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Old 04-21-2010, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Texas
8,063 posts, read 11,508,506 times
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Thanks, Samston. Yeah, I'm thinking there isn't a solution until they're willing to accept that only they can make positive changes in their lives. I can suggest things and help until I drop but that doesn't fix their problems, which lie within themselves. And I just can't take all of the whining and beetching. It's a downer and not good for my own psyche.
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Old 04-21-2010, 02:54 PM
 
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I think it's difficult to base a relationship on ailments and illnesses if that is all you have in common with people.

Too many ill people want to focus on JUST THAT, especially as they age. You have a disease but choose not to be defined by it.

It's okay to not commiserate if you choose not to. You can just say I have an illness but I don't let it control me.

My husband and I were in a group (we ran it) for adults with children who have a certain autism disorder. We left drained every time because all people wanted to do is complain and complain.

I see where you are coming from. People can be draining. You have to draw a boundary.
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Old 04-21-2010, 03:26 PM
 
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I can't believe this I have dealt with something very similar and never thought anyone else had. I collected several of what I refer to as "Cling-on's" after attending a few local support groups for fibromyalgia sufferers. Little did I know the grief I would go through dealing with some of these people. I met two very wonderful ladies though who I enjoy talking to about other stuff besides illness.

However one lady there I had just met and so I and one of the other ladies give her our ph# and say call and we'll meet for coffee or lunch. Okay two days later we BOTH start getting repeated calls from this lady. She leaves messages on my voicemail "Ok I need some help here.... I need you to go pick me up some groceries because I don't feel well." She's demanding someone else who has same illness that she doesn't know go get her groceries??!! WTH??

Yet another lady from same group...has fibro...but also has several severe mental illnesses calls me after I had been granted disability because the autoimmune illness I have was causing neurological problems where I was having difficulty walking or even standing up without falling. She calls me 5-6 times a day, leaves multiple messages and writes me letters saying she broke her leg and wants me to take her to store, take her to her 3 physical therapy appointments a week plus 2 doctor appts per week and to the laundry mat too and help her do laundry. She lives over 30 minutes away... she is calling someone who is disabled ...demanding I come help her??!! My dr advices me to not talk to her. After a month of non-stop calls she stops calling, but does send me a strange pkg at Christmas which is a copy of the US Constitution with apparent important verses underlines throughout in red ink. A few months pass and she calls again waking me up early in morning and says "I want to help you".

Then I can relate to what Gypsy Soul wrote... awhile back I volunteered for a local autism society group because I wanted to help since I have multiple family members with Aspergers. Talk about depressing. All the parents of autistic people want to do is non-stop b*tch about how their child has ruined their life, how they hate the child, even parents of adult ASD people. Then there's the very lonely adults with Aspergers and they latched onto me like a tick. At first I tried to befriend a few including this 50+ yr old lady who was had absolutely no friends & no family. It got overwhelming though because she defined her entire life by AS which she had not technically even been diagnosed with, she diagnosed herself. That's all she would talk about, speaking really loud in restaurants about it. Then she would show up uninvited at odd times of day pounding door and calling my phone while on my porch saying "I know you are in there..."

Long story short .. I found belonging to any support group is too taxing because it seems most of those people define themselves only with the disease. The focus only on it, are constantly negative and do not want to participate in anything other than talking about their disease. (Discovered same thing with the Lyme disease support group I belonged to also.) I believe it helps one feel better if they find other things to do with their time; if they get their mind off the illness it can lessen the pain or distract you from the pain. I'm not sure *how* it works; I'm not a doctor. But I realized myself that I felt better and quit hurting if I found hobbies, exercised as much as I could stand and made friends with people who didn't want to talk about their illnesses. Many people have things wrong with them, but you can't define your whole existence by the illness you may have.

My advice to the OP is distance yourself from the needy Cling-ons that only want to zap your strength. Don't feel guilty because you can't help them. You don't need to jeopardize your own health by letting the stress from those people wear you out. Find positive friends who have hobbies and don't have illness, or have an illness but they refuse to talk about it continually. And for goodness sake...don't join support groups...those people are depressing.
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Old 04-21-2010, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Texas
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Thanks, y'all. I'm so glad to hear from people who understand and have experienced the same thing! Oh yeah -- "support groups" are the absolute PITS! I learned that LONG ago when my son and I had to hide out at a battered women's shelter because of my violent ex. One of the conditions for staying there was you HAD to attend their weekly support group. OMG, I hated it! It was this constant game of "my ex was more abusive than your ex" nonsense. LOL, I faked sick as often as I could to get out of it!

Last year, I had been thinking of starting a Lupus support group here through the Lupus Foundation because Lupus patients tend to be younger and really adamant about remaining as active as possible, like I am. BUT, it would just take a few bad apples to ruin the whole thing and I really don't want to have to be the bouncer, LOL!

Mtneer, That is EXACTLY what I don't understand -- how can these people demand so much from us when we have to overcome our own challenges? Is it narcissism, extreme selfishness, ignorance, what?!

I got sucked in when the one lady told me how her family wouldn't help her. I thought, "Oh my, how awful of them!" But, now, I think I understand why the family makes themselves scarce! If they didn't, it would be constant drama for them.

As someone with an incurable disease, I was adamant that I wouldn't impose on my family and friends. I hire things done or find a way of doing things myself and only call on my son and friends for help when it's absolutely necessary. I want people to know that I'm still a fun and interesting person and I NEVER want to be a drain. And, yes, I'm willing to help others when possible but I cannot allow them to drain me!
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:44 PM
 
1,055 posts, read 1,935,442 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teatime View Post

Mtneer, That is EXACTLY what I don't understand -- how can these people demand so much from us when we have to overcome our own challenges? Is it narcissism, extreme selfishness, ignorance, what?!



As someone with an incurable disease, I was adamant that I wouldn't impose on my family and friends. I hire things done or find a way of doing things myself and only call on my son and friends for help when it's absolutely necessary.
Teatime I surely don't understand it either how someone can call and make demands for help on people who are physically disabled or have a severe illness themselves. I'm quite sure the lady with the broke leg could have gotten home care or gone in assisted living for a few weeks if she needed care while she was mending. She does have Medicare and I know they will cover that because my grandmother got that kind of care after a surgery.

I don't want to sound callous, but when I broke my leg and sprained my opposite ankle both at same time several years ago I never once asked for anyone's help and I walked on it and went on to the store, work, laundrymat, etc.

As someone who has had a lot of illness in years past I never called on anyone for any help. My family is across the country. I just took care of myself as best I could cause I hate to ask anything of anyone. Well I did ask someone to drive me to out of town doctor once, but I paid them $100 for it and they said they could only take $50 and said they felt bad at even taking that much and gave me back the rest. When I meet someone new I try not to even discuss my health because I don't want them knowing because I don't want to talk about it or be quizzed about it. At the same time now that I'm on disability its hard to avoid the subject when people always demand to know where you are working.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:47 PM
 
4,384 posts, read 1,975,652 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teatime View Post
Thanks, Samston. Yeah, I'm thinking there isn't a solution until they're willing to accept that only they can make positive changes in their lives. I can suggest things and help until I drop but that doesn't fix their problems, which lie within themselves. And I just can't take all of the whining and beetching. It's a downer and not good for my own psyche.
i guess life is too short.
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