Family Fatigue

In the beginning of my special brand of funk, I would fervently explain and defend myself, while attempting to justify why I did or didn’t do certain things.  I think some of this may be due in part to me trying to quiet those internal voices that were asking the same questions and making the same judgments.

The thing about chronic illness that not many seem to understand is that I won’t miraculously get better (I may not be as sick as I currently am at some point, but I’ll never be 100%), and when they see me still sick a year later, they start looking for someone to blame.  This usually falls on me (I suppose technically it is my fault – I sometimes forget I’m not just a brain floating through the air), and to a lesser extent, my doctors.  I reenter the defensive position once again.  After a while, I wondered why in the hell I’m wasting my time and energy doing that when I could say one word and be done with it.  I do what I do, and fuck what other people think.  I do appreciate constructive suggestions, but telling me what I should have done 10 years ago really doesn’t help me right now.  I live in the present and I highly recommend it.

This evening, we were all sitting in the living room and manchild was talking about bikes with his Dad.  Harpy asked if he has been riding any, and yes, before his heart tried to explode, he was doing a 12 mile loop a couple of times per week.  Then she asked me if I was riding with him.  My answer a couple of years ago may have been “No, because….”, but this time I just said no, she asked why, and I said I’m a klutz then left it at that.  She scoffed and rolled her eyes at me, said something about laziness, then Manchild came to the rescue “her balance isn’t what it used to be.”  He explained how joint position sense greatly impacts our ability to stay perpendicular to the ground, and that I’ve lost it all the way up to my hips due to the neuropathy.  I’ve actually fallen off of the shower bench before if I close my eyes for too long while washing my hair.  I dump right out onto the bathroom floor.  It’s why my bathroom floor is so clean.  Even with my eyes open, staying stable while sitting without a chair back and armrests is difficult.   “She’s not looking for another reason to break something.”  That’s right!  The more cautious I am, the less likely I am to cause undue stress to your kid!

It was nice of him to come to my rescue, but he didn’t have to.  I gave up on trying to get the woman to understand my “shit”, as she calls it, and it’s less stressful to let it go in one ear and then slide out of the other.  On a long enough timeline, these tiny assaults do build up, but we’re not there yet.  After handling having her accuse me of causing manchild’s aneurysm, this accusation of laziness/ineptitude was nothing.  It seems the stress that I DO cause him with my illnesses and the fact that I didn’t “make him go to a doctor…” are the reasons he’s due for open heart surgery in two weeks.  That’s funny.  I’m pretty sure I called this one.  At least the woman is predictable?  I can’t make him do much of anything.  I’m not the boss of him, just like if I decide to say fuck all doctors, he’s not going to “force” me into anything.  He does what I do – makes suggestions.  When the needs outweigh the wants, I think we’re both capable of doing what we need to do.  Almost dying after a run is what it took for him to have his “OH SHIT” moment.

I got a truckload of crap about not calling them when he was admitted.  I knew this would happen as well.  I specifically asked him if he wanted me to call his parents, but he wanted to wait until he had more info…..because the bitch freaks out.  He didn’t want to deal with the stress of his parents.  He wanted rest.  Quiet rest.

The best part was how pissed off Harpy was when I told her that my parents are planning to leave for Vermont the day after manchild has surgery.  Now, those are two people I have to defend.  They have offered to cancel and said they can be here in a day – just say when.  They’ll be helping my sister move into her new condo, but she has plenty of people who can help if my parents can’t make it.  They love MC like he’s part of the family.  My Dad is ex-military himself, so he feels comfortable talking with him about things he won’t tell anyone else.  In fact, I think my husband has a better relationship with my Dad than I do.  

Knowing his parents would be here, there’s no reason for mine to cancel their trip.  Especially since one set of parents is more than enough.  I asked him if I should release the hounds, and he replied, “How about you attach your TENS electrodes to my nuts and crank it up to max – that’ll be just as much fun as having ALL of the parents here.”  Uh huh.  Agreed.  That’s a lot of crazy in one tiny house.



21 thoughts on “Family Fatigue

  1. Holy fucking shit, you’ve got Mommie Dearest on your hands! Ugh, and it sounds like she don’t wash off with water. I was reading about a real good remedy for skunk stink: you take 1/4 cup baking soda, a quart of hydrogen peroxide, and some liquid soap to dissolve the lovely essential oils. Mix that all up, don your hazmat suit, and pour that shit over the bitch. Scrub, scrub, scrub, rinse, repeat. Be sure to get plenty into the MOUTH. Sounds like she needs hers cleaned out BAD.

    I don’t know how you do it. I would have bitch-slapped that poisonous asp by now. I know you put up with her because you love MC, but…..

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this post! I like knowing I’m not the only one with a difficult family or people close to me. I’m always trying to explain why I can’t do something, or why I did or said something someone didn’t like. People start to lose their sympathy/empathy after a time when you have a chronic illness. I hear constantly about how much I’ve changed and how I need to change more. I was also screamed at by my ex-sister-in-law a few months back for not calling her immediately when my dad was taken to the Hospital. I had already had a horrific day finding him unconscious in the bathroom, then there was the 4 pints of blood he was hemorrhaging on the bathroom floor, calling 911, trying to find my sister, trying to clean 4 pints of blood and tissue off of the bathroom floor, walls, sink, etc,. At what point was I supposed to call my half brother’s ex-wife? I finally screamed back “Wait a minute! You’re forgetting one thing. He’s not your F*CKING FATHER!”. Then I did the only adult thing left to do and hung up on her. I don’t deal well with any kind of confrontations and this one led to a giant can of worms. I laughed out loud and snorted a bit when I read the TENS electrodes part. I miss that damn machine! It really helped to read this. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. ‘Why didn’t you do this? Why didn’t you do that?’: Why should you know? Also when you’re dealing with a sick partner or family who is able to phone for themselves, it’s not up to you. If they don’t want to talk to their parents it’s up to them to say why, and parents to accept it. But it’s difficult. Just do a ‘Working 9 to 5’ style rat poison fantasy.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It may sound weird, but I needed to read this today. I think apart from dealing with inner turmoil about all the escalation of symptoms lately I’ve been feeling I have to justify a whole lot of shit to other people and that’s just plain stupid. I need to follow your example and just stop, harpies all around be damned. I’m glad the MC stood up for you and that the two of you are able to advise one another but not push. Who cares if the rest of em get how it goes, you got each other. I hope that it doesn’t only get worse while they’re there and that you guys manage to keep your spirits up and stress levels low…or well as low as possible given the circumstances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t mind explaining it once, twice, or even more if the person seems to be genuinely interested. I can sort of tell when it’s going to become a prosecution and that’s when I save my breath. It’s nice to have at least a few people who understand how difficult the day to day stuff is.

      Liked by 3 people

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