RELATIONSHIPS.

So many posts have the same theme. Falling out with relatives and friends, or them falling out with us. At times such as this emotions run high and are often exacerbated by grief. Normal anger turns into hate. Fear can become an obsession. The need to lash out at someone or some thing can seem overpowering. Unkind inappropriate remarks hurt, and we may feel resentful that others can’t feel as we do. ‘Why can’t they feel my pain’? we often ask.
But they are not you. Who knows what may be going on in their minds. Like some of us they may be going through hell inside, but put on a brave face. Most people can’t cope with emotions of any sort. They do anything to avoid it. Distractions are very evident. But only by facing our problems head on, as painful as it may be, can we begin to come to terms about what has happened. Any other course is evasion, avoidance or even denial. Pushing problems away and failing to recognize them as reality can lead to long term distress.
There’s not a thing we can do about the past. The awful pain, the distress and fear won’t change anything.
Relations can be cruel. But all the time we hold grievances and try and get back at them the more heightened our emotions become. We just can’t afford such emotions. Forgiveness is still needed. They often don’t know what they are doing or saying.
Anyone who has relatives who understand is indeed fortunate. Just as we need time so do they. People often avoid a bereaved person because they just don’t know what to say. This can be misconstrued as being hurtful and deliberately callous. We have no idea what goes on in another’s mind.
Recently someone posted that her mother-in-law was resentful that her son’s wife was at his side at the end and she wasn’t. This may sound awful. How could she be so heartless? I don’t know, nether does anyone. We judge people by their actions which are not always good indicators as to how they feel. Lashing out in anger is a way of expressing the fear that accompanies loss. We may even be angry with our loved one for leaving us. It’s all a natural response to the pain we feel
For our own peace of mind and to avoid further pain we should forgive. This does not mean we need associate with those who are ‘vexatious to our spirit’, but forgiveness can be done from a distance. The important thing is to do it in your mind. Blessings.

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Jonathan…
… well put…yes dont let these people win, rise above them is my way of coping, this makes me a better and stronger person than they will ever be…prove we will come out the other end, with them or without them…My motto always is…" look after number one ( YOURSELF - ME ) as in this world, no one else will…Anyway, at the end of the day, these people will have their own problems - issues to deal with, no one goes through this life unscathed, no one…Nor do we walk in other people shoes, we dont know what is going on in their lives…
I have also held onto anger and grudges but where does it get you, nowhere…

Jackie…

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Hi Jonathan,

When my husband died five years ago, my so called best friend of nearly 40 years sent me a text on the day he died saying it was for the best. From that moment on I hated her and ever since, I just do not want to be in her company, luckily she is on holiday most of the time and I have not seen her for three years.
Before Christmas this ‘friend’ rang to tell me that her daughter’s mother in law had had a stroke and I would not believe how hard it has been, visiting the hospital all the time. (I would not believe how hard it has been?) she still could not get it through her thick stupid head what I went through five years ago and the years prior to Peter dying, it is and always has been about her. So many people are the same and until something happens to them they never will understand how heartbreaking it is to lose someone you have loved for most of your life. She still has her husband and they still go abroad all the time and I have so many so-called friends much older than myself, out there all still married living their lives to the full and not one has been to see me or contact me since Peter died.
As long as they are not knocking on my door if they lose their husbands I now don’t give a damn.
Like Jackie says, holding on to anger and grudges don’t get you anywhere at all but what is hard to understand is, if Peter had been a fit man and still alive and my friends had lost their husbands, I would have been there for them because that is the type of person I am, that is the way I was raised by mum and dad, to help others and not turn a blind eye when you are needed.
Sheila xx

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Sheila…
…treat them as they have treated you…at least you do have the advantage over that one…you now know in advance and not known before, if you get my drift…as i have often said, it is times like these one knows who our true friends are…sometimes it is the strangers who come into our lives who appear to be our Godsends…and put our longstanding friends to shame…

Jackie…

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i have always believed " that the tables will turn…" as my late father often had said…" we live and learn, girl…" " and they will get their comeuppance…" best to leave it in the hands of our God…all we need to do is get on with our own lives the best way we can, in my world " it is the art of survival " and " survival of the fittest…" and we will do whatever it takes to survive…

Jackie…

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Dear Jackie,
I totally agree with you, as far as I am concerned they no longer exist so I will let them sort themselves out when anything happens to them or their husbands.
I honestly think the problem is that unless people have been through what we have been through they will never know what it is like until their time comes.

Love

Sheila.x

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Sheila…
…always remember " what goes around, comes around…" we dont need to do nothing…just bide our time, wait and watch…

Jackie…

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Jackie, I so agree with you, but I wonder what I will do when faced with one of them ringing to tell me their husband has died and wanting me to visit them or them come to see me. Like I have said, I have been brought up better than that so I will have to wait and see.

Love
Sheilax

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Shelia…
…I see what you mean, guess it depends more of what we thought of the dead person rather than the survivors of that dead person…by all means pay ones respects to the people who we care about, as it was for that person only why we have gone in the first place, not the others…this i believe to be the way i would do it…Yes you are right, it is the way we have been brought up, to do right rather than to do wrong…it is down to principals…Sheila, at the end of the day, we are who we are, and we can not or will not change that…

Jackie…

whilst your words may guide some to believe forgiveness is needed or the answer.im in a situation were the brother of my partner,as id found out recently off a very good friend,he had been insulting me to all and sundry.please do not assume every situation were families are being nasty that we should look to the furture not the past and find forgiveness,im sorry if I missed your point of discussion.but I for one will always find Jaynes brother to be a very nasty piece of work and cannot forgive in any way shape or form is actions before I lost Jayne and is actions after I lost Jayne.i hope your words guide others but it will not guide me.
regards
ian

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Hi Jonathan, wise words indeed and certainly given me something to think about. When Brian died I thought that his family would be supportive as we had always got on well. True his daughters hadn’t been near us for a long time and Brian had given up trying to call them and didn’t want them at his bedside, he would never have wanted to be a burden. The actions of his daughters really surprised me. They didn’t contact me for three days after his death. I invited them to come and see me and I stupidly thought that they would want to be involved in the funeral arrangements but they showed little interest and at the funeral completely ignored me from start to finish. I had been his wife for thirty years but they didn’t seem to acknowledge this. They wouldn’t come to the scattering of his ashes although my family attended. I rang them up (answer phone) and apologised if I had done something to offend them it wasn’t intentional and could we talk about it. No reply… I sent letters also apologising and asking for them to contact me so that we could grieve together help each other. I did emphasise that I had no intention of being needy or a burden to them but as they was Brian daughters it would be nice to keep in touch. Nothing… I wrote to other members of the family, friendly chatty letters. Nothing… I was hurt and upset, what on earth had I done to this family, I blamed myself. I tried more letters when I found paperwork and photo’s that related to them and their father and mother. Nothing… In the end I sent one more letter telling them that I would leave the paperwork on my front door step for them to collect. They collected this time but I never saw them. My last letter I said that my door was always open to them if they needed help.
Oh I forgot I did get a phone call from a third party telling me that his daughter wanted Brian’s scooter and would I get it running and ready for collection. I sold it. So how do I get around this. If they do ever turn up on my doorstep do I open my heart to them when they all but destroyed me at a time when I was tired, and vulnerable. I am not usually a very forgiving person and Brian commented on this often as he could forgive. I half hope they feel some sort of shame at not bothering with their lovely father at a time when he needed the support of his family. And can I trust myself to keep quiet if I ever do come face to face with them. I will try, honest I will to forgive.
Pat xxx

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I was very tempted to join in and post about being pushed out, being made an outsider of Richards family but i shall refrain from saying what i would like to say as i shall respect Richard as he would be protective over his family yet still he would always put me first… Well i have now come to the conclusion that my Richard was the best one of his family members, and i have told him so, just hope and pray that he can hear me, that he knows how special he is-he was, and the little or no help i got from them…nor even an invite to come to us and spend Christmas although one was aware i was all by myself over Christmas and crying every day since the day i had lost him…

Jackie…

I was very tempted to join in and post about being pushed out, being made an outsider of Richards family but i shall refrain from saying what i would like to say as i shall respect Richard as he would be protective over his family yet still he would always put me first… Well i have now come to the conclusion that my Richard was the best one of his family members, and i have told him so, just hope and pray that he can hear me, that he knows how special he is-he was, and the little or no help i got from them…nor even an invite to come to us and spend Christmas although one was aware i was all by myself over Christmas and crying every day since the day i had lost him…
I will be pushed out even more when they soon realise that something they thought was coming to them…isn’t…

Jackie…

Dear All,
I finished it tonight with my so called friend as I was so angry.
She rang me just now to put me in the picture about her daughters mother in law who had had a stroke and all she kept saying was, you have no idea how hard it has been these last three weeks, visiting hospital. I just said, wait until you have had to deal with it for 13 years, eight years looking after the person you have loved for most of your life and five years without him then you can tell me how hard it has been for you and please don’t ring me again, I am disgusted with you" and I put the phone down. Our other so called friends have never been in touch at all since before Peter died so I don’t suppose I will hear if one of them dies. Problem is now solved.
Love
Sheila.x

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I am so sorry Jackie that you have been treated this way. I hope we can do as Jonathan suggests and forgive our families if we ever get the chance, but I am so upset that Brian’s daughters showed no respect to Brian refusing to attend the scattering of his ashes. He was a lovely man and didn’t deserve to be treated like this.
Pat xxx

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Hello Sheila I would just like to share a text with you from my son in August last year after losing my partner on the 4th May. Mum, I am deleting you after this last text, forever. I wish no harm comes to you and would not change my upbringing for anything in the universe. Alan was a massive inspiration in my life and I will grieve him for the rest of mine. The final nail in the coffin for me was YOU NEVER GAVE ME A CHANCE TO SAY GOODBYE. Even if Alan wasn’t awake in hospital, I still wanted to tell him I loved him and hold his hand while he was still warm with his heart beating and blood running through his veins. You stopped that goodbye. This final message is mine to you." Was this a surprise to me. No. Was it true what he said. No. I sat in that hospital 9 or 10 hours everyday from 8th January to 4th may when he died. I wanted Alan to have more visitors than what he did. My sister went once and she said I stopped her going which also wasn’t true. I told her to visit early on before she started on her whisky as she is an alcoholic. My son used to take me occasionally in mine and alans car but visited less and less. After Alan died I asked him why he stopped visiting and he said because he felt in the way and he didn’t know half the time that he was there anyway. So to send the text he did was a bit below the belt and he was told anyway by my youngest son who tried to get hold of him and Alans son, on the Friday night before he died., in the early hours of Saturday morning . Alans son visited twice in that time and his daughter not at all. Out of 11 grandchildren only 3 of those visited. 2 of them once and the other one a few times with his dad but he was only 11. So my question is does my eldest son deserve forgiveness when all he can think about is himself his drink and his drugs. Do any of them deserve forgiveness when they didn’t do an awful lot for him and nothing for me since he died. I think not. Janet xx

Dear Janet,
To be truthful, no, none of them deserve our goodwill, they are all out for themselves.
One of our sons live 20 minutes away and the other one an hour away but he works 10 minutes from where I live but never pops in unless he needs to put something in the garage or want something.
Just before Peter retired at 60, a few months before he was diagnosed with his illness, our eldest son stopped speaking to us for two years.
We had child minded our granddaughter three days a week from being 6 months of age so our son and daughter in law could go to work and not pay for childcare. We loved to have her but it was getting hard for me as they kept asking me to have her for extra days then weekends, so Peter put his foot down and said no, your mum is getting older and it is too much for her as it was becoming 5 days a week and then they were stopping over at the weekends, (I was then 63 and retired for three years). When she was a baby I was making up bottles, sterilising them and told to ensure they were sterilised so they would be clean when they picked her up. I was taking her out for the day, making meals, washing and ironing her clothes, I was told to have her bathed and in her nightclothes for when they collected her at 7 pm after work so they could put her straight to bed when they got home. This went on all through the five years Peter was ill, and we even looked after our two grandsons every so often. Even though our son had stopped speaking to us he still brought our granddaughter for us to look after, never speaking, just dropping her off and picking her up from the doorstep. By this time Peter was becoming less and less mobile so it all fell on me. Before Peter started being really ill, our eldest son came to see us and told us we needed to put this behind us and we had to apologise for being so mean. I just let rip and told him what I thought of him and from then on the only time we saw him was in the school holidays when we looked after our granddaughter for a day.
Our sons knew he was very ill and neither of them did anything to help us. In desperation I asked them once to sit with their dad whilst I went to town for a few hours, but was told they could give me two hours as they were busy people. It takes me an hour to get to town on the bus and an hour back so I didn’t go. I can honestly say, hand on heart, our sons have never, ever done anything for us whilst Peter was alive. When my hair started falling out and I had chest pains and had to go to the hospital for tests, I had to take Peter with me in a taxi and push his wheelchair through the hospital, the specialist thought Peter was the patient he was seeing and I said no, it’s me.
After he died they were good helping me sort through all the paperwork but it was all in order as I took care of the daily bills, bank, savings accounts and insurances etc. After that they were very vocal about what I should do but I did what I wanted, They didn’t help me when I needed them when their dad was alive so I didn’t need them now.
Two years after Peter died our eldest son took me on holiday abroad and it was lovely, I paid my own way and to be honest, paid most of his holiday too. We never mentioned what happened.
I still can’t forget, and I still can’t forgive because our son missed out on two years of his dad’s life, and even now I don’t see much of them at all, I rang them the other day to tell them how I went on at the hospital and it went to voicemail, so I left a message to tell them what had gone on but no-one rang me back.
I have not seen or spoken to anyone since the 2nd January, even though I am still not right. I went for a chest Xray and am now waiting for an ultrasound on my stomach, for all anyone knows, I could be lying dead on the floor.
In all the years we looked after our grandchildren for our sons, I was never bought a bunch of flowers or a box of chocolates to say thank you.
I love our sons but I don’t like them, they are selfish, grabbing and all out for themselves.

Sheila.xx

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That was how i felt with my daughter, " I loved her but i didn’t like her "…think we are making a long distance bonding now, trying to mend our past, at least i am hoping we are, well i have told her that she is all i have got now, plus her son, my grandson who is a hard one to get hold of…

Janet…
… yes a long-term drinking problem will always ruin a relationship, i know this from experience, as i have mentioned as long as my daughter keeps off her drinking we will have a chance to move forwards…but she is now fully aware i am needing her now as much as she is needing me…i have now some hope for us for the future as mother and daughter…

Jackie…