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A reflective week

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The last week has been really uncomfortable as my fibromyalgia had a big flare up. This is not uncommon when the weather changes but it's really frustrating. If you're not familiar with the condition, for me it feels like I've got sunburn on the inside and everything is sore. All my joints hurt, my skin is super sensitive and the migraine headaches, well, they just top it all off.

My mobility is limited at the best of times so ending up bed bound in a darkened room seems extra frustrating but, in a funny kind of way, I think it actually does me good.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels they need to be supermum and do everything for everyone. Largely, that was how I was raised. "You need to be useful to be loved". Most of the time, I don't mind doing it all. A lot of my parenting has been to simply do the opposite of what I had so rather than piling everything on my girls because they'll "have homes and husbands of their own one day" I'm pretty lax on chores as I know they'll have to spend the rest of their lives scrubbing toilets etc.

Sometimes, though, I genuinely need help but asking for it is really tough. Firstly, there's the internal "you don't deserve help" dialogue going on, backed up by the "stop whining, just get up and do it" and "nobody cares" threads. When I do ask for help with something and, unsurprisingly, my teenage daughters don't leap into action then I feel I'm nagging and give up. Hubby is no better. He knows I'm in so much pain I can't hold a tea cup (nightmare for a Brit!) yet he disappears out with his nephews for the weekend, not getting home till 10pm two days running and wondering why I blew up at him when he asked where his dinner was (answers on a postcard, please, lol).

Despite that inner voice whispering I'm not worth caring for, I know I am. My hubby and daughters aren't unfeeling, just lazy and used to me doing everything because I don't stand up for myself. It's not that they didn't notice that I was bed ridden, just that they are as self-absorbed as most teenagers. Me being ill is hardly a novelty, after all.

It shouldn't take me blowing my lid for the rest of the family to pitch in and help but I'm not blameless. I ask, they ignore, I nag once then give up and do it myself - not helpful. If nothing else, this week has reminded me that nobody but me cares (or even notices) about keeping a clean house but that doesn't mean I'm the only one that has to do it all. I need to invest more energy into training my family while I have the strength so next time I'm down the ship doesn't sink with me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    HI Jacquie!! Its NOT easy to find that balance, but yet it's good for kids to have age appropriate chores. Sadly it sounds like your Mom went WAY OVER BOARD having you doing so very much as you grew up. At 12 I was to keep the living room dusted and occassionally help with the laundry plus of course since age 8 keep my room clean. Actually she started us all cleaning our rooms as we learned to walk. Just putting away toys at first, but by the time I was 13 it was up to me. I loved it.

    With my GD who's Mom did NOT teach her a thing, I gave her age appropiate things to do such as keeping her stuff picked up, as she hit her teens I taught her to cook easy things, which over time she learned more. Included in the cooking is being responsible for the clean up (We did it together, gave us that all so important 1 on 1 no digital stuff). She's married now, has a little one, a full time job, and is well adjusted keeping her place clean,organized.

    Hon, I have fibro and it HURTS BADLY at times. It's OKAY to have help. It's NOT a weakness, it's PAIN. It helps the kids to feel good once they see they really make a difference by helping.

    156 days ago
    I know it is hard but this advice really brought me peace and I stopped being so hurt and angry at the world. Hugs and peace
    158 days ago
    Others will come and go along this journey but we are the only ones who can take on our lives. Realising this will make us less angry if and when they cannot share our struggles as they have their own journey
    158 days ago
    I totally empathise. Its been almost 20 years for me too. And my journey is similar. I was st my lowest and angriest when an acquaintance said that basically we are all born into this world alone and will leave alone
    158 days ago
  • LOF7203
    Thanks for sharing
    158 days ago
    Investing more of your limited energy into training your family, having fibromyalgia through it all, is a really tough task, but it'll be worth any amount of energy you can spend to do it anyway...for everyone involved. I wanted to give my teenage children a carefree childhood, but they had a sick mom, too and were forced to learn the particulars of that situation. It actually didn't harm them. It just became an exercise in reality, which was a good thing for them. It caused them to grow up into the caring people they are today. My husband had a very hard time dealing with the reality of my illness and needed frequent "time outs". I tried my best to respect that and give him space when he needed it. However, I learned the hard way, as you now are, not to ask for his help. Instead, I would call him at work to let him know what my condition was (briefly) and to give him a heads up on exactly what I needed him to do when he got home and what was going to meet him when he walked in the door and please not to stay late at work. He always came through for me. Fibromyalgia has always been a moving target for me. Some days are great, some are not so great and some have been truly awful, but I know when it's awful that it won't always be like that. I will have some great days still - I just don't know when. So, I live in the moment and take one day at a time and practice gratitude for all my many blessings. I've had fibromyalgia since 1989. The children are all grown and gone now and the teenage years, especially, with all the stress, quickly became a thing of the past. This time in your life will pass by quickly, too, and you will survive it. Your children will love you (and already do, even in their self-absorption). Your stress level will be much reduced. For me, once the children were out of the house, my fibromyalgia improved to the point that I haven't had a severe relapse in almost 20 years. Use your strength now to retrain your family - you will be so glad that you did! emoticon
    158 days ago
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