Should I let go?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by misskoji, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. misskoji

    misskoji Member

    Hi all. It's been a while since I posted or replied to anyone. Sorry, just finished moving, urgh.....

    Long story short: As many of us do, I've lost many friendships, my marriage, and support from family. I'm doing my best to accept my new life.

    My question is should I just "take a break" or cut off from family? I have only one family member now that is understanding and willing to learn and empathize with my illnesses. Mind you, I have a HUGE family.

    It's my mother, stepfather, and next-one-after-me sister I'm thinking of quiting on. My mother, she was so concerned in the begining. Now, I give her something to read or the like, she throws it away and dismisses it. My sister, same story. Her and mom..."Here's a job you can do", "STILL in your pajamas huh?" My stepfather I have no problem cutting off. He was such a jerk to me and my son when I stayed with them going through divorce. I and my son are overwieght. We couldn't eat around him, he thinks I'm just totally lazy.

    When I was looking for support going through my divorce, mom said, you were dragging each other down. Excuse me? I'm not perfect nor totally faultless, but all I did was get sick and was unable to continue working, ect...

    My stepdad always makes comments about how much I'm in bed or sleeping ect....When my twin brothers (very sweet boys) try to defend me and educate him some his reply is "yeah just make more excuses for her." Mind you my mother allows him to do this...

    When I do go to my mother's now, it's so akward. I avoid my stepdad at all costs. My sister never calls anymore, nor does she answer when I call.

    I've been contimplating just stopping contact with them. I'm so sick of trying to pretend I'm ok around them, and ok with how they treat me. Also, my mother nor my sister EVER ask for visitations with my son, her only grandson and her only nephew.

    What do you guys think I should do? It's breaking my heart even contimplating it. I can't continue on to pretend to be someone I no longer am. I can't take the stress of it anymore. Will it be so much worse if I do stop talking to them?

    Thanks so much for your replies and support in advance!

    (sigh)
    Deanna
    [This Message was Edited on 09/16/2006]
  2. butterfly8

    butterfly8 New Member




    Are you sure they really know how you feel about the relationships status at the moment?


    This is what I think..... (for what it's worth - which may not be much)

    If they do know, why not give them one - and only one - warning that you will be forced to sever the relationships if the lot of you cannot work things out better. Keep it unemotional and do not get upset, angry etc. And then, if things do not improve, DO IT.

    Think very carefully of what you would be losing. Would you be losing relationships and support that you have, or only that you wished you have? It does not seem that the relationships are giving you much at the moment?

    I have severed a relationship since I became sick. It was very difficult at the time, but I am soooooo grateful now.
  3. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    You can't get shrimp scampi at McDonalds.

    And you can't get support and understanding and help from some people.

    But worse, some people are negative, toxic, and mean.
    And those people you are better off w/out.
  4. misskoji

    misskoji Member

    But I'm looking for any kind of advice, your thoughts, your input. I know it's a touchy subject, I'm sorry. I just don't know who else to ask about this.

    Thanks so much guys!
    Hugs,
    Deanna
  5. DorothyVivian

    DorothyVivian New Member

    and, Deanna, I agree with the therapist who said you can't get shrimp scampi at MacDonald's. Yet, I believe it is completely understandable for you to expect at least the bare minimum of caring and support from family members and friends you've known for a long time.

    As some of my friends and relatives have become unsupportive as I've become sicker--and, in some cases, downright judgemental and critical---I've looked back at the basic nature of the 'balance' of mutuality of caring and emotional support I have with each person.

    As I've examined each so-called relationship, I've become aware of something quite disagreeable and horrifying for me to accept. And that is, that the persons most judgemental and critical of me have, in the past, been those exact persons to whom I've given the most emotional support, interest and caring. As I have became sicker and been less able to give caring--they've become more and more resentful, demeaning, grudging and critical.

    I see that I've tried to explain my inability to give as much to each of them as I have in the past. The more I've tried to tell them, and show them what I'm going through, the more they have discounted, trivialized and dismissed my explanations.

    Finally, I told myself they are simply not ever going to "get it" from anything I try to tell them. So, now I've pretty much stopped trying to describe and explain what's been going on with me. I am now distancing myself from these people--without explanation. (After all, I've explained until I'm 'blue in the face'. Now, I've given up trying to explain and justify to them how sick I often am.) I see now they do not want to understand because a true understanding would mean I cannot sustain unfair, one-sided relationships any more. And, this would mean they would have to be more fair to me. (I'm partly responsible for this imbalance, since I allowed the lack of mutuality to go on for way too long.) But, now more!

    With most of these people, it has not been necessary for me to "sever" the relationship...since in most cases, they're not able or willing to hold up their end of the 'teeter totter'. They only know how to be on the receiving end of a transaction. And, these are actually unfair transactions, and are not real relationships at all. Because real relationships require mostly fairly balanced giving and taking--and a mutuality of caring and interest.

    I see now that they are not actually interested in me aside from what I can do or give them.

    To be more clear, in my view, a genuine caring relationship is not dependent upon "Hallmark" types of favors or remembrances. In my view, genuine relationships means treating one another with respect, good will, honesty, fairness and of being reliable. (I do not mean this has to be perfectly balanced. No one is perfect.) And, caring means there is genuine interest in one another--not necessarily in similar activities, etc. but in the enjoyment and enthusiasms of one another.

    I'm realizing that most of these persons in my life will be unlikely to treat me with respect and kindness--they're simply not that interested in me. Someday, several of them may find they feel differently towards me. But it's not likely in the near future as it appears to me most of them are simply too emotionally immature to be aware of the imbalance or to want to rectify the unfairness.

    In my heart, I will continue loving them, but I will not tolerate being mistreated. So I will tell them goodbye--at least, for now. (I don't have to tell them this in so many words unless I want to.) If and when I do, this is what I have said in the past, and I've been amazed that they immediately understand:

    "I'm going to distance myself from you for a while until I feel alright being around you. I'm hurting a lot presently and I need to protect myself from any more discomfort and pain."

    These words leave the door open for them to ask how they hurt me. (Oddly enough, though, no one has asked me that yet--they seem to know instantly they've been mean and unfair to me--and they don't want to be told how! lol!!)

    My words don't accuse them of deliberately hurting me. And for the most part, I believe their abusive behavior is mostly unconscious and stems from fear. I've learned that persons who are continually abusive (verbally or otherwise) are fearful people. And most abusive persons don't know and do not have access to their own strength and so, they tend to draw energy from others. So, when someone they've leaned upon in the past is unable and unwilling to allow them to 'lean' any longer--they become afraid and angry.

    Thus, I've learned that by distancing myself, I am protecting myself and forcing them to rely upon themselves and to stop draining me with their unfair expectations which create the imbalances of 'one-sided' relationships.

    Maybe someday they'll learn to give emotional support along with taking it from others. Till then, I need to stay away from them.

    I hope I've expressed how I regard this difficult situation clearly enough to be of some help. And I also hope you feel better about detaching and distancing yourself from those who do not have your interests at heart, as well as their own!! You deserve to have kindness and caring!

    With love, Dorothy

    [This Message was Edited on 09/17/2006]
  6. Loveyame

    Loveyame New Member

    I have been in your shoes.

    I have found that just backing off and not visiting or calling them eases the pain of not being understood.

    When I do see them I make a point of not talking about my health issues or anything else that is private.

    I treat them like strangers to a point but it lets them know that I am not going to listen to their bs.

    If they start dogging on me I look at a clock and say Wow where did the time go? I have to be at _______ soon.

    That is when I get up and leave.

    When they come to my home if I don't feel well I turn them away at the door and dont let them in.

    I make the comment. I wish you had called before coming over because I have caught a bug and I sure don't want you to get it. I will call you when I feel better. Then I shut the door lock it and go back to bed.

    Rude maybe but it only took twice before they started calling first and making arrangements to see me.

    I have also gotten to the point if they start nagging about a job etc I just say lets agree to disagree and change the subject.

    So far it has been working for the last 3 years.

    Love ya me
  7. MamaDove

    MamaDove New Member

    Several years ago, after years of being 'sick', I did the following: I decided that I would not initiate contact, no phone calls, no emails, nothing...I thought that if anyone really cared about what was happening with me, they would call...The phone didn't ring, no emails, nothing...Just as I suspected...My father had a saying after he became ill..."Hooray for me, to hell with you"...He found that everyone around him also went the other way, living their lives cause they're not sick...

    Realizing that everyone around me was not interested in learning about my illnesses and never even attemtping to learn what I was going through and hearing the comments "so and so had neck surgery and they work", so and so had a hysterectomy and they're fine", so and so had a car accident and now they're rich, maybe if you had some money you would feel better"...I heard it all except the thing I wanted to hear "I am there for you and I love you"...

    Well, now it's down to this...I have a few cyber friends that I 'chat' with on occasion, my ex-best friend calls to tell me of someone dying or the latest drama in her life and when she asks how I feel, I tell her "the same, no better"...My husband has stuck by me cause I do the same for him and the biggest surprise was when I couldn't make my Grandfather's funeral in NY, my Godfather called me to find out what was wrong with me...It seems everyone at the funeral was pissed I wasn't there and my brother went around telling everyone I couldn't make it cause "I wasn't feeling well", with that sarcastic tone he always uses toward people not up to his standards (Jackass)...I now talk to my Godfather 3x a week and it's wonderful!!!

    So it seems we weed out the uncaring and selfish individuals in our lives and go and 'nest' with our fave people...I truly believe that the rest of our relationships are just 'fluff' anyway...And to be honest I can't handle everyone's issues anyway...So much misery and drama, I have my own...

    I have zero contact with my brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles and old friends...They all ran!!! I come from a humungous family on both sides and not one gives a hoot...I have always been a hard-working, far from lazy person, helping anyone who needed it, always going out of my way for others and taking on others problems as if they were my own...Where did it get me? Away from everyone!!!

    I am not angry about it although I wished I had spent my time on myslef, maybe I wouldn't be so sick today...I am self-sufficient when many young women are dependent on others...I am fortunate to have a hubby who, like I, would live in a cardboard box in the street with me...I have learned what is really important in life, when most will never know...

    Some good things have actually come of me being sick...Getting rid of excess baggage is just one...

    I wish you strength to get through this and hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel and either your family will begin to realize what they will be losing if you choose to isolate yourself from them or good riddance to them all... You certainly don't need to
    spend what lil energy you have on this...It took me long enough to do so, and now when I look back, the only regret I have is that I didn't do it sooner..

    Time for you to worry JUST about you and your son and get you both in the best situation for the long haul...And for goodness sake, do something soon, life is ticking by and the only one suffering is you!

    Peaceful days ahead~Alicia
  8. NyroFan

    NyroFan New Member

    Deanna:

    I would cut out 'toxic' people. Maybe just for a while. Or for good.

    Do what is best for you. (My suggestion)

    nyrofan
  9. Mini4Me

    Mini4Me New Member

    Lots of good advice here.
    The hard part is that these are your closest family members. For me it was easy to let go of friends and co-workers who were just making me feel even worse.

    But it would be hard if it were my family.
    Someone here said to tell them once how you feel, and then back off if they still don't give you validation. That sounds like a good plan.

    This can be a lonley road! Wishing you all the best...
    Mini
  10. Redwillow

    Redwillow New Member

    This is a tough decision Deanna.

    Most of us have problems with family members or friends who just don't get it.

    I spent 2 1/2 years in therapy dealing with my anger and pain with family members and ignorant doctors. My therapist said that family members are the worst because you have all this past history and you just go around and around the same circles over and over.

    I will tell you this because I eventually decided to stop taking the put downs and remarks about getting a job. Family doesn't like you to change, and they will fight it tooth and nail.

    If they have picked at you for years they aren't going to like it if you decide enough is enough.

    But you have your health to look after and your son too which enough for someone who is sick. You don't want your son to be picked on this way either.

    I had to stop talking to some of my family members. My sister has come around after I was very blunt with her and said I wouldn't talk to her anymore if she didn't change the way she was acting.

    Other family members have chose to pretend my condition doesn't exist. If my health comes up in conversation they change the topic and pretend there is nothing wrong with me. That is fine with me. At least I don't have to hear all their stupid advice anymore.

    Take care of yourself Deanna and keep coming to this board.

    hugs Marion (Redwillow)
  11. minkanyrose

    minkanyrose New Member

    my mom nor my sister wants to hear nothing about my illness so I just keep very close to those who do for support.

    I t wasn't until I qualified for disbility that they kind of thought wow there is something wrong.

    they still don't want to know for what ever reason so I let them bring it up before I say anything about it, we have a friend relationship more than mother daughter.

    I go when invited If I can and explain when I can't that I am not feeling well today and I don't go in to details unless they ask.

    It took me 5 years to get here but It did get better.
    as far as your step father, ignorence about the disease is no excuse but consider the sorce when and if he says something just say I never thought of that i will see if that is an option for me then drop it.

    after a while maybe he will get tired of not ruffeling your feathers. he gets a reaction he oviously enjoys for what ever reason may be this will work,

    Good luck It is haard to take attacks from loved ones.

  12. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member

    Hi sweety,

    My opinion is that you should NEVER sever your relationship with parents/family. This is something that you do not want to live with.

    I would limit my visitation with them and not talk about the health issues if that's what it takes but please don't lose all contact.

    Talk with your mom on the phone, even if that's all you can do; talk with other members. If you don't see eye to eye with your step-father, then just keep it to youself and if you're around him, say hello and go on.

    This is only my opinion and if they don't understand, you can't make them understand. Just accept it but don't give up on your family.

    My best to you and I hope everything works out,

    BlueSky555
  13. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    all families go threw these things . I would just pull back and do your own thing for awhile.

    Do not say anything just continue on with your life. Do what is good for you and your son .That is what is important right now. In time things will work out. Sometimes saying nothing says a whole lot.

    I wish you wellness and happiness for you and your son
  14. misskoji

    misskoji Member

    I just wanted to thank all of you sooooooooooooo much! Big hugs! I'm sorry that you have also had to go through this. I know we all change as time goes on. Well these changes are so unfair to all of us, the way they come on so suddenly, leave us not many options, ect.. I think I have changed for the better in some respect. I'm now more understanding, patient, see things as a whole picture. Know what I mean? Guess I'm just saying there is a little good that comes of being sick.

    I LOVE this board and I will keep coming back. I'm so gratefull to all of you. I feel I can be understood here and also understand and help others.

    Kinda foggy today, so I'm gonna quit while I'm ahead. I cant thank you all enough for your personal stories and input!

    Hugs,
    Deanna

    You
  15. Jgavi

    Jgavi New Member

    I had the same thing to decide and it was easy for me to dump the negative people in my life- family or best friends...they have no clue what we are all going through- fighting this pain is about positive strokes..positive surroundings...happy times.....not nasty remarks, bad support and horrific humans who will never "GET IT"

    so let go and do whats best for you- you will find others who care- use that energy that you have been wasting on them towards you!

    you have no idea what this type of stress (negative) knocks down your immune system....move on for YOU...your the only one that can do it!

    jgavi
  16. I agree with Rick, write a letter, then let them make the next move. OR just back off from them for awhile if you don't want to write the letter.
    I for one don't talk about my illness as I find no one cares really to listen or they always have the same thing, etc. etc.
    And I see that look also that Rick mentioned in my husband or relatives, so I try to keep my health problems to myself , its much easier that way.