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Author Topic: Coping with the stress of a dysfunctional family  (Read 1550 times)

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Offline DanielMark

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  • Posts: 1,475
Coping with the stress of a dysfunctional family
« on: April 10, 2007, 08:21:44 AM »
Apologies in advance for the length of this but my mindís a little discombobulated this morning.

I love my relatives. They have a special way of making me feel totally sane.

My father has had a heart attack.

Easter Sunday afternoon my father was having chest pains and after aspirin didnít relieve them (get this) he walked himself a mile to the hospital. Oy.

I heard this from my mother on the phone last night and she went on and on about how stubborn he is and gave me several recent examples. She also told me he was prescribed medicine for high blood pressure last year, took it for two weeks then dumped the rest.

I agreed that heís always been stubborn and no one can tell him anything. I didnít know what else to say. I asked her if someone was staying with her and she said my older sister stayed last night but had to go back home today. My older sister also went to the hospital and gave the doctor there hell for not sending him immediately to another city where he will go for an angioplasty when that is set up. She also gave my father hell for walking to the hospital instead of taking a taxi. My sister has my fatherís ego, and always has.

Tomorrow morning I have the horrifying prospect of a meeting a new dentist and this is a lousy time to be thrown into the emotional debris of the past again.

If you knew my family's history and mine, you would understand the futility of trying to be involved with them in anything like a normal way. I know there are at least a couple of you here who can relate to that sentence without me having to explain. They operate on their own unique set of principles, and none of them make any sense. I see them as people to keep away from and not a ďfamilyĒ to me at all. I stay in touch with my mom, but thatís it. If that sounds insane to some of you who have good family relations, thatís because it is.

My father is 71 now. Heís still that frightened child needing total control (which my mother actually mentioned last night Ė surprise, surprise). Unfortunately he wonít accept that heís not the god he sees himself for being. Heís right and everyone else is wrong, including doctors. Everything my mom told me about (last night) only confirms this.

I care about him as a human being, but there is no actual love between us and never was. Any attempts Iíve made to get past that over the years have been met with outward indifference, his usual defence mechanism. Rational discussion Ė well any discussion at all really Ė is out of the question.

I asked my mother why he wasnít being sent to the Heart Institute here in Ottawa. Well, theyíve heard bad things about it. So heís going to some second rate hospital when he could come to the leading clinic for heart health in all of Canada all because theyíd rather listen to rumours than check out reality. My boyfriend Jimmyís brother had bypass surgery there last year and is doing well now. Like I say, they have their own unique ways of thinking.

He may have to get a stint. He may need bypass surgery. He may get himself so worked up that a second heart attack kills him.

I asked my mother to keep me up to date on what develops but other than that there is nothing I can do. Given our lifelong discord I certainly wonít be going to see him. That would give him a second heart attack for sure! I just hope this will scare enough sense into him that heíll listen to medical advice from now on.




Offline woodshere

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  • ain't no shame in my game
Re: Coping with the stress of a dysfunctional family
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2007, 08:41:39 AM »
I think there is no such thing as a functional family.

As far as this statement goes:  If that sounds insane to some of you who have good family relations, that's because it is.  I have to disagree.  Just because someone is defined as family simply because of blood lines doesn't mean they are what we know to be family.  Deciding how to interact with family members and what is best for you is my no means insane, but sounds to me very rational and sane.  I have a very similar situation with my dad and can understand your thinking completely.  Thank goodness we are able to pick our friends who do indeed become our family.

Good luck at the dentist,
"Let us give pubicity to HV/AIDS and not hide it..." "One of the things destroying people with AIDS is the stigma we attach to it."   Nelson Mandela

Offline Alain

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  • Posts: 680
  • I am.
Re: Coping with the stress of a dysfunctional family
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2007, 08:45:49 AM »

Thinking of you during these not so unfamiliar family situation.

Sending you energy and a big {{{{{HUG}}}}}, hopefully helping you staying focused and keeping well.

You are not alone.

Take care, Alain.

Offline DanielMark

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  • Posts: 1,475
Re: Coping with the stress of a dysfunctional family
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2007, 10:14:57 AM »
Thank you Alain and Woods. I appreciate the words of support. Iím making today a self-imposed day of rest.

The term "dysfunctional family" is overused I know, but to me it simply means a family that doesn't function well as a unit. Mine definitely qualifies by that definition. Thank goodness they all live too far away to come knocking on my door.





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