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To be disappointed and saddened in my DB and friends

(12 Posts)
EugeneWrayburn Thu 28-Feb-19 10:10:25

I’ve NC for this. Bit of a long one, but I’m feeling so sad at the moment. If ve had a difficult few years. In summary, both parents died and for about 18months after my DM’s death, I was responsible for my DFs care. He didn’t live locally. My world was turned upside down as although I arranged for carers for some of the time, I had to visit several times a week, was responsible for his finances, healthcare, most of day to day shopping, and anything that went wrong. I also had to deal with my DMs probate.
I have youngish children, one was in this time diagnosed with a learning difficulty . I had no time to really help him as much as I could. I am a SAHM but with my DFs care and a two hour school run, as well as all the telephone calls re DF and his DR, the constant list of “things that needed to be done”, I became utterly exhausted, stressed and, looking back was teetering on breakdown. I sobbed out of frustration and anger just about every day. My DH was practically a single parent at the weekend which was horrid. I’d adopted a rescue dog as well, prior to DMs illness which turned out to have issues which meant my previous therapeutic dog walks with existing dog became stressful too.

Due to lack of time, I cancelled medical appointments for certain tests. Ultimately I had to have an exploratory op and cancer was found. I had to arrange last minute nursing home for my DF before my op as the recovery time meant I would not be able to drive. Literally from the moment I came woozily round, my DB was texting me about arranging 24 hr home care for DF. A few weeks later soon as I could move I was on the phone sorting his care. As soon as I could walk, I got a taxi to DFs house to clean a room out for a carer, even though I had an infection from the operation.

Up to this point my DB had been worse than no help, was abusive to me when my DH begged him to help, for reasons I cannot fathom even now, and created further problems for me by sabotaging any small task I asked him to do. From this point, he became civil, but still no help. We are on civil terms now and he is acting as though nothing has happened. I think he regrets his behaviour, but I can’t really forgive his hate filled emails, accusations of lying, refusal to help and obstructive behaviour even though I feel I need to. All at a time when I felt every day I couldn’t cope.

I’ve been hugely lucky in that, fingers crossed, they removed the cancer and thus far I am clear, but I needed a further major op and several unpleasant procedures, and tests. My DF died and then I was solely responsible for upkeep, repair of house until sale, as well as sale, probate for my DF.

The effect of their deaths has been huge. I feel that life has become waiting for death. I feel my body has betrayed me. I’m terrified of dying and the DCs not having a DM. I was with both DM and DF just before death in hospital and there were harrowing moments. Everything seems pointless. Even when I have a moment of happiness, it makes me sad because i know it will all end.

Now, in all this, Ive had a few friends who have been very helpful, and I am so grateful. But I have others who practically ignored me in this period. Someone I thought a good friend merely sent one text about 2 weeks after finding out my DM had died. I had no time for meet ups anymore and explained why but no phone calls, no texts? I had been very supportive to this friend when she was going through a hard time previously.

Previously two of my neighbours had been unwell on separate occasions. To help, Id cooked meals for them and their children, done shopping, laundry, dog sat and child sat. But during all this time that I was desperately stressed, I got absolutely no help from either. One actually asked if there was anything she could do and I asked her if she could check with me if she was going shopping, as my DF would frequently decide he needed something, and this would save me time. Nothing. I even bumped into her once in the supermarket as I was on my way to DF and in desperate rush to get back in time for school run.

Old friends who I no longer lived near sent the odd text, but did not phone. I have never in my life felt so lonely, so close to despair.

My DH has been very supportive and done what he could. I am lucky there. But although a couple my more recent friends have been lovely, I feel so disappointed in older friends.

What has triggered this is that I found myself for the last few weeks on the phone, meeting up with and supporting one friend through a crisis concerning something which most people would find quite trivial (I don’t, so I understand) but it occurred to me that I had no in person or even telephone conversation with her over either of my parents’ deaths, over my dads care, or my health (she never even asked why I was in hospital and still does not know...). I feel that for this to happen, it must be me, it must mean that I inspire little love or even like. I am not a needy person, but for those few years, I really did need people! I can’t understand why people think it’s OK to send a text, but not to talk, to phone to want to listen to me, to help. I’ve always had a rule with friends. If something big happens, you need to speak. Am IBU to feel that these friends have let me down? How do I get past it? I keep trying to put all behind me, but it comes back again and again. Sorry for rant. I just needed to get this off my chest.

HelenUrth Thu 28-Feb-19 10:15:23

I'm sorry, I dont have any helpful insights for you but I do have huge sympathy. You have had so much to deal with and it seems you have been very hard done by people who should have stepped up.
For your own well being you need to find a way of putting this behind you. I wonder if some counselling might help?

Tattletale Thu 28-Feb-19 10:22:12

I don't blame you for being upset. I have always been the fixer in my family. My siblings don't contact me unless they have a problem they need me to help with. Over the years I have had friends who stuck around whilst I was useful but drifted away once they were sorted. I had to stop working last year through Ill health, and I've found the transition really hard as I had been in my job nearly 20 years. Not one 'friend' has contacted me in 18 months. I am now concentrating on my DH and DC but it us hard. I haven't really got any useful suggestions but just wanted you to know you are not alone on this flowers

SoftPlant Thu 28-Feb-19 10:24:56

It's really hard, when you're a nice person, to not let yourself be taken advantage of. To put it bluntly, the friend you're supporting at the moment is a shit friend. You need to tell her straight up, hey Janice, I had cancer, and both my parents died, and where were you? Then back off in supporting her through her current crisis and give yourself some me time! Self care self care self care. You have been through so much so recently. Friends show their faces in a crisis (and family - I understand about having a shit brother). You are very lucky to have such an awesome DH. He's shown that he's the person who is there for you. Give yourself a break and focus on your immediate family for a bit (DH + kids). And fuck your brother if he needs any help in the future as well.

Birdsgottafly Thu 28-Feb-19 10:26:50

I think you need to learn to say no more and put people in their place.

You seem to lack in self care and that could be because of your experience with your DB growing up.

It's them, not you.

Your grieving, so I won't suggest a visit to the GP, yet, bit that might be something to think about 9n the future if your feelings don't change.

Have you had any support through charities, support groups etc?

Don't dismiss them, it can be good to off load to people who been through similar experiences.

But stop being there for everyone else, make you your priority.

SoftPlant Thu 28-Feb-19 10:29:19

I think the quote "when someone shows you who they are, believe them", works here. For your brother and some of your friends. It hurts, but it's a lesson.

SoftPlant Thu 28-Feb-19 10:34:22

Also re: your friends, there's nothing to say that the oldest friends, or friends you've been through the most with, have to be your best friends forever. Many people have made the mistake of holding on to "old friends" even through their shitty behaviour, "because we've been friends for 20 years" etc. It's the sunk cost fallacy.

Do you have any other friends, maybe more recent friends/acquaintances, or friends who you aren't as "close" with (school mums? Old uni friends you only see occasionally etc?), who you wouldn't have expected to know about your mum and dad and health scare, but who you really like, and would like to get to know more?

What I'm saying is, maybe make some more time for friends/acquaintances who didn't let you down. It would be a fresh start, and you might find a fast friend.

Piffle11 Thu 28-Feb-19 10:36:13

I am very sorry for what you have been through. I wanted to say: I don't think it's you. YANBU to feel hard done by, especially as you have been there for friends in need. I have had a similar experience re. feeling let down by friends: I have come to the realisation that I was raised to be a people pleaser - to not 'butt in' when someone else is talking, to put others' needs and wants before my own. It becomes a habit, which I'm now doing my best to break. People presume we will be ok with their less than great attitude, because it's what we've always done - accepted our lot. You deserve better. Try and change the pattern, and if these friends still show no interest, then they don't deserve you.

MrsFrTedCrilly Thu 28-Feb-19 10:39:46

I’m so sorry for your loss and everything you’ve had to deal with. You are understandably upset and hurt by it all and I think that it’s time to focus on you and moving on with your life.
From your description your brothers behaviour has been atrocious, I have a brother that behaves in a very similar manner. When you are ready you need to tell him how you feel and call him out on his behaviour, if he’s anything like mine he will be completely unaware...
My advice for what it’s worth get some grief counselling talk about and unpick your experience, take care and prioritise yourself for once. Step back from people who aren’t supporting you in that process. Wishing you good health and happier times flowers

ChakiraChakra Thu 28-Feb-19 10:52:13

I can empathise with you somewhat. I had just had a run of shit stuff, from my health, work, living situation to both parents being in ill health. Throughout it I had a "friend" who would constantly phone or text me about how awful life was for her, how she had no friends now I had moved away, how I was the only person she could talk to (all not true) about [insert latest crisis] and it was all such trivial shit. She didn't often ask "how are you" - AT ALL during 30-45 minute conversations - and when she did, she used it as a spring board into how much worse her life was. hmm

She got ditched when she stropped when I tried to do a nice thing. Final straw.

It sounds like you're in a situation of life plumbing. You've had a really shit time and who cares enough to check in with you and help and who doesn't has come to light. Knowing that when I had shit going on I knew there were friends who were (genuinely) having their own shit going on and we couldn't be there much for each other, I wouldn't cut absolutely everybody who didn't offer support, but I would use the chance to reassess who you're willing to give time and emotional energy to, and who to back off from or cut off. I'd take a smaller trusted circle over a bigger unreliable one any day.

Just a small note WRT texts; I would text rather than phone somebody who was going through what you were - I wouldn't want to take your valuable time and energy., but I could just let you know you were in my thoughts and you could get back to me whenever. So maybe the texters were well intentioned.

Your brother - well, I would see no reason to keep in contact, but I appreciate maybe that's too harsh.

I hope life contributes too settle down for you and that you go from strength to strength now flowers

EugeneWrayburn Thu 28-Feb-19 11:05:18

Hi. I’ve got to rush out now, but just wanted to say thank you for all your lovely replies. It’s weird, but just quickly reading through your replies has started to make me think of things a little differently. I have a proper read when I get back. Xxx

EugeneWrayburn Thu 28-Feb-19 13:41:07

@Tattletale
It’s weird isn’t it that some friends just seem to back off if you’re ill? Sorry to hear you’ve had a rough time too. Hope things get better for you.
@SoftPlant
I think I’d feel bad confronting my friend. Though that’s probably just the advice I’d give someone else! It’s true though, that old friends are not necessarily the best ones. Maybe I am hanging onto friendships because I feel close to people I’ve grown up with and seen through so many events in both our lives. But I suppose people change, move on. I think you’re absolutely right about giving more time to the good friends. I should be doing that- @ChakiraChakra your suggestion too re sorting out who are the people that really matter. Hope things improve for you as well. But I understand what you say about texting, but honestly, as I say, I have always used a phone or face to face when someone has either very bad or very good news. Just to get that interaction. I have only ever had one person say “I’d rather not talk about it”. Everyone else has been glad to talk/offload. aPersonally I found it difficult to phone anyone in the bad times - through exhaustion or depression mainly - or the fear that they’d feel obliged to talk to a bereaved person, but maybe it wouldnt be a convenient time.But had someone phoned it would just show they cared enough to actually think of me to pick up a phone.

Thank you for all the kind comments.

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