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    Cgirl's Avatar
    Cgirl Posts: 287, Reputation: 38
    Full Member

    May 4, 2006, 02:27 PM
    Do you ever feel overwelmed by your family?
    Hi, as some of you may know by my previous thread :

    My mother passed away when I was 12, since then my father has a wife and 2 kids with her (actually he married her when I was 10) and my grandparents on my mothers side are in their mid 80's, and my mom's other siblings (their children) are all far away in other states accept for their son, who lives here in the same town and me, their only granddaughter. Their son, believe it or not, is my boss, he owns an ISP company and is always busy, too busy, in fact to help them, although I think this is B.S.
    I am the only one left, and I have a son and a husband to tend to. I guess there is also some guilt associated with this because my grandpa (not my dad) retired early and took care of my mother when she was paralyzed, and they are always so good to me. Sometimes I feel like I don’t do enough to help them, or see them enough, but I just feel like I am being spread way too thin. I feel like I had to grow up too fast when I was younger, always expected to be a “little lady” and “keep myself busy and happy” being the only child of a single parent at the time. I guess what I am saying is, is it wrong to say “No, I can’t do this for you” sometimes. I feel like I never have anytime for me and my immediate family, because between my in-laws, my mom’s side and my dad’s side(which is all Italian, and they are ALL ABOUT family) I feel like that is all I do anymore. What does everyone else think?
    aqua@home's Avatar
    aqua@home Posts: 565, Reputation: 107
    Senior Member

    May 4, 2006, 05:27 PM
    Hi, I don't think it's wrong to say "no" at all. I think more of us need to do it more often. You can't continue to put yourself last. If you don't take care of yourself no one will. I would strongly urge you to learn to say "no", just a little at a time. Family has the habit of taking other members for granted and that's not right. You do need time for you. Good luck.:)
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member

    May 5, 2006, 05:36 AM
    Hi, Cgril,
    Every heard the old words "Guilt trip"?
    My mother-in-law (now deceased) used to be the world's best at laying "guilt trips" on my wife... until finally, my wife figured it out for herself. She finally said, "that's not my problem, but if I can help with it I will, but not now".
    Your life is yours, up to you what you want to do with it.
    If you feel your own family is hurting for your attention, then Give It To Them.
    Tell others "no, I'm sorry, I don't have time right now".
    I have learned that if I can do something about an issue, then do it. If not, don't "worry" about it, cause worry only promotes more worry, and does nothing but frustrate you. Tell your family "no".
    Start concentrating on your own family, and sooner or later, the "family" will get the idea that they cannot continue manipulating you. I do wish you the best, and good luck.
    Cgirl's Avatar
    Cgirl Posts: 287, Reputation: 38
    Full Member

    May 5, 2006, 07:57 AM
    Thank you aqua@home and fredg, good advice! I will definitely try to put my focus more on my own family at home, I guess I just needed someone to tell me that I wasn't being selfish.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,928, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member

    May 5, 2006, 08:10 AM
    No, you are not selfish. In fact, you are trying to be what your family wants you to be... at their "beck and call".
    Please try being with your own family more, be there for them. Put your other family as secondary, with your own family as primary.
    Do for your own family first. If any time left over, then help out the other, when possible. I got to the point where I was trying to help my wife's family more instead of my own... until I have to "back off". It took awhile for her family to realize they had to solve their own problems... I wasn't doing it anymore; neither was my wife.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,304, Reputation: 7692

    May 5, 2006, 08:19 AM
    We have to first be secure at our own home and take care of our real personal needs before we can start being care giver and protector of others. Now often we have to also set some priority and make helping ones parent a family affair.

    Also we can not ever make another family member do anything the way we want it done.

    I don't have any quck fix answers or even any real help except to say that we all normally feel it at some point
    milliec's Avatar
    milliec Posts: 262, Reputation: 55
    Full Member

    May 5, 2006, 08:21 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Cgirl
    (which is all Italian, and they are ALL ABOUT family)
    Dear Courtney,
    I chose to open this post with this quotation, for two reasons:
    I don't know if italians in the states are like italians in italy, but I must tell you, I'm absolutely in love with this wonderful country, and it's people:warm, open hearts, caring, yet polite.
    The 2nd reason is, that I'm jewish, and in this aspect, we're the same:family,family, family... - especially here, in israel, this "pocket size" country, where you're never REALLY far away.
    Now, to your problem.
    I'd like to say, that a "no" from time to time doesn't make you selfish, and when you feel that you run thin, you might become tense, offer you help more like a duty and without enough love on the surface (I'm sure love never leaves your heart) - living in a "all about family - family first" will make your needs understood by the others, after all, you have another family to look after now.
    What you can do, is speak to your uncle - see what ideas he'll come up with, so that his parents , whom you both love, will get all the attention and care they need, and this while still considering your needs and limitations.
    Does your uncle have a family:wife, kids,
    Maybe you could arrange something among you, so that each of you will take care of a certain aspect?
    I organized such a thing with my brother when our parents needed us 24/7 - and it worked !

    What I wish to say, basically, is that you must have a conversation with your uncle, tell him how much you care about his parents- your grandparents, and try to reach a solution together, something right for both of you. Don't torment yourself, and make sure your grandparents will always feel your love. I grew up without grandparents, and all my life I felt how much I missed them! So even if it wasn't without your specific life history, I'm sure theywould be very special to you - let alone with your life story!
    Is it possible, maybe, for you to spend time with them and your son, so that you won't miss being with him while you visit them?
    Hope I helped, even if a little, I know exactly how difficult it is.
    Take care,
    Cgirl's Avatar
    Cgirl Posts: 287, Reputation: 38
    Full Member

    May 5, 2006, 08:33 AM
    Thanks Millie, very good advice. I will do that !
    momincali's Avatar
    momincali Posts: 641, Reputation: 242
    Senior Member

    May 5, 2006, 10:18 AM
    Only good people feel guilt. Your guilt is inappropriate though. You have a family that needs to come first, and that is your son and your husband. You can call them often and see how they are, offer them help only if it will not take time away from your own family, but that is not your burden to take on. By doing so, will only make you feel "spread so thin" that you won't have the time or energy to fulfill your true obligation which is your hubby and son. Read "Bad Childhood, Good Life", it's such an eye opener.

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