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Dear Dad

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Have you ever had someone in your life, where no matter what you did or said, its a no win situation? Have you ever had a lot of people like that in your life? Have they been the people called, family?

In 2 days, it will be the anniversary of my fathers death. 22 years since he passed. He was the glue. Without the glue, we have come undone. But, then again, my father to some...was the reason the family came undone way before my arrival. He was the glue because everyone was just too scared to defy him. Having said that, I loved him dearly because I came along when he was really ready to be an adult.

Its hard enough living with a chronic illness, but when you have family members to boot that make life miserable, sometimes you wonder if you could put them on a boat and put them out to sea, if the CFS would be more tolerable to deal with. But then I am convinced that some other form of crazy would come into my life, cause the more I look around, crazy is just about everywhere.

My sister died 5 years ago due to cancer. Her 2 daughters were 19 and 24. Both of them have made some bad decisions since her death. I have felt sorry for them and have tried to be understanding, because there is a reason they have headed in the direction they have. In the meantime, I have family like my mom and brother that think they are lost losers. To me, that is just sad.

My one niece lives on the bottom floor of my apartment building. She is 29. I recommended that she and her boyfriend and daughter move in there. What a mistake. I never hear from them and if I do, its a text. What is it with texting? I get it to say youre late, or you love someone after a great date, but to have a conversation via a text message? Especially when she lives on the first floor?

After a week of her doing some things like taking something out of my storage to borrow it without asking (a table I use for work), I have snapped. A year and a half of wanting to snap but keeping my mouth shut because I have been too ill or have wanted to keep the peace. How many people have done that with this illness? Keep your mouth shut to keep the peace because you cant deal with the stress so you swallow crappy, ill mannered behavior? YEAH.

Well, the now overly nice what do you need or how can I help you, Aunt Spitfire has launched. And how has the response from that gone? I received an email which basically turns it all back onto me, with the question, I really dont know what you are mad about? After a phone message that I left, an email that I wrote, I am confused on how she couldnt.

And, then there is my mother. My mother who I love, but who is crazy. My 80 year old mother, who helps me financially due to being ill and if I dont say what she wants to hear, she hangs up on me or tells me to get out of her car because I didnt agree with her on something. My mother, who feels that my nieces never come to see her and she is right; they dont. Because they dont want to come and see her, she has decided to leave them out of her will. And what does she ask me the other day? Do you think I should have them in the will? My response, YES. Her response, Ok , I am hanging up nowclick.
A vicious cycle where the talk of money enters the conversation at her insistence and her manipulative tactic to get back at them, which they realize and decide to not go visit her.


I sit here with an illness and think they are all crazy. My nieces are immature brats who have made poor decisions and push everyone away because of their unhappiness and my mother who is an old lady who cant remember what day it is and hangs up on me. A brother who is basically dead to me because I am sick , I am not good enough for him. I dont own a million dollar home like he does, therefore, I am a loser.

And then there is me. A woman who is unhealthy, trying to take care of herself and cares too much about everyone else and wants to do the right thing, hold a business down, and eventually have my own family. A woman who is unraveling at times, due to said illness and the no support factor. When I do receive support, its a far cry from support, but more like a pat on the back, I know you can do it.alone.

My version of a family by the way is a husband, a cute home with a porch and a dog.

The past couple of days, I sit here in a broken stupor wondering how it all turned out this way and just what is my place in it? I fantasize of picking up and moving to some far away destination where no one can reach me, no one meaning the crazies, in other words, the family.

I tried to pack today to get in my car and drive to somewhere. Anywhere. Anywhere but here. I want to sit on the beach and just stare at the ocean and not think about how it has come to this. All of it. To not think about my illness, my responsibilities, or the fact that I really dont have the money to go anywhere.but here.

And I think of my Dad. 22 years ago, losing him on August 10th.

"Dad, it hasnt been the same without you. Where are you? Do you think of me and can you let me know that I am ok? That I am a good daughter and that you love me. Because seriously Dad, I really need to hear that right now because sometimes I dont feel loved or lovable. And you were a perfectionist and I really think that I wouldn't please you either, especially because you had no tolerance for illness until you had your own illness; cancer. Do you know that I am sick? I got sick after you died, so maybe you dont know.

Whatever. I miss you. I was once your little girl. The apple of your eye. I need to be the apple of someones eye Dad. Let me be the apple of your eye Dad, even if I am sick and don't always say the right thing "for you." Show me that I don't have to be perfect Dad."


I think your dad is looking down and now he knows the whole story. I think he would be very proud of the way you managed to cope with such a debilatating illness. Remember, you're never alone, you have us!
Thanks Jimbob. I don't know what that picture is, but it always makes me smile. IT looks like socks with sunglasses on the top. I love it.
No matter how hard you try, you can never please every body, all the time. Especially not family.

As you wonder down the chronic illness track, I suggest you please yourself ALL the time, & if there's any energy left over, then consider sharing it around.

I guess many of us have families that are similar.
And I agree with you. What IS this texting business about? What's wrong with a quick phone call OR if you live in the same building, a quick chat on the doorstep (if you've got limited time).

(My lovely, kind, neighbour' has got used to knocking on my door & finding me in my PJ's at midday. Or she calls out "Hi Vicki" if she walks down my side path & sees my windows all open, reasoning that I'm at home somewhere. Why aren't families like my neighbour. She knocks on my door with orchard bought fruit if she's been up the country for the weekend, hands me a bowl of hot soup or vegetarian pie when I'm sick, takes me shopping when my back hurts, and only stays for 20 minutes when she stops for a chat, so she doesn't tire me out).

Why can't families be more like good neighbours?
That's funny that you say that Vicki. When I do talk to me niece, whenever that will be, I plan on telling her that "I have neighbors that I know more than you and you are my neighbor and better yet, my niece." She never and I reiterate, never asks me how I am, how I feel or asks if she can get me anything. When I was sick as a dog this past winter, she new it, due to facebook and yet never offered to get me medicine at the pharmacy or even food. I sank into tears. I am sick of it.

I feel better for writing her a letter letting her have it. I didn't want to write a letter but since she only corresponds through texting and email, there was no other way. My last words were, " I AM DONE. DONE."

I hate texting. I think it's for a quick message and that's it. But I refuse to have a long go back and forth convo. FREAKING CALL ME.

It's about priorities and since I am not too many family members priority....I am divorcing them one by one.

Your neighbor is IDEAL. How lucky you are. Send her over my way! What a great neighbor. I am glad you have her.
Sorry, you can't have my neighbour - she's all mine. I cherish her presence in my life. I am SO glad I have her.

I daresay there are many people around who cherish my neighbour's presence.

I sincerely wish everyone on this forum had a wonderful neighbour(s) like mine - she/they are a godsend.
I have too many comments to make about this post: mostly surrounding that I'm sure my relatives (who originate from PA and NJ) are somehow related to yours.

This move from talking to emailing and emailing to cell phones and cell phones to smart phones and texting and Facebook... has allowed people who wall themselves off from "the sick one" even more possible and awful. Now it's enough (they tried, right?!) because they sent a text or a sentence-long email... it's the worst way of playing 'present' and not being there at all. Sometimes I think most people are reticent to offer help because when they see real hardship, it forces a shift in how they see the world and their own struggles. With so much technology, people are so close to living in the reality they choose; it's almost possible to avoid anything you don't go looking for, or to keep it to a bare minimum.

I also would like a neighbor like yours Victoria: she is outstanding.
That is funny ZOE. A couple of months ago, I had a guy who lives in the next town over email me to ask me out on a date. Same age, went to college with me. He then texted me one night to see if I would hang out with him at a hip bar in my locale. I went. But, the next time he was in touch with me was with an email....after I had called him to chat and he didn't answer. He bypassed calling and emailed me instead.

I ignored him. No response. I am over all of this BS ill communication. The sad fact is, it is what people do and it's only going to get worse with the next gadget and the next.

Having said that, I have been known to love email over talking with certain folks because they drain me. But I never do that with my family and they can drain me but good!
Hi Spit, nice post. Some cafes are now abandoning wifi as they said everybody sat at their computers and didn't talk, and people would hog a table all day with one cup of coffee and didn't make them any money.

The other day I saw a middle aged couple at a small cafe, both sitting there staring at their phones reading emails or texts and not interacting.

My bf and I take our iphones on a walk through this hilly neighborhood where we are at the moment. Are we crazy? Can't leave our iphones behind for an hour?

It's part of society now and probably not too healthy overall.

Any significant interaction should not be by text or email, including chewing someone out imo but I've indulged in it myself from time to time.
Thanks. This is really timely for me, today. We have family guests, and I'm lying hear aching, getting tachycardia when I hear the 'healthy' people yelling at each other, hoping it is not going to land on me.
L'engle. Hang in there. I understand completely. BREATHE.

Remember how I just said above that I never talk to my brother? Well, he just called me to tell me that my mother is in full on dementia (which I have known and been dealing with for years now) and that we need to do something. "And this is what we should do," he says. I have been trying to recover from this stressful family weekend and my brother calls me like a bat out of hell and I am trying to BREATHE.

Help me Lord.
Jen, unfortunately when dealing with certain folks, you really have to write them an email especially when they either don't let you talk or don't return your call to chew them out!

I always leave my phone when I go for a walk. I need silence and to feel one with nature. It gives my mind some peace. I have a blackberry and make it so that I receive no emails on certain occasions.

We once did live without all of this technological BS. I was happier then! : ) You are very right, all this gadgetry really isn't healthy at all!
That's so funny about the guy texting you for a date. I called an old friend a few days ago and she didn't pick up, but texted back right away. Sigh :rolleyes:
I can relate to so much of your blog, Spitfire. Why is it so often that the very people who should care the most, are often the most distant and defiant when it comes to our illness and the limitations it puts on us? My father also deceased, loved me unconditionally, and I know that he would be heartbroken to know how sick I am. I talk to him, too. Also, my mother is much like yours and she's been battling cancer for 13 years. Why does she have the energy to argue? I just acquiesce in order to conserve energy.
Thanks everyone and thank you Cloud. I went to visit my mom today. Even if she isn't her self I needed to smell her and just hug her. It was so nice. Today was a "good" day for her so it wasn't too bad. No being mad at me for her forgetting something. Thank GOD.

I am sorry for you Brown Eyed Girl. I hate arguing and don't have the energy. I am wiped out.
We all know or have a darn good idea of what is going on with you, your life and the "family". The stories I could tell about my nutjob family. Why the CDC doesn't go look at the families of the CFIDS sick for the real answers, well, it's beyond me. I have much the same nuts in my family. Thought you were talking about my family!

You have us. We understand you so very well. We are here and we are listening. I wish too that I could give you a big warm hug and tell you it's really going to get better. I know that many of us on this site would grab you, hug and hold you and tell you to just hang on, you have us, and really, it will get better.

Both science and religion say that when we die we don't just disappear. We are energy and matter and both go on forever. The energy of your father's soul (his heart) goes on and on. So although he is not here physically, his energy is still around. Sounds odd, but that's what the priest told us when my Father died 10 years ago on 25 July and also what science basically says. Take some comfort from this. My nutjob family stopped crying when the priest said that my father was gone physically but his soul (energy) was still out there. I believe it.

So, from many of us: We are here for you. And you would get our very loving hugs - and hugs for a long time. I really wish we were there with you though.

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