else to provide for you as an adult. I think you, Shari, should be very grateful that your sister is generous enough to offer you a space on her property to live, even though you are paying her a small amount in rent. This space on her property does not come free to her. She still has to pay the mortgage payment, taxes, insurance, maintenance, etc. on the space you are living in. So what you are paying her as rent goes toward paying those expenses. What if you end up damaging her property while you are living there? When you leave, will you have all the repairs made and restore it to as it was when you moved in? Of course not. She will have to pay that, too.

    Yes, it would be nice and thoughtful of her if she would provide some type of portable heaters for your living space so you would not freeze. However, we do not know the reason why she is not doing so. Also, we don't know why there is no running water. There would have to have been some if it once was used as a karate studio. For all we know, it could be your fault that there is no water--did you not pay the bill? did you do something to let the water pipes freeze and burst--like not leaving the water run a bit at night to avoid freezing??? We don't hear all of the reasons behind all of your problems. We are hearing only what you want us to hear. We are only hearing your side of the story.

    I know you do not like what I have posted, and many others won't either. I feel this way because we have dealt with this same situation in our family and trust me, what they tell others is not always the "whole truth, and nothing but the truth". All I know is that I have worked all my live, very hard, to have what I have, and I am not obligated to provide a life for another family. I have a right to a peaceful life in my own home without dealing with constant problems of others.

    Like someone else said, there are many programs for people that she could take advantage of, but you have to investigate it and see what can be done to help you. For the $300/mo. rent and all utilities that you are paying now, you might be able to get into a warm apartment that is rented based on what your income is, etc. Food stamps, HEAP programs to pay your heat, etc. You have to want to do for yourself and make an effort for others to want to help you.

    Your last sentence of your post says a lot .... "These "expectations" I have are making me very angry that they are not being met. Very angry. I feel alone, like I have nobody to count on." You have no reason to become angry because your mother and/or sister will not give you a hand-out. Feeling "entitled" to what they have is wrong. Getting angry will not help. There is probably a reason why they are not being as generous as they could be. Sometimes, people dig their own grave, and then cry about it.

    I am sorry that I have been so blunt here, but I really do care about you, it is just that I have been where they are. (I have let a family member live in a house that we own, rent free, until she "got on her feet", and she and her daughter were there for YEARS, and yes, we helped feed them, watch my niece, etc., as well as get caught up in all of her drama ......)

    I hope that something works out for you.

  8. shari1677

    shari1677 New Member


    If family and friends were a little more helpful here in the USA, there would be no need for social programs such as welfare.

    My grandmother (my mother's mother) has to get meals-on-wheels because my own mother refuses to help her. She says that is what the government programs are for.

    A side note - my mother is 67 and is still working full-time. She is in better shape physically and emotionally than I am. She has said several times that there is nothing wrong with me and it is all in my head.

    I do, however, agree with some of you that I shouldnt expect any help from my family. I got sick - not unlike alot of other people in the USA and they have figured things out. Not to mention - my anger isnt helping anyone, especially my daughter. I'm thinking now is a good time to get going back to church, focus on the good things in my life. Anger can eat you alive!
    [This Message was Edited on 02/27/2010]
    [This Message was Edited on 02/27/2010]
  9. 3gs

    3gs New Member

    I am with aussie on this one. What in the heck has happened to family in America?

    In other cultures families live together and take of each other. I understand that there is a point when you have to say no or find other help. Did you know there is no such thing inalot of other countries called nursing homes?

    Shari I don't know what the circunstances are behind your families decisions,but to have you rent a substandard space is wrong. If they have a problem with you how can they explain doing this to your daughter?

    As far as expecting help and being angry, I think your more hurt than anything. been there and relealized expecting the help was wrong. I now know I can only count on me. Does it stink-yes,as I have been there for everyone else.

    Try and ck into local programs that can maybe help you.
    take care
    [This Message was Edited on 02/28/2010]
  10. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    Yes, different cultures have different expectations. No, I don't think you should expect anything from your family. You are giving them a lot of power over you -- it is not helping you emotionally, and you certainly could be better off in another living situation. Moving in with your mother (whether or not she'd 67, works, and could take care of you) would not remove any of the stress that you have now, just give you hot water.

    Please explore different options to get you out of that situation.
  11. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    Hi 3gs - There are senior care homes in the UK because that is where my Grandma spent the last few years of her life once she was no longer able to care for herself.
  12. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    I can see both sides to this issue.....we don't know what family members are thinking or their entire situation, and "expecting" them to help is maybe not the best way to look at it.....however, if they are in a position to be able to help and shari is truly unable to work, then I would certainly hope that they would help and I find it really sad that so many families do not seem to care at all - it should not be that way

    families are supposed to be there for one another, and really people have no business starting families if they do not plan to support them (& this does not necessarily mean financially) .....if they are unable to do so, or if the person looking for support has been abusive or otherwise hurtful, then it is a different story...and if the person is able to take care of his/herself & is just looking for a handout as an adult, then it is also a different story....but when there is honestly a big need and family members are choosing to be selfish, then there is no good reason for that at all

    that said, I think that most of the people commenting here have made some good points.....I do not necessarily agree with everything said, but I can see where they are coming from....and Shari, I do feel for you - very much - regardless of the whole picture, you are in a tough situation and I really hope that you are able to find some help somewhere {{{{hugs}}}}

    I do have to say that I take issue with the statement someone made: "There are many people working every day that are just as ill, and sometimes worse off than what you are, who are working every day. You do what you "have to do" to stay alive and/or provide for yourself and family. Sometimes, it's all a matter of perspective and your mental attitude."

    I understand that there are people who are working despite being very sick and it is incredibly difficult for them. I give them a lot of credit. However, the attitude that comes across from the statement I quoted is much like that of many "normal" people towards those on disability - that we are choosing this and really could work if we just tried or wanted to or whatever. THAT IS NOT TRUE!!!!!

    I would give a heck of a lot to be able to work, but at this point, I am barely able to manage the most basic daily needs - getting groceries, doing laundry, etc is almost impossible for me, and no matter how very badly I would love to be able to work, no amt of "perspective and mental attitude" will make it physically (or cognitively some days) possible to work. Could you will a car with no gas to work based on mental attitude? NO! That is about how likely it would be for me to be able to will my body to work well enough to earn a living at this point.

    Plus, comparing one person's illness with another is NEVER a good or helpful idea. NEVER. Just like we don't know the whole picture of Shari's family situation, we also do not know the whole picture of the health situation of those who are managing to work (or those who are not). Comparing when we do not know is not accurate and it is not helpful.

    It is totally a no win situation. "Winning" by being worse off is hardly winning.....certainly not something I want to win. And, agreeing that someone else IS worse off does not make ones own situation any less bad, either, so that is not winning. If someone has a broken leg and you point out that there are amputees out there, it certainly does not make the person's broken leg better.
  13. DeborahLynn

    DeborahLynn Member

    ... and also, I would help someone, especially family, if they needed it and I had the where-with-all to help. Isn't that where the saying came from, "Blood runs thicker than water"?

    It's very important to put ourselves in other's shoes, and have compassion on others in need. What would happen if you were struck severely ill, with no one to depend on?

    Some people with FM and/or CFIDS are able to work; my MIL has both, and is able to work full time at this time, although she has to come home and go straight to bed, whereas I cannot possibly work - I can barely walk across my small house without having to stop to rest, and I have collapsed several times, each time taking weeks to recover.

    We all experience different levels of functioning.

    Anyway, I guess I didn't have anything new to add; just wanted to advocate for Shari. I can't imagine being in her shoes. I'm so glad she's seeking help from the Lord.

    Prayers for all,

    Debbie
    [This Message was Edited on 02/27/2010]
  14. sickofcfs

    sickofcfs New Member

    I agree with Tigerlilea and JLH. As adults we are responsible for ourselves. JLH has said it all.

    Shari, you are fortunate that your family is giving you some help, even if it isn't as much as you expect. Being grateful for the ways in which they do help is a much happier and healthier mindset than being angry because they aren't helping you as much as you want. I learned this lesson at 18, and it has served me well in the many years since.

    Thanks JLH for the clear-eyed and honest picture.
  15. granmaw09

    granmaw09 Member

    I am so sorry your family has treated you this way. That's just wrong! Family is so very much important in a person's life. The true fact is, some don't know it until it's too late. What's bad is that your daughter will see how they have treated you and might think that's how family is suppose to treat one another. Again I am sorry. granmaw09
  16. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    How do you know how Shari's family have treated her and her daughter? Do you know this family personally and have inside knowledge that the rest of us don't have? For all we know, this family could have bent over backwards to help Shari. We only have "one" side of the story.

    I certainly feel for Shari, and I hope that I never have to be in her position. However, it is wrong of us to dump on her family when we don't know the facts.