Family support/interest: Am I expecting too much?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by G.I.Jane, May 4, 2006.

  1. G.I.Jane

    G.I.Jane New Member

    Hi guys. I've had FMS for over four years now, but lately I've been feeling upset about my family and support. My mother and sister are super supportive/understanding, but my brothers hardly ask me about it if I see them or if we're on the phone. . . I just don't know how to feel about that. Besides this we get along great - my family is close. I've tried to explain about my FMS, even sent emails with basic beginner's info to help get people on board since support/education makes such a difference. I don't want to judge them unfairly - I love them both, but I keep feeling confused and hurt - like why don't they really make an effort to ask about things and help? I know they have their own busy lives - am I being unrealistic/unfair when I feel this way? I'm really looking for honest opinions - I have a wonderful, close family, but am I expecting too much?
  2. amymb74

    amymb74 New Member

    My family is very close. I've had cfs for 12 years. My family never asks me how I am but when I need somebody to talk to my brother will listen. My mother acts like she feels uncomfortable talking about it - I don't bring it up to her anymore because she acts like its a burden to listen & acts distracted. But, my family is not one that talks about their feelings to eachother, with the exception of me & my brother & thats even a rare thing. I think if they're there for you when you need them thats what matters. I always think that if one of my family members, especially one of my children, were ill I'd give it my full attention but, I guess everyones different. AMY
    Also, I have friends that I can talk to about cfs & thats a huge help.[This Message was Edited on 05/04/2006]
  3. Cromwell

    Cromwell New Member

    Tend to live in their own heads. Maybe they care but forget. I know it is hard.

    My DH's tewo sisters all but ignore him even though he has a major illness caused by head trauma. When we occasionally see them, they "feel uncomfortable" if we remind them how ill he is.

    The are both rich too. They never think. They ignore my DD as they pretty well ignore me and our son, Danny.

    Sorry. It does hurt.

    Love Anne c
  4. jbennett2

    jbennett2 New Member

    they're men (sorry guys)
  5. G.I.Jane

    G.I.Jane New Member

    Thanks everybody - it really helped to hear from all of you. This site is so great, it's a nice place to turn when you have a question or worry. God Bless and take care! ~ Jane
  6. zion1971

    zion1971 New Member

    men don't express their emotions well, i am learning.

    i have had cfs and fms for 7 years. my family NEVER asks me how i am doing. my mother, too, won't discuss my illness with me. if i bring it up, she gets uncomfortably quiet. if i have a bad day and need to cancel on going to an event, she asks why like i have never told her about my illness. it is extremely strange behavior to me. i can't imagine being that way if my daughter became ill. but each person has to be accountable for his/her own behavior. i have suffered for the past few years trying to understand why people would treat "me" this way. it has made me depressed and sad and angry. i am beginning to understand that their behavior says volumes about them not me. Pray for them and move on with your life. let them love you in the ways that they can and you do the same. they sound like my family: nice people but clueless. love them anyone and move on. :)
  7. kalina

    kalina New Member

    Gosh, I can SO relate to how you feel! I don't have friends anymore (the few I have left have become mere aquaintences), but family is supposed to be different. Or so they say.

    In the last few years, none of my siblings -- NOT just brothers, mind you -- has even so much as asked how I'm doing. I have given them brochures about CFS/FM, but if I try to say anything about my illness/treatment, there is just awkward silence on the phone. I feel confused and hurt, too.

    It makes me wonder if my family would be more supportive if I had a less stigmatized illness. I just try to keep in mind that most people don't know what to do, say, or act around sick people. I try to rationalize it that way, but it doesn't take away the hurt.

    My family isn't particularly close, but if yours is, could you try to talk to your brothers about this? Just living with this DD is hard enough without the damage it does to relationships. None of us are looking for pity, but tell them it would be nice to know they are thinking of you every once in a while.

    Best of luck,
    Kalina
  8. mrstyedawg

    mrstyedawg Member

    I have three brothers and one sister. My mom and sister are very supportive, but two of my three brothers brush of my illness as if it nothing. My third brother is a little better, but for 20 years I think he actually thought is was just a little depression.

    The only time my oldest brother showed any concern for me was about 7 years ago after my husband and I separated I was trying to mow my lawm. After about 5 minutes of pushing the mower he came up to the house. I actually felt as if I was going to die. He looked at my face and said Oh my God you look horrible please quit. Why do you look so bad. I'm thinking it's my CFS that I have had for 15 years that you have never really give a thought to.

    Sometimes it does hurt when those you love the most are so thoughtless.
  9. G.I.Jane

    G.I.Jane New Member

    You're all so great for responding - this particular issue has had me *so* completely confused and hurt. Hearing your stories makes me feel less alone. AND like maybe this isn't so unusual. I may not be able to explain it very well, but it seems bunches of you have the same problem. Thanks so much for writing back, I'm hugely grateful!! Take care of yourselves - pretty great we have this site and each other!! ~ Jane
  10. suzette1954

    suzette1954 New Member

    say Im fine when one of them asks how are you. They really do not want to know. Its just an expression. My sweet husband and my youngest son are the only ones who care. My oldest son(21) just moved back home and has not asked or lifted one finger to help me yet. I wish it was different but its not.

    We are here for you!!

    Suzette
  11. ldbgcoleman

    ldbgcoleman New Member

    I think the answer is they are men and are wired differently. If you need help with something try asking them directly. ask them for help with concrete things they like to feel like they have fixed the problems. Lynn
  12. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    ..... you're saying that the women in your family are supportive but the men aren't, right? Believe me, it's a "guy thing". My two sons barely acknowledge my illness; their wives go along with them. I find very little compassion for my illness or help but I do work hard at appearing well.

    I say don't waste good energy on being upset by this. Men often, not always and not all men, but often, don't know how to act around "weakness" and/or illness. I suspect the men in your family are pretty macho types.

    Be happy that you have some support and let the rest go. As a positive result of this experience in my life, I'm learning to ask for what I want, a formerly unknown behavior for me and for many women.

    Hugs,
    Marta
  13. RockiAZ

    RockiAZ New Member

    First of all I am female and I have to step up to the plate for the guys. Not ALL guys are like this and it's sad that they get catagorized this way. We don't like to be pre-judged just because we have this DD, people make assumptions about us and so on.

    My hubby is so very supportive, my adult boys are very understanding and yes, I have some friends and family members who are NOT. So for you guys that DO support and understand, I applaude you.

    I know it gets very hard to try and make people believe & understand our DD and I'm sorry that I don't have a good answer for you. Try to not let it beat you down though because that will just make your symptoms worse.

    Sorry, but I'm having a cruddy day myself and just had to reply to this. I'm usually more positive, but what can I say.

    Live, Laugh, Love,
    Rocki
  14. Strawberry94

    Strawberry94 New Member

    When it comes CFS and family, friends and in-laws I have gotten to the point where if they just keep their critcial flapping jaws shut about it, I am more than happy.

    I have one of my friends, one of my sisters and my husband who understand and that's really it. I count myself grateful to have their understanding because there was a time when no one understood.
    [This Message was Edited on 05/05/2006]
  15. sueliza

    sueliza New Member

    I have three brothers and we are all close, but I haven't told any of them about my FM. They all know I hurt my back a couple of years ago, but I never told them the rest of the story.

    One of them would say if I lost ten pounds and started running again I would be fine. One would be understanding, but then go on about his own life and the last would probably worry too much.

    I really think men want to fix what is wrong with you and if they can't they try to ignore it. Maybe your brothers just giving you a call are their way of seeing how you are?
    Even though they don't come right out and ask how you are i will bet they really care about you!

    My dh and two close girlfriends are the only ones I have told about my FM. For some reason I don't want to hear "how are you feeling" all the time. Maybe I am still in denial! :)
    Sue
  16. Juloo

    Juloo Member

    ...but A LOT of them are.

    It may just be communication style as well.

    My husband loves me. He supports me *when I ask*. For him, me bringing something up puts him into "solve this problem" mode. He CAN'T solve my CFS, so it is very frustrating for him. He doesn't bring it up unless I do first.

    I have to remind him, if I do bring it up, that I just want to vent for a while. I am not putting him in the "fix it" seat. I just need a shoulder for a bit.

    If I want something specific, I have to tell him specifically, "Can you pick up our son from school so that I can go to my doctor's appointment?" "Can we skip the yardwork tonight and just watch a movie so I get get some downtime?" "Could we just have soup tonight because I'm too tired to wash many dishes even though it's my turn?" "Do you have a few minutes so I can update you on where I'm at with this CFS today?"

    This helps keep his frustration level down.
  17. Fibrolady37

    Fibrolady37 New Member

    gi.jane,
    Families are really hard work my family & i were always really close which was gr8 coz i think families shud be.
    I was dx with CFS,ME,FMS,IBS,SLEEP APNEA,BLURRED VISION,SEVERE DEPRESSION,AN INSECURE PERSONALITY DISORDER,A MAJOR DEPRESSIVE ILLNESS,A MILD FORM OF MANIC DEPRESSION,POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER,BIPOLAR THERE IS ANOTHER 1 BUT FIBROFOG STRUCK & CANT REMEMBER WHAT IT IS CALLED.SYGRENS SYNDROME,MYOFACIAL PAIN SYNDROME,,RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME,I HAVE 40 ILLNESSES ALTOGETHER BUT I DONT WANT TO BORE YOU.
    I SEND MONEY TO MY 2 NEPHEWS FOR BIRTHDAYS & CHRISTMAS THEY ARE MY SISTERS BOYS.
    MY BROTHER HAS 2 BOYS IVE NEVER SEEN A PIC OF THEM I DONT EVEN KNOW HOW OLD THEY ARE MY BROTHER HAS A LOT OF PROBLEMS THATS WHY HE ISNT IN TOUCH.
    That makes me really sad because id love to be a part of their lives.
    You will have a true friend in me i will pray for you & your family i hope you will post to me again.
    Fibrolady37.