Author Topic: What do you all think of this?  (Read 15214 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #180 on: April 24, 2014, 05:01:55 PM »
But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?

I think what people are saying is, you can't necessarily rattle off a list of everything that might conceivably happen and be completely sure you've covered every eventuality. As in, "If my disability acts up, I might get back spasms that lay me out for three, days or it might be one day or four days, or maybe the meds will knock me out, or maybe I'll break out in hives from the meds, or maybe I'll get nausea from the meds, or..." and then if she's laid out for two days, I think some people would find her in the wrong because she listed one and three and four but not specifically two. I can totally see a situation where a reaction isn't so out of the ordinary as to warrant an ER trip, but not necessarily the most common reaction she has or one she thought to list in exact specifics.

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #181 on: April 24, 2014, 05:13:11 PM »
I get that the GF answered the mom's questions about the disability and volunteered some more information...despite how intrusive that felt.  I am still not putting blame on the parents.  Not because I think the GF should have said more (it's not what she said but the attitude/expectation she came with that I don't like), but because the person that communicated the need to stay one more night didn't even understand the severity of the situation.  If the person asking the question doesn't even know that she's in too much pain to walk, how in the world do you expect that the parents are going to get it? It makes absolutely no sense to blame them when it's almost impossible that they had a clue how bad her situation was.

See, to me, this argument makes no sense. It assumes that there are "magic words" that GF or BF could have used that would have made the parents "get" the GF's situation, and to become welcoming and hospitable. I don't think such words exist. From what I've read, the parents had made up their minds to dislike GF and consider her a user or lazy or whatever, and nothing anyone could have said would have changed their minds. I just don't get how the GF communicating better what her disability may entail could have helped the situation at all.
Exactly.  Some of us have tried for 10 or 20 or 30 years to find the magic words that would make our BF/DH's parents like and understand us.  There are no such words.  If your Boyfriend/Husband's mother has made up her mind to dislike you, nothing that you will ever do or say can change that.  The BF's mother in this account has made up her mind that the GF would be a millstone around his neck, and is doing her level best to drive her away.

My MIL was one such person.  She started disliking me before she even met me; I ran across a letter from her to DH in a pile of paperwork after we married.  She said some really hateful things, including that I was sleeping around while we were separated and would probably be pregnant with another man's child when we got married.  (I was in Texas, finishing school, and he was stationed in Alaska.  MIL was in New York and had never met me.)

And in an exact parallel to this letter, we were visiting once when I was heavily pregnant with DD1, their first grandchild.  I was in severe pain in my hips and pelvis from what was probably my first fibromyalgia flare combined with the loosening ligaments pre-birth, and could barely walk for the pain.  Climbing stairs was agony, to the point that I had to stop after every 3rd or 4th step to let it ease and gather enough energy to go on.  MIL saw this, and mentioned to DH that I was "walking like an old woman." And her loving response?  She tried to tell me that the downstairs powder room was "only for guests and family" and that I should go upstairs to the main bathroom when I needed to pee.  (At that point in my  pregnancy, that was about every hour.)  I ignored her, and  used the powder room anyway.

I think that's exactly what the BF's mother here did.  She dislikes the GF, thinks she's a burden, and can't wait to get rid of her.  She only tolerated her during the holiday because that was the only way to make her son stay, and now that Xmas was over, hopes to break them up by criticizing her and driving her away.  That the GF was in pain was a bonus.  Cause her enough pain, and she'll see that she can't possibly be the right mate for Sonnyboy.

I'm sorry to say this, but these arguments are the most frustrating.  I won't argue that your personal experience was horrible and will assume that you have done everything in your power to understand and come to terms with your MIL.  I feel bad that you have such a bad relationship with her and that she was cruel to you. 

I have also had bad experiences with mean people.  And I'm sure, that like me, you have also had good expriences with wonderful people, and experiences with people that you didn't like initially, but now have a good relationship with.

I do not think, that it's ok to assume that everyone is horrible based on the horrible person you know.  It would be like me telling you that you are wrong about your MIL, because mine is an angel.  They are different people.  Why not draw from a time where you were wrong about someone to see where things might get better here?

Of course, I understand that we draw from our personal experiences when we react to posts and posters and it does seem that those with chronic pain are often misunderstood. I think I can even try to be more understanding in the future.  That being said, I do not agree with convincing posters that there's no hope to salvage relationships where there seems to be more misunderstandings than anything else.

At this point, the GF has interacted with mom a total of 3 times over two months.  And things only seemed to get "bad" on the last visit after GF stayed in bed for two days.  All her communication with mom seems to be through BF and it doesn't appear that BF is all that knowing about what's really going on himself, so trusting his communication is a bit suspect, at best.  This is not 30 years of interaction and abuse such as what you experienced.  Maybe the mom really is evil, but at this point she doesn't know and she won't know unless she decides to clear the air.  I think it's far better to try to communicate now that there is still a possiblility for reconciliation, rather than assume the worst and relegate herself to a life of not getting along with her BF's family.  If talking doesn't work out, at least she knows for sure.

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #182 on: April 24, 2014, 05:16:31 PM »
But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?

I think what people are saying is, you can't necessarily rattle off a list of everything that might conceivably happen and be completely sure you've covered every eventuality. As in, "If my disability acts up, I might get back spasms that lay me out for three, days or it might be one day or four days, or maybe the meds will knock me out, or maybe I'll break out in hives from the meds, or maybe I'll get nausea from the meds, or..." and then if she's laid out for two days, I think some people would find her in the wrong because she listed one and three and four but not specifically two. I can totally see a situation where a reaction isn't so out of the ordinary as to warrant an ER trip, but not necessarily the most common reaction she has or one she thought to list in exact specifics.

Who's saying that you need to?  No one said anything about being that specific or giving that much detail. But if you have a condition that affects how you interact with people and affects the level of hospitility and accommodations you'll need, it only makes sense to let the host know, especially when they don't know you well and haven't experienced your condition to that extent before.  I don't think saying "I have chronic pain" is enough detail, but that doesn't mean you have to go the other extreme either.

Yvaine

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #183 on: April 24, 2014, 05:18:45 PM »
But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?

I think what people are saying is, you can't necessarily rattle off a list of everything that might conceivably happen and be completely sure you've covered every eventuality. As in, "If my disability acts up, I might get back spasms that lay me out for three, days or it might be one day or four days, or maybe the meds will knock me out, or maybe I'll break out in hives from the meds, or maybe I'll get nausea from the meds, or..." and then if she's laid out for two days, I think some people would find her in the wrong because she listed one and three and four but not specifically two. I can totally see a situation where a reaction isn't so out of the ordinary as to warrant an ER trip, but not necessarily the most common reaction she has or one she thought to list in exact specifics.

Who's saying that you need to?  No one said anything about being that specific or giving that much detail. But if you have a condition that affects how you interact with people and affects the level of hospitility and accommodations you'll need, it only makes sense to let the host know, especially when they don't know you well and haven't experienced your condition to that extent before.  I don't think saying "I have chronic pain" is enough detail, but that doesn't mean you have to go the other extreme either.

Ok, then, I'm misunderstanding your argument. What would you recommend that a GF say, in this scenario? What would be considered "enough"?

Vall

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #184 on: April 24, 2014, 05:24:28 PM »
The thing is, the BF pays his parents rent and by all descriptions, is a lodger in their home.  He has his own food, he eats alone, his bedroom is also his study and living room.  That means he AND his guest should have unfettered access in the area of the house he rents without input from his parents.

He was being polite to ask them if he could have a guest, but he *should* have been able to have his GF stay with him, in his room, with no repercussions.
It was polite but it could have been part of his rental agreement with his parents.  Perhaps in your home, BF could make these decisions about his guests, and that would be fine. Maybe in my home, I wouldn't allow romantic overnight guests at all.  BF's parents also have the right to set the standards that they want in their own home, just as we do.  Since BF seemed comfortable with his parents making decisions about his overnight guests each time, it could very well be a part of their rental agreement, which is between BF and his parents.  Our standards do not apply to their home.

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #185 on: April 24, 2014, 05:29:17 PM »
But that's not what I want to argue. What I don't understand is that you do seem to understand what can happen (even if you don't know what will trigger it) and that these things can happen often enough that it doesn't surprise you. I therefore don't understand why you wouldn't feel it necessary to tell someone that is hosting you, that if you do have to stay in bed for a few days, it's not because of them but because of a chronic condition you have?

I think what people are saying is, you can't necessarily rattle off a list of everything that might conceivably happen and be completely sure you've covered every eventuality. As in, "If my disability acts up, I might get back spasms that lay me out for three, days or it might be one day or four days, or maybe the meds will knock me out, or maybe I'll break out in hives from the meds, or maybe I'll get nausea from the meds, or..." and then if she's laid out for two days, I think some people would find her in the wrong because she listed one and three and four but not specifically two. I can totally see a situation where a reaction isn't so out of the ordinary as to warrant an ER trip, but not necessarily the most common reaction she has or one she thought to list in exact specifics.

Who's saying that you need to?  No one said anything about being that specific or giving that much detail. But if you have a condition that affects how you interact with people and affects the level of hospitility and accommodations you'll need, it only makes sense to let the host know, especially when they don't know you well and haven't experienced your condition to that extent before.  I don't think saying "I have chronic pain" is enough detail, but that doesn't mean you have to go the other extreme either.

Ok, then, I'm misunderstanding your argument. What would you recommend that a GF say, in this scenario? What would be considered "enough"?

I answered that several pages ago and am too lazy to go back and get it.

Enough would be something like "I've hurt myself due to the spinal injury I told you about. I feel bad, but I have to go lie down and I don't know when I'll be able to get up again.  I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause you, but when I'm in this much pain, there's nothing else I can do."

or before you get hurt

"I understand that we'll be visiting with family today and I'm really looking forward to that. Just to let you know, that sometimes sitting for long periods of time causes me severe pain. I'll get up and walk laps around the house as often as possible and hopefully everything will be ok, but if for some reason I become quiet and leave for several hours/days, I just want you to know why and not worry about me. I'm sorry if this is an inconvenience and I appreciate your understanding and hospitality."

or (to use other examples people wrote)

"I would love to go for a walk with you. I've been doing better with walking lately, but with my condition, sometimes I just have to stop and rest without warning.  I just want to let you know before we start and I hope that's ok."

or

"This hollondaise sause looks delicious. I'd love to try some, but please just a little bit as lemon tends to not agree with me and I want to be able to enjoy our conversation after dinner."

turnip

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #186 on: April 24, 2014, 05:45:12 PM »
I am perfectly willing allow that the parents may be horrible, selfish people who are unfairly prejudiced towards the disabled.  It happens.

However if that is the case - than the only advice anyone could possibly have for the GF is to get out of the relationship before it gets worse.  I think there's little-to-no chance that the BF is going to 'see the light' and turn into her defender, as he already lives with and defers to his parents and doesn't seem in any hurry to change that.  So GF was perfectly polite, the parents were rude, and the BF isn't worth wasting any more time on.

If we want to consider that the parents might be decent people and this relationship might be salvaged, then I think it is useful to look at this from the parents POV and think of ways that the GF can communicate to them in the future so they might better their relationship.  Perhaps the parents should have understood the difficulties of pain management, but if they didn't and they were mostly puzzled because a guest seemed to want to have nothing to do with them then asked to stay longer, than perhaps there's a way the GF can speak to them so they understand better.


zyrs

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #187 on: April 24, 2014, 05:59:25 PM »
We have made a lot of assumptions in this thread.  We assume that GF didn't really tell Mom about her disability, we assume that BF lives with his parents because he needs to and not because they need him to.  We assume that because "he didn't realize just how bad it was until she tried to walk" that she wasn't forthcoming enough.  We assume that because she had pain the next day that she wasn't pro-active in trying to keep from having it.

But we don't have enough information to assume these things.  It could be that GF was grilled for a long time about her disability and that the 'private medical information' she was not interested in divulging was scrabble-related, it could be that BF living with his parents is the only way that they can afford to keep their house.  It could be that she was very forth-coming about the pain and it wasn't until she tried to walk that BF stopped being clueless about how much pain she was in.  It could be that she did everything she could think of without being unsociable to keep from having pain in the first place.

We weren't there, all we have to go on is what the OP has told us in their posts.

Based on that I think that there should have been better communication from all parties, but I do get the impression that BF's mom and dad really do not want BF to be with GF.  BF seems to be clueless and needs to stop telling GF what his parents are saying about her.  GF, if she continues to visit BF, should take this opportunity to check out the various lodgings in the area for comfort and find the one that works best for her.  This has the added benefit of keeping her away from his parents so they have nothing to complain about.




bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #188 on: April 24, 2014, 06:07:08 PM »
^^^I agree that we are all making assumptions to base our arguments on. I find it interesting that all your examples are assumptions we are making about the GF, but not assumptions we are making about mom and dad and their motivations.  Since this whole thread is based on the GF POV, I'm sure those 'unknowns' could have been spelled out more clearly.  They are easier questions to answer and one the OP hasn't felt, yet, to say "Oh, yeah, this is the specific thing that was said. Let me tell you exactly what it was." Another assumption that I'm making is that she either posted here, because she legitimately wanted some perspective and wasn't entirely sure about her actions and the parents actions (which leaves room for the perspective some of us are trying to offer her), or she just wanted validation for her own feelings and to be told she's perfect.  I'm assuming the first as the second one would be insincere.

What we'll never have is the mom and dad's POV, because they will never come here to tell us or clarify.  Those are the assumptions that I'm having the hardest time with.  Like many keep saying, it would do the GF good to clear those up and attempt to salvage the relationship as the alternative (and current status quo) is pretty bad when it comes to the future success of her relationship

TootsNYC

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #189 on: April 24, 2014, 06:08:00 PM »
One of the toughest, toughest things about pain is that it is not visible.

Sometimes people get pale from the pain, but for lots of people, it just hurts.

There's no truly objective way to measure it or to observe it.


ladyknight1

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #190 on: April 24, 2014, 06:10:49 PM »
Until you walk a mile in someone's shoes, you don't know their life. That can be applied to all involved in this scenario.

If I were GF? I would not set foot in the parent's house again. To me, they have shown their true selves. I would also be questioning the future of the relationship with BF and whether or not he would be in my life.

And for those who point out they have only known GF for two months, I don't see how that is part of the equation.

Tea Drinker

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #191 on: April 24, 2014, 06:44:01 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised if GF had been trying to push through despite the pain, because even if neither BF nor his parents explicitly told her to, there's general cultural pressure, and an idea that it's weak or childish to not do things because they hurt. (Maybe it is weak: weakness is not necessarily a character flaw, sometimes it's just a fact about a person's body, like being tall or having green eyes.) Or, along similar lines, that she felt that it was inappropriate to talk about being in pain, even if she was having to stay in bed because of it.

We don't know why BF's mother was asking intrusive questions about GF's health, but it might have left GF feeling judged, as if she had to produce the "right" answers in order to have her disability taken seriously.

I generally think that what I need to know in order to make accommodations is what the accommodations are. Sometimes the symptoms are relevant; the underlying diagnosis is less likely to be so. A good friend of mine happened to mention, the last time I visited her, the physical issue that is the cause of a significant part of her chronic pain. I hadn't asked because it didn't matter and didn't really feel like my business until she chose to make it so. What matters in my friendship with her is that she sometimes needs to stay in bed because of back pain, not always predictably, and she often uses a cane to walk, and is never going to run for a bus, and may say "Tea Drinker, slow down" if we're walking together.
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bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #192 on: April 24, 2014, 06:58:55 PM »
Until you walk a mile in someone's shoes, you don't know their life. That can be applied to all involved in this scenario.

If I were GF? I would not set foot in the parent's house again. To me, they have shown their true selves. I would also be questioning the future of the relationship with BF and whether or not he would be in my life.

And for those who point out they have only known GF for two months, I don't see how that is part of the equation.

Why?  It's not so much the length of time but the amount of interaction.  They've had very little.  So, in that small amount of time there's not really much room to understand too much about each other. They got off on the wrong foot with a miscommunication for the purpose of the visit, had one uncomfortable converasation about GF's disability, and then half the third visit the GF was in too much pain to get out of bed.  If they didn't spend that much time getting to know each other or understanding each other, then how can either be so sure that 1) GF is not good for BF and is anti-social and rude or 2) Mom and Dad are evil, horrible people who were intent of torturing GF?

Why couldn't they take the time to talk and see if their initial reactions to each other are correct or not?  Again, if this was just a random person, then who cares, but being that this is BF's family, I think a little bit of effort is worth it, right?

ladyknight1

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #193 on: April 24, 2014, 07:09:37 PM »
Not after that experience, IMO.

bah12

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Re: What do you all think of this?
« Reply #194 on: April 24, 2014, 07:20:39 PM »
Not after that experience, IMO.

That's too bad.  I think the GF would be missing out on an opportunity to be the bigger person and possibly makes things better, or to at least go about her life knowing she tried.