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Thread: Family Feud (yes, the fun continues)

  1. #21
    Wildflower
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    If your DH is truly unable to work shouldn't he be able to get on SS Disability?

    As far as Christmas goes why don't you ask your family to exchange gifts before you get there, and then show up later to have dinner with them. Sounds like a good compromise to me. I would think, hopefully, everyone would be agreeable to that.

    Best wishes and good luck with whatever you decide to do. So many struggle with family obligations this time of year. It's tough....

  2. #22
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    May I suggest another one? Byron Katie, Loving What Is. I have some reservations with some of her stances; nonetheless, I have benefitted greatly from her basic teaching, which is this (as I understand it): Argue with reality - i.e. What is happening - and you're miserable, as she puts it, "only 100% of the time"! It's one's thinking about what is happening that makes one miserable, not reality itself.

    She posits four inquiry questions to drill down into one's assumptions & thinking. I cannot do the book justice in one small post... Check it out of the library and see for yourself. Also, google her on Oprah. She has some demo's, working with folks from her workshop, that are pretty incredible.

  3. #23
    Senior Member reader99's Avatar
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    Her email was non-understanding because in fact she doesn't understand. I'm constantly encountering people who think that because they like me and I have some talents it should be no problem for me to move from the 11% unemployed in this area to the 89% employed. Not so easy, and age discrimination is very real, even if unspoken.

    IMHO, a lot of people have a fear of being unemployed and broke themselves, and as a defense against their feelings about it they subconsciously minimize the plight of people experiencing it. If they can convince themselves that the person with troubles did or failed to do something that could have prevented the problem, then they subconsciously feel that they themselves are safer from troubles as long as they keeping doing things "right". Overtly, this comes across as indifference or callousness, when it's really an internal defense mechanism.

    I second the thought on Byron Katie. A truly effective and deceptively simple method of clearing anger and resentment from one's mind. My library has her books, yours may too. Also VERY helpful and soothing is Eckhart Tolle. I love his voice and have several of his CDs from the library on hand right now.

    I know that getting SSD is a major task, but if your DH has or can find a doctor who recognizes his disability, it can't hurt to fill out the forms. Be aware that SSD often turns one down on the first try, so expect to appeal, possibly with one of those no fee unless we win attorneys.

    If it doesn't seem too mercenary, as if going there just because of needing help, I suggest visiting several churches/spiritual centers that are convenient to you. If there's one you like it's a pleasant outing, possibly uplifting, and a chance to build a 'family' support group of non-relatives. Many churches offer a wide variety of practical and emotional help. My church gives out free day old bread and pastries from Publix, and has been known to pay one time costs for broke people, like my friend who lost her ID and didn't have the money to pay the fee to replace it.

    Re Christmas, I could make a case for either going or not going, or for dropping in briefly to exchange affectionate greetings and then leaving. Perhaps one measure for deciding that would be, which alternative makes you feel least suicidal? There are always more than two choices. As far as keeping up family ties, maybe you could visit the relatives you like separately, either before or after Christmas itself. Or a cheery mass email with holiday greetings, a bit of humor, and attached picture - something like that can be a gift in itself and keep that sense of family connection, without costing anything or having to be in a crowd.

    I really feel for you, being in a similar pickle myself.

    Re suicidal ideation - this may be irrelavant to you, but I've noticed that no matter how well medicated I am, if I eat anyting containing MSG, my mood drops to despair within hours. I know not everyone is sensitive to MSG, but I thought I should mention it just in case.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by reader99 View Post
    Her email was non-understanding because in fact she doesn't understand. I'm constantly encountering people who think that because they like me and I have some talents it should be no problem for me to move from the 11% unemployed in this area to the 89% employed. Not so easy, and age discrimination is very real, even if unspoken.

    IMHO, a lot of people have a fear of being unemployed and broke themselves, and as a defense against their feelings about it they subconsciously minimize the plight of people experiencing it. If they can convince themselves that the person with troubles did or failed to do something that could have prevented the problem, then they subconsciously feel that they themselves are safer from troubles as long as they keeping doing things "right". Overtly, this comes across as indifference or callousness, when it's really an internal defense mechanism.

    I second the thought on Byron Katie. A truly effective and deceptively simple method of clearing anger and resentment from one's mind. My library has her books, yours may too. Also VERY helpful and soothing is Eckhart Tolle. I love his voice and have several of his CDs from the library on hand right now.

    I know that getting SSD is a major task, but if your DH has or can find a doctor who recognizes his disability, it can't hurt to fill out the forms. Be aware that SSD often turns one down on the first try, so expect to appeal, possibly with one of those no fee unless we win attorneys.

    If it doesn't seem too mercenary, as if going there just because of needing help, I suggest visiting several churches/spiritual centers that are convenient to you. If there's one you like it's a pleasant outing, possibly uplifting, and a chance to build a 'family' support group of non-relatives. Many churches offer a wide variety of practical and emotional help. My church gives out free day old bread and pastries from Publix, and has been known to pay one time costs for broke people, like my friend who lost her ID and didn't have the money to pay the fee to replace it.

    Re Christmas, I could make a case for either going or not going, or for dropping in briefly to exchange affectionate greetings and then leaving. Perhaps one measure for deciding that would be, which alternative makes you feel least suicidal? There are always more than two choices. As far as keeping up family ties, maybe you could visit the relatives you like separately, either before or after Christmas itself. Or a cheery mass email with holiday greetings, a bit of humor, and attached picture - something like that can be a gift in itself and keep that sense of family connection, without costing anything or having to be in a crowd.

    I really feel for you, being in a similar pickle myself.

    Re suicidal ideation - this may be irrelavant to you, but I've noticed that no matter how well medicated I am, if I eat anyting containing MSG, my mood drops to despair within hours. I know not everyone is sensitive to MSG, but I thought I should mention it just in case.
    Good post.

    It took me along time to realize that while my siblings and I are close and care greatly for each other, we are not the same people. We didn't get the same childhood by any means. I was the oldest and ended up being very very responsible, caring for younger siblings, helping with housework, cooking etc. The youngest two didn't have that expirence at all.

    Now, in our fifties, we have had many years of very different expierinces. We all look at things differently. For some reason, for a long time I thought we all thought the same, because we grew up in the same house. I was often hurt because they didn't say or do something the way I would have done it. Now, I try to give them the same space I would give friends. They don't have to think just like me.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aqua Blue View Post
    Good post.

    It took me along time to realize that while my siblings and I are close and care greatly for each other, we are not the same people. We didn't get the same childhood by any means. I was the oldest and ended up being very very responsible, caring for younger siblings, helping with housework, cooking etc. The youngest two didn't have that expirence at all.

    Now, in our fifties, we have had many years of very different expierinces. We all look at things differently. For some reason, for a long time I thought we all thought the same, because we grew up in the same house. I was often hurt because they didn't say or do something the way I would have done it. Now, I try to give them the same space I would give friends. They don't have to think just like me.
    This is so true...and I discovered the same thing! I have three sisters and we are all different, unique people. I don't know why it took so long to recognize that, but it did. As the years have gone by we have begun to be more comfortable in being who we are in our own right. There will always be differences in how we perceive our childhood and my parents, but we don't have to be right or wrong in our thinking anymore. Most of the time we are able to accept each other with the good and bad inextricably woven through each of us! It was a long journey (we range from 54 to 65 years old), but I am that we made it together!

  6. #26
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    "IMHO, a lot of people have a fear of being unemployed and broke themselves, and as a defense against their feelings about it they subconsciously minimize the plight of people experiencing it. If they can convince themselves that the person with troubles did or failed to do something that could have prevented the problem, then they subconsciously feel that they themselves are safer from troubles as long as they keeping doing things "right". Overtly, this comes across as indifference or callousness, when it's really an internal defense mechanism." (reader99)
    -------------------------------------------------------
    I think this is an excellent point reader99. In real life, I often found it really difficult to understand when some of the most judgmental folks, I could see plainly, were just a few steps away from the people they were castigating, and could at any moment fall into the same situations. When I finally grasped that it was BECAUSE that was a defense mechanism, "that's not going to happen to ME, because I'M not like those people, because they made this decision and that decision that was wrong, etc. and THAT'S why they are in this mess", I understood it much better. And now, see it all around, whether it is speaking of unemployment, disease, etc.

    The scarier a prospect looks inside, the more vociferous the denial, I think.

    Bottom line, we all have to learn to only look for respect to the person we see looking back at us in the mirror. When YOU know that you are doing your best, you can hold your head up, regardless of whatever situation you are having to live through at the moment. The job market is the pits right now, even for the best qualified people, and when you put age, location in the country, and other problems into the mix, even people who would have had no difficulties finding and holding on to jobs in the past are finding themselves cast to the side. Which makes those who have NOT yet found themselves in that ditch, even more judgemental of those who have, because of that fear issue, denial, and wish to separate themselves from people who could have that happen to them.

    I know it is a terrible time for you ladyinblack, and even when times are normal, the holidays are a time when all sorts of family dysfunction, old hurts, and other problems come up. The relentless round of media falseness about the wonders of the holidays, compared with the actual situation for so many people makes it even worse.

    Just be kind to yourself and to your husband. And if that means sending polite regrets that things are not going well for you this year, money is not available for giftgiving, and that you just don't find it in yourselves to celebrate is just fine, if that is what it will take to get through this period.

    Please, please, though......if you are having even fleeting thoughts of suicide, SEEK HELP. Suicide is a permanent solution to temporary problems that only look unsolvable, and is truly not a solution at all. No matter how seductive when you're in the midst of what look to be things that can never change. Change ALWAYS comes, just not when and how we want it to. So trust in the process, do your best, and get through this holiday period the best way you can, and we will all hope for brighter days to come for you in the New Year.

  7. #27
    Senior Member reader99's Avatar
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    Re: suicide - what has stopped me (since my husband died 2 years ago) is empathetically reflecting on the effect of whoever would find my body, and on those left behind. For a while there the maintenance guy who would probably have been first on the scene was a Viet Nam vet with PTSD. I couldn't do it to him. Also my step son still hasn't gotten over his father's (2XDH) death almost ten years ago, and because he respects my mind and common sense the effect on him would be incalculable. My friend that lives near by would be thrown into a tailspin, and since she was just diagnosed with breast cancer, it would just be too much.

  8. #28
    Senior Member herbgeek's Avatar
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    Lady In Black

    Just wanted to add to the conversation: As another long term unemployed person, I understand on a very visceral level the feelings of desperation, as I have them too. I've really stopped sharing these feelings with employed friends because it has been so long. They really want to be helpful, but given that most of them are engineers, they just want to fix things. I appreciate the suggestions, but really, I've done all the obvious, and many not so obvious things. (Moving is not an option without a job, and why would I want to add a mortgage at this point? I've already tried self employment and found it wasn't for me...) I'm just trying to focus on what I do have, but being over 50 and out of work so long likely means I'm not going to find technical work again, and that's hard for me since I've poured so much of my life into my career.

    If you need someone to talk to, please feel free to private message me. I can relate.

  9. #29
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    Aye, there's the rub...to quote the Bard.

    Part of the problem is that he is in denial of his true situation. And he believes he'll never get disability anyway, even if he tries. We do have one of those "no fee unless you win" lawyers who advertises every day in our local paper. But he won't go, won't look into it. I have asked him to do so for years. My mother has suggested it, our lawyer friend has suggested it (though she used to work at SSDI and doubts he'd get it. I guess you have to be really effed up to get it).

    Oh, and he has said that none of the mental health pros he's seen think there's anything wrong with him. Either he's made them think things are better than they are, or they're quacks, IMHO.

    As you can imagine, this puts me into a really terrible position, and I have thought about getting a divorce many times. But how could I do this to him? If he's truly ill, I took a vow "in sickness and in health."


    Quote Originally Posted by Wildflower View Post
    If your DH is truly unable to work shouldn't he be able to get on SS Disability?

    As far as Christmas goes why don't you ask your family to exchange gifts before you get there, and then show up later to have dinner with them. Sounds like a good compromise to me. I would think, hopefully, everyone would be agreeable to that.

    Best wishes and good luck with whatever you decide to do. So many struggle with family obligations this time of year. It's tough....
    Last edited by frugalone; 12-6-11 at 11:43pm.

  10. #30
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    So many of these posts touched in points in my life.

    For example, I have come to realize after a long time that I don't have much in common with my family anymore. I never was close to my sister growing up. She is 6 years younger than I am, and was always very shy and conscious of what others thought of her.Our opinions differ on quite a few subjects. I don't agree w/the way she is raising her children, for e.g.

    My brother lives a couple of hours away, and we don't see them very often. The family finds his wife somewhere between annoying and intimidating. Their son's behavior is finally calming down a bit, but he was a hellion for a while. Two years ago on Xmas he punched my DH in the face. My hubby picked him up and to sort of tease him, held him upside down (he always does this to kids and they seem to get a kick out of it), and then the little effer went to his mother and said his uncle tried to choke him. And she TOOK HIS SIDE.

    My mother has gotten uber conservative in her old age. She hates Obama, thinks George Bush was God's gift to politics, and thinks Habitat for Humanity "brings down the neighborhood." That's the tip of the iceberg. Still she has been very good to us, and she is, after all, my mom.

    We're pretty Bohemian in this household. It's an old house with a clawfoot tub, pretty messy, an art room instead of a dining room, a TV that only shows videos, a library instead of a living room. There's really no space to even have anyone other than, say, two people over for dinner.

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