How does one cope w/toxic family members?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Iggy_RN, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. Iggy_RN

    Iggy_RN New Member

    I posted a while ago, I had a scare w/cancer, which turned out alright, I have been in and out of hospitals like you all here. My question is how does one cope w/family members that could care less if you live or die? All my family is back in Chicago, and they are the best, very supportive, but my husbands family (sis-in-laws, brother in laws) never called once to see how my CT scan even went, when they knew the docs reading was a "mass" in my lungs or lymph nodes. I praise God im fine, I thank God that I am healthy w/out cancer, but these times have truly showed who is there for me and who is not. Do you know what one of my sis in laws said, when she first heard about the mass? She said,"you really did not expect to find nothing did you, since you smoked and all!" OMG!!!!! tell me how to deal w/insensitive people who could care less, I dont know what to do, I have really distanced myself from these people cuz they are toxic, but it is hard, because my 7 yr old likes to see her godparents!!! Help me not wring their necks or just blow my lid on these people that have not one once of respect for anyone but their own. We used to all get along good, but They have just gone kooky on us, I dont know what to do, help me keep my stress level down, because this is the only family I have out here in AZ, and get this,we are partners in a restaurant!! there is no way to avoid them, I just want to choke them, they're so evil.... please help... my heart is broke w/out family and friends out here, what do I do? Thanks, Iggy
    This seemed to all start after I started college and sort of broke away from the italian thing...
    [This Message was Edited on 08/10/2003]
  2. DeMcKen

    DeMcKen New Member

    but I have had toxic friends. Finally, I just stopped investing my limited energy in them. SO hard for me to do because I'm a super pleaser - always go out of my way for others. But then I finally realized that, in my time of need, those people weren't going out of their way for me. I still miss them sometimes (nobody's all bad, all the time)and mourn the loss of these freindships but I"m trying to learn that it's okay to do for others as long as it's NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF YOURSELF.

    Yours is a harder situation since you cannot sever ties. My humble suggestion would be to make a nice effort at being friendly and family-like adn then, if it isn't returned, stop expending your energy. You can be civil at work and you can make arrangements to drop your child off to spend time with her godparents, but you needn't subject yourself to mean-spirited people. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do. And if, like me, you're worried about how people will think of you or about being unkind to someone, you just remember that they weren't so kind in their treatment of you.

    Good luck,

    Denise
  3. courtney5771

    courtney5771 New Member

    I think that we should get rid of all the toxic people in our lives. I need to try that when my narcistic mother calls.

    Luv,
    c
  4. Sunshyne1027

    Sunshyne1027 New Member

    I have a freind who is in the hospital right now with cancer. Never experienced anyone with cancer and so its all new to me. She has leukemia.. in the blood and marrow. She is in ICU right now, her lungs collapsed in the middle of the night. She is knocking on deaths door to say the least.

    I learned the hard way on family and caring, and them being here and there for me when I really need them. I rely on ones around me that do care. They are not "blood relatives" Ridding of toxic family takes time sometimes. Once they burn you a few times, then maybe you learn to just move on and rely on the ones who want to be there and supportive and caring.

  5. scottabir

    scottabir New Member

    Hello, I completely understand how you feel. All of my relatives (grandparents, father, siblings) except my Mom (has FM too) thinks I am making uo this illness and just want attention. They all have said and done very hurtful things to me. When I first met my husband and I told him how my family reacts towrad me he thought I was exagerating. Well now 3 years into our marriage he agrees with me and wants nothing to do with them either. I do have it easier than you in the fact that I was able to move out of AZ and into MI to get away from them. I have now been in MI for a year and have had such an easier life. My family memebers never call me. My dad hasn't called me once since I moved here. I did go back to visit in AZ and it was a complete disaster. My family told me I ruined Christmas and went on and on about how bad of a daughter I am. Anyway, since than my husband and I have decided we will no longer have meaningless relationships with people who really don't care. I guess what I am saying, if at all possible, cut the ties. My health has actually improved since I cut my ties. Good luck, I hope you are able to find a better way.

    Abi
  6. petfriend

    petfriend New Member

    Hi Iggy: I understand your situation all too well. I have some family members who are supportive and others who are toxic. Those who are toxic, I choose to keep them at arm's length and give them just as little information as possible. They are shallow people who cannot cope or understand another person's feelings or problems because it may inconvenience them.
    Do not waste your time worrying about what they think. It's nice that they are good to your daughter, but watch that too because they may not be a good influence on her.
    In any case, it's unfortunate that have to be in contact with them, but just maintain your distance and come here when you need to talk to people who understand and care. Try to take time to see your family members who are so supportive - it's good for you to be with those you love and also for your daughter to be in contact with caring people too.
    Hope you have a great day - Irene
  7. Iggy_RN

    Iggy_RN New Member

    It is just so hard to play nice when they are such nasty people... their kids can't even say a nice word about anyone they just cut everyone to pieces... I wish I could sever the da** ties, but it would hurt my husband and most of all my daughter,,, WHat really irritates me the most is that my sis in law considers herself to be so GOd fearing, and obedient in christianity... What a shame... I do not think that slander and gossip and malice and hurtful tongues come from GOD.... I am christian, and I try to maintain my sanity and calmness w/this... I need to get busy again w/school and work, and not worry so much about something I cannot fix... I just really want respect, But I'll never get it... I do not disclose day to day w/o pain or Fm problems at all, its just that this cancer scare was so intense for a few days, it really just hit home how they really dont give a sh** about me... Im just hurt and feeling sorry for myself... Call it a pitypot, but I will be off of it by tomorrow, I promise!!!! Love and blessings to the people that matter to me!!! all of you!!!! Iggy
  8. Sunshyne1027

    Sunshyne1027 New Member

    I recently had to sever ties with a sister of mine. We have been close in the past. She never fully understood what am going through, didn't really expect her to. But did expect some compassion, some understanding and got none.

    The last straw was not long ago, the last week of July. My birthday. A few days before my birthday she called me on the phone, and wanted me to give her or sell her some of my pain meds. She is addicted, does not need them for pain. She got angry when I said no. Hung up on me. Havn't heard from her since. She had promised to take me out for lunch for my birthday, didn't show up, didn't call or anything to say why not.

    I severed ties with her. Hard to do. I did it after thinking of the many other times she has not been there for me. I rely on others now around me that do care. I do not deserve to be treated this way. If she does finally decide to try and mend the relationship, not sure yet.. I think I will give her a piece of my mind, tell her go on..

  9. Iggy_RN

    Iggy_RN New Member

    I know I can follow thru and severe ties and just give out info on need to know basis, but NEVER ABOUT MYSELF! Just pray for me folks, that I can control myself and not speak my mind to tell them off. I just have to really clear them out of my head to heal w/what they've done to me. (long story and will take way too long)Thanks, Iggy
  10. Dogtired

    Dogtired New Member

    Hi Iggy,
    Wondering if there is a local FMS/CFS support group? Sure sounds like you could use some more people who 'get it' in your life.
    Also, for what it's worth I go to Codependents Anonymous,a 12-step group in most cities(I hate the name - but great resource). FYI: the only requirement for membership is a desire for healthier relationships (no pressure/commitment in terms of joining the group). One of their slogans about the group is: "Take what you like and leave the rest"...it might give you a lift to be around others who are trying to take better care of themselves in family/other relationships - I know it helps me immensely when no one else seems to understand!
    Whatever you do, remember you are important. Best of luck!
    -Kristi
  11. Aeryn

    Aeryn New Member

    One thing I realized when dealing with the lack of support of family and friends during a crisis a while back was that not everyone has the same capacity for compassion or understanding. Not everyone is able to produce it even on a small scale. They simply don't have the capacity for it and so have few reserves to offer it.

    This is going to sound irritating but really it is true... If you can have compassion for them because of their incapacity, your own capacity for compassion and understanding will grow. With that comes greater peace of mind and patience.

    In a sense they are emotionally disabled, we cannot expect them to act in a way they cannot act. But I think it is important to say that you only truly leave behind your expectations of them when you yourself have compassion for them. If you leave them behind with resentment and disgust, you are still holding onto your expectations and disappointment and that only hurts you in the end. Your hurt feelings have no effect on them, but they have a big effect on you.

    I read in a newspaper column once that when one is angry at others one should pray for them to be granted beautiful hearts. I find that just the act of having to pray for someone I would frankly like to spit on transforms me and my emotions away from anger toward peace and understanding. And, who knows, maybe God will answer that prayer!

    None of this means you have go have coffee and be friends with these people. Wisdom would require dealing with them with friendly politeness and sharing nothing that is important with them.

    Sorry for the preaching, just wanted to share what I have felt.

    Aeryn
  12. shoshi68

    shoshi68 New Member

    I have to deal with toxic people all the time. They are family and they can be avoided and are avoided. But you can't go around life without encountering them ever... so my husband runs interference and he's a doll for doing it.

    My sister has been toxic to me all my life. last week she upset me for the last time. I cried for my loss but cutting her out was the best thing I could do. I love my nephew, and soon she will have a daughter....

    sad, but neccessary.

    all the best,
    shoshi
  13. Iggy_RN

    Iggy_RN New Member

    about not elaborating on my personal life whatever it is. I really think that it is up to me to pray to let go of hurt feelings and realize that like someone said here, some people are not capable of having any sense of compassion, which clashes w/me tremendously, because I am very compassionate, and caring and sensitive to others. I always have had a hard time just letting go and moving on. Its just to close here to home.... Iggy