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feeling like nobody understands feeling like nobody understands

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Unread 01-02-2012, 02:40 AM
feeling like nobody understands

Today is my 11th day after surgery, and I'm so fustraited. I have an ungreatful group of people in my home who feel they don't need to bother to care. Laundry left in the laundry room...dishes left in the sink..(teenagers at that)...they seem to think my level of frustration...is menopause. The comment..."its been over a week"...get up...you will feel better...I'm mortified!...angry and the frustration is eating me. I feel so unimportant to all of them. Finally i pushed my self to do the laundry and the dishes. I know its a no no, but I can't stand it. I know my emotions are crazy right now...but this just sets me over the edge...how can you make people understand that the operation wasn't an easy one. And at the same time deal with my emotions rationally...I'm on effexor and helps with the melt Downs ( witch seem like niagra falls when they happen). But my husband likes to think making fun of me will make the mood lighter...which just hurts my feelings. I end up going to bed crying. The pain is still pretty intence at times...some days good others are bad..I'm assuming doing things before I should helps the pain. I really am at my wits end...im so bored and lonesome right now. Feeling like I'm on an emotional roller coaster.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 03:13 AM
Re: feeling like nobody understands

Oh Tulips what an awful situation you are in!! Your family needs to visit MisterHysterSisters and see what your body has been through and what is has left yet to do.

Please try and rest and make them understand - you only get one chance to heal right. It's ridiculous that you have a husband and teenagers in the house and had to do the dishes. You need to make a stand - make them understand just what you have been through and how hard your body is working. You need the rest!!

Here's a big gentle *fluffy* hug as well xx
Unread 01-02-2012, 03:27 AM
Re: feeling like nobody understands

I do not have kids and the only person with me in the house after surgery was my DH. He is incredibly loving and caring, but has never had surgery himself, so I often have to explain to him why I need him to do something for me, or why I may feel pain when everything seems fine. You are dealing with enormous adversity during your recovery!

I assume that your family is "used to" your doing everything for yourself and them as well. That won't change overnight. But I am urging you to reach outside your immediate family for some support:

1) Your doctor. Can you have your surgeon explain to your husband what "major abdominal surgery" means and what is necessary for you to recover?

2) Do you have any female relatives or neighbors who have gone through a similar procedure? Are they available to visit you and be a sort of advocate between you and your family? (I am wondering if your husband's mother, aunt or sister falls into that category - maybe someone from his side would have more impact on him?)

I get very sympathetic and frustrated when I hear stories like yours, because you deserve so much more respect and consideration... but women are usually the caretakers of the family and everyone else thinks their only responsibility is to stay out of your way and wait for you to keep doing everything. Until you declare your own mutiny, they will probably keep expecting you to just grit your teeth and do what you've always done for them.

But let me ask you - is it possible for you to just stop? Let the dishes pile up in the sink till there isn't a clean fork or plate in the house. Let the laundry pile up until everyone is wearing last week's pajamas. I'm not saying it WILL get that bad, but your family has to beleive that you will LET it get that bad rather than push yourself to do more than you should.

If they can see that you mean it, they are more likely to wake up and realize they need to pitch in. Seriously. Does anyone besides you know you know how to run the washing machine or wash and dry a food plate? If not, it is time they figured it out!

Good luck and please please please connect with someone who can come over and help you out emotionally while the family learns what it means to pitch in during your time of need.
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Unread 01-02-2012, 08:55 AM
Re: feeling like nobody understands

I agree - let it go! No one is going to die if there are dishes in the sink, and eventually, someone will deal with them. It is more important that you take care of yourself than the laundry gets done.

I think it is also important to remind yourself that your family leaving dishes in the sink does not mean that they do not love you or that they are purposely doing it because they think you are being lazy. Really, it doesn't work like that. They're just not really thinking about it at all, since they've never had to before and it takes a while for stuff like that to sink in and change their daily habits.

Let it go. Everyone will survive.
Unread 01-03-2012, 12:31 AM
Re: feeling like nobody understands

Thank you all so much for the advice....but...on the part of letting things go is hard. I just bought a new home and I'm closing on it this month. So I have to make sure the stuff is kept up cause of the move. I started packing before surgery, to have my 17 yr old rip the boxes back open to get things back out....instead of helping ..they just create a larger mess. When I start to get upset that's when I here the slams about my mood swings. I have tried to just let it pile up. But the laundry room is my bathroom...finding myself climbing over
a kids dirty cloths pile. It doesn't help. That I'm a custodian either....detail cleaning is a pet peve. And drives me nuts to let things go...I know they love me....but feel they are so inconsiderate at times. I will definatly try to let things go....but with the move and all...I can't let it go too long....I have had to ask for help..and believe me...that's hard...because I'm very independent. I have takin all your advice to heart and will do my best to put my foot down and try to make them understand...as for support from someone in the family that might have had this....unfortunately...I am the only one...it sure would be nice to have someone close who does understand.
Unread 01-03-2012, 12:42 AM
Re: feeling like nobody understands

I am a bit of a neat freak and cleaned the bathroom at 2 weeks post- op. Big mistake and I paid for it by feeling like crap for 2 days. Sometimes you just have to let go. The kids will do their laundry when they need clean clothes. Can you have them use paper plates if they aren't willing to do dishes? I was surprised at how self sufficient my daughter became once she realized I needed serious recuperation time. One day I showed her my scar and that seemed to do the trick.
Unread 01-03-2012, 01:08 AM
Re: feeling like nobody understands

Rjh....I would show the scar. I'm sure that would do the trick...but unfortunately....I have all boys....no girls here makes it very hard. LOL.
Unread 01-03-2012, 05:26 AM
Re: feeling like nobody understands

I'm so sorry to hear that you are left to still take care of the family. I don't have a family but have been left to care for myself. My "friends" and family don't even come and see me. I just keep hearing how "strong" I am. Well not feeling all that strong at this point lol. I do hope you get some rest and your family steps up and helps you. I know this is such a huge thing to go through and I it sucks to go it alone. But you got us women here that understand. Always feel free to vent. This is how I myself and dealing with certain emotions. Many hugs to you and god bless!
Unread 01-03-2012, 05:26 AM
Re: feeling like nobody understands

I think it is time for a family sit down. I would outline what they will need to do And tell them no more jokes about your healing or mood swings. I would tell them if there are continued jokes you will not resume laundry for them once you have been cleared by doctor.

Maybe you can Offer a nice dinner out with everyone as a reward if they all pitch in.

I look at it this way...... You are training your boys to be compassionate should their wife go thru this one day.
Hugs and good luck.
Unread 01-03-2012, 05:58 AM
Re: feeling like nobody understands

All boys, darn! And I'm sure that most people who, like us, prefer being self-reliant, don't have a lot of caretaking friends in the neighborhood. Yes, I have people who express true concern and support when they see me, but they don't have my phone number or exact address and don't ask for it. (Of course, I don't ask for THEIRS either, so I understand why we have this kind of relationship.)

Here is one more suggestion. Tell your doctor (or a supportive person in the doctor's office) that you need to find people who understand what you are going through. Do they have any kind of suggestions for support? I know that a lady named Maureen in my doctor's office was great pre-op... any time I felt a panic attack I could call and she would resolve whatever priority might be on her desk but then close her door and listen until I calmed down and was ready to say goodbye. I was so grateful for that!

I didn't ask her or the doctor about any special way of getting support after the surgery, but I'm sure they've handled a lot of these procedures and might have some suggestions they've picked up along the way.

Bottom line is that you need to get to the bathroom. You need to have food and sleep and supervise whatever basic decisions and actions need to be made for the house closing, etc. But as soon as something is not crucial to your own well-being, step back.

"Supervise" is an important point, too. If the boys have never been responsible for something such as figuring out what room of the house the stuff in boxes should be put into, or how to organize a sock drawer, etc., it will not occur to them naturally. They really do need you to explain how to do it for themselves. They may surprise you and actually decide they prefer doing certain things for themselves.

Here's a more perverse suggestion, to be used if you are in the mood: My DH is in his 50's and has always done his own laundry - has a real determination to do it --- BECAUSE when he was working at his first NYC job, his mom ruined a whole load of his work shirts by mixing in too many colorful items. From that day, he never trusted her to do his clothes again. I still wonder if she did it on purpose..... !

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