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dealing with selfish parents and the little child I'm still at 40+ (rant)

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by WoolPippi, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    My parents want to come visit next Thursday.
    I replied: "can't do, I'm recovering from a few weeks in the city. But you're very welcome on Feb 27?"
    - oooh, that's sooo far into the future... we'll have to see about it... (with lots of silent accusations)

    Now I feel quilty.
    Even though I do the right thing keeping to my schedule and keeping my life uneventful instead of accommodating them like I used to do. Feb 27 really is the first available date, until then I am resting and I have plans for one or two outings each week which I do not want to jeopardize. (having tea with a friend; giving yoga another try and learning to enamel. want; want; want.)

    But now I'm miffed all day because I had to say no and they've come to expect that from me and even blame me for that and do not accept the way I need to plan my life. I let them down. Bad child!

    I should tell you that my parents see their children are accessories, we're purely here to embellish their lives. We are supposed to be their groupies, their biggest fans and accomplishments. And they siphon off our interests and accomplishments.
    Don't ever tell them you like something because they will swoop in and make it their own! Your favourite tea cups; your favourite holiday destination; your hobby?
    Swoop.
    Scoop.
    You will find they've bought the tea set you can't afford; they'll show you pictures of the holiday you can't take and they'll lecture you on the hobby you think about starting.

    The best thing I ever did for CFS was create more distance between myself and my parents. (Well, the second best thing. My mother-in-law has a narcissistic dramatic personality disorder and banning her from my life was nr.1 stress relieve. Thanks to the AF book by dr. Wilson.)

    My parents don't understand my illness.
    That's ok, it is complex.
    But I wish I'd stop feeling all these childish obligations!

    And also, I so wish they would compliment me on the progress I've made in understanding my illness. I really feel I have it all in order now. The rest, the diet, the supplements, my personal genetic make up and causes for getting ill. It is now a matter of time and living the life and then I expect to get better, slowly but surely. (I'm thinking 5 years)
    It was a search, with lots of scientific research and propositions, and now I've build this logical idea that ties it all together. Everything. It explains why and how I am ill. And it gives ideas how I might get better.
    This really is something big! It's as big as when I got my degree in Engineering. Or if I'd given birth.
    This is something their child did that my parents can be proud of, even if they don't understand the mechanics or the science. It would serve their desire to flaunt their children in front of their friends so I'll settle for any motive they need.
    I so wish they'd compliment me!

    I so wish I didn't yearn for their approval...
    Because at 42yo I'm still a little girl? -gritting teeth-

    I have managed to get my parents out of my daily life but how do I get them out of my system?
    (craft myself a big golden medal and wear it proudly?)

  2. Beyond

    Beyond 10% of discount in iHerb!--> PEZ915

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    Haha how many times I have lectured my relatives about how impressive is that I read pubmed in english and that I know more of certains things than usual doctors? Tried to explain them how admirable is my will under such agony and how I have been being succesful at puzzling together the causes AND the solutions to my problems?

    But it just didn´t work. The only people who have admired or admire me are those that were impressed by my verbal and intellectual faculties (not that many because I have low selfsteem and am too ill to have a life lol). My mother still thinks AND says that I am a coward and a weakling, and furthermore, I have lost years of my life facing wrongly my illness in her opinion. Others aren´t that offensive but I know they don´t understand.

    And it is not a matter of me, NOT being cured yet, so they cannot believe what I say. I feel like if one day I cured of everything, my family would see it like "oh see, he has grown out of it, decided to stop playing victim". Only people who have been ill know how admirable are these persons that did it.
  3. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    ain't that the truth.
    So that's what we've got to look forward too: never a compliment for our accomplishments from them? I better make you a medal too. You are doing such wonderful work, figuring this all out!

    Years back my dad knew exactly why I was ill and he told me so. "It is because you do not give back to the community."(no career, no children, no network)
    :wide-eyed::bang-head:

    It then got easy fast, creating some distance between me and them.
  4. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    To anyone thinking that they might be able to stop feeling as @WoolPippi so eloquently described, I have to say, from experience and what other people say, that I doubt whether they ever will, at least as long as the people doing it to you are still alive (I am not advocating murder, by the way!).

    I was extremely hurt and bewildered when, after I reported my science distinction grades to my stepmother (who, with my father, had brought me up from the age of 7) by post, I heard absolutely NOTHING back. I had thought that at last I had done something she would praise me for. It was as though it just didn't fit her negative views of me, so she ignored it.

    But I have even witnessed my best friend doing the same thing with her daughter, failing to praise her when she got her degree, despite my having told her how hurt I had been by my stepmother. The hurt was equally clear in her daughter, so I tried to make up for it by praising her myself, which finally prompted my friend to do the same. It is really weird and disturbing.

    The situation is so common, and not unique to ME. As I've said in another thread, even rich, successful people are often belittled by their parents, and sometimes even made to feel that it's time they got a proper job!

    Most animal species move away from their parents completely when mature. I guess a lot of us need to do that too.
    Tito, taniaaust1, madietodd and 5 others like this.
  5. ggingues

    ggingues $10 gift code at iHerb GAS343 of $40

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    Ouch, sorry you have such a cold-hearted mother, cannot imagine dealing with that,not healthy at all, stay as far away from that BS as possible!

    GG
    madietodd likes this.
  6. Beyond

    Beyond 10% of discount in iHerb!--> PEZ915

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    I hope that when I am older I stop caring about what my family (or anyone really) thinks or says about me. But that will probably remain as a dream, although I would feel content with lowering the impact of what my parents think and say of me.

    The worst is that my mother is not cold or bad per se, theorically a good person, but in practice as a mother she fails. So putting distance is best, as Wool and others have done.
    Tito, madietodd and WoolPippi like this.
  7. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I think something similar can happen in a lot of ways, and in a lot of different contexts. Basically we start to see how fallible some people are, especially the ones we looked up to, and it hurts to see how flawed they actually are. It looks like you are very disappointed (for very good reason) in some of the people who you love, and that disappointment and love can be difficult to reconcile.
    outdamnspot, madietodd and Beyond like this.
  8. WoolPippi

    WoolPippi Senior Member

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    So:

    1. will have childish feelings when dealing with selfish parents (dead or alive). thank you @MeSci
    2. won't get compliments from them on the work we do dealing with this illness. thank you @Beyond

    then:

    1. deal with feelings:
    just let them wash over me + remember you don't have to DO anything with feelings + go distract yourself

    2. stop expecting compliments from people who cannot appreciate the accomplishment:
    get your compliments from people who CAN appreciate the accomplishment = people who are ill + yourself + perhaps a friend.

    2b. change attitude towards people who cannot appreciate the accomplishment:
    Stop justifying or explaining yourself, just focus on civil interaction = smalltalk + zoning out. (a.k.a. creating mental distance and preserving energy while they yakkity-yak about their own life or the weather or olympics or obamacare)

    PS
    on getting compliments:
    ask for them.
    tell us in the forums (for example in the Community Lounge)
    record them in a journal (paper, electronic, stickers on a mirror)
    treat yourself
    wear a crown or a medal or fancy wrist warmers or a dress
    remind yourself (card on fridge, ring on finger, stuffy on your nightstand)

    give a compliment to someone here because it's freaking awesome how people wade through brain fog and so many symptoms and protocols and manage to understand any of it. And to muster up courage again and again.
    Dreambirdie, madietodd, MeSci and 2 others like this.
  9. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    I love your advice! I think it should be put somewhere permanent.

    Two particular positive things come to my mind, one being a really positive thing someone said to me, and the other being something silly I did to celebrate.

    6 months after my overdose in 1996 I finally got my appointment with a psychiatrist (or was she a psychologist? A senior one anyway). After hearing my litany of misfortunes that contributed to my suicide attempt, she actually gasped at the fact that I had coped for so long, and said in a very positive way:

    "You are a SURVIVOR!"

    So she didn't judge me as my parents, older brother, doctor and numerous others had, as weak, lazy, hypochondriac, etc. - quite the opposite. The statement made me feel good about myself, and empowered. Just those four words, almost 18 years ago, and they still ring in my ears.

    The celebration: when I got my first degree, I didn't want to go to a graduation ceremony - all that travel, lots of people looking at me, yet also just being one of a crowd, all the conventional ceremony, having to pose for standard photos and the media cliche of throwing mortarboards up in the air, etc. So I invited friends round, and made my own mortarboard out of cardboard, black binliners and a tassel I had, and we just ate and drank and chatted. I still have the mortarboard!
    L'engle, Dreambirdie, GracieJ and 3 others like this.
  10. Beyond

    Beyond 10% of discount in iHerb!--> PEZ915

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    That psych-something person could see things how they are! My general philosophy in life applies here too: it is somewhat worth enduring the vast desert, for there are scarce oasis scatted in this difficult kingdom. So I understand that one person saying and seeing things how they are can outweight many others who hurted you by not acknowledging reality.
    L'engle and MeSci like this.
  11. MeSci

    MeSci ME/CFS since 1995; activity level 6

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    Yes, and I should also have said that the psych didn't try to push me into any kind of therapy. Whilst it is common (as she and others informed me) for people to attempt suicide again after a first attempt, commonly within a year, there had been a 6-month waiting list to see a psych!

    I reassured her that the situation which had led to the overdose was now resolved, and that I no longer felt suicidal, and she appeared to BELIEVE me. She offered to refer me for CBT if I felt that I needed it, and for the depression I had suffered, NOT the ME. I thanked her and said I would think about it.

    Like Professor Pinching whom I saw several years later for ME, she treated me with respect and took what I said on board, and expressed the opinion that I was coping very well.

    I had a thought about positive things people say to us - we could make a sort of spoof newspaper/poster scattered with those positive comments in the manner of book or film reviews, with your name and/or photo on it. Then put it on the wall.

    So something like:

    'Fred Bloggs - really insightful - very kind - inspirational - funny - talented - I love you, Fred' (and maybe the names of pseudonyms of the people who said the things).
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2014
  12. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    That's something my last psych used to say to me too "you are a survivor" .. She was one of only a couple of psychs who I have felt have ever helped me, the others just didnt at all understand the ME/CFS suffering etc and hence not know how to help me emotionally, they were useless to me... a complete waste of time and energy.

    Everyone with this illness is a survivor!!
    WoolPippi, L'engle, Valentijn and 2 others like this.
  13. Valentijn

    Valentijn Activity Level: 3

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    I dunno ... according the psych I saw, the only thing I definitely am is "not a (sick) patient!" :rofl:

    Well, she was partially right - I'm certainly not her patient anymore :smug:
    ricericerice! likes this.
  14. ricericerice!

    ricericerice!

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    My parents are equally narcissistic; they expect me to entertain them and take care of their feelings but are upset when this conflicts with my work schedule. I became ill as a teenager, and I would probably be well by now had they let me come live at home for a few years and eat right for once. I've finally come to the conclusion that they will never change and am on no contact with the lot of them except for my dad, who unfortunately is helping me out with my grocery bills as my disability payments are laughably small.
  15. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Yeah.. get away fast from anyone like that, they certainly cant help us and would only do us emotional harm or worst if they have us pushing ourselves too much due to not listening to our bodies.

    There are some good supportive psychs out there to help one deal with chronic illness etc but they are hard to find. What I did to find a good psych is I rang first and asked a simple question "what do you know about ME/CFS?" .. if the answer is a decent one eg "it isnt known what causes it but many people get it from a virus" (which was my psychs reply), the person could make a good psych. Anyway.. do the phone test as I call it first.

    One of the best things my psych did for me is to keep encouraging me to try to find doctors who understood ME/CFS.. supported me emotionally throu some crappy doctors.

    I think many who have ME/CFS could do with psych or counselling support due to the poor support we get from others around us and who should be helping us but who dont. Too many of us have no good emotional support with the issues we face be it how our family is treating us, the medical profession or whatever. (pity thou that psychs or counsellors are needed for that reason). With other severe serious illnesses, drs may arrange family counselling to help the person get more supported, that thou dont seem to happen with our illness.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2014
    Valentijn likes this.
  16. Hell...Hath...No...Fury..

    Hell...Hath...No...Fury.. Senior Member

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    Awww damn it, thats my fantasies shot to shit :rolleyes:

    Thats a great way of explaining things! I was ignored my whole life because i never did anything wrong, my dad would probably be physically sick if he was forced to give me a compliment. If he couldn't find anything horrible to say, he'd say nothing at all. Getting ill was the only thing i've ever done wrong in my life and boy did he love that!!! Something really juicy for him to get stuck into!
    Just wondering where this negative view comes from in the first place and why?! Its really sad.

    How true :bang-head:
    MeSci, Valentijn and Tito like this.

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