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Thread: How do you handle family who doesn't understand?

  1. #11
    Grant thank you for apologizing to my wife. You've got class man. Rarely do I see any guys here apologize. girls yes, dudes rarely. your'e ok. i just read it to Carol and she says thank you, and in light of your apology she withdraws the "bite me" comment.

  2. #12
    Off topic, Blundy and Carol, but I just wanted to make this point, and this thread is a great example -

    No one - not one of us - knows exaclty what another is going through, dealing with, or managing. Yes, there are commonalities with SCI, as there are commonalities with being a family member. The big BUT is that absolutely everyone's situation is different, and none of us has the right to step in and judge another. To take a few lines of what someone has written, and presume to know the details of another's life is a presumption none of us have the right to make.

    Grant, your apology was appreciated, I know. Thank you.

    Blundy and Carol - - didn't realize you were a couple! Keep on pluggin' through together - you both sound like you have a good thing going!

    _____________
    If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. - Mother Teresa

  3. #13
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    Blundy, tell Carol I'll send her a Precious Moments figure that she can smash with a hammer. That'll make her feel a little better!

    Love you guys. Hang in there.

  4. #14
    Thanks Martha and Jackie. we very much appreciate your kind words. that is a good point Jackie and i'm glad you brought it up. I'm sure I've been guilty of doing it before myself. Everyone has their burdens and sometimes we aren't privy to them.

    Martha, I guess you are one of the Precious Moments haters Carol told me about! I can't say I'm too fond of them myself. No offense to any Precious Moments collectors out there!

    Kate, when your siblings became furious about you still going on vacation, how did they express that? Did they call you, face to face tell you, give you the cold shoulder, or just send it down the family grapevine? Just wondering how it happens in other families. And if you don't mind, if directly confronted, how did you defend/explain yourself, or DID you? Maybe you didn't feel you owed them an explaination because it should have been obvious to them why you couldn't come?

    I have the opinion that if Carol tells her family she can't do something, they should trust that she CAN'T, or she WOULD. She always did everything she could in the past, so why would she suddenly become lazy and uncaring? But, they seem to think that IS the case. I think a lot of the problem is that in the past, she was the one who would jump in and say..."what do I need to do? Just tell me when to be there." She was single with no kids, and so she HAD more time and energy. I think her sisters got used to her being Johnny On The Spot and now that she's not, well.....you know about that.

    Thanks again to everyone.

  5. #15
    Senior Member kate's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Blundy:


    Kate, when your siblings became furious about you still going on vacation, how did they express that? Did they call you, face to face tell you, give you the cold shoulder, or just send it down the family grapevine? Just wondering how it happens in other families. And if you don't mind, if directly confronted, how did you defend/explain yourself, or DID you? Maybe you didn't feel you owed them an explaination because it should have been obvious to them why you couldn't come?

    I have the opinion that if Carol tells her family she can't do something, they should trust that she CAN'T, or she WOULD. She always did everything she could in the past, so why would she suddenly become lazy and uncaring? But, they seem to think that IS the case. I think a lot of the problem is that in the past, she was the one who would jump in and say..."what do I need to do? Just tell me when to be there." She was single with no kids, and so she HAD more time and energy. I think her sisters got used to her being Johnny On The Spot and now that she's not, well.....you know about that.
    Blundy, your question made me smile . . . trust me, hardly anybody in my family is sane enough to deal directly with issues. Instead, I would get little hints from various sibs--you know what I mean?

    "So and so was, uh, saying that she hopes you have a good time on your vacation . . . "

    Small dagger-ish comments like that, designed to hook me and start a fight. I declined to bite.

    Most of them live in the midwest, and I'm out in Seattle. They weren't involved when the accident happened, and they have no clue what our lives have been like since then. I'm the oldest daughter, and in our (big, Irish Catholic family) that means I was raised to be extra-responsible. Not anymore!

    I know my sibs suspect me of having grown "lazy and uncaring", to use your words, but I don't much care. I make it a practice to be gracious whenever we talk, and to be resolute about not letting their stuff become mine.

    I'm more concerned that my mom knows I'm ready to help her if I possibly can. (My father died right in the middle of our crisis. ) This is all pretty easy for me, because I'm so far away from all of them. I know I would have a harder time if they were near.

    For what it's worth, it does help to refuse to defend myself-- in the nicest possible way, of course! I don't owe anybody an explanation, and I'm not going to let them guilt-trip me. Good God! They couldn't last a week in my life.

  6. #16
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    Hi Blundy and Mrs. Wow, this topic really touched a nerve. I am 24/7 caregiver for my 100% dependent quad husband. He has 3 children, 2 grown, that haven't seen him since his accident in 2000. He has 3 brothers and a sister. One brother, since 2000, called us to meet him for lunch because he had been in our state for a WEEK and that is all the time he could spare.

    I am also responsible for my mother who has had 5 strokes and is in the hospital this week, since Monday, with pneumonia. I leave my husband to drive the 55 miles to the hospital everyday and just die from the guilt that I can't stay with her at night. She is hallucinating from the meds and is just totally out of it. I gave her caregiver 2 days off recently, ran between our house and hers, and just didn't know where I should sleep. I have one brother who lives 300 miles away and has seen my mom no more than 5 minutes in 8 years.

    My heart goes out to your wife. A wise neighbor of mine once said, "You are never going to please everyone." So quit trying. And I believe that the husband is the number one priority. As you said, she does what she can when she can. Sounds like she has a pretty full plate and you sure sound like an awesome guy to be aware of it. My guy is pretty cool too.

  7. #17
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    kate are you SURE we aren't in the same family?! Your'e family isn't sane either? And all this time, I thought it was just mine! My sisters (2 of the 3 anyway) do the exact same thing to me. Rarely any direct questions or conversation, but just little barbs that I usually ignore, but God it burns me up!

    This recent crisis with my dad being in the hospital has let me KNOW how my sisters truly feel about me and Ray (Blundy) now. Of course, I already knew in my heart, but I've had enough verbalized to me over the past couple of weeks to have no doubts now. And that's a good thing. We know how they feel and I have drawn my line. I'm sure they will continue to harbor ill will toward us, but that will be their burden, not mine. Not anymore. I am done. They smile to Ray's face, but then begrudge him care. They don't TRUST me that I'm telling the truth about our situation. I can only guess from what they've said that they think I exaggerate. I WISH I WAS EXAGGERATING! Then the only thing to solve would be my supposed lying problem!

    kate, like you I don't think I should HAVE to defend myself or explain our situation. I tried that once and it did not help. It seemed the more I tried to explain, the worse I made things. But, because they are my sisters and I loved them, wanted them to know I had REASONS for not helping more, not that I just didn't care about them. I think explainations only help when you are dealing with rational people and two of my sisters are not. One of my sisters is normal, thank God for her! I don't have to explain anything to her. She just has common sense and she trusts me. I think it's weird that the other two don't trust me, because I have never done anything deceitful to either of them. Maybe they DO believe me, and like you said earlier, just don't WANT to know the reality. They want to believe I can do a lot still like I did before.

    Shabu that is terrible that your husband's children and siblings do not see him. I don't see how anyone could do that to their father or brother! Especially their father!

    Your'e plate is way more full than mine, I do not see how one person handles all that. I know it must be hard to leave your mom when she's like that, and like wise leave your husband to go to your mom! If it's any consolation, when my dad was just in the hospital and he was on a lot of meds and hallucinating too at some points, he says now he does not even remember any of it. So, even though your mom seems so distressed, I bet she won't even remember it. Not much consolation to you now, but it did make me feel better that Daddy could not remember all that. I do hope she is well soon and can come home. I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers.

    And Martha...just where IS that Precious Moments you promised me?!!

    Marm and Shabu, yes I agree, husband and marriage come first. I think my sisters also have such a problem with me putting Ray first because they DO NOT have good marriages. I think from one there is some jealousy, and from the other she has a distorted image of what marriage is about. Just my guessing, but $20 bucks says I'm right about them!

  8. #18
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    Carol, just give me your address, and I will personally, and with great pleasure, drive to your house with a case of PMs and a couple of hammers!

  9. #19
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    Martha I hope you are familiar with driving the big-rigs cause it's gonna take a tractor trailer load of the little demons! I'd also like to request sledge hammers! Not the regular small kind! Thanks for the laugh! I needed that!

    Carol

  10. #20
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    Well, just a little good news. My mom is home from the hospital and things are pretty much back to normal. Bless her heart. Thankfully she doesn't remember her dreams or hallucinations. I see no point in telling her anything but fun ones.

    There have been a few days that I didn't know what I was going to do. Actually the first two years of my husbands injury. At that time I put my mom in a nursing home. I just recently brought her home as that place closed and couldn't afford the rates in another. I took a couple of breaks last year, but this year none. I plan to go in August to visit my children and only granddaughter in WA. state.
    Some days I feel like a rubber band pulled to the max.

    I remember something my ex husband said to me once. You have YOU to please and ME to please, and to hell with what everyone else thinks. Good luck to you

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