Housebound v.s. 'The World'

Discussion in 'Your Living Room' started by hollymm, Jun 22, 2011.

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  1. Angelea

    Angelea New Member

    All the women on my husband's side of the family have a terrible time saying no to anything. They are almost always overstretched, stressed out, and have chronic health problems of their own directly related to stress. I was not raised that way. If someone asks me something, I assume it is because they want my honest answer. If they don't like it, too bad. I am not mean about it and I try to be considerate of them, but like I tell my kids, "If you ask someone a yes or no question, you have to be prepared for and willing to accept either answer. Otherwise, don't ask." My sisters-in-law all tell me they wish they could be more like me in that regard.

    My point is, I think you are well within your rights to sit them down and tell them you really wish you could do it and if you were well you would jump at the chance, but right now your health is not good and you have to have the ability to have a lot of rest and peace and quiet. No way your house will be that way with kids there. No need to feel guilty because you are telling the truth.

    Ask them if there is any other way you can help them or give them some ideas of ways you can somehow help out a little, if that's possible. I agree, you have to take care of yourself first. They are adults and will come up with another solution. But you should not feel guilty.
  2. gert157

    gert157 New Member

    Thanks Mike,
    I speak from what I know..... Been there done that, lesson learned....... DONE!!!! I'm over it!! (never to repeat) until a cure of course.....

    Holly, this will all work itself out, it will I promise!! It always does..........Be honest and true to yourself and help where you can and that's it, period!!!! End of story.........

    You saying I DON'T WANT TO DO IT!! Is being honest...... You know what your limitations are... Listen to that little voice inside, it's very wise...
  3. Titus

    Titus New Member

    Holly, I have a hard time saying no. In fact, many of my therapy sessions were devoted to that one small two-letter word that hardly left my lips. You really don't owe anyone an explanation of why you are saying no but if you briefly told them that you didn't think you were up to it because of your condition and symptoms, I'm sure they would accept (and maybe even understand).

    Maybe they can extend their lease for a couple of months. They have some lead time so I'm sure they can come up with Plan "B"

    I'm a bit surprised that they would even ask, knowing your condition.
  4. Brownrecluse

    Brownrecluse New Member


    I concur with all those who have told you to say NO. And I have wide experience here.

    Some years ago, my wife's older brother wanted to live free in a condo we owned while he underwent treatment for throat cancer at a nearby hospital. Mind you, he was quite well off and could have afforded a very nice apartment or hotel. I warned my wife not to do it, as it meant moving our oldest daughter out of the condo and into our home. She and my wife do NOT get along, and it was a huge strain.

    But nothing compared to what happened when my wife, who has always been a total pushover for her family, decided to have them switch places--even after I told her it was going to kill me, because her brother was a selfish, self-centered, hedonistic jerk. She seemingly had agreed, but then he just showed up, and it turned out she chose him over me. So her brother moved into our LIVING ROOM, where he set up his throne, er, resting place, on our very nice couch. AND THEN invited his friends and others over to our home every night to drink and party with him. I had to hide in a back room of the house, which they still invaded, and my symptoms got worse and worse. Finally, I told her it was him or me, and if she chose him I would commit suicide. So she finally made him move out, but at the cost of alienating the rest of her family, who did not give a damn about me. After he left, we discovered there had been a paperwork screwup with my disability, which had we not found and corrected it, would cost me my coverage and basically impoverished us.

    We have had our daughters visit some since my illness, but I have told my wife they cannot live with us. Which has meant that we have supported them in other ways, despite both of us being disabled and their being in their late 30's and one who just turned 41. All in fine health of course, with superb educations.

    Now my wife is redoing our garage to turn it into basically a guest house, so we can store our oldest daughter there where she will supposedly not interact with us much at all. I am opposed, of course, but as usual, my wife is seemingly sympathetic, but her sense of responsibility, maternal guilt, whatever will dictate the result in the end. The irony is that her martyr complex has caused me to hate her family and regard our oldest daughter with contempt, when had we just said no years ago, she would have been forced to stand on her own two feet instead of being an unemployed, overeducated, very rude and unpleasant loser.

    I learned the reality of the cost of such things when we got snookered into hosting a wedding party for our youngest daughter and her husband, which was basically a renewal of their vows, though his mother pretended it was their actual marriage. Who paid for it and did all the work? Me and my wife. What was supposed to be a small family gathering of maybe 15 people became a ridiculous monstrosity with 110 people in attendance. I have been paying the price ever since; my hearing acuity, what little remained, has been pretty much gone for several weeks now, the sound distortion, hyperacusis, tinnitus vertigo and brain fog are all much worse, and while it was a very nice party, and caused us to do some repairs and maintenance at our home that probably needed doing, it was not worth it. Not one bit. And my wife has finally agreed we will do no more gatherings here, not even small dinner parties, because she has seen the consequences for me, AND FOR HER, since now my ability to communicate with her is sharply limited and very poor. And our daughter and her husband claim now they never wanted the party, so it was all pretty much for nothing.

    I know this was long, and filled with anger, but the punch line is simple. Our illness is miserable. No one who does not have it understands it or its severity or the impact what seems normal or trivial to them has on us. First and foremost, you have to protect yourself, because no one else will. Indeed, they will take advantage of your vulnerability, consciously or not. THEY should feel guilty for even suggesting such an imposition on you. You should not. But you should definitely feel really stupid if you give in, because the only person hurt will be YOU. Be strong and know your limits. Make the best of what you can with what life has tossed at you. Don't let family, friends or strangers add to your misery. It is not worth it, and they will not be grateful even if you do. Sad lessons, sadly learned for me.
  5. shartsoe

    shartsoe New Member

    I need a "like" button, but this isn't Facebook. ;D
  6. LisaB

    LisaB New Member

    Holly, just be honest and kind. You can only do what you can do!

    Titus, great post, thanks that sends me out into the world today with the attitude I need. :)

  7. shelly3257

    shelly3257 New Member

    Holly, you are no a bitch or selfish. You know your limitations, just like the rest of us. It's hard to purposely put yourself into a situation where you know your symptoms will go through the roof (any of ours would too!). I know you want to help your family, but if it's at the cost of your health...

    I would be honest and tell them I would love to help you, but I am way too sick. Maybe they could come stay, but pay for daycare outside of your home when they are not there to watch the children? Tell them you safely cannot do it, you'd be too afraid something would happen to one of the children because you'd be too sick to watch them.

    Honestly, if they know you are so sick and understand the things that make your condition worse, I too am surprised they would ask...

    And you're right, that couple of months will probably be closer to 6 or more :(
  8. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    Your replies have really touched my heart. For all of the lessons you've learned (and me too actually) and us having this beast to live with every day. I think it is best I say "no".

    I'm just a teenie bit upset because I found out that they can do a month by month lease after the first year is up. I'm very disappointed in my son and DIL for letting me believe that they she would have to renew for an entire year. I thought the month to month was the way it still worked (I was a renter for a lot of years too). I don't know if my son has knowingly lied to me or if my DIL lied to him and to me. It hurts. I found out just today for sure that there is a month to month available after the first year.

    Oh, I knew the reasoning was monetary and understood that from the beginning. They could potentially be stuck with a years obligation to the rental property and have a house note in addition. But that not being the case and her having lived there as long as she has, I think she would be able to 'make it' for those few months she plans on being here.

    I know what I need to do now and it's going to be stressful to do it BUT I can't let ANYONE take advantage of me because I've managed to get to the small place I'm at materialistically. I think I've done enough at this point. I won't list it but it's been thousands just in the past year and a half I mean capitol T-housands! I'm living on a fixed income and the savings is almost gone.

    The replies here have helped me in my decision enormously. It takes people like us, who understand each other to reach out and give the support - in this case to me - to do what's in OUR best interest.

    Now, wish me luck...I'm going in ;D

    P.S. And I won't need to go outside either!

    Sorry to take the topic in a 'please support me' direction but I really needed it and you all made me see that sometimes, it is about me!
  9. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    On a new note. I'm having visitors today and have gone outside and walked around my small piece of property. It's sunny and a little warm - perfect. I won't be able to do anything else cause that's gonna take all my energy for the day. My grandson (fifteen years old - not the one year old) who is visiting for a couple weeks is on his own today...

    How's your week/day going? I'm in the house and the world has to come here today.
  10. shelly3257

    shelly3257 New Member

    I'm glad you feel better about your decision. Sometimes it IS about you, you're right! :)

    I have a UTI and the antibiotics are kicking my butt, so my friend is coming over to visit me tonight. And then we are doing our own little fireworks in the back yard this weekend a having a little cookout with my parents because I can't go out anywhere.

    I hope you enjoy your weekend :)
  11. gert157

    gert157 New Member

    Dear Holly,
    I'm so happy you found the support you so despartely needed regarding this issue..... And yes hon, it is all about YOU!! With this disease it has to be... We have no choice in that, NONE!! Like I said yesterday, we did not ask for this and so we are forced to do what we have to do to survive and I mean that very literally, survive!!!! As far as you finding out they did indeed have the month to month option and it bothering you a teenie weenie bit... Here is my suggestion and take it just as that an opinion..... I would let it go.... Just forget about it and try not to let it eat at you, sometimes we have to pick our battles if ya know what I mean and the bottom line is they are going to do the month to month correct?? If the answer is yes, then try to just leave it be.... Really what good would come out of being upset or mad about it ya know?? We can't afford to waste any of our energy on negative situations...Like I said though, that's just my opinion, do as you see fit...... I know you love your children or this whole situation would not have upset you so badly, so if you really feel the need to discuss it with your son and dil, just try and do it with great love and care in your voice they will get it... I would hate for this to cause distance between you and your son....And Holly, I'm sure you know this but you gotta cut the run away money train off!! They will have to learn how to live by their own means... I'm really surprised you were able to help with as much as you have already... Fixed income is tough, I hate to hear you have gone thru your savings, maybe your kids will step up if and when you might need their help.......
    So glad to hear you went outside for awhile today, hope it felt good to you..... I know it was good for you!!!!!!
    Wishing you a wonderful 4th of July weekend, try and relax and treat yourself well.......I am going to try and do the same, we have had almost 24 hours of non stop thunderstorms here, I have never experienced anything like it, I mean non stop so needless to say I am very sick and writing to you from bed... Gotta love those laptops!!! Take care, Leanne
  12. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    I'm so sorry I've been gone for so long!!! I just haven't had the umph to get out the computer and see what's going on. I hear I missed a lot! One of the more interesting posts was shut down!

    I did go out for the Fourth of July. My best friend of thirty five years was having a BBQ and had invited a number of friends up. She's one who understands about the Meniere's and never pushes me to do what I can't handle. Anyway, I actually stayed for three hours!!! Yep, me! My tinnitus was in terrible shape but I had taken meds to help. Into the second hour I wanted to leave so bad but stuck it out for another hour. It was great as I got to see a lot of people I haven't seen for a while. The loud firworks were starting to go off and I told her it was time to go. My ears were driving me literally, nuts! Thank God I only live about a mile away...

    Anyway, I got home with my puppies and an extra plate of goodies from the BBQ and just relaxed. Took a couple more meds and because my house has some pretty good windows, it was pretty quiet except for the TV which I had up to try to drown out the tinnitus.

    Hope your fourth was good too.

    About my DIL living in my house for a bit. We came to a compromise. First it's for three months. It's my family and the guilt was worse than at least trying. Second, if it didn't work out within that three months she'd have to find another way/place to stay. And third, I would not be expected to take care of the children. I couldn't do it while she was at work and it shouldn't be expected now - even though she'll be living here.

    In return, I'll do little to no house work :eek: and she's going to do dinner preps along with buying groceries and paying money for the increase in utilites plus more.

    I just have to try. I can't let go of the guilt. I'm justifying the hell out of it I know but in the end I can truthfully say I tried to do the right thing - even if it hurt for a while. Three months out of my life isn't going to kill me albeit it may make my life less comfortable. Trust me - I did a lot of thinking on this one. Geez, I hope it doesn't destroy our relationship... that's even bigger than what I'd be going through health wise cause that'll last a lifetime...

    Any thoughts on what a wimp I am??
  13. Angelea

    Angelea New Member


    I'm sure you made the right choice. It sounds like you listened to your gut and you know what is best for yourself. Another way to look at it is you might become closer to her and the grandchildren. You'll never know unless you try.

    I just heard something yesterday (wish I'd written it down!) that when people commit to doing something, i.e. losing weight, quitting smoking, they are far more likely to be successful if they make choices based on focusing on what they know is good for them rather than on what is not good for them or guilt. In other words, saying "I will do X because I will be healthier and feel better." Instead of, "I will do X because if I don't I will not be healthy and will feel bad or guilty." I'm sure you can take your situation and fit it into the 1st scenario and feel good about your decision and maybe even have a positive effect on the outcome!

    Hang in there and keep us posted on how things go. :)

  14. redwing1951

    redwing1951 New Member


    I think the stress you put yourself through coming to this decision is going to be lifted from your shoulders. You are willing to give it a try and from here on in just take one day at a time. Don't look back on what already has taken place. You have a brand new beginning and I hope that it turns out to be one that you will never regret. Good luck!
  15. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    Thanks for the vote of convidence. she knows I'm housebound and she knows about the anxiety attacks. she's scared to death about my youngest grandchild's noise level sometimes. I've told her that I understand and that it's normal for a one year old to 'talk; quite loudly when they want something. I told her it's something I have to understand and that I can always go in my room when it gets to bad. Ryder (my grandson) is not a screamer but he is a bit spoiled and wants what he wants - now. He listens to Nana (me) pretty well as I made it clear from the first time he was able to walk and get around that "You don't touch Nana's stuff!". A little thonk - not hit - on the hand cured that pretty good. thonk, you know middle finger and thumb touching then, "thonk" on the offending hand. I really hope it brings us all closer instead of further away.

    With me being housebound and her gone most of the time (about eighty hours a week) - it just might work out... Pretty, pretty, please.

    OK, I've taken over the board enough with my issues. I'd like to know how any of you are doing/connecting/dealing/etc... with your housebound issues.

    And, really really, thanks for all the support my understanding friends :)
  16. CarolineJ.

    CarolineJ. New Member

    We are here to support you Holly with whatever decision you make. Just because one asks for advice here doesn't mean there is an expectation for you to follow if it goes against what you are feeling.

    You did what you felt was best and that is all you can do.
  17. Titus

    Titus New Member

    Hi Holly, I hope it all goes well. You are such a kind person and your family is lucky to have you.

    I went out for lunch last week. I had to pop an extra pill to get through it but I'm glad I did.
  18. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    What was it that made you take the meds? Like noise problems, crowds, dizziness problems or just getting out of the house? Sounds like you took care of what you already knew was gonna happen while you were out.
  19. Titus

    Titus New Member

    My dizziness is 24/7 but when I'm out I get sensory overload. Too much visual activity, auditory stimulation, and balance issues. I have to pop an extra one when I go to meetings at work, out to lunch, or even shopping in places like Home Depot.
  20. hollymm

    hollymm Me, 'in' a tree.

    I'm so used to some of my symptoms it's like they're almost normal to me. I still can't stand as you put so well - the sensory overload when I go out. It's a fight every single time to get out that front door. Sometimes the anxiety is just too much and my breathing gets difficult along with heart palpatations and the room looking kinda jumbled up. I try the zanax and sometimes it helps sometimes it doesn't. It always helps me to calm my tinnitus though. I've heard valium is just about the same thing but it scares me. Probably because of the Valley of the Dolls :D

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