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Talking with my relatives is getting to be painful
Iris L.
Posted: Sunday, August 9, 2020 9:34 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18719

I usually spend Sunday afternoons talking with my relatves back east on the telephone.  It is hard if I have to tell them of times when I'm not doing so well, because then they want to know why.  But they don't comprehend my answers.  If I say I'm tired or I didn't sleep well, then they want to give me advice and tips that have helped them.  I want to tell them, but you don't have cognitive impairment or memory loss--that's really why I have trouble getting things done around here.  I just don't want to get into it because I know they won't understand.  I'm getting to the point when I feel like not even calling them anymore.  


Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Monday, August 10, 2020 6:56 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4500

Sorry you are feeling that way and I get it. You don’t feel like going into the details as it takes so much more energy trying to convince them and you just don’t want to waste your energy over it. 

Iris L.
Posted: Monday, August 10, 2020 9:56 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18719



Posted: Thursday, August 13, 2020 1:20 PM
Joined: 11/22/2019
Posts: 399

To the relatives:

"Thank you so much for your concern and interest in helping!  I feel your deep caring.  I am in contact with my very excellent doctor who guides me well...

"Sometimes, I simply do not do well.  I appreciate that I can share my condition with you to vent."

In my experience, people want us to feel our best and will make suggestions they haven't considered deeply, simply to feel like they are helping.

It is hard when we cannot be helped easily.


Iris L.
Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 2:39 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18719

KawKaw, what I have discovered is that they cannot help me.  They just don't know how.  I don't really expect help; I only get my help from the members here on these message boards.  I have to remind myself to be careful about what I share about myself.  


Posted: Friday, August 14, 2020 9:18 AM
Joined: 3/7/2012
Posts: 2791

Iris I'm so sorry the calls are painful for you. We all want to 'think' our relatives understand, but alas, they don't. I truly think the only ones whom understand are those on this journey & their caregivers. And then each journey can be so vastly different.

If talking with your relatives is causing stress then the easy answer is to distance yourself from them. Or make the conversation very brief - I'd love to chat but I was in the middle of something. I know that's difficult to do.

In our particular situation my MIL has had a difficult time 'accepting' her son has a form of dementia. She's offered up her idea's of help until I told her she was being hurtful instead of helpful. Then she started asking "is he any better today?" I stopped that one quickly but goodness what a question. She would ask DH questions or ramble on about things neither one of us knew about. I spoke with her about making it about DH and gave her topics to talk about: his garden, paintings he's working on, model he's putting together, the house he helped his dad build, etc. She's better, but she still her insensitivity makes me crazy. When she gets going about something DH doesn't care about / want to hear / doesn't understand he says bye & hands me the phone. I then just hang up. That message is clear, until she calls again.

I would venture to guess your relatives 'think' they are helping you, but we all know otherwise. It's ok to not talk with them. Or talk less frequently to them. It is painful, I certainly know that.


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