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Inlaws Don't Know I'm Sick...they Think I'm An A'hole


beachgirl

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So, there's this huge wedding. I'm doing my best to attend functions...but I've been getting exhausted and needing down time. My husband doesn't want his family to know that I'm a mental case...I don't blame him...they talk crap about their own family..so imagine what they'd say about me.

So today I spent all day shopping, getting clothes ready, ironing, getting ready... this is EXHAUSTING for me...

Then, there was a surprise bachelorette party that I didn't know about. I was so exhausted from everything else, that I just couldn't do it. Everyone else went and they all think I'm a bi@#$ now because I'm the only one who didn't go.

I wish I could tell them what's really going on, but they really gossip/judge alot about one of their own family who is bipolar...I've heard them say nasty things about him.

They are gonna ask me why I couldn't go. What should I say?

Edited by AquaViolet
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Beachgirl,

I can understand the helpless feeling where you cannot tell your family members what you are going through. It happened to me as well. What I learned though, is that even though they are your "family members", if all they are going to do is to trash talk you and make wrong judges about you, then they are not the ones worth spending your time with/on. Throughout my depression I have come to realize that worrying over these things made me no good. They definitely didn't help me, but instead just worsened my situation. Those people are not ones you should be in contact with, because there are way more people out there that's worth your time - those people who appreciates you, that actually cares and accepts.

It's not about them, its about you.

Best wishes,

Sarah

Edited by SarahBruns
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Frangi,

Thanks for the hugs. :)

They've just had TONS of get-togethers and I've used the "I'm not feeling well" to death. Plus, my MIL knows better because she lives nearby and I've been avoiding stuff like the plague, so she already thinks I'm a horrible person.

My husband tries to be supportive, but I'm starting to think that I'm just too screwed up to deal with his HUGE family and the CONSTANT get togethers...birthdays, anniversaries, births, weddings, showers, reunions, funerals...

I just want a nice, quiet, existance. Zen-like.

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Sorry to hear of your situation, I can understand what you mean, my husbands parents are unaware of my illness as they simply believe mental health issues don't exist. I finished work over a year ago due to my illness and they still think I have a job! It is just far easier to lie to them than having them talk about me all the time which would make me feel worse.

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Hi, I can totally empathize with you. My IL's hate me because I am totally anti-social, and because they treat my husband like he's still 15. Seriously, I think if MIL had it her way, he'd be divorced and living with her with our daughter. I haven't been given an official diagnosis, but with my Dr throwing around "panic attacks", I'm guessing it has to do with that. Anyway, I could never tell my IL's either. They talk crap about someone in their family with mental issues too. The only way I can deal with my MIL is to basically brush her off as long as I can....Sort of just let her think I am in a bad mood. Eventually she just quits b****ing until the next time she finds something to complain about.

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Beachgirl -- you don't know that 'everyone thinks you're a b** because you didn't go to the party. I wouldn't assume anything. They may not have even noticed that you weren't there. I'm not saying this to put you down --- but quite often we over-estimate the impact our presence or lack thereof has on others.

What matters more? Your mental and physical health --- or your in-laws opinions of you? Yes, you would prefer that they like you, but as long as you are respectful and polite to them in turning down invitations there is no law in the world that says you have to put yourself second, and their wishes first. You don't have to give any excuse in turning down an invite. Let's say you had no disorder you were struggling with at all: you still might choose to not attend all of their functions. Even many non-depressed people don't want to go out all the time to obligatory family functions, especially in-law functions. You can say "you know I adore you guys, but I'm feeling maxed out on social events right now." or "I have other things I need to do right now." "I appreciate the invite but I don't like to go out this much and need some unwinding time at home" .

You don't need to say you're not feeling well. How about "no I'm feeling great, but I need to not go out so much in order to feel that way."

If they don't like you because you don't attend every last social event of a large extended family, then to heck with them. I would have a hard time being in the presence of people who are critical of someone who has a common mental health problem like depression or bipolar. I would be tempted to say something like "Gosh I can't believe you're all running down someone who has a common serious illness. Did you know 1 out of 10 Americans will have problems with depression at some point in their lives?".

or "Oh, I just thought you said blah blah blah. I must have misheard you because I know you wouldn't be criticizing someone who is ill. That would be pathetic." Put them on the spot.

ellemint

Edited by ellemint
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Ellemint,

I agree it is rough when I hear people talking negatively about mental illness.

They were shocked that I didn't go to the party. Literally shocked. Sorry if it didn't come through in my post, I wasn't assuming.... I was passing on what happened. And the looks on their faces said it all. Not to mention, they were giving me heck about it today too and being a little more unfriendly.

They are actually really nice people...it's just hard to fit in. They pitch in and help each other with everything...cooking, decorating...etc. And I'm happy if I can get up, shower, get dressed.

I agree that my mental health is more important. I just wish I could find a happy medium. I also wish they didn't gossip so much.

This family is extremely tight-knit and saying you just don't want to go doesn't fly

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Well then you have two options. Go and feel tired. Or don't go and feel they are unhappy with you. Personally I would not go and if asked to attend I would just say sorry I can't make it. No reasons, No excuses. Nobodies business.

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He's trying to be supportive.

Supportive of whom? you or his extended family?

Look, I know that some of the suggestions you're getting here might seem unfathomable to you. You're in the middle of this situation --- the rest of us are not. So we are looking at it from a distance, and we see options for you that you don't believe you have. But you DO have options other than just forcing yourself to go to endless family functions or wimping out of them and feeling guilty ---- you really do. I would encourage you to try to step back from the situation mentally, maybe pretend a close friend had this problem. What would you suggest to them?

You DO have options. Depression is a serious illness. Exhausting yourself with constant social functions or feeling burdened by guilt and shame when you don't go are not going to help. If you were fighting cancer would you feel obligated to attend every last social event? Would you feel guilty if you missed a few? I would hope not. You would be focusing on fighting the cancer and taking care of yourself. There is no biopsy for depression, but that doesn't mean it isn't a serious disorder that you need every ounce of your strength to fight, and as much support as your husband can provide to help you do this.

ellemint

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