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Pegi

Coping with OVERBEARING family members?

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How do you deal with family members whom you normally only see a few times a year who now decide they need to make multiple visits???? Short of telling them all where to go. We have tried to set boundaries & time frames. We have a schedule we are on and they get very offended when I tell them NO and turn around and call my husband who wants everyone to get along. He is afraid to hurt someone's feelings. I on the other hand could care less. These people are not left with the aftermath of their visits.  I get left with the totally wiped out shell of the person who is sick. It would be nice if they would offer help or bring a meal or offer to run an errand. Instead they come in plop down dissect our life and need to know everything and cruise back out the door only to reappear a few days later. I am just pissed off, frustrated and want to smack some of them. It is like they have no common sense.

A good example is our Sunday morning trip to ER @ 5:30 a.m.where we stayed till 10:30 a.m.. Planned visitors called ahead and when I said we just got back from ER they said we will be there in a half hour for a visit. Meanwhile I still had to feed him and get him settled back in. Common sense would have had me saying I will pass on the visit. 

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Peg,

Actually, I have two strategies.  If they really care, tell them to read this.  Those that do and appear to understand, have them read this.  Clearly a little homework about the seriousness and comprehensiveness of your engagement is required.  Those that demonstrate knowledge and understanding of both of these resources might be allowed to intrude on privacy provided they schedule time by text or email.  Those that don't want to invest the time to learn about your husband's plight and your already over-the-top problem set should be told to "take a hike!

Stay the course.

Tom

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Pegi,

How dreadful for you--you're doing all the caregiving and the family members are not being respectful of your husband or you.  I feel the extremet frustration from what you wrote. It's always hard to set boundaries and your husband not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings can make ilyt really difficult. You wrote that "common sense" would have had you saying you'd pass on a visit. Seems like these people are lacking in common sense. I don't know how direct you've been with them, but I wonder if you could be more direct. For example, when they said they were coming in half an hour, could you have said something like  " 3:00 this afternoon would be a good time. Right now I have to get (husband's name) some food and he needs a nap."  If they insist on coming right away, "Sorry that won't work for us right now." And don't answer the door, if they're rude enough to com anyway. CAn you directly ask them to bring food, run an errand, help with a chore? 

But know that it's your life and your husband's and you have a right to set whatever boundaries you need to. Is there anyone he trusts who could talk to him about it being OK to set boundaries to protect you and him, even if it hurts some feelings? 

You're in a tough situation and I wish you all the best!

Bridget 

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Next time someone calls and is coming over despite what you say ask them to stop and pick up groceries, medications, etc. or, when they get there give them the medication schedule and doctors numbers, as well as your cell phone number. Go do your shopping, get your haircut, have lunch or dinner with one of your friends. If they learn that they are going to be expected to care for him so that you can care for basics they'll probably stop coming around so often.


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On 7/24/2017 at 10:13 PM, Tom Galli said:

Peg,

Actually, I have two strategies.  If they really care, tell them to read this.  Those that do and appear to understand, have them read this.  Clearly a little homework about the seriousness and comprehensiveness of your engagement is required.  Those that demonstrate knowledge and understanding of both of these resources might be allowed to intrude on privacy provided they schedule time by text or email.  Those that don't want to invest the time to learn about your husband's plight and your already over-the-top problem set should be told to "take a hike!

Stay the course.

Tom

Tom I started reading last night Scanziety. What a good name for what it is.I also no longer feel guilty for arguing with Lee about my rights and feelings.We are in this together and I told him yesterday when they come they will be told in front on him and if they do not like it they can leave. He called his mother the Drama Queen. I has to be all about her or all hell breaks loose. Well it is about Lee and his quality of life right now. My son told me last night that my inner witch went into hiding. After that little wake up I realize the witch needs to come out to stay for awhile. Today's visit should prove to be interesting.

 

Peg 

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Good luck dealing with these clueless Bozos.  Just throwing out one more idea in case it would be helpful--do you have a minister/clergy person or even a social worker from the hospital who could have a chat with them?  Maybe to provide the objective, neutral, third-party position about what the two of you really need right now?  That you know that they care, and that you care about them, but right now you both have to prioritize for the sake of your own well-being?

Just thinking it might make the whole confrontation a bit less, well, personal.

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20 hours ago, Denzie said:

Next time someone calls and is coming over despite what you say ask them to stop and pick up groceries, medications, etc. or, when they get there give them the medication schedule and doctors numbers, as well as your cell phone number. Go do your shopping, get your haircut, have lunch or dinner with one of your friends. If they learn that they are going to be expected to care for him so that you can care for basics they'll probably stop coming around so often.

Denzie, I have to tell you I tried that with his brother and while I was gone he had him drink hydrogen peroxide & water. So my trust level with that side of the family is non existent. All he had to do was sit & converse for a half an hour. IT WON'T HAPPEN AGAIN!

I stayed the course and vented. Some people were offended and I really do not care. It is OK to offend me and I am just to sit back and take it. They now know I am done with that.I am the one here doing everything not them and there is never an offer of help.They were told it is not about them and Lee's needs come first and the rest can just take a flying leap.They can come visit, timers will be set and when they go off they go out the door or they will not be let back in. There is no talking to some of these people. I was put down today because I do not answer the phone when his mother calls. I told her she was not here cleaning up the messes and caring for Lee. Just because she calls does not mean it is a good time to have a chat.

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I am exhausted and I sit here looking back at our schedule for the past 2 weeks and just cringe. I look at the coming weeks and more of the same. In the last 10 days alone besides Dr's appt we have had 6 "family" visits from BOZO"S who come in plop down and stay longer than allowed. His mother throws a hissy fit if she is told no to a visit. I finally had to tell her the door would be locked. This same woman hounded my husband when I was not around about being mean to his brother. And her last visit on Sunday had her telling her son she wanted his pickup. Of course I was not here at the time. It would be nice if they would visit and actually help out. That ain't gonna happen. This stuff upsets my husband and I quite frankly am tired of talking to WALLS. I guess I have never gone thru this stuff and I am appalled at what "family" is pulling. It just adds to the stress and neither one of this needs it right now. Our poor dog is on meds to calm her down. Animals are really sensitive to their surroundings. Tonight I pray for solid sleep for both of us so we can get up and go for one more day.

Sorry just venting.

Peg

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Hi, Pegi,

So sorry this is still going on.  I do have one suggestion, though you will have to think about whether you want to go that route.  I work in the field of domestic violence, and I just looked up protective orders for Michigan.  It looks as if you can obtain an anti-stalking protective order to prevent these family members from harassing/stalking you (stalking has a technical definition that amounts to repeated harassment).  Here's a quote from a website summarizing Michigan law:  

Quote

 

1) Stalking is when someone harasses you at least 2 or more times and it reasonably causes you to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested (bothered).*   "Harassment"is repeated or continuing unconsented contact with you that has no legitimate (valid) purpose and reasonably causes you to suffer emotional distress (harm).  For contact to be considered “unconsented contact,” it means that s/he contacts you without your consent (including if you agreed to the contact at first, but now you have asked the person to stop and s/he continues to contact you).   Unconsented contact includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

Following you or appearing within your sight;

Approaching or confronting you in a public place or on private property;

Appearing at your workplace or home;

Entering onto, remaining on, or putting an object on property that you own, lease (rent), or that you are currently occupying;

Contacting you by telephone; or

Sending you mail, email or text messages.*

 

This isn't legal advice, but a lawyer or someone at your local courthouse should be able to assist you in completing the necessary paperwork.  

This doesn't require the involvement of the police; it's basically an application for a civil order requiring these people to leave you alone.  If they violate the order the court can hold them in contempt.

Think about it--even though it may feel confrontational, you are already having unpleasant interactions with these people.  If you can afford a lawyer, that person should be able to take care of most of the details, though it would probably be necessary for you at some point to testify in court to say you've asked them to stop but they won't.

Just an option--I hate to see anyone dealing with this medical stuff having to contend with this kind of nonsense.

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Oh, and one other thought--you could also have a lawyer send them a letter stating that you do not want them to have uninvited contact with you.  The letter could say that you don't wish to have to pursue a protective order, but if they don't stop their uninvited contact, you will have no other choice.  That might be a step short of actually having to get the order--the "threat" might be enough to get them to leave you alone.

 

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