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10-21-2015, 07:36 PM   #1
Mintphoenix
 
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Family issues

I feel like the most selfish person in the world, but I just canít do it anymore.

I feel the need to preface this by saying that I love my family. And I know that they love me too.

But I just canít handle it anymore.

I was diagnosed with Crohnís just over a year ago and for a short bit it was good. For the first time in my life, my family rallied around me. I had never needed it before, but I really did then.

Since then though, they have settled back into their old habits.

I have always been an anxious person, but I canít handle stress as well as I used to as it makes me feel ill and I really want to get myself into remission.

My family has issues. That feels like a massive understatement. One of my brothers has cut ties with all of us (funny enough, heís not a problem), my other brother is an alcoholic and my parents are divorced. Dad is no issue. He is endlessly supportive, even if he lives over the other side of the country and can only support me by phone.

Mum and my brother live together as Mum had a stroke a few years ago. Physically it hasnít affected her all that much, but her short term memory is not the best. Mum and my brother both called me often to complain about the other and their behaviour towards each other.

It got so bad that my husband stepped in and had a word to them both telling me that they need to ease off as on me as the stress was affecting me. My brother listened and backed off to the point where he stopped calling me. Mum backed off for a bit, but sheís back now doing it all again.

She took the divorce badly and I have spent my time growing up hearing the ďyour father is a horrible human being and this is why storiesĒ and now she includes ďyour brother is a horrible human being and this is why storiesĒ. My brother has started drinking again because of work and whatever is going on between them.

I have hit the point where I (finally) admitted I need help. My doctor has referred me on to a psychologist and Iíll see her in just over a week for the first time.

I was going alright. After asking for and receiving help I was feeling lighter, betterÖand then Mum called me again. She started telling me the stories over the phone again, told me she wanted to come visit me again soon and then finished up the phone call with ďI called this time, next time itís your turn.Ē (no pressure right?)

When Mum comes to visit, it is a 1 ľ hour drive. She drives down and tells me about how sheís going (which is what she tells me when she calls to confirm a day or two before then) and tells me the horrible human being stories about both my Dad and brother. At the end of two hours weíve run out of things to say. By this time Iím so stressed I have to lie down and rest to settle myself down.

My husband takes over then as we canít be rude enough that we leave her on her own while visiting and she tells him her horrible human being stories. After an hours rest I have rallied enough to return and then Mum and I spend another 1-2 hours sitting awkwardly next to each other watching television or a movie until my husband makes an excuse about something we have to go out and do so she will leave.

She and my brother have had enough issues that last Sunday night I received a text from her asking if she needs to can she come stay for the night as my brother was drunk again. Of course I said okay.

I missed four calls from my brother who wanted to have a drunk rant at me and when I didnít answer he tried my husbands phone who I stopped him before he answered.

In the past the rest of my family have tried to convince both my brother to move out and Mum to kick him out if it is that bad but they never do.

Mum went to her GP who wanted her to go to a psychologist as well, but Mum is making herself feel better by only thinking of positive things and ignoring the negative so she will be good enough that her GP wonít send her (because god forbid she should actually admit that she needs help).

In the past more than once I have spoken to her about how she feels the need to talk about my Dad and brother. I let her know itís hard for me as I am personally involved and she really needs to find someone impartial who is not connected to it to speak with. She agrees and then returns to speaking to me about this.

Itís hard because I love them all, but I canít cope with this. My husband is keeping quiet, but I know that this situation is making him frustrated as he watches the impact this all has on me.

I donít want to, but Iím starting to feel that my only option is to talk to my Mum and brother and tell them that unless they can be a positive, beneficial presence in my life they need to stay away and that they both need to seek help for their individual issues instead of relying on family members as counsellors in this situation.

In the past I have always been the go to person when people are having issues, but they donít understanding that I am unable to be in that position now and they need to adapt.

I feel like the worst, most selfish person in the world, but everyone (including them) tell me that I need to take better care of myself and put myself first.

I just donít know what to do. Seeing the psychologist in a week or so feels too far away and I canít get in sooner.
__________________
Diagnosed: 02/09/2015
Medication: Azathioprine 75mg
Also taking: Lamictal (epilepsy) 100mg, Maltofer iron supplement, Ostelin Vitamin D and Calcium
10-21-2015, 08:05 PM   #2
Deanne
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Queensland, Australia

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Hi Mintphoenix, my heart goes out to you.
I also have a very selfish family, they only talk to me when they want something (money, a babysitter etc). I too get sick when they bring their drama into my life. My husband is very good at running interference and getting be back to positive thinking.
I am trying to 'look on the bright side' and be selfish myself. I don't really talk to my family, only when I am in a good place will I answer their calls or visit (they never visit me).
My key is it not lie, I tell them what they are doing too me, and on few occasions I have told them that I will not be talking to them for a few weeks/month. It works for me, and they are too selfish to really care. It doesn't matter, with my family if I am in the right or wrong, I am always the bad one.
I believe life is to short to put up with other people's s**t. I think you need to focus on people that make you happy.
D
__________________
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease - 2011
Medication - 3000mg Pentesa per day
Fish oil, Inner Health Plus and Metamucil.

2015 - Remission
10-25-2015, 02:35 AM   #3
Mintphoenix
 
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Hi Deanne,

Thank you for your comment.

I'm sorry I didn't reply sooner, but I took the time to think on it first.

You are right. It's not easy for me as my family has always been pretty tightknit, but I need to take care of myself first.

I'm going to talk with my family about this and let them know what is going on and how it affects me.

I have also made a decision that is really going to ruffle some feathers even more. I am not going to Christmas Day with my side of the family this year.

It's a one and a half hour drive they expect my husband and I to make each year. We then follow it up by driving to his parents home which is another half an hour from our home in the opposite direction. So four hours in a car. I tried it last Christmas after I was diagnosed and I felt awful for it. So it's not happening.

I will see them and have contact with them, but it will be in amounts and under circumstances I can control.

My husband is fully in support of this and of me.

Thank you so much for your advice. I really appreciate it.
10-25-2015, 03:42 PM   #4
Deanne
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Queensland, Australia

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This Christmas I need a break, so it will be just my husband and I, at home. I can't wait.
Good luck.
10-26-2015, 02:01 AM   #5
Mintphoenix
 
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
You too :-)
11-23-2015, 06:43 PM   #6
foxxie52
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Awww, sweetie, you are not selfish in the slightest. You need to think about yourself right now and having a break from them sounds like the right thing to do. Sending hugs. X

11-24-2015, 02:06 AM   #7
Mintphoenix
 
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Thanks Foxxie52. Sometimes it helps to hear it. :-)

Hugs back at you!

Things have been picking up lately which is good. My family aren't thrilled that I'm not coming for Christmas, but they can handle it.

My husband loved the idea and told his family the same thing, so we're going to have a quiet, lazy Christmas at home this year. I'm really looking forward to it. :-)
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