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Friday, August 20, 2010

Life has a way of throwing us curve balls and catching us totally off guard. I haven't been on here once in the last 13 days and just wanted to post an update. As many of my friends know, my MIL has been fighting cancer and went into total remission recently. Her behavior however was pushing my husband and myself to our limits. We both were having stress related health issues during the last four months.

What happened on August 8th blind-sided us. We got a phone call just after 9AM on Sunday morning from one of the caregivers we hired. She was in a total panic and difficult to understand, but told my husband that she just arrived at his mother's house and thought that she had died. We rushed to her house to find the paramedics in the kitchen, waiting for us. Apparently she went into the bathroom in the middle of the night and took her oxygen off and threw the hose on the bathroom floor. She then went back to bed without her oxygen and passed away in her sleep. The paramedics told us that they thought that she died of heart failure as the lack of oxygen put a severe strain on her heart. We were shocked.

To be told the previous week that she was in remission and then to pass away from something SO preventable left us questioning WHY. We had to wait at her house for the police and then the people to transport her, which took about three hours total, which seemed so surreal - with her in the bedroom. Shock is probably the best way to describe it.

In the days that followed we had to make the necessary arrangements, still feeling like we were on automatic pilot. My SIL flew in two days before the funeral, as well as a great aunt. The service was very nice, as well as the luncheon that followed. It was the final gesture that my husband and I made for her, and we both thought that she would have been pleased with everything from the outfit I chose to the flowers that we ordered. I even shocked myself AND my husband by taking the microphone at the end of the service and standing up to thank the congregation for their friendship towards her, and their kindness to us.

In the days that followed I could see the difference in my husband, his sister, and myself - as the stress that had been constant, was fading away. After knowing my MIL for 27 years and tolerating plenty - I wish her peace. I REALLY do! I'm not a phoney, so I can't say things that I don't feel. I DO feel sad for the relationship that the three of us 'could' have had with her, but never happened, despite our trying.

My husband, my SIL, and myself have learned a few lessons from all of this. When you're given a second chance - don't squander it, recognize it for the blessing that it is!

Enjoy each day we're given and cherish it as the gift that it is, because you never know what's next.

Tell those that you love what they mean to you.

Live fully and never hold back.

Now is a time of healing for us and the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. Hopefully the three of us will find the peace that's been just out of our reach for so long. So goodbye Sally, I wish you peace as well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAMOUR0 9/27/2010 11:14AM

    Doreen...I haven't been on a for has been busy and hectic but it's been a year to the day that I joined SP and something told me to log on today. I am catching up with a few good friends. I am sorry about your MIL...she was who she was, there was never going to be any changing of that...but you are now move on with your lives, toxic FREE. You will still grieve with and and for your husband, it was his mother after all...but life will continue and you can now soar past what you have had to endure. I am so happy for you now to be released from the burden of it all. LIFE will be GOOD and WONDERFUL and it's about darn time. I have had to deal with plenty of loss in my life and I believe things play out the way they do for a reason. It is now YOUR time....enjoy every blessed moment. Thinking of you and wishing you only the best of what's yet to come.

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KIRSTEN 8/30/2010 5:14PM

    Wow...I am so sorry you had to go through all of that, but I am sure you will be feeling much better soon, once you get over this inital shock. I hope you are telling yourself you did everything humanly possible to help this woman (and I mean you went WAY beyond what most would have done in your place) and NOT feeling guilty about all of the things you had thought and said about her that weren't nice. None of it matters now, and you can get on with your life. You were a shining star and nothing short of a saint!

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MEOWMAMA3 8/29/2010 11:32AM

    Wow Doreen, I missed this with my Internet out and then being out of town.
So sorry for the shock and for your loss, but I'm happy that you get to have your life back and your peace of mind back. It was a very bad situation and you remained a dignified and caring lady throughout. You will certainly feel health benefits as the stress and toxins drain from you. I'm proud of you for the classy way you handled her. Wishing you and Rick the best. Hugs, Kim

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    I send my condolences to you all. Time for healing, physically and emotionally for all of you. It will take some time to adjust to a new normal, I am sure but I pray for strength and renewal in that journey!

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ANITAWPG 8/22/2010 8:42PM

    It may sound horrible of me, but I am so relieved for you and the DH

She wasn't staying with you - so no finger pointing
You had care hired for her - so no finger pointing

I am sorry for the shock you have all had with the way it happened and hope you are doing ok now

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DIFROMWYOMING 8/22/2010 7:43PM

    I am so relieved to hear from you and while I was shocked at hearing that your MIL passed after your last post, I am glad that you, your husband and your SIL will be able to move forward now that she is at rest. May you all find some peace and renewed sense of family in all this. Hugs.

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TRAVELNISTA 8/21/2010 3:17PM

    I agree with TNLONGHORN you are the essence of grace. I am sure your DH is in mourning but I am so happy that both of you can get your lives back. Your MIL certainly put you through hell. emoticon emoticon

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SARAHTAIT 8/21/2010 11:34AM

    So sorry for your loss. I am touched by your wonderful spirit and the kindness you showed your mother in law. The whole event was quite touching to read about-especially how she was given a second chance yet something happened to prevent that from occuring! How you have learned so much from this and grown is evident. I am so glad that you are finding peace.

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TNLONGHORN 8/20/2010 8:05PM

    Doreen, you are really the essence of grace. That you have so much love and forgiveness in you that you can even speak to this is amazing to me. I am glad you are OK. Reach out if you need anything.

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MARCHMAID 8/20/2010 6:44PM

    This may sound callous as I know nothing at all of your relationship, but reading between the lines here, it sounds as if she gave you a gift at the end. And perhaps one for herself, too. Departing quickly is better than lingering in pain and fear. I've seen it both ways.

As my mother said to us just before she died, "Go on and enjoy your lives."

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MT-MOONCHASER 8/20/2010 2:56PM

    I know that you did everything in you power to help your MIL. I do hope she rests in peace and that the rest of the family will find peace as well.

After living in turmoil for so long, it will probably take some time to come to terms with the end of that turmoil. I wish you a speedy recovery, although that may sound strange.


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NGCHILD 8/20/2010 2:48PM

    Doreen I am so sorry for your loss. Please pass my condolences along to Rick as well.

I was honestly shocked when I read your blog about her passing. I hope that this is a clean start for the 3 of you.

I am here if you need anything!!


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    Wow. I seriously wondered if this had happened because you usually email me back. Please know I am here for you as always. Tell Rick and his sister I am sorry for their loss. You were a class act at the expense of your own health and I am anxious for your healing to begin. No one deserves it more than you do.
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The toxic vampire strikes again!

Friday, August 06, 2010

To say that I'm mad would be an under-statement - I'm so angry, I could spit fire! The last two days have seemed like a bad dream. For those of you that haven't read my previous blogs, I'll give you the condensed version. My MIL was diagnosed with aggressive stage 4 lymphoma, with a gloomy prognosis. She appointed me both her general and medical power of attorney, probably because my husband doesn't have the time and his sister lives in California. Since she knows that I've handled the medical needs of my entire family in the past, she knew that I could handle it. I call her the toxic vampire because she gets pleasure in hurting people and she can suck the joy out of anyone she has contact with. In the last three months I've handled all of her medical needs.

I hired caregivers through a home health agency and lined up a separate company for a Medicare nurse to check on her twice a week. The stress of dealing with her over the last few months was harming my health, causing my blood pressure to soar, triggering migraines, and causing chronic diarrhea. Her lack of appreciation was one thing, but when I started to hear how she was bad-mouthing me behind my back, I pulled back. I told her to her face that I would 'manage' her medical needs from my home, by phone, but would NO longer subject myself to her abuse.

Once a week when we went to the local farmstand for fresh produce, we would call her and offer to pick up things for her - paying separately. I wouldn't buy a single grape with her money! We also pick up her prescriptions, groceries, and any personal care items that she needs. On Saturdays we take all of this to her house and I do her paperwork and pay her bills. I manage her care by speaking to the doctors, nurses, and caregivers by phone. When she has chemo scheduled, I call the doc and ask how many hours she'll be there each day, then I call the home health agency to schedule the caregivers to take her and pick her up. I do this knowing that it's a thankless job, but felt that it was the right thing to do. Despite everything I've done to try and help her, she complains about me to anyone that will listen. As a result of hearing the terrible things that she's said, I've stepped back in what I'm willing to do for her, which has dumped it into my husband's lap. I know, it's HIS mother, but he and I are a team.

What happened two days ago has left me dumbfounded. I was out and my MIL called twice, leaving messages. She was upset that she was feeling nauseous, the caregiver wouldn't be there for two hours, and I wasn't available. She called the home health agency and spoke with Debbie, the woman that runs things. But she did NOT call for help or for someone to come then, as Debbie offered. No, she called to complain about ME!!! Since I'm the one that hired Debbie's agency, and we get along very well - she called me to warn me, and also told me that my MIL also called the company with the Medicare nurse.

Since I've had a good deal of contact with the nurse also, I called her and left a message. However the nurse didn't call me back, the manager of the agency did. She told me that they were NOT allowed to speak to me. What??? Apparently my MIL complained about me to the nurse also, and the woman wouldn't tell me anything further except that she was going to meet with my MIL today. That feeling of 'something is off' took hold of me. I called Debbie back from the other agency and told her what happened. She was shocked. She said that when the manager from an agency goes to a client's home - something is up. Debbie was so upset by this that she called the manager of the nursing agency. The woman told her that she was going to meet with my MIL in an attempt to 'straighten this out'. When Debbie asked if Social Services was going to get involved, the woman replied 'I don't know if it will come to that'. Debbie told her that I've done everything right and by the book in managing her care and that my MIL is a VERY difficult woman.

To make a long story shorter - that WITCH made complaints about me to two agencies and possibly set an investigation in motion, which may involve Social Services! Debbie told me that if it comes to that, she will back me. I was also advised to line up character witnesses.

Last week I called her doc to get the results of her PET scan. Well, nothing short of a miracle - she's cancer free after ONLY 3 rounds of chemo! I don't know how she went from stage 4 with cancer in her neck, right lung, adrenal glands, and throughout her ENTIRE liver - to NO evidence of cancer! He also said that because it's such an aggressive cancer, that it's likely that it will come back. When I called to give her the news that she's in remission, she did NOT seem happy. She's been thriving on all of the attention since her diagnosis, and now that she's in remission, she seemed almost disappointed. I would think that she would have been thrilled - she wasn't. I called her closest friends and the pastor, since they all asked me to let them know the results. When she found out that I told people the 'good news', she was aggravated with me. The pastor then mentioned her news to the congregation on Sunday. When my MIL found out he did that, instead of being pleased, she started making calls to people from church. She actually told them that 'what 'I' told the pastor was NOT true and that she still has cancer in her lung and is NOT cancer free'. Well, I have a copy of the PET scan results and have read it, and it states that there is NO evidence of cancer. My husband met with the doctor on Monday, WITH his mother, and he DID say that she's in remission and cancer free. By Wednesday's bible study people were approaching one of her friends asking 'what's wrong with her DIL'? They wanted to know WHY 'I' would tell the pastor something that was NOT true. They went on with 'it's such a shame that her DIL doesn't even take her phone calls and does NOTHING for her'. UGH!!! Her friend told me that she's come to my defense more times than she can count!

Last night I spoke with the wife of my husband's half brother, on his father's side. She has her doctorate in psychology and has experience is situations like this, and has known my MIL for over 30 years, and wants nothing to do with her. She said that she might have been diagnosed with mild dementia, but this behavior is NOT associated with it. She said that it's deliberate and calculated, and meant to hurt me. She felt that her lack of guilt and remorse for any of her actions, through out her entire life, makes her dangerous, and she strongly advised me to cut ALL ties with her. She thinks that she's trying to break me and push me to leave my DH, so that she could finally have him to herself. I found that interesting since my MIL recently told my husband 'I hope that I don't harm your marriage and come between you and Doreen'. Ah ha, there it is - that is her intention!

Well, honey, that's NOT going to happen! Bring it on Bitch, I won't be victimized by you! I can take a lot of crap, but she's crossed a line, and I'M DONE!!! I wish her no ill will, I just want the pain and drama that she creates out of my life. The strange thing is, that I'm not afraid if Social Services contacts me, because I know that I'm honest and that I've done nothing wrong. Instead of letting the stress of this get to me, it's had the opposite result - it has set me free! Instead of being thankful and appreciative for how I've helped her, she's done this terrible thing - but it's on HER, not me! I went out for a bike ride this morning and felt a strange sense of relief. I'm focusing on myself and my husband, our health, and our future together - in peace. I guess I should stock up on some fresh garlic - I hear that it helps keep vampires at bay!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEOWMAMA3 8/9/2010 1:41PM

I am dumbfounded. Wash your hands of this witch and scrub 'em good. Let Rick do all the dealing with her. If I were you I'd change my home phone number and let him get a cell phone hot line to him only. This has gone way past annoying. Don't let her break you. Stay mad if that helps and take it out on a bike trail! hugs, Kim emoticon emoticon

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RACHELRB 8/8/2010 1:30PM

    Wow. I saw your picture of her from an earlier Xmas (over the cauldron!) I am very sad to hear how selfless you have been and how poorly you have been received in response. While your SIL with the PhD says this is not dementia (probably true) without full diagnosis it can be unclear. I have heard of many a senior because more ruthless and nasty during old age. That certainly does not give her the right to treat anyone in such a way I want you to realize you are not to blame for her behavior. I would agree however- if 'helping' her causes her to complain to the point of your safety you would be safer just not helping.

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TRAVELNISTA 8/7/2010 4:11PM

    OMG I would say that Vampira has crossed the line and there is no going back. Please say you are done this time and really stick to your guns. emoticon emoticon

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ANITAWPG 8/7/2010 1:34PM

    can a "state guardian"be appointed - if so - let them deal with all the issues with the Toxic Diva and you and the DH can step aside

or can she be shipped to a nursing home close to wear the daughter lives

It is probably lucky you have been dealing with everything by phone etc, there should be no way at all this can come back and bite you with the government agencies - and I am sure that this is not the first false reporting they have seen.

Glad to hear in your update that they have already said it doesn't need to go any further

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PONYFARMER 8/6/2010 8:19PM

    I had a mother who was very much like this MIL of yours and to save my life, I had to leave her presence. I did this and had a wonderful life for two years. Until she imploded and was taken, twice by paramedics to the hospital.

I ended up helping her at the end of her life, forgiving her for all she had done to me. I knew that she had some form of mental illness, that she chose to treat with alocohol. This did not make her nicer.

Bottom line is you need to stop helping her, do nothing for her and let her live her life as she sees fit. She will eventually posion your life with her evil nature and you can do nothing to stop her.

Sorry to be so to the point but this seems to be going on for quite awhile now and only seems to be getting worse not better.

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    Just an update: My husband called the manager of the nursing agency today. They did go to my MIL's home to investigate, but the woman told my DH that there is nothing to worry about. She told him that she is receiving very good care, that I've handled all of her needs, and she sees no reason for this to go any further.

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MELSCAN 8/6/2010 4:26PM

    Life is short, and while I applaud your efforts to do the right thing, at the end of the day you have to think about how her negativity affects you. And from the sound of it, girl she is SOO not worth it. I'm curious to know how your husband feels about her treatment to you?? My husband and I chose to cut his mother out of our life when our children were babies, due to her actions towards me, and I hate to say it, but we don't miss her one bit. He was already unhappy with her callousness, but she crossed a line and he made the choice. And I don't have to worry about her drama, or her behaviour hurting my children.
Do what you need to do to ensure you're happy and if that means taking out the trash, so be it. LOL

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    Yep, I vote for the vacay!

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NGCHILD 8/6/2010 3:12PM

    Like NOTABOUTHEFACE, you know my thoughts on this vile, evil woman. I would refuse to help her anymore. Don't take her phone calls, change your number again if you have to. Let some of her other 'friends' handle all her crap. Seriously.

Take the vacation and focus on you and Rick.


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CLAIRESML 8/6/2010 3:09PM

    Oh what a completely horrible thing to endure.
I wish you well on your newfound relief.

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    We've talked about my thoughts on this. emoticon

Hang in there and PLEASE don't ever run to her rescue again, she deserves to drown in her misery. Time for you and the hubbs to take that vacay she made you cancel.

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Farewell to my inner doormat!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Do I have WELCOME stamped on my forehead? That's one of the questions I've been asking myself recently. I may not have been here on Spark that much lately, but I am still working on myself. I feel as if I've been peeling back the layers of an onion and discovering new things about myself. I have also been trying to get into my head and find some answers to my WHY questions. Such as WHY do I repeat certain behaviors and WHY do I feel like a doormat? And the biggest one of them all - WHY did I decide that I was no longer worth the effort???

Sometimes when you dig deep, you might not like what you discover. Honesty is very important to me, as is getting to the root of my weight issue. When the truth hurts it must be acknowledged before you can move forward. I've had days of clarity in the last few weeks, but it's been a struggle to hold on to. Since my MIL's cancer diagnosis 3 months back, constant daily stress has taken hold of our lives and it feels consuming. The fact is that no matter how much my DH and I do for his mother - it's NEVER enough. Her demands, constant complaining, and total lack of appreciation have left us drained. And how have I handled the stress???..... By scarfing down those 100 calorie bags of popcorn! At first I thought that it wasn't a big deal, it's ONLY 100 calories. But it's not about the calories - it's about the behavior! I turned to food in an attempt to comfort myself. Not an easy thing to admit, but the truth. It also made me feel guilty, out of control, and weak! I am NOT a weak woman, and it's d@mn time I stopped acting like one!!!

Searching for answers is vital, otherwise I'll have a lifetime of repeating the same behaviors, and I do NOT want that. The recent situation with her health crisis has made me take a deeper look at myself. WHY did I put her needs before my own? WHY was her health more important that mine? Everything I was doing on my journey here to improve my health and my life went right out the window with her diagnosis. Because so much of my time was dedicated to her needs - my exercise plan bit the dust, as well as my food plan, and even my sleep. I even stopped writing in my journal because I just couldn't concentrate. WHY?.... Old patterns of being the 'caregiver' resurfaced. It's a trait that I learned as a teenager after my mom got sick. Unfortunately It's something I've carried with me for the last 33 plus years - putting everything before me! It's called being a DOORMAT, and it's a huge mistake!

In an attempt to work on myself I've been reading old journals as well as a couple of good books. This has helped me find some answers to my WHY questions. I know that until I get a handle on the inner issues, the outside package will never really change for good, and I'll keep repeating this lesson over and over again!

You CAN teach an old dog new tricks, and realizing it is the first step in changing it. And I DO want to change it. I don't want to be doomed to repeat the same mistakes and feel like a doormat any longer! Feeling like I'm trapped in an overweight body is a HUGE sigh that my life has been out of balance! I've always been the 'good girl' and the 'dependable one', but I haven't been good to myself. I put my own health at risk by trying to handle all of my MIL's demands - a BIG mistake! The last 3 months I've dealt with high blood pressure, migraine headaches, and chronic diarrhea. My body was screaming at me, but I wasn't really listening.

Well, I'm listening now! Maybe the stress of the last few months has been a gift. A rather crappy one, but a gift... of clarity. I AM worth the time and effort that it takes to be healthy, to have the balanced life I want, to not feel limited by my weight, and trapped in an overweight body! I've made mistakes for which 'I' am responsible. I'm the one that put my needs and health after someone else's. It's time for me to be the caregiver for myself, to kick my inner doormat to the curb, and put myself FIRST!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RACHELRB 8/8/2010 1:33PM

    Don't become dependent on your MIL (or anyone's) opinion of you to realize your self worth (you are wonderful emoticon). You are not there to appease your MIL or anyone else. Be strong my friend. I would give anything to have someone as kind as you in my real (vs. virtual) life emoticon

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DIFROMWYOMING 8/2/2010 11:33PM

    I am glad you are listening to your body and being willing to put yourself where you need to be: up front and center. Stress is a killer. Literally. And I have not dealt with it well myself the last 7 months. It shows.
I am working on finding out what triggers my bad body reactions, too. It takes awhile. And while your behavior hasn't totally changed I still think that reaching for a 100 calorie bag of popcorn is still PROGRESS over 500 calories of whatever you used to reach for. I miss that you are gone from here, but we all understand. And every time you post it is clear that you are still ON your journey. Any time you have time to share how it's going, I'm always grateful to hear from you.
Hugs, Di

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ANITAWPG 8/2/2010 8:50PM

    I am sorry that it has taken the stress of the last months to have you realize you are WORTH IT - we already know that you are worth it

So I am glad that you now also realize it

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CATHYGETSFIT 8/1/2010 6:41PM

    Good for you for being introspective! If we don't look at WHY we do the things we do, we can never truly learn from past mistakes, patterns, etc... I'm glad you not only listened to your body but recognized what was causing the headaches, migraines and the other health issues you were having. I'm glad you are not going to let your MIL take you down with her. I'm also glad that you are handling her health issues from distance.

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AHEALTHIERME9 7/31/2010 8:35AM

    How powerful these words:

"I've always been the 'good girl' and the 'dependable one', but I haven't been good to myself."

THANK YOU for sharing this with us... This really was a great read and your words ring true with me. This actually reminded me of something that we cannot lose sight of in this journey... being good to ourselves...

You're wonderful and I just know you are on your way to getting refocused and recommitted to you.

Stay strong, Warrior...


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TNLONGHORN 7/29/2010 9:19PM

    Well said, Doreen. If you're not listening to yourself, why would anyone else listen?

Glad to see you writing on Sparks again. Missed seeing your updates.

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TRAVELNISTA 7/28/2010 6:51PM

    You most definitely are worth it. Unfortunately I know you are not going to stop taking care of MIL needs because that is the type of person you are. I know that if you do not you will feel guilty. It is a sad situation that MIL developed Cancer and I just know you will not turn your back on her even though you have received so much abuse at her hand or should I say tongue.

I am so happy that you have been trying to figure this out and that you have been reading books and old journals. You will be fine but unfortunately I don't think the situation will change until MIL passes.

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60SIXTY 7/28/2010 4:26PM

    Self Evaluation can lead to balance.
You have been in limbo for several months. With a lot to deal with.
Your insight will help you move out of the limbo stage.

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    All I can say is "AMEN" sister!

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JRDIAMOND4 7/28/2010 3:50PM

    I was going to title my blog "Welcoming mat or Doormat". I hear ya and know all about the "Nothing is ever good enough" treatment.

Hope things work out for the best.

emoticon emoticon

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NGCHILD 7/28/2010 3:04PM

    Good to hear from you Doreen -- I was worried about you! It's funny you mention reading old journals....I took a walk thru my old blogs today and was amazed at how much determination I once possessed!

You are NOT a doormat -- just a caring and loving woman who has a heart of gold! Love the new attitude and I am keeping you and Rick in my thoughts and prayers!


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    Good for you for reading old journals and trying to decipher behaviors. ALWAYS listen to your body! I tell the Mr the stress disorder we both ended up with is a true blessing because when you ignore such stress in your life like you're going through, your body will physically tell you before it's ready to breakdown so that you will stop and take care of yourself. LISTEN to your body, it's desperately trying to tell you to slow down and take care of it. Don't be a stranger, I miss you!

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THERAPIST2 7/28/2010 1:28PM

    Wonderful insight! Keep building on that attitude. There are so many articles and blogs to help you along the way.

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Fake it till you make it!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I never really understood that notion - until now. Sometimes things happen in life that throw us off course. The most important thing is to deal with what's going on in your life, stop floundering, and get on with it. That's where I'm at right now - between the stop floundering and getting on with it part. When life threw me off course and I found myself detoured down a road I did NOT want to be on, I found myself wondering how the heck I got there. I was adrift and lost, looking for my way back.

The last two months no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't get unstuck and locate my missing motivation. I needed direction! I thought that if I focused on my plan here at Spark, that it might 'light my fire' again. I figured 'fake it till you make it' just might do the trick. It did! Taking those steps again and focusing on my goals and health worked. I didn't expect it to work so quickly, but I certainly am grateful!

When life throws us off course, realize that we're not always perfect, and life isn't perfect. Whether we are floundering, fall off of the wagon, or if the wagon rolls over us a few times - don't stop believing in yourself! But the MOST important thing is to get back up and take that first step, and move forward on your journey. Spark helped me regain my focus, and gave me direction and structure. My friends here, both old and new, gave me support when I needed it most - THANK YOU! You could say that Spark is my GPS!

G: Goal setting / Guidance
P: Positive reinforcement / Personal growth
S: Support / Structure

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I've been losing my motivation slowly over the past three weeks or so. Thank you for posting your experience, it's helped.

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WOLVEY1919 8/5/2010 10:42AM

    Great motivation for others!

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DEBBIEKAY1 8/5/2010 8:23AM

    emoticonLoved this blog thank you for such GREAT insight I actually copied part of this to put in my control your life on line blog.
I can see why you have the Motivational blog emoticon

emoticonmy Fierce Fabulous emoticonDebbie

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AHEALTHIERME9 7/31/2010 8:28AM

    Great advice and so true!!!


Deb emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIFROMWYOMING 7/17/2010 11:32PM

    Good to hear from you and know you're feeling back on track!

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MEOWMAMA3 7/17/2010 12:40PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEVY11951 7/16/2010 10:29PM

    Very well said!

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NGCHILD 7/16/2010 11:04AM

    I love your definition for GPS!!!! Hope you are hanging in there. Thinking about you both!!


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WORKINGSTIFF 7/16/2010 10:13AM

    Great Blog!

One of my personal favorite quotes:

What saves a man is a step. Then another step. It's always the same step, but you have to take it. Antoine de Saint Exupery

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PONYFARMER 7/15/2010 11:44PM

    Good for you and when you make it and no longer need to fake it, come back and let us know because we care.

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TRAVELNISTA 7/15/2010 8:43PM

    Wise words of wisdom. emoticon emoticon

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ROX2013 7/15/2010 3:51PM

    Awesome to hear you are back on track! Those curve balls life throws at us can really derail our plans. I really like your GPS saying it is so true!

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JINLYNN 7/15/2010 3:37PM

    I am new to SP and had not heard that acronym before - I will definitely use it. Thanks for sharing and providing me with ideas/thoughts to ponder.

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RASTUS55 7/15/2010 2:31PM

    I know where your coming from on this one sweetie!! I am still finding my way....still working on my GPS system! Love you!!

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MOMMYLOG 7/15/2010 1:19PM

    I too fell off the wagon for quite some time, it's good to be back! I am glad you are back on track and keep to your GPS :D

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    emoticon Hip hip hooray! Your back on track. emoticon

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EDEACONTX 7/15/2010 12:57PM

    Thanks for the motivation!

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NOTABOUTHEFACE 7/15/2010 12:54PM

    Love it! Sounds like you're getting back to what's important. Doesn't matter if you had to fake it or not if it helps you in the end! Love ya!

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    Glad you found your GPS! I needed mine as well!

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EGORDON3 7/15/2010 12:51PM

    What a wonderful and inspiring blog! I, too, have found myself on a road I don't want to be on and "faking it 'til I make it' (following my Spark plan, keeping a good attitude, etc) has helped me start on the right track, even though for now, what I'd like to be doing is crawling into a hole or sitting in front of the tv and eating a whole gallon of ice cream emoticon Best of luck on getting back on getting back on course, and hopefully we won't have to be faking it much longer! emoticon

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TNLONGHORN 7/15/2010 12:48PM

    I like it!

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I want MY life back and I'm kicking stress to the curb!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Losing control of your life doesn't happen all at once, but slowly - over time. It's a process that happens bit by bit, until suddenly you look at your life and wonder what happened. This is where I am NOW! I'm not happy with the detour my life has recently taken and I want my life back! It's no secret that I've been struggling the last 2-3 months. My feelings of happiness and feeling good about myself have felt like a distant memory. To put it simply - I've been STUCK!

This is not another blog in which I vent over my MIL's behavior, but dealing with her health crisis and her demands is THE source of my stress and of my husband's. Trying to handle the medical needs of a family member is hard enough, but when that person complains constantly, tries to manipulate you, and is abusive with her behavior - it makes a difficult situation almost unbearable. Since there isn't anyone but us - we're stuck. My SIL informed us that she and her boyfriend are quitting their jobs and taking off from California in October, cruising on his sailboat for up to TWO YEARS!!! When I asked her if they will have a satellite phone so that we can contact her if something happened to her mother - the answer was NO. We would have to email her and wait for her to be in a port to contact us in return. At first I felt very burdened by her news as she has no responsibility regarding her mother's care, but after the way she was treated by her mother, I can't blame or judge her.

I put my business skills to work and have managed my MIL's medical needs by phone - from my home. It took awhile to get things organized, but her care is now running like a well-oiled machine - for the most part. Despite my doing all of this from an arms length, I still feel like I've lost myself along the way. I've been on automatic pilot for about two months now, just doing what needs to be done. Even though I said that I was going to make my own health a priority - I didn't. I meant to, but was overwhelmed with taking care of everything else. I wrote in a previous blog that 'no one else's health is more important than my own' - they were only words that I did NOT back up with actions.

I feel like we've been living under a dark cloud, and judging by what the doctors say - this will get progressively worse, and can on like this for 'possibly' a year or more. My husband recently commented that we're starting to look like we feel - exhausted! He's right. We wake up feeling tired and emotionally drained. My blood pressure has been too high and I've been getting migraines, not to mention the 'digestive issues' that won't let me stray too far from the bathroom. I know that it's all stress related. There have been many days that I've skipped meals and we've had dinner at 9:30 at night. Then because we ate so late, we didn't sleep well. My daily exercise routine bit the dust too, and I was lucky to get in a couple of bike rides a week. Not good!

No matter how hard I've tried, I couldn't shake off how I was feeling and move forward. I took a long hard look at the direction my life has taken, and I wasn't happy. So unless I want to have a stroke, live on migraine medication, or stick a cork in my butt to stop the diarrhea - I need to gain back control. Since all of my MIL's needs are met, it's time to focus on my health and the health of my husband. I'm sick and tired of feeling frustrated, consumed by someone else's demands, and yes - resentful. There, I said it! I don't want to feel like I've lost control over my own life and filled with negative emotions any longer!!!! The days of feeling like HER needs and demands are consuming our lives is OVER. Somewhere along the way we've lost sight that we have a RIGHT to live our own lives. So, today is day one of taking my life back and moving forward on MY journey! This is the most 'at peace' I've felt in almost two months. I feel calm, with glimpses of my old self. WooHoo, the clouds have parted and I can finally see the sun! Thanks for listening-


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIFROMWYOMING 7/17/2010 11:35PM

    So, so happy to hear this! You deserve to be healthy and get back your happy glow! Thanks for sharing your journey,too, as I could relate to much of it.

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FLYINGB16 7/15/2010 12:20PM

    Hugs and prayers to you and your DH. You sound like you are in a good place right now. One of my favorite quotes..."Living well is the best revenge".


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MEOWMAMA3 7/15/2010 11:39AM

    That's right Dor, put her on autopilot and that's it. NATF is SO right, as usual. If nothing else motivates you to get back on track let the thought of not giving her what she wants to see in terms of your demise drive you back to taking care of Doreen with a vengeance. Schedule some fun time for you and Rick. A movie, a game night, a dinner out, a weekend getaway, something. The SIL and the, that's even better than my brother's vacation to France while my mom was on life support... how people can have no conscience or concern for their mother, even a nasty mother, is beyond me. Start with a trip to the market for your favorite healthy foods. Treat yourself to a daily bike ride (stock up on Imodium if you have to to be able to go out without fear.....) even if it's not a long one. Crank up some music. Buy a stripper pole. oops, I got a little carried away!!! Laugh!!! Kick that stress to the curb and as they say in your old hometown "fuhgetaboudit".
We love ya kiddo! Kim and the Phurballs (ps, how are our furry southern cousins?) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CATHYGETSFIT 7/15/2010 9:19AM

    I hope for your sake and your DH's sake that you do start taking care of yourselves! Like NATF said, nothing would make her happier than to see you end up in the hospital and I believe that the same goes for your DH. I can hear the stress in your blog. It's time to make yourself a priority! Whenever you feel that you are not making your health a priority come back and read this!


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MT-MOONCHASER 7/14/2010 9:48PM

    I totally agree with NATF's comment.

Now that you've got things set up, take back your life.

Good luck and stick to your guns.

p.s. Do you think that SIL and boyfriend would have room for you and DH? Sounds like a great solution to me!

Comment edited on: 7/14/2010 9:49:34 PM

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TRAVELNISTA 7/14/2010 9:06PM

    emoticon to you for realizing it and saying it. emoticon and emoticon that you stick to your guns!

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    Re-read this any time you think of skipping your bike ride. The migraines and stress trots will NOT go away until you take control of your lives back. Since it all runs the way it should by phone, as long as she's not rolling around in her own filth, she's fine. Nothing would please her more than seeing you end up in the hospital because of the stress SHE'S causing. Don't let her have the pleasure. Time to find Doreen and make her priority #1!!

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    Now just keep that sun shining! Keep moving forward with your health as number 1 priority. Know that you are loved and supported by all of us here on SP!

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