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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 2/11/2007 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I just wondered how you all get through to family that you are SICK!!!  With my school schedule and work I am exhausted.  My oldest daughter stays with my mom (the other two kids are with their dad most of the time) so I can get through school.  So, to help out due to dd being there I buy around $250 worth of groceries for them every month.  (I have also payed cable bills, given my little brother money for his school lunch, bought clothes for my younger siblings....)  Okay, so I get a call on friday that they are out of food.  I JUST bought groceries two weeks ago and mom is wanting me to go buy more because she is broke.  (I also take care of everything financially for dd..clothes, year book, school lunch...)  Now mom lives an hour and a half away, I have to work Saturday and have two papers to write, nearly 200 pgs to read and three exams (none of which is done at the moment).  Sunday (today) I have my other two kids that I have NOT seen in two weeks because I spent last weekend down at moms with my oldest.  Confusing...I know. 
Anyway, I called mom Sat afternoon and told her I would get more groceries but she would have to meet me half way because I am tired, I am shaking, I have been working for the past 10 hrs and still need to get some of this homework done, my laundry washed (I'm totally out of clean clothes) and my house at least half cleaned.  Her response... "Well, I'm tired and April (my 18yo sister) has a headache.  We don't feel like driving up there."  In the end I finally said "I will be at *grocery store* at 730.  You will be there to get the groceries or you won't have any food.  I need to get to sleep."  April met me but bi***ed the entire time.  "I go to school too (13 4 hrs a day), this is my only day off (I do NOT have any days off), I have a headache."  AHHHHHHHH.  How do you get through to them that not only are you tired but when you get that exhausted you can't keep going for long?  I won't even go into the choice words I had for my little sister once we got out of the store.  I can tell you that she now gets that I don't give a flying anything if it is her only day off or her head hurts and that I can do 13 credits with my eyes closed...try doing 24 in 5 months then we'll talk!!! 
There are times I feel like slapping all of them and yelling WHAT PART OF STILL SICK DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND!!!!!  I am more medicated than my 70yo grandmother!!!!!  Part of me just needed to vent but the other part wants to know how to get through to them that I can NOT do it all anymore and that I can not physically push myself past a certain limit because my body and my mind rebell and shut down.  Thanks to all that have any advice...I need it.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 206
   Posted 2/11/2007 10:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Angie (((HUGS!))) I'm sorry your family isn't supporting you in the way you would like. Honestly though, I think if you ain't been there there's no way to get it. My dad still thinks I should just "try to work honey, and do your best." He doesn't ge that I am in bed for several days each week. In general I think people try to understand though. It seems to me you are trying to carry a lot.

I have had another crash, so no energy to write more still tonight, but I will tomorrow. I just didn't want you to think you were alone with no one listening.
Take care,

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 206
   Posted 2/12/2007 3:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I was thinking some more about your post. Again, this will be fairly brief, but I'll add as I can.

One thing that I have learned is to not use the word "tired." It is too innocuous of a word to describe chronic fatigue symptoms. Do you have an official diagnosis? It seems to me your family truly does not understand your illness. I am wondering if there is a way that you and your mother or another family member can sit with a doctor, social worker or some advocate and get everything clarified as far as how you and your family are going to get through this. You are very fortunate to be getting help with your kids, but it is important that your children and the people caring for them understand that you truly aren't able to do it yourself. It sounds like somehow more clarity and boundaries have to be come to so that everyone feels they are on the same team. Also, is school too much? Have you considered trying to cut back to three days a week, so that you can space the days out? Maybe this sounds unpractical to you, or too obvious, but I know for me I can sometimes get through one busier day, but then need time to recover, could not do two or more in a row. I sorry you have to deal with all this angie, but am really really glad to hear you have supportive friends.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 2/13/2007 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
I agree with pasara that the word "tired" doesn't work. Everyone feels tired sometimes, so they assume you just feel the same way they do.

It might help to say you feel like you have the flu every day, or that you feel like you just went on a twenty mile hike carrying rocks on your shoulders. They may think you're exaggerating, but if they can't understand, it doesn't mean you owe them an explanation.

If they ask you to do something and you don't feel up to it, you don't have to feel guilty if you say, "No, I'm sorry, I can't. I don't feel well enough. I need to lie down for a few hours before I can take on another task." Or, "I wish I could help but I'm too sick, I'm sorry."

They may understand over time, or they may not. We can't change other people's behavior or other people's perceptions. What we can change is how we deal with them and with ourselves. Don't let them pressure you into doing things you can't do. Take care of yourself.
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