Angry at my family over fibro fog

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Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 5/25/2009 8:47 AM (GMT -7)   
It's been well known in my household that I have a sometimes spotty memory, and before I was diagnosed last year with fibro, my family often thought it funny that I would forget little things. However, recently it seems that the hubby and daughters are turning it back at me and using it as a weapon for their own devices. Let me explain.
There have been several instances lately where my family would claim they told me something, or that I agreed to something, when I know 100%, without a doubt, that it's not true. I have been working diligently to make a point of either remembering something, or writing it down in a place I can easily reach when I feel I might forget something important. I have suspected for the last few weeks that my family has been forgetting THEMSELVES to tell me something or have me do something, then blame my faulty memory when it doesn't get taken care of. The final straw came yesterday.
We rent movies frequently from those Redbox movie boxes at a local convenience store. The last couple we rented were due back yesterday, and it's usually my husband who returns them, because he likes to immediately rent out more while he's there. I took my younger daughter with me to go pick up her best friend at her friend's house to have a sleepover at my place. When I got home, my older daughter, who had been at home watching TV with her dad when I left, was just pulling up in her car right behind me as I parked. I asked where she went, and she laughed and said she had to drop off the movies that I had "forgotten" to take. I reminded her I couldn't have forgotten as I never agreed to take them in the first place. I HAD said I would drop off a couple of trash bags at the community dumpster on my way out (it's not very close to my apartment, and because we live on the third floor, we tend to take several bags at once instead of several different trips and do some considerable walking to another building), but that there was never any discussion about me returning any DVD's. She became kind of petulant and said, "No, you said you would take them back. You just don't remember it because of your memory problems. I can't help it that you forget things like that." I was so mad at her!!! I love my daughter unconditionally, but I know for a fact that she got it wrong. I stormed upstairs and asked my husband, and even he admitted he didn't remember me saying anything about returning them. He then used that tone on me that I hate, telling me to calm down, and not to worry because it's not a big deal.
I know it seems like such a little thing, them thinking I had forgotten to return a couple of movies, but it means a lot to me. When I was first diagnosed, and found that my memory problems were more than likely caused by the fibro fog, my family seemed accepting and willing to help. Now, I get snide comments (you'd better write it down-we don't want you forgetting again, do we?) and reminders of my condition in an almost insulting fashion (do you remember that day when we-oh, never mind, you probably don't, so I'll save my breath). I feel like I'm being punished by them, and even excluded at times, because of a condition that I have no control over. Perhaps I'm just taking it the wrong way and letting it get to me, but I'm working hard on getting through every day, and it sure doesn't help when I get treated like a mental patient by my own loved ones. I just don't think they realize the impact it has on my self-esteem when they treat me like a child. I don't want them to just automatically chalk up everything I do in life to the fibro. I promised them that this wouldn't affect their lives, that I would still take care of everything that needed to be taken care of, and that I wouldn't sit down and cry, feeling sorry for myself. More and more lately,though, I do feel like pulling the covers up over my head and crying until I can't cry anymore, but then remind myself that won't accomplish anything. I know I'm whining, and I promised myself that no matter how bad this got, I wouldn't do that. I guess I just needed to vent without my hurt feelings being dismissed as just another symptom of the great fibro monster.
Live, Love, Laugh. We only get to ride this ride once!

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 179
   Posted 5/25/2009 9:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Shannon....Geez, I'd be angry, too! It's hard enough having to deal with fibro without having family exaggerate what is actually going on! Have you tried talking to your hubby or your children about this -- not at the time of their actual accusations but when things are calm and quiet? You've probably done this already but just a thought.
As far as whining -- I don't see it that way -- you needed to vent, because you were hurt. We all need a safe outlet to do that sometimes. And, this is a great place to share all our feelings, good or bad. We're here for each other, and we're a FaMily of our own. We care.
Hang on to this (((gentle hug))) that's coming your way. There will be plenty of others, too! Please post again and let us know how things are going, okay?! We're here for you.
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Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 5/25/2009 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
Oooh, Shannon, that behaviour is just manipulative and wrong. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this.

Let me think - I may end up coming back with some strategies that may help... but it's a difficult situation so I may end up being as stumped as you.

So sorry,

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New meds thread

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 5/25/2009 4:22 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for getting back to me. Shash, I haven't talked with them yet, because up until the last few days I tried to convince myself that they weren't aware of their behavior so I should just forget it. I don't think they intend any malice, but it just seems like an easy out for them to forget to do stuff and then place the blame on me. I try very, very hard not to let fibro intrude in my life with them, because I know it's a lot for them to try to understand, and they simply can't. I figured it was better to suffer in silence than frustrate them further by making them deal with my pain. My husband does his best to put up with it, though sometimes I feel he's being selfish in allowing me to hide it from him when he knows I'm in pain. Does that sound as evil as I think it does? lol!

I guess I feel if I am doing my best to hide it from them so as not to be an inconvenience to their lives, the least they can do is not use me as an excuse for their own failings.
Live, Love, Laugh. We only get to ride this ride once!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 5/25/2009 6:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Yeah, my nineteen year old tries to pull this on me too. The difference is, she knows what she's doing - and she's mean about it. I absolutely hate it when she tells me that I've forgotten something I know I haven't - and yes, it makes me angry too.

I'm sorry you have to put up with it. Stand firm when you know you're right, but try to control your anger - I've found it's best to avoid arguing. The angrier I get, the more confused the issue becomes, and then I start second-guessing myself. I wish I could come up with better coping strategies, but I also have cognitive difficulties from the Topamax and that doesn't help my situation at all. The best I can do is assert myself when I know I'm right and let her know that her games won't work... I wish I had something more helpful to offer. sad
When you come to the edge of all the light you have known and are about to step out into the darkness, faith is knowing one of two things will happen; there will be something to stand on, or you will be taught how to fly.

I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. - Marilyn Monroe

Elite Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 10404
   Posted 5/25/2009 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
OK, this is a bit corny, but might weekly family meetings help?

F'r instance, if you kept a calendar and a diary (which I assume you do), maybe as a family you could all sit down together, on (say) Sunday night, and have conversations like:

"The videos are due back on Tuesday. Amanda, you'll be going to gymnastics that afternoon, so would you be able to return them on your way home from training? Yes, you can? Great, I'll write that in our 'minutes' and you can make a note of it on *your* calendar, and that way none of us will forget".

"The electricity bill is due by Thursday and the water bill is due on Wednesday. Bill, you'll be in town on Tuesday, would you be able to pay both bills while you're there? Great, I'll make a note of that on *your* calendar, and that way none of us will forget".

In other words, have the conversation, get them to agree to whatever plan, and then *write* it in multiple places, so you have a record of what they've agreed to.

This is just an idea and I don't know if it would work, but it might be worth trying. If you *appear* to be organised, I think they'll be more reluctant to suggest that your records and memories are faulty.

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New meds thread

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17524
   Posted 5/26/2009 11:57 AM (GMT -7)   
I'd be really ticked off, too.  I like Ivy's idea, if you can get others to agree.
I have a friend that would make comments like that to me.  She would tell me that I needed to do crossword puzzles or mind games to help with my memory.  shakehead    ~Doesn't have a clue.~  So, I told her that I have cognitive memory problems due to an illness and that I don't have control over that.  I think I shamed her because she knocked it off.
Your family should know better.  I have found though that having a good sense of humor helps with the fog.  I laugh at myself instead of getting upset.  That seems to take the tension out of the situation.  You aren't a "mental case".  You have a cognitive memory problem due to an illness.  Remember that.  If you know you haven't forgotten something that they say you did, just tell them that you aren't the only one having problems with memory...and then walk out of the room.
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Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 5/27/2009 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   
I know what you mean. My family swear that they told my something when I had absolutely no recollection of even having a conversation about it. The girls were teens then. They have now grown up and have families of their own and now they have "conferences" about how I'm "slipping" And sometimes my husband and I will be out some where and he will just shake his hand at me as if to say "stop" and says "Val, you don't know what your saying today so let me take care of this". Man, it makes me mad because I know that I'm having trouble that day and I don't need him to dismiss me as I'm some sort of odiot! He is a wonderful husband and I have very few complaints about him but that is one of them. Like this stuff is fun and we asked for it! I'd have a serious talk with the whole group because there will be days when you will really need help and they do not need to take advantage of you but be there to help you.
Good luck.
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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 210
   Posted 5/28/2009 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I relate, the other day I was driving my daughter to school and there is this hole in the driveway of the school. Well, I always seem to go right to it, even when I try to go around it, and she says "Mom you have issue's" Now this has been going on for awhile now with other things. The worse part for me was I had other kids in the car. So ALL day I was angry. Finally I took the time to pull her aside and talk about it. To my amazement she apologized and said she was scared herself because she is having the samethings happen to her also. After talking we realized she has 90 percent of the symptoms of fibro.  We finally realized we are just frustrated with ourselves and need to find a better way to talk to each other and encourage instead of degrating one another. I hope you know we understand the frustration of feeling mental when we truly know we are not.
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 5/28/2009 7:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Ivy, that is a great idea.
Shannon, take her car keys and forget where you put them for a week or until she agrees to be honest with you and not use your fibrofog to her advantage. These ungrateful creatures, called teens, are hard enough to deal with when your healthy and can remember everything. I know mine used that tactic and I didn't have fibro then. She probably isn't trying to hurt your feelings she is being a teen.
Okay, when it comes to my DH his memory is as bad as mine so I'm sure he does forget to tell me things and thinks he has and does tell me things that I forget. It's a joke when we say to each other, "don't let me forget.........", yeah right. We use a lot of postits in this house. smilewinkgrin
My youngest son told me quite awhile ago that he went to Niagra Falls with us one year. I have no memory of him ever going to
Niagra Falls with us. I think he is just trying to drive me crazier, unless he can come up with pictures proving that he was there I will go on believing he is joking with me. He is in his early 30s but we are a joking family.
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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 55
   Posted 5/28/2009 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I did break down and have a talk with DH, and let him know that when he and the girls do things like this, it only makes me more frustrated and prone to tension flares. He agreed that if something is very important he'll make sure it's posted where I can see it, and if it's not important and I say I don't remember it, then we'll let it go. I know he wants to help out, and feels helpless that he can't do more, but I have convinced him that even small things like this are a huge help to me.
I haven't talked with my 19 year old yet about it this week, as she works nights Monday thru Friday, so I think this weekend I'll sit her down and let her know, too. She has complained recently to waking up feeling exhausted, feeling kind of stiff and sore off and on, and feeling more and more frustrated and aggravated at work. She even dropped a long-time friendship with her best friend because she felt this girl was being too emotionally needy and pressuring. That's not like her at all, so perhaps she has fibro, too. If so, and she is having memory problems, it would probably be easier for her to put the blame on me and my well-established memory problems. Believe it or not, I get the least problems from my 11 year old, who is kind of a cool, laid-back kind of kid, lol!
Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. I know I get easily frustrated, and was maybe making a mountain out of a molehill. I didn't realize when I was first diagnosed that having fibro was such a team effort, lol! It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes an entire forum to handle my unstable emotional states, ha ha ha!
Live, Love, Laugh. We only get to ride this ride once!

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