December, and boundaries, and self care.

PilgrimsProgress

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Re over -sharing......
Maybe it's related to many of us being from convict stock here in Oz, but culturally Aussies don't concern themselves a lot with over-sharing, compared to Canadians. (Perhaps you've seen video clips of our citizens being publically pissed off with our Prime Minister in our bushfire situation here?)

DaisyJane just came across to me as being fed up - as would most of us in the situation she described. I got that it was the situation itself, and her difficulties with enforcing boundaries, rather than her husband or in-laws, that most concerned her........
 

paradox3

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DaisyJane just came across to me as being fed up - as would most of us in the situation she described. I got that it was the situation itself, and her difficulties with enforcing boundaries, rather than her husband or in-laws, that most concerned her........
Kind of an "all of the above", I would say. And more.

Such is often the case when we reach the end of our tether, so to speak. I can certainly relate to that feeling of being overwhelmed by a situation. The various factors in a complex situation can become interwoven, making things even more complicated. It takes some untangling, that's for sure and I think @DaisyJane is getting there.
 

Nancy

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Just reading this now. Note to self: Don't ever be that kind of in-law. I feel for you DaisyJane, and I am happy that you can vent here. I don't think it is oversharing. Sometimes, we don't have someone in our life at a particular time who will listen to it all. But here...the readers and thinkers...will. Or sometimes we just can't bring ourselves to say it out loud to someone, for a variety of reasons. Life is complicated. Just know that you are supported here, and we hope that the venting helps you work through this particular challenge. From this far away, you seem incredibly strong and capable. But maybe your close-up version is a little shaky. Hugs.
 

paradox3

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Good post, @Nancy.

On line support is just as real as "RL" in many cases. Venting is important and sometimes there is strength in making oneself vulnerable. An interesting paradox (one of my favourite concepts, lol).
 

DaisyJane

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Thanks for all your thoughts.

I will admit I thought a lot about Paradox's comment about oversharing last evening. It hadn't felt that way at my end - perhaps because I had shared with my husband that I was talking about what happened here at WC - and he was okay with that. In fact he thought talking about the situation with people might help us sort out how to do it differently next time. We've also been unpacking what happened at our end and I've been incorporating some of the helpful feedback from this community.

Interestingly I felt that WC2 was one of the few places I could talk more openly. I wouldn't have shared this stuff on a more public forum like FB, nor would I have chatted about what was happening with most people in my personal life - they know the people involved and I don't want to create any drama. For example, I haven't talked about this with my mother, or sister, or even close friends. I liked the idea of talking, and yes, venting, with a group of friends who I knew and trusted to be honest but compassionate, but who were also removed from my personal life in such a way that there wasn't any real possibility of overlapping. You guys don't know the players involved, but you do know me. As well, despite this being an open forum, we're a pretty small community these days. So this really did feel like venting to friends who were removed enough from my daily life that it was safe, but were "close" enough to feel they could be honest.

In the end John hit the nail on the head. What happened wasn't that unusual, it was that December was a pressure cooker for me. As a result, things I would have normally just shrugged my shoulders over, pushed me to the edge. I am just as much to blame as anyone else.

Once my MIL's house no longer functioned as the family gathering spot, ours did. And I think my in-laws (the siblings) see our place as an extension of their family home - the sort where you come as go as you please, and do what you need to do, without worrying too much about feeling like a guest. In fact I don't really think they see themselves as guests. I have always found that a bit difficult, but I normally just roll with it because the relationships are important and the visits are usually only for a short time. These are good people who are important to us and that is worth more to me than a week or two here and there where I felt mildly "taken for granted" or inconvenienced. They have always seen me as a caregiver who juggled the family responsibilities, as well as stuff outside the home. There have always been times when I wasn't able to be part of family activities. As John said, in their eyes this December wasn't different, nor do I think they felt they were actively excluding me. And while I communicated my feelings to my husband, I didn't talk with them. These relationships are complicated and I need to take more responsibility for talking about what I can do and not do with the broader group, not dumping it on my husband.

On the whole talking about it here was been really helpful. I could initially vent my anger and frustration and then move to a more constructive conversation with people who would help me do that. The ensuring conversation is forcing me think a little more intentionally about what happened and about how I might put some boundaries in place moving forward so it doesn't happen again - particularly given the complexity of Matthew's adult care. What I don't want is at some point to loose my cool so that I hurt someone I care about. But I also don't want to put myself in positions where I become some weird martyr to the family cause.

And yeah, I apologized to my husband for dumping on him. Though he admits that because it is his family it puts me in an awkward spot at times and that he could be more intentional about directing conversations in such a way so that I am consulted, not informed, about decisions.
 

paradox3

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Yes, this little online community has a lot going for it. When I decided to take my leave (yes, I know . . . ) I reflected quite a bit on the support I received over the years on WC and WC2. Especially in the earlier years, I also learned a great deal about the United Church and about theology. Nowadays it seems largely social to me, but occasionally some excellent conversations still happen. This thread is an especially good one. Lots to ponder.
 

Northwind

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I'm glad that you reached out and vented here. As you say, this is a good community to do that since we have become a community, and we have some distance. Spilling your stuff here makes room for more considered thoughts when you address the issue with the more important people in your life.
 

PilgrimsProgress

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I think one of WC2' strengths is that it is a community. A community where one can vent, gain support, learn a different perspective and thus be in a better place to resolve a conflict with the folks involved.

And here's a paradox for our paradox friend - the forum that is often the most pompous, rigid, lacking in compassion for the other, condescending, at times vicious, is Religion and Faith. How ironic that a forum that largely features Jesus and his teachings of love God and love our neighbours, even our enemies, demonstrates too often a lack of agape......
 

Mendalla

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I like hearing these comments. We will be opening a discussion shortly on the future of Wondercafe2, maybe with a view to getting a "vision" of some kind and comments like these will help inform that discussion. Watch for it in the WC2 News & Business forum.
 

paradox3

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Do the folks above me (@PilgrimsProgress , @Northwind, @paradox3, @DaisyJane) mind if I "quote" your reflections and put them in a post in this thread? I think they are relevant.
I don't mind at all Mendalla. In fact I am honoured that you consider my reflections here to be "quotable".
 

Northwind

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I don't mind at all. Thanks for doing this Mendalla.
 

Lastpointe

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Hi just catching up on this thread

So sorry that you had such a traumatic December. BUt so glad to hear thatMatthew recovered and is home

Christmas is stressful
Company for a week is very stressful
In-laws are stressful
Sick children are stressful
All the extra work of gifts is stressful
Preparing to teach anew course is stressful

Sounds like you had all the possible stresses at once

My advice is to stiffen your backbone and delegate

I can see that Matthews care required mainly you. You have the knowledge and skill set. And you were worried about him so perhaps more unwilling to give over his care to others? Perhaps?

But everything else could have been delegated. Gift wrapping? Hello mother in law, here is the tape
Meals. Hello hubby, here are our favourite take out places
Decorating. Hello sons, pitch in
Cleaning , laundry, meals, Hello in laws, so glad you are able to help,

I Know that often when I get overwhelmed by my growing list of things to do, I forget to remember that I just have to ask someone. I sort of expect they will see me running around like crazy and step in. But mostly people don’t


Next visit of in laws, start a new routine Assigned them what meals they need to coordinate.......


While I don’t know your in laws, surely they have seen Matthew all his life. They understand his challenges. And if they don’t? It’s time for them to learn. Tell them about the night work. Ask for their help. Maybe one of them could rise with you and assist with what you do with Matthew. Which I am not sure of but perhaps includes toiletting, turning, suctioning, feeding......... I expect, as we used to find in the hospital, that lots of those heavy body tasks are made easier with help


And next year, get more help over the holidays. Staff needs days off. BUt find that respite staff. Now
 
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