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Unbeliveable Stress...No way out

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Terrible stress here at home. Lots of family drama with no way out for me. I've tried meditation, exercise,herbs,teas,sound and light calming techniques and nothing is working. I can't leave it all and run away and no one can give me a hand. Even uped my depression/anxiety meds and getting more sleep. I know this is not good for me, but I don't know how it fix it. Open to any suggestions. debrajo

Double Whammy's picture
Double Whammy
Posts: 2283
Joined: Jun 2010

Cancer changed me. While I was in treatment, all the drama around me continued I'm sure, but no one told me about it because afterall, I had cancer. Somewhere in the midst of all the reflection I did while in treatment, I came to the conclusion that I really didn't make any difference in the family scuttlebutt and that if I died, it was still going to go on, and if I lived, there really wasn't anything I could do to change it. The only thing I accomplished by being involved was making myself crazy.

I now try (not always successfully) to do what makes ME happy in MY life and to love my family unconditionally no matter what. I worry when they have a problem, but I don't try and fix it or tell them how to fix it. I have no idea if they've even noticed, frankly, but I know I am no longer consumed by what's going on in their lives. I really can't be sure how that happened. I care, they know I care (I think), but their lives are theirs. I think that has been empowering to both them and me.

I promised myself I'd take care of myself. I don't look to them to do that. I'm not always successful, but today was good. I have no idea what happened in the rest of the family today, but today was good for me. I also don't go looking for trouble (i.e., calling to get the latest updates).

My advice is to be selfish, but lovingly selfish. And come here for any support you need.

Hugs,
Suzanne

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

I empathize with you both. Families are usually not all that healthy (at least in my experience) and we can't pick them!!

Suzanne, I'm impressed that you have been able to DETACH from the toxic influences. No small feat. I had to do the same with two family members. I essentially learned that I can't control them (they are adults) and then LOWERED my expectations of them (I haven't been disappointed) and changed my expectations for myself, which you have done Suzanne. It really makes a difference and requires a conscious DECISION to change.

One thing, Debrajo. Take notice of your language ("trapped", no way out","can't","no one". etc). Our minds will believe this and the anxiety will increase because a person feels trapped. Please allow yourself the possibility of change by tweaking your language ("I'm feel trapped now...I will find a way to handle this...etc"). And I definitely know that counseling can help - ask for help and people it will get better just like you are doing here. I'll put in another plug for "Getting Well Again" which helped me with this issue.

Many hugs, Mary Ann

light42day
Posts: 61
Joined: Mar 2012

I totally agree with what Mary Ann and Suzanne have shared. We just can't control what other people do. We can only control our reactions to what they do or say.
Have you tried praying for the people who are causing the stress in your life? Sometimes just the act of praying for them helps a lot! Somehow it changes the atmosphere and it changes how we relate to them (even how we think about them).

I'll keep you in my prayers for peace during this time and a lessening of whatever is causing the stress in your home and life.

Blessings to you,
Peg

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Thanks Mary Anne and Suzanne,I know I should detach myself more, but when it is your baby (18) and your husband of 42+ years that are going at it constantly, I can get away only so much. My son just graduated high school last Sat. and my husband has been pitching a fit ever since that he doesn't have a job. He has been accepted to University in the fall with dual credits and finance is in place, but he is also youth leaded of out church and has taken a lot of responsibility for this last summer.I've had to send my boy to his brothers to get him out of harm's way while he finds a job. Plus, my 86 year old mother who is crippled and on a walker has moved in with us and requires a lot of help with bathing, walking, dressing, meds, ect. My step father has recently been put in a senior care facility due to the violent stage of Alzheimer's which is a big adjustment for MaMa and husband is being a total jerk! Guess I just needed to vent. @ mary Anne, I have started on the Getting well Again book and hop I can get some relief from that in all respects! Thanks Ladies, Best, Debrajo

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Debrajo,

Your son sounds like a wonderful young man. Father's can be very rough on them - I come for a very autocratic German background ("It's my way or the highway....You're 100% wrong....Do it right, do it my way...").

One thing that I have to do now when my husband who is a hospice social worker (angel!) talks about work (breaks my heart most of the time) is - give him a time limit. Seriously. I tell him I can handle 5 more minutes of this.

One strategy for dealing with worry, anxiety, anger, etc. is to do this for a limited amount of time and then STOP IT. Perhaps you can validate your husband's feelings by telling him you understand that he is upset but the bickering upsets you and you can't handle it for long periods of time. Tell him he can vent to you for 5 (or whatever) minutes only - on the hour - then he has to stop. Leave the room if he continues.

Good luck teaching an old dog new tricks - it is possible!!

Best to you, Mary Ann

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Thanks Mary Ann, you're a sweetheart! I have never thought of a time limit and can't wait to try it! I admit I spoiled my son, but he is an answer to prayer, literally. He was born when I was almost 42, after two miscarriages and a dead infant son, so he literally saved my life! I am very defensive about him(and all six of my kids), but my husband is like your German family, with a cruel streak, and he is very tired of working to provide insurance for me... I understand his point, it's his manner I can't take. I won;t have one of my kids hit! So I will start with the "dog tricks" and stick a stack of job applications under my son's nose! Thanks so much! Debrajo

sunflash's picture
sunflash
Posts: 152
Joined: Aug 2011

Stress stinks! Sorry for all you're going through Debrajo! I love the time limit on worry/stressing out Mary Ann! I need to incorporate that into my own life! Cancer is hard enough to deal with, but family relationship issues takes it to a whole different level. Glad your son is with his brother.......sounds like a good plan for him!! Don't let your husband's bad attitude about carrying you on his insurance get you down (I know easier said than done!) Having cancer is NOT your fault....you DIDN'T pick this for yourself!

When my son was 17 or 18, I drove around with him and we hit all the places that said "help wanted" and he went inside and filled out applications. He actually got a job within a week. I don't know how that would work with this economy, but might not hurt to give it a shot. Your son sounds like a true blessing......congratulations on raising such a responsible young man! You should be very proud of yourself!

Sending hugs and prayers!

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

All wonderful responses to Debrajo. Words that I can use too. So much appreciated. Besides my brain lesions, family drama here too. So reading encouragement you all gave to DJ helps me as well. You are all so wonderful.

Debrajo I wish I could help but I believe in thoughts and prayers and will send them your way.

Love,
Pat

Fayard's picture
Fayard
Posts: 343
Joined: May 2011

You are in my prayers.

RoseyR
Posts: 464
Joined: Feb 2011

Am sorry to hear you're under so much stress at home.

Can't help wondering if some OTHER adult outside your immediate family, couldn't remind your husband of two things:

1) The economy is HORRIBLE and many students WITH college degrees are finding it difficult to find jobs; they've moved back home with parents. Your husband is being way too hard on your son, it's obvious.

2) If for no OTHER reason, your husband should know how bad stress is for YOU. He should cool it if only for your sake.

In short, someone needs to shame him--better yet, two people need to do so.

If you can't get such intervention from others, I agree with the rest: you need to control your own reactions and realize that staying calm is best for you and those who depend on you.

At the risk of sounding trivial I've found--friends have even commented--on how much calmer I've seemed since my own diagnosis and treatment two years ago. Granted, I'm not coping with an ornery husband. But I hav found that walks by myself, three BIG mugs (two teabags each) of green tea a day have kept me calm; there is no doubt in my mind that the theanine in green tea is incredibly calming. But you need to drink it three to four times a day: either three BIG mugs or five smaller cups. And let the tea steep at least 3-4 minutes.

Be sure too you're getting enough Omega-3's (fish oil) to keep you calm.

Best,
Rosey

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

God bless each and everyone of you! You all have made me feel so good! I know things will turn out ok soon, I just get a little crazy late at night when the whirlewind finialy goes to bed! I know my son will find a job soon, but even if he doesn't, I am going to enjoy his last "kid summer" with him come Hell or High Water! The ole' codger owes me a little enjoyment with my baby! Thanks again to the sisters of the heart, this site has been my one bright spot and my constant source of hope! Love to all, Debrajo

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Not to belabor this situation, but I have been thinking about this and will share.

I think your husband is probably a very good person (heck you married him so he must have many redeeming qualities) but is probably angry and taking his anger out on others - you and his son (and maybe others including himself).

When people feel out of control - working to provide his wife health insurance and maybe other issues - they often take that anger or resentment out others.....and he may not even know that he is doing this!! I was guilty of this defense mechanism when I was a frustrated young wife and didn't figure it out until years later with help of good therapist. BTW, thanks to our country's health insurance policies, MY husband also had to continue working to insurance me - how can they leave their sick wives without health insurance with a government that doesn't care!!!!! (sorry for going there, ladies)

Please don't own his anger, Debrajo.

Big hug, Mary Ann

Shell bug's picture
Shell bug
Posts: 68
Joined: Nov 2011

I am so sorry you are having so much stress debrajo. You are such a positive person on these boards and your comments always uplift me so much.

I will continue to pray for you and your situation.

All the best,
Rachelle

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Thank you Dear! Made my day! Some days are just worse than others and that day was a real doozy! Best, Debrajo

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Thank you Dear! Made my day! Some days are just worse than others and that day was a real doozy! Best, Debrajo

Susanna23
Posts: 66
Joined: Dec 2010

Dear DebraJo, Rosey and all
I was just catching up and saw this discussion. Thanks for the tip about two green tea bags...did that today (husband has made me a green tea every day on waking since we got into the Anti-Cancer book but I try to drink more)
Anyway, a difficult family situation has developed with me too. Only I am 250 miles removed from it (it is my elderly mother who has been diagnosed with dementia). So, trying to support her and my brother who lives close to her. But, the idea of loving selfishness really does strike a chord - I decided from the start that I was going to put me and my health first.
Obviously dementia is a lot different from cancer but I have to keep reminding myself because I try to translate what I did for myself to Mum, who is in deep denial about her condition. Sigh! When I go there we do have some nasty confrontations which shakes me up for a day or so and I worry it's not good for me! Whereas when I call her she has forgotten all about it....
Also, yes I walk a lot on my own too - mainly next to the river when I can (you may have seen the Queen's river event on Sunday - where I go is a few miles further west from that).
Take very good care everyone...
Susan xxx

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

I now how you feel Susan and it isn't good for you to be upset(like I have room to talk!) I feel terrible and so sore and stiff from tension that my legs feel like I've been walking through wet concrete. My mother and I, after a year of trying to keep my step-father at home, have had to place him in a Behavioral Hospital for evaluation of Alzheimer's. He has spells of violence and my is too frail to protect herself and take care of him. I have been trying to take care of both of the and am failing miserably! Since putting him in the hospital, Mama has moved in with my cranky husband and me along with our teen son. What fun. Having been there, it is going to be very hard for you,just remember you Mum is not the same person she use to be. Protect yourself if you can, even if it means not going to see her as often. Give your brother as much help as you can and let your mother call you on her good days. Let me know if I can help. Best, debrajo

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Wondering how things are going and how you are feeling? Stress is awful especialy when caused by family. I have some myself and have found somw peace in praying for the source in that she mY find the peace in her life that she is missing to make her as she is.

Just wanted to send you peace and love and wishes for a good week.

Pat

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Things are somewhat better. I, too, pray daily for peace and patience, if nothing else. Some days I just pray to get through the turmoil-of-the-moment. Stepdad is in Hospice now and Mama cries daily, but she is getting use to her new-normal! Son will be(Thank you Lord)going to college in Aug. and the HUSBAND has decided to pout and stay quite! God does answer prayer!!.I was wondering how everything was with you and mysis. I know you have had WAY more to deal with than me, just with the cancer. I really don't know how you stay sane! I haven't had a recurrence, and try not to go there, but it's like waiting for the other shoe to drop! How do you push through? I will try and have a good week in spit of myself! Thanks for thinking of me!
Best, debrajo

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Funny thing, I don't even question how I get through but I do. I am happy, I feel well and that is the best I can hope for now. Of course anything can change at any minute and I pray for the strength to get myself through whatever comes next. We all have so much to go through...I don't consider it better or worse, just different. I do not walk this road alone, I walk along side so many others following those that have come before us and in front of those that will follow behind.

Husbands can be such puds sometimes. I have had a few interesting moments with mine the last couple of weeks. Like just being home from the hospital and him telling me to clear the kitchen table and bathroom counter of clutter. Don't like it...do it yourself. I think the stress may have been getting to him and he does not handle it as well. The whole family stress on my end is his family. His dad passed in December, his 90 year ole aunt who has lived with them her whole life tried to committ suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills, his mom is in hospital and his sister is a control freak that complains about doing everything (which their isn't much to do) but never asks for help and wants to dictate what everybody should do and discusses nothing with him.

Well, blah, blah....this is supposed to be about you. Glad your son is going to college and husband quieted down! Gotta love them in spite of themselves sometimes!

Take care,
Pat

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Good grief Pat! You have more drama than a daytime soap opera! Believe your sister-in-law wants to not only be a control freak, but a martyr as well! I know about the "clear the table thing"! When I got home from the dr.s with the dx. my husband asked me how it went, I said,"I have cancer", him: can they get rid of it? Me, "I don't know...its bad" him: hum....What's for supper?"!! Husbands...gotta love them...NOT! Let me know how you are going on day to day. I always admire someone who can refraim from commiting murder! best, debrajo

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Another bright spot to end today.....Your post made me laugh. This road we are on is such a journey and we all have our "stories from the road". There is strength in numbers and I am glad I found them here!

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

If I can make someone laugh, it's a good day! I always did take "the road less traveled"...just didn't know it would be the "road to HELL"! I don't know where I would be without these boards. Who else knows but someone who has been through the same thing! Since there is strength in numbers, in mind and spirit let's give all husbands/partners...a mental wedgie!!!!!! Best, debrajo

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Or, better yet a kick in the Arse!

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

.....Oh Yeah,Buddy!!!

nempark
Posts: 592
Joined: Apr 2010

Well...... the husband was not working and when the working wife came home he was sitting on the couch drinking a beer, watching tv and popping his gum. She asked him to stop and off course, he didn't. While she was cooking he started to pop the gum even more and it so happened she was carving a chicken LOL. When the cops came she told them she didn't know what happened it was a terrible accident --- he just walked into the knife----------TEN TIMES. The theme song was "he had it coming". Thank God as you said it is really admirable for those who can refrain from commiting murder. I love you all June. Hope this makes you laugh. By the way Debrajo Did you make dinner that night?

cleo
Posts: 122
Joined: Sep 2009

And here I was thinking that I was the only person with thoughts of a husband and a piece of 4 x 2 round the ears!!! I think that there are men who cannot cope with any form of illness in others. Mine has Parkinsons and never stops talking about how he feels but has nil interest in why I am toddling off to the Dr. I don't think that I have become selfish but just self aware and self preservation is paramount. I am fortunate to still be here and intend to stay. You made me smile. But...sometimes as they say...love is not enough.
Here's to us!!!

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Dang!!! Should have seen Chicago!!! I had visions more on the line of "Hannible" the pig scene?!! I love the 10-times and he did walk right smack-dab into it, I swear officer! That guy does sound a lot like the...arragance of my husband. Scene, Jan. cold, wet, dark, him out of work, four little kids, a broke-down washer, no dryer. I pick up a seasonal job delivering phone books door-to-door on foot for 8 cents a book. He is home ALL day, kids in school, watching t.v. when I come in kids running to me for something to eat. He rears back and says, So, what are you cooking, the kids are starving! I have to admit, my mind went to the dark side for a looooong time! Oh, and did I mention I was two months pregnant? Thank you Lord for staying my hand! @nempark:I am mentaly hard-wired to have a meal on the table when the man(any man) comes home from work. It's just the way I was raised...not to question or want better. To my shame, I fixed supper and buried all that anger deep inside, with a half a package of double stuffed Oreo's to weight it down! No wonder I am an expert at green jello and ethelene-glycole! Best, debrajo
1

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Women are for sure. If I have a headache (migraines which he never head) his is worse. If I have a cold, his is worse. Good grief gentlemen...suck it up and deal with it. I have to say though, DH not being sensitive and a touchy feely sort of guy has come through for me in a few ways that surprised me (with patience he usually doesn't have) but still continues to say and do some things that make me want to pop him!

Great day and weekend to all of you!

Pat

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

Good conversation, ladies.

It is helpful to see that I am not alone in my situation. What the heck is it with the male gender?

I wonder what would happen if we all "lost it" at the same time? I wonder how many men would remain standing. And the Chicago analogy is very apt.

Here's to you ladies!!

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

I think after a certain age/marriage time ALL men and women should live in seperate houses! If you can really stand the guy,you could live next-door...as for me, I would rather lve across the state! Oh, did I mention I'm from Texas?!!!debrajo

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

We could designate one state for them to live in. I nominate Texas - diverse and big and it would be a big ego booster for them.

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Not Texas!!!!Please!!!!! I'm sixth generation Texas and too old to move! I had in mind something more on the line of Devil's Island...no escape from there(unless you're Paul Newman!)

snowbird_11's picture
snowbird_11
Posts: 160
Joined: Oct 2011

Reminds me of that old folk song that begins...

Rueben, Rueben, I've been thinking
What a grand world this would be
If the men were all transported
Far beyond the northern sea.

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

THAT will be my new "HAPPY pLACE" all the medical people talk about! A vision of some place FAR beyond the northern sea!!!

pakb56
Posts: 141
Joined: Jan 2012

Just wanted to check in on you and see how your are doing my friend. Hope all is going well and you are in a good place!

Hugs to you,

Pat

debrajo's picture
debrajo
Posts: 758
Joined: Sep 2011

Thanks Pat and all, I guess it is the way it will be. I have been so busy taking care of Mama and getting her and step-dad on Medicaid and he in an Alzheimer's nursing home that his bad behavior just hasn;t phased me much lately. Too tired to care...never seen sooo much paperwork! My poor chemo-brain just can function. If I can hold out til the end of Aug when son goes to university I can take his attitude. Til then...the pot boils! Thank you, my dear, for remembering me! Say a prayer I don't commit murder! Best, debrajo

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