Family Drama

kmakm
kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
I just want to say I have had an absolutely shit day because of my family. Not the one I live with, but the one I was born into. I won't bore you with the details, but I've been incredibly upset, and my stress levels, already high, are now through the roof.

What do other people do when they have family dramas mid-treatment?

I know that it is hard to get out of your own head when you are dealing with BC. Since I had the call back letter from BreastScreen it has been virtually impossible for me to think of anything else. But I have tried, especially with my family. I have plastered smiles on my face, I have tried not to worry them. I'm trying so hard to keep everything going. We are told to de-stress our lives to protect and improve our health. But what if the stress is from the people who supposedly love you, but who choose to either obstruct you, deliberately refuse to help, or actively attack you (for petty reasons while they are on holiday on the other side of the world I might add) while you are recovering from chemotherapy and preparing to lose your breasts?? I don't know how to untangle this knot.

I don't think I've put this very well, but I hope you get my conundrum. Does anyone have any words of wisdom for me? How do I cope with family drama while having treatment for breast cancer?
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Comments

  • Sister
    Sister Member Posts: 4,960
    I haven't got an easy answer for you @kmakm but @zoffiel is right - to the extent that you are able.  It's hard for me to say because I no longer have any family but if they're bringing you down that badly you have a right to say it and leave, hangup, whatever.  Of course, you can only do that knowing that there is a possibility that the relationships may break down irretrievably as a consequence.  Not a great choice, I know.  Hugs to you.
  • Kiwi Angel
    Kiwi Angel Member Posts: 1,952
    @kmakm. I agree with @Zoffiel too. U have enough of your own shit to deal with without taking on other people’s crap. Your number one priority is u and u need to do what is best for u. Many people are inherently selfish and think that their problems are bigger than yours - complete lack of perspective!!  F**k em!!  Big hugs xoxoxox
  • AllyJay
    AllyJay Member Posts: 934
    Agree with @Zoffiel . Just because you share some DNA doesn't mean you have to put up with crap. Toxic  is toxic, whatever the wrapping. The old adage of you can choose your friends but not your family may be true, but you certainly can choose whether or not you burn up emotional calories on them. For my own mental health, I chose to sever all contact with my highly venomous mother and stepfather. I last spoke to her at my brother's funeral in 1995 and my words were to basically get sexually active and travel. That is Fuck Off!!! Best decision ever.
  • AllyJay
    AllyJay Member Posts: 934
    Tell them quite bluntly that you have quite enough steaming shit on the plate that the Cosmic Clowns have put before you, and that you have neither the time, energy or inclination to now have to chew through their particular turd burger that they want to add  to the meal.If this particular dipshit is on the other side of the world at the moment, I presume the message didn't come by carrier pigeon, but by some or other electronic means. Block them.
  • Romla
    Romla Member Posts: 2,092
    @kmakm  have been there too but don’t think at this time you have the energy to deal with it or the consequences if you try. My advice at this time is to narrow your focus and look only at yourself and your immediate situation.Make a sanity space each day just for you - for me it was that daily one hour walk I keep talking about- I use it to clear my head and lift my mood by releasing endorphins. Your survival at this time is paramount.
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    I took a one hour walk yesterday evening @Romla. I certainly was pleased I did it. I managed over 5km, the longest in a month, so that was good. I think I have to stiffen my resolve to keep my focus on me.
  • Romla
    Romla Member Posts: 2,092
    PS I don’t disagree with the comments above and have done something similar BUT I don’t think now is the time. Distance a little emotionally  - step back a bit in what you do for them and be a little absent physically . Think up some excuses if challenged and ask for help in this from your immediate family. You can’t control others but you can control how much you participate with them.
  • Romla
    Romla Member Posts: 2,092
    @kmakm even having a long shower helps. Think of little things you can do to keep yourself on track - I can’t list them for you as we may have different ones but try. I think you are creative - maybe cooking something special might help one day.Just little things that enable you to turn off and enjoy some me time.I enjoy patting and chatting to my dog Harry - he is always therefor me - it doesn’t need to be something big just something that lifts the moment. Yes it sounds rehearsed but a change of habit needs to be practised I guess - and changing from being the family dustbin does .
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    @Zoffiel @AllyJay @Kiwi Angel @Sister It is, of course, tremendously complicated by the presence of my sister's children, and advancing age affecting my mother's behaviour. I have blocked my sister on WhatsApp, which is what she used to attack me from her New York holiday. I was shocked and devastated that she chose this time to attack, when I am at my weakest and most vulnerable. Utterly ruthless, and over something so unimportant in the greater scheme of life. Unfortunately severing all contact will lead to fraught access situations. I'm not sure I have the stomach for that.

    I suppose the only thing I can control is my reaction. So I think I'll have to do a virtual severing, a mental eff off. Fortify myself so that I care less about them and what they say. Bloody hard on top of everything else. I have kept them at arms length during my cancer episode because I think they've given enough of their lives to cancer. I've actually said that to them more than once. My consideration for them is wasted (I exclude my father from all of this, he has been lovely & pitch perfect).

    @Zoffiel your sentence "Bad behaviour flourishes when someone else holds the fort and encourages it" is the one that rang the truest. I have got to stop accepting the bad behaviour and holding the fort. The fact that their bad behaviour continues despite my cancer, and everything my husband and I are doing, shows that their care for me is very low. I have to care less about them to avoid the devastating hurt.

    I'm trying not to cry, and resisting the urge to lie in bed with the covers over my head all day... Instead I'm off to the hills to meet @Finch. Thank you for your support, it means a lot.
  • iserbrown
    iserbrown Member Posts: 5,511
    @kmakm
    Perhaps a visit to a Counsellor to develop some coping strategies may help.  
    When I was called back to Breastscreen they put me and my husband with a Counsellor at the very start of the day, hence instincts said this isn't going to be good and it will be a long day, and it was!  
    Amongst her advice as the day rolled out was that my husband should take on the role as the gatekeeper, whether it be visitors or phone calls et cetera to ensure that we kept the negative people out of our lives until we were ready to deal with them!  
    If possible surround yourself with positive people, which is what you have here as unfortunately we've either been there done that or about to do that and we don't judge and we understand

    Take care




  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    @Romla I've just read your second two comments and you speak a lot of sense. It sounds like a bit of cognitive behavioural therapy. I think I need to literally write a list of what to do when this family stuff rears its head, which is sadly very regularly.

    I do like cooking, sometimes it can be quite medatative for me. You're very observant!
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    @iserbrown My husband has been magnificent. Yesterday he fired off a long overdue rocket, one I have restrained him from sending for years. It's probably going to cause an unbelievable amount of trouble but something has to change. I can't live like this any more.

    Rest assured, I will be discussing this with my counsellor. But it will have to wait because next time I see her I need to talk about the bi-lateral mastectomy and reconstruction. A concept and event of which these family members seem uncaringly oblivious. They'd say they aren't, but if they truly were, they wouldn't be so mean and thoughtless.

    Thank you for your support.
  • Romla
    Romla Member Posts: 2,092
    It’s ok to cry too @kmakm it releases tension.You might need help eg husband or other close adult implementing these strategies plus maybe someone else may have a fresh way of doing it - hard as it is to do and say you don’t have to carry the world on your back - share the load a little - remember the world still turned before you came along too. Maybe not said by me the best but said with kindness from me still learning the hard way but learnt a little.
  • kmakm
    kmakm Member Posts: 7,974
    Much and sincerely appreciated @Romla