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Thread: Problem with Boundaries

  1. #11
    You're her patient, OJ, she isn't yours. If this were the typical exchange on how both of your lives are going, I could understand that, but seeking you out because you have trouble sleeping so she can unload on you? That's fucked up! You're practically trapped in her web while she spins her issues around you.


  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Le Type Français View Post
    You're her patient, OJ, she isn't yours. If this were the typical exchange on how both of your lives are going, I could understand that, but seeking you out because you have trouble sleeping so she can unload on you? That's fucked up! You're practically trapped in her web while she spins her issues around you.
    Yes I agree with you that it is a very fucked up situation Maybe even more fucked up than I realized until I actually wrote about it.

    Its funny because a few weeks ago I made the decision to loosen the strings on a long time friend of mine who has the tendency to do the exact same thing. It wasn't that I didn't care about her constant problems and misfortune. It was just too energy draining on me to have to deal with it on non-stop and one-sided basis. But really its the exact same thing with the nurse. Only worse.

  3. #13
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    I'm sorry to hear about your current predicament. However, I do have a different take on it. I have been in many uncomfortable situations and I have learned the hard way to be careful what you ask for. Suppose you get to the point where you feel you can't take it anymore and you fire her, then the agency sends you someone that is ten times worse but in a different regards, ie, is derelict in their duties, is physically abusive, or just doesn't care about your health. These type of things happen. I think you have to weigh this in when you decide what course of action to take. I also see that you are a kind person but that you have a problem when it comes to communication. In situations like this you have to be assertive yet empathetic. For example, I would tell her that I empathize with her but sometimes after she vents to you that you find it hard to go to sleep because her situation weighs heavy on your heart. Try to give her some perspective. Try to get her to see that even though times are tough for her, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Show her through how you are handling your situation that she is still blessed in spite of what she is going through and that even though times are hard there are people who have it worse. Remember, sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to talk it out.

  4. #14
    I tend to agree with semajh, maybe you could tell her you are going through a rough patch and just cannot deal with any additional problems. Say you will let her know when you are feeling better and ready to hear about her personal issues - this point will of course never occur. I think it's worth a try since she basically is a good caregiver and the agency isn't breakling your door down to provide you with alternatives.

  5. #15
    Somehow you've got to squash this asap.I go through this with someone that helps me.It's always something,she's overly dramatic and somehow she has problems w/ everyone.Well,I never adressed my issues and it finally led to a blowout fight w/ me saying things I shouldn't have and deeply hurting her.I had just had enough and couldn't tolerate it anymore.Now, feel it's deeply affected our relationship.I wish I would've handled it a long time ago.Good luck.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by semajh7 View Post
    I'm sorry to hear about your current predicament. However, I do have a different take on it. I have been in many uncomfortable situations and I have learned the hard way to be careful what you ask for. Suppose you get to the point where you feel you can't take it anymore and you fire her, then the agency sends you someone that is ten times worse but in a different regards, ie, is derelict in their duties, is physically abusive, or just doesn't care about your health. These type of things happen. I think you have to weigh this in when you decide what course of action to take. I also see that you are a kind person but that you have a problem when it comes to communication. In situations like this you have to be assertive yet empathetic. For example, I would tell her that I empathize with her but sometimes after she vents to you that you find it hard to go to sleep because her situation weighs heavy on your heart. Try to give her some perspective. Try to get her to see that even though times are tough for her, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Show her through how you are handling your situation that she is still blessed in spite of what she is going through and that even though times are hard there are people who have it worse. Remember, sometimes the best way to solve a problem is to talk it out.
    I was pretty clear in my previous posts that my wish is to not fire her if that is at all possible. I am trying to find a solution that doesn't involve firing her.

    Honestly I don't have the energy or the interest to talk it out and show her how blessed she is.
    Last edited by orangejello; 04-28-2009 at 02:34 PM.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by quad79 View Post
    Somehow you've got to squash this asap.I go through this with someone that helps me.It's always something,she's overly dramatic and somehow she has problems w/ everyone.Well,I never adressed my issues and it finally led to a blowout fight w/ me saying things I shouldn't have and deeply hurting her.I had just had enough and couldn't tolerate it anymore.Now, feel it's deeply affected our relationship.I wish I would've handled it a long time ago.Good luck.
    Yes you are right that things are likely going to explode if I don't squash this very quickly. Already I am noticing that while I used to just feel slight annoyance when I knew she was coming on shift, it has now moved into feelings of dread and resentment. On top of it, her problems seem to be escalating. So its like a ever worsening cycle in that each time the stories get worse, my stress levels go up. Partially because what she tells me is upsetting. As a human I am not unsympathetic to people who are struggling and hurting. But it never seems to end and that is mostly where my stress comes from I think. It just too much for me to handle
    Last edited by orangejello; 04-28-2009 at 12:57 PM.

  8. #18
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    Yea, I don;t think you want to go with the uncaring bitch attitude, but more with the overwhelmed, to much to handle, stressed out one. Implying that normally you woud care, but right now her problems are just too much to handle.

    But, keep in mind, that you are going to have to say this more than once.

    Initially try for a time when it is calm,. and the issue isn;t happening. Maybe when her shift first starts? "Mary, I get upset when you tell me about ....." Use sentences starting with I and not You.

    But after that, you are going to have to come up with something to say when it starts up again, because I would bet she would try for a while, and then slip up, if you ignore it, it will escalate again. So something you can say (maybe the same thing every time) and then turn your attention away, back to your reading, or the tv, or close your eyes as if you were going to try and sleep.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

  9. #19
    After going through another night of this last night I think I am just ready to let her go. Too bad that isn't a viable option. Maybe she will solve my problem and just quit herself. Turnover is very high at this agency because of the pay scale.

  10. #20
    Hi OJ, sorry to write in a hurry..

    I totally see where you are coming from. It has happened to me too to a lesser degree on a number of ocassions: a person who is performing some sort of service to me seems very empathetic and nice at the beginning, and then for some reason, we become sort of "friends" and at some point the blurred boundaries become uncomfortable... This would be less of a problem if it did not interfere with you capacity to REST while she in on duty! That is crucial..

    What has worked for me lately is to be very, very honest. Sweet, but totally clear. I would suggest something like this:

    - you appreciate all the help that as a PA she has provided in the last number of months.

    - you know she is a good professional, but you are finding it very difficult to rest and feel peaceful after you become worried about the problems she is facing. You can mention specific examples as being worried, or having dreams/nightmares, etc

    - this worry and lack of privacy (yours) and ability to rest has the potential to endanger you health..! And you are sure she would not want that, specially since she knows first hand how difficult a SCI life is.

    - You would appreciate if in the future she keeps all her comments very positive and light, and less related to her personal life. You care about her problems very much, and for that reason you think it is a very good idea for her to have more resources available to her (such as counselling, maybe you can mention this has been helpful to you or to someone you know).

    - Again, stress that given your injury YOUR PRIORITY IS YOUR HEALTH. And that you know she thinks the same way.

    I think you must also BELIEVE IT. You are a really nice person, and Im sure you tried to help her. But the person who needs the help the most is YOU, that is why you are paying her.

    From a "budhistt" perspective: dont be angry at her for being so annoying, or at yourself for having listened, or at the situation. This will have a solution, one way or another, you are not trapped. Just tell her the truth, without resentment, from the bottom of your heart. When I have used this "trick" lately, it has worked even in the most difficult conversations.

    Finally, DONT FEEL GUILTY, whatever the outcome. It is not your job to fix anybody else's life. Maybe your PA understands what you are trying to say, in which case the situation will improve; or she refuses to aknowledge your legitimate need for your own emotional space and becomes angry. In that case, it is better that she goes (no matter how difficult the situtation for your mother becomes in the short or medium run). Not wanting to aknowledge such a legitimate and health-related request is not something you want out of a person who is suppoused to be providing care!

    You can do it.

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