I CAN'T SAY NO, and i suffer damage

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by sascha, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. sascha

    sascha Member

    i am running on, say, one out of four cylinders anyway, at best, so i am slow and it takes my all just to keep my own show going.

    we have been having ongoing family catastrophes since 1998 when my mother died. we took care of her. then my brother-in-law died and i helped my sister during that time. then my house burned down and my mother's house next to it burned down. then my sister was diagnosed with cancer and i moved back east 17 months out of the three years she lived before ovarian cancer ended her life. i got back from the East and my aunt, in her eighties, was failing. i was the person she called during emergencies and for errands and doctor appointments and such. my aunt just died the first week of November. we all helped out to clear her apartment and prepare for her service.

    point is- i have CFIDS- how do i figure out my course during these crises. ??? i have no idea. but i feel really awful right now. just wonked out emotionally, physically- my CFIDS symptoms are with me all the time now.

    i don't see how to do things any differently when family emergencies arise. do you??? i'm just all weepy and emotionally wrecked right now. i'm wondering if i've done more permanent damage because of giving my all to be there when there's a need for people i love. i do what i can, and MORE than i can, then i collapse.

    i honestly don't know the answer; MY answer for this dilemma. i can't see withdrawing completely. i couldn't to that. they're my family. but i get to be in a state of permanent collapse.

    oh how i hope there is a lengthy time of clear sailing now so that i don't have to keep pushing myself beyond what i'm able to do.

    i would love to hear how you deal; how you make best decisions for youself and your family in such circumstances.
    i just feel completely wrecked. Sascha
  2. krchamp

    krchamp New Member

    I just posted (why can't I accept this) today about family crisis and the effects it has one me. It absolutly wipes me out.

    I don't know how to better deal with it but I am gonna try something new. I discussed with my hubby tonight that I am gonna stop agreeing to do certain things that I know I won't be able too. I have to prioritize my life. I just have to. If I don't, I don't know how much more I will last. My hubby said I need to adopt the "just say NO policy" and I think he is right. I also need to stop feeling guilty when can't do something. Guilt is a big thing for me. I stretch myself so thin that I can't take care of me.

    I love my family too, but my health has to be a priority too. I took a sick day from work today because i couldn't move. I was up most of the night with my deceased cousin's fiancee. I knew I needed to be in bed but she needed me. Well, I made some tough decisions today about my health and life. I have made a promise to myself that I am gonna stick to them. I will be no good for anyone if I am not in a good place -physically and mentally.

    Kristi
  3. alfmama

    alfmama New Member

    I sure God has one for you. I'm so sorry for your losses. I hope when you have time to recoup, you will know that the wonderful memories of your family are priceless. I'm very sure that becouse of your loving time and care they were comforted.. god bless you and may He make your pain more bareable..

    alfmama
  4. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    The book is by Manual Smith. The title is something like "When I say No I Feel Guilty".

    You can see yourself that if you keep on you will exhaust yourself. Then you will not be able to help anybody. IN fact you will need help yourself.

    You say you don't see how to do things differently. But lots of people see things differently. Many family members wouldn't have done any of the things you did.

    Some family members do all kinds of terrible things. So don't hold yourself to some impossible standard.

    I have been working on changing my attitudes for the last 20 years. I used to be type A, workaholic, perfectionist, put others first and me last. The more I change the better life becomes.

    Good luck.
  5. linpop

    linpop New Member

    Sorry for all you have been through and I thought I have a lot to deal with!

    Does anyone else agree that most of us who suffer pain are usually always givers and when it comes to ourselves we just give in. However, should another crisis turn up for someone else we will do our best to meet their needs.

    This seems to be the pattern of my life and I was wondering if it is a common thread to people with our DD.

    Linda
  6. findmind

    findmind New Member

    My favorite words are, "I'm not willing"

    I'm not willing to chance giving you CFS because they are not sure it isn't contagious...

    I'm not willing to extend my energy beyond my endurance right now, I'm too sick....

    I'm not willing to help in this situation because it will impact my health too much...

    Get it?

    findmind
  7. nev

    nev New Member

    I have learned to say no to a lot of things over the last five years or so. It was more daily stuff like filling in for someone at a church function or letting my kids have 5 different activities each to cart them around to. My kids generally can only have one major activity per week, cause I can barely keep up with that.

    But when it comes to family it's harder, like my parents. They will do practically anything for me so I feel I have to do the same for them.

    When you talk about major events, I feel I need to always be there and help with whatever is needed.

    Can there be a balance?

    Plan ahead, for the major and the minor. If you are physically spent, you are of no help to anyone. The only way to start saying no is by practicing.

    If you can't help clear out the house of your family member then tell them you can't but will make/buy a lunch here or there for those working. Or when you seem to be the only one who can take on a family disaster, call the next one in line, delegate the work to others to lighten your load.

    I don't know if this is coming out right.

    I do want you to know that I am getting better at saying no, and you can too. You just have to start. I still feel guilty for long periods of time after saying no to even little stuff.

    I started by telling people that I would get back to them on it so I didn't have to make a split second decision.

    best wishes, I know you can do it,
    nev

  8. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Do you have any brothers or sisters who could help?

    Do you have any grown children who could help?

    You have REALLY gone through alot!

    I had to take care of everything when my MIL died. She lived 1,000 miles away. I was exhausted for months from the ordeal. I really don't know how you have done all of this! Soft hugs.
  9. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    You'd be surprised what people can do when they need to. You probably get alot of satisfaction out of helping out but if you don't quit, you'll prolongue your recovery. There will always be a neverending string of "emergencies" if you allow it to happen.

    Your body only has you to depend on to take care of it. Start being a buddy to your own body. If it was someone else's body would you force it to work beyond it's capacity over and over again? Then why would you do it to your own body? It's still a body that needs rest!

    It sounds like you've gone above and beyond so often, the people around you will probably wonder why you didn't rest sooner. You sound alot like my husband. Once I told him if he does all the "difficult" things for the family, he won't allow anyone else to have a chance to make an effort and take the credit for doing something significant.

    your body needs you, too!

    karen
  10. Bambi

    Bambi New Member

    you except to take some time out and rest!! You have been through SO much in a short period of time and our bodies just aren't up to it.

    I had a series of terrible things happen in 1997, the whole year was a nightmare including the death of my mother. A year after that my FM became totally severe and I began developing all the autoimmune things I have since added to my long list of physical problems.

    It's great that you have such a giving heart, but unfortunately you just don't have the health to go with it. I know for me that's the hardest part to accept. I now tell every one
    that I "will" do whatever I can "IF"
    I am "able" at the time. I just am NOT "able" often any more. I NEVER promise ANYthing any more, I just can't. Take care of yourself. Bambi
  11. sascha

    sascha Member

    i got A LOT out of all your responses in various ways- all helpful- some comments really hit me as TRUTH. i appreciate hearing so much. it really really helped me hearing all the words of advice and understanding.

    it made me feel better. THANKS! Sascha