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07/30/2009 06:30 PM

Am I over-reacting??

mem665

Hey guys! I'm in need of some advice on a current situation with my husband and mother-in-law. Shortly after I left my full-time job in March due to fibro, I was still able to walk and get around fairly well despite the pain. My mother-in-law has her own organizing business which I would help with on my good days. I basically organized garage sales and sold stuff on ebay for her clients.

The last 2 months have been h-e-double-hockey-sticks!! I can no longer do that like I used to and though I've told his mom several times, she keeps pushing me to continue on. She does not understand the pain...of course because 'it's all in my head' according to her.

I thought my husband was starting to get it, but because his mom called and left a message that she was coming to get me today at 2pm to head to a client's house. No one even asked me if I was busy or anything and I thought it was rude, so I left the house to get out for a bit while my husband slept. So, I was not home when she came to get me.

My husband woke up just now and is po'd that I didn't go with his mom today. What can they really expect me to do, with the chronic pain and now hallucinations as I adjust to Savella? Am I over-reacting? I'm about to leave for good because it's not getting any better and they're stressing me out to the point that I'm shaking!!

~Hugs~

Jodi

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07/30/2009 06:30 PM
mem665

By the way, this is about the 4th or 5th time that she has done this!

07/31/2009 06:11 AM
hopefull1
hopefull1  
Posts: 1965
VIP Member

I feel stressed out just reading your post. My Lord! You need to have a chat with your husband. Even if you didn't have fibro he needs to understand that you have boundaries that should be respected. Your time is your own whether you are sick or healthy. Also, because it is his mother it's his job to explain this to her, not yours. I would tell him that you truly enjoy working with his mother but that you have had 2 months that are unreal when it comes to your pain levels. Tell him to imagine waking up every morning with the flu. A really bad flu, aches, pains, headache, belly ache, etc. Then tell him to multiply that pain by 5. That's how you feel every single morning and sometimes worse. Then tell hime that you never know how bad it's going to be until you wake up. Because of that you cannot make commitments in advance and no one can ever assume that you are going to be there unless they speak directly to you. I know some of the ladies have had their spouses read some of the posts online and that has also helped them understand that this is very real.

08/01/2009 09:16 AM
mammy
mammy  
Posts: 7217
VIP Member

Jodi, you are not overreacting by any means. You have to set boundaries with both of them and stick to them. Try to find some alone time with hubby and explain how you feel, even if it is for the 100th time and tell him that you have decided you can no longer live like this. Just tell him that you will do what you can and will be more then happy to help on a good day. Please do not let him or his mother continue to try to control your life, this will only make your illness worse. I'm so happy that you just took off and didn't give in to her. They have to learn to live with this illness just like you do except they don't have to deal with your pain. Put your foot down!

Connie


08/01/2009 12:39 PM
mem665

Thank you hopefull and mammy! I appreciate your responses and am happy to hear that you didn't think I over-reacted. His mother has always been a bit over-bearing, but she was ecstatic when I had to leave my full-time job so that I could help her. I try to be a good daughter-in-law, but there's just somethings I just cannot do anymore. I thought it was a lot of nerve for them to assume that I would go to work with her that day without talking to me first. I had a heart-to-heart with my husband over dinner last night and he seems to get it, but unfortunately, it's usually short-lasting. Once he talks to his mother, he'll go right back to being on my case. If things don't get better, it's going to be time for me to move on...

THanks again for your advice!!

~Big Hugs~

Jodi


08/01/2009 06:36 PM
mammy
mammy  
Posts: 7217
VIP Member

Good luck Jodi and if you don't mind, keep us posted. Come on and vent to anytime, that's why we're here for each other. One of us always needs support and there is always another to lend it.

When you say move on, do you mean that literally? I'm not being nosy but I'm just guessing if that's what you meant perhaps there is other stuff going on? If so and you need to talk, you can pm me anytime. Otherwise just tell me to mind my own business lol

Connie


08/03/2009 09:27 AM
Clarita
Clarita  
Posts: 13087
VIP Member

Jodi,Echo all the very wise words spoken by Connie & Steffanie. Jodi- my heart plus prayers go out to you massively right now. PM me anytime- am a good listener. Will do best to encourage plus support you through any/all your challenges. Sweet Jodi, you deserve far better understanding, empathy, love, kindness as well as respect from your hubby & your mother in law that is for certain. You were not put on this planet to have anyone treat you like that/walk all over your feelings/needs especially with all your health challenges too. If you cannot make them see sense then urge you to find someone who will speak up on your behalf to them. Take excellent care of your most fine self. Sending up prayers to heaven for you. Giant gentle hugs, love Clarita

08/04/2009 04:59 AM
Starr
Starr  
Posts: 3358
Senior Member

Poor Jodi...I feel your frustration through your words.

Boundaries is a good word to remember. This Fibro is your disease. No one knows how it affects you more than you. And no one will. Just because others can't see it doesn't mean it's not real.

Put your foot down, hon...with both of them. Tell your husband that you need to know that he supports you and your decisions regarding your health 100%, and that his wishy-washy behavior is unacceptable. When he married you, he left his mother to be by your side, and to care for you through sickness and in health. That is now his job. No more leaving you to fight his mother on your own. Thast is only increasing your stress level, which in turn, increases your pain.

I don't know what kind of terms you are on with you MIL, but you need to find the best form of communication that you're comfortable with...phone call, email, letter, face-to-face or whatever. Give her a one-on-one chat so that you can set the boundaries and explain what they are and why they exist.

She was ecstatic when you left your job so that you could help her??? Did she even ask you if you would be willing to help her, or was this just an assumption on her part? There are to be no assumptions where you are concerned.

If you don't know from one day or hour to the next how you are going to feel, what gives her, or anybody else the right to think they know? Remind her that you left your job due to pain from Fibro, not to be her unpaid assistant.

If you want to help her, that's fine. Tell her you will when and as you can. But she is to make no demands on you and is to expect nothing from you. Rather than rudeness and assumptions on her part, and getting po'd on hubby's part, there needs to be caring, patience, support and understanding. And if they cannot give you that, you will do what you need to do to get it (come in here, get massages, work out and relax in a pool, just for starters).

You are in control of your disease. Your doctor is in charge of trying to ease your pain, but you are the only one in charge. So take charge, put your foot down, and say no. It's called tough love, honey. That's just the way it has to be, and don't settle for anything less.

Good luck to you. I know you don't know me yet, but I'm only a pm away if you need to talk.

{{{hugs}}}

Starr


08/04/2009 06:33 PM
mem665

Thank you all for your advice. It is SO much appreciated!! I always know I can count on you and I'm also here for you too!!

To answer some of the questions above, my mother-in-law did just assume I would help her when I had to quit my job. I didn't really volunteer, it just kind of happened. At the time, I was able to help a bit though not much, but now I can't even walk/stand for 10 minutes without the use of a wheelchair.

And to Connie - My husband and I have only had issues since I was diagnosed and had to leave my job in March. Before then I was the main breadwinner. Now he thinks he can control the finances and everything else I do since 'I'm not contributing anymore'. He tells me when I'm 'allowed' to go visit my parents and hates my brother, who is mentally disabled. I am the legal guardian for my brother should something happen to my parents, so it's kind of a big issue for me.

The biggest issue was about 3 weeks ago when my niece and nephew were spending the night. We had a 'sleepover' in the living room...basically watching movies together all night. When they finally dozed off and so did I, my husband yanked the pillow out from under my head. I'm not exactly friendly when I'm woken up since I don't sleep very well anymore. Then he grabbed my arms, picked me up from the floor and dragged me into the kitchen to yell at me for spending too much time with them. Like I'm not in enough pain anyways? So, my niece who we thought was sleeping saw the whole thing and told my parents. Needless to say, my parents, especially my dad, want to ring his neck!!

And to top it all off...this past weekend, we went to dinner with his parents and his mother said to me yet again "You don't look sick." I had had it, so I said "You don't look stupid either, but sometimes it is what it is." LOL!! Shawn and his mom are furious at me....oh well! It felt so good to get that off my chest!!

That's about it in a nutshell though there have been several other incidents the past 5 months....I could go on and on. I did tell him that if he puts his hands on me again, I'm gone.

So, now I've written you all a novel. I'm sorry...once I get going, I can't stop!! Thank you all for listening...you are such great friends!!

~Big Hugs~

Jodi


08/04/2009 10:34 PM
Starr
Starr  
Posts: 3358
Senior Member

Oooh.....don't get me started. I don't want to ask your age, but I'd be interested in knowing, only for the purpose of deciphering your husband...in other words, was he raised during a period where chauvanism was the order of the day?

Like Connie said, it's none of my business, and you can tell me to shut up at any time, but things like this just get my goat!

What I'm seeing here is control and possessiveness issues. How did he treat you when you were working?

He needs a little refresher course on husbandry. Marriage is a partnership, not ownership or dictatorship. You don't get to change the rules of the game just because you now hold the ball, or the income, as the case may be.

Finances: Neither party in a marriage should have total control over the finances. Each of you needs to be kept informed and to have your personal needs met. One can take on the chore of bill-paying and account balancing (preferably, the one who is better at it), but it is household income, not his money and your money.

Contributions: You don't contribute anymore, huh? Do you cook his meals? Wash his dishes? Cook his meals? Wash his dirty socks? Then you are contributing. If you did not do these jobs, he would either have to hire a maid, or live in filth. Maids are not free. They're not cheap, either.

Permissions: You are "allowed" to go visit your relatives whenever you darned well please. And you don't need his permission to do so, either. How he feels about your brother has no bearing on the matter. He is still your brother, and you still love him.

Your husband may have some say as to how much time your neice and nephew spend at your house, but he has no say in how much time you spend with them. They are your family, like it or not.

I don't know you. I know nothing about your history or your marriage. But I do know about abuse. I don't know if you do or not. But let me point something out to you. When a man begins to cut off a woman's ties to her friends and family, that is one of the first signs of abuse. You have gone from being his wife, to becoming his possession. Once that starts, he will see you that way from then on.

In my humble little opinion, he has already assaulted you by the way he woke you and dragged you into the kitchen. I don't know if you have kids to worry about or not, but I urge you to start preparing to carry out your threat. If you threaten to leave, and then you don't, your threats will lose all their meaning and he'll know then that he has you under his thumb. It only gets worse from there.

Now like I said, this is none of my business, and if I have overstepped my boundaries, I apologize. It's just something inside of me. When I see the beginning signs of an abusive relationship, I always want to reach out with a strong warning.

If my words have upset you in any way, just tell me to shut up and I'll never make mention of it again. But I hope you take my words as they are intended...out of concern for you in a potentially dangerous situation.

{{{hugs}}}

Starr

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