Abby 11-19

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“suffers from formicophilia ”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

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#1
Nov 19, 2012
 
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 40-year-old woman, diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder after two suicide attempts. I have tried to get my parents and siblings to attend a session with me so they would understand my diagnosis, but all I hear is, "You don't need all those drugs. You're fine -- just a little different than the rest of us," and, "You have always been 'odd' and we like you that way."

I have given up trying to get their support, but my gifted 14-year-old nephew has been asking questions about my diagnosis. I'm not sure how much to tell him, especially about the suicide attempts, one of which landed me in the hospital.

Any advice about what I should tell him and how to get family support?-- HEARING VOICES IN ILLINOIS

DEAR HEARING VOICES: Tell your nephew the truth. If he is as intellectually gifted as you say, he will go online and start researching. Explain that your condition can be overwhelming at times, which caused you at one point to try to harm yourself, but that it is kept in check with medication.

Your relatives may be reluctant to admit that there is a mental illness in the family, which is why they refuse to allow your psychiatrist to confirm it. However, you may be able to find support from NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. With 1,200 affiliates, NAMI provides grassroots, self-help groups for people with mental illness and family members who are affected by it.

The website is www.namidotorg and I hope you will check it out. The organization was established in 1979, and it may be able to help you get through to your family that your problems are not imaginary.

DEAR ABBY: I host a lot of gatherings at my home and sometimes when I am on vacation. I put a lot of thought and effort into them. Some are themed parties, such as Valentine's Day or a luau.

Do you think it's rude for guests to show up 10 or more minutes early? I enjoy hosting, but I need the last few minutes before party time for me, so I can get dressed, light candles, put out the food or just plain relax for a few minutes. Your thoughts, please.-- WONDERING IN WESLEY CHAPEL, FLA.

DEAR WONDERING: I agree with you. Guests with good manners show up at the appointed time. While arriving 15 minutes late is acceptable, to arrive early is an imposition on one's host.

DEAR ABBY: My young married daughter, "Megan," has a problem with a neighbor. This woman has a family of her own, but is in Megan's business so much she is now actually taking my grandbaby out to eat at restaurants and seems to want people to think the baby is hers.

I have spoken to Megan about this. She doesn't like what is going on, but feels powerless to stop it. This neighbor does a lot for my daughter, and Megan doesn't want to hurt her feelings. What can she say that will put this woman in her place and make her realize that my daughter's family is not up for grabs?-- OHIO MOM

DEAR MOM: Megan is not "powerless." As the mother of that child, all she has to do is start saying no. If the neighbor asks for an explanation, she should reply that what's going on is making her uncomfortable. Period. There is no need to be unkind about it -- just firm.

Since: Jan 10

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#2
Nov 19, 2012
 
L1: " If he is as intellectually gifted as you say, he will go online and start researching." What? She didn't say that he's reading adult-level medical literature. S he merely said he's GIFTED. So shut up, Abby.

Look, lW, your family doesn't really care that much about the details. Just take your meds, get your therapy, and accept that your family is a bit flaky.

L2: It's VERY rude to show up early. If you get there early, people, sit in your car for 10 minutes.

L3: "She doesn't like what is going on, but feels powerless to stop it." Oh please. Megan is lying to you. She is FINE with this and she's just appeasing you.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#3
Nov 19, 2012
 

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I guess I would be one of LW1's family. I care less about the label a doctor put on a person and more about accepting them for whatever or whoever they are. I'd be more worried if my family didn't accept that I was "just a little odd". I wonder why LW is so invested that the family buy into the diagnosis when they seem to be treating her fine. Dissing someone about taking too many pills seem a small irritant

LW3 You raised a wuss .

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#4
Nov 19, 2012
 

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L1: LW seems to want people to understand her. Isn't that what we all want? It doesn't always happen. Take this knowledge to your therapist and learn to how to navigate this. Leave your nephew alone. It is not your job to educate him. Answer only the basic things he asked, but truthfully. Tell him to speak to his parents about it as well. It's not the LW's job to educate him.

L2: You KNOW what friends show up early. If I have a friend who does this, I make sure I am ready that much earlier so I have the time I need to relax before the party. If you're the great planner you say you are, you can plan this as well.

L3: You can't run her life. You can only build her up to have confidence to stand up to this person. You should have done that when she was younger. Why don't you ask her if the price she may be paying is worth the favors the neighbor is giving and why the neighbor's feelings are more important to her than her own child. That'll get her thinking. Maybe.

Since: Jan 10

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#5
Nov 19, 2012
 
PEllen wrote:
I guess I would be one of LW1's family. I care less about the label a doctor put on a person and more about accepting them for whatever or whoever they are. I'd be more worried if my family didn't accept that I was "just a little odd". I wonder why LW is so invested that the family buy into the diagnosis when they seem to be treating her fine. Dissing someone about taking too many pills seem a small irritant
And I most definitely am not interested in a therapy session to teach me about your diagnosis,w hen I'm not responsible for your care!

“A Programmer is not in IT!”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me!

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#6
Nov 19, 2012
 
1 Hey, at least your family likes you. Take your meds and realize were all abnormal.

2 Just dont answer the door, and what the heck does vacation have to do with anything?

3 So your upset that someone else is running your daughters life instead of you?

“Licensed to Ill”

Since: Aug 08

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#7
Nov 19, 2012
 
LW1: Your family probably doesn’t want to be so involved in your medical treatment.

LW2: I wouldn’t think someone rude for showing up early at my house, but I think it’s best to come no earlier than the scheduled time.

LW3: What can she say? How about "no?"

“Fort Kickass”

Since: Sep 09

Bloomington, IL

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#8
Nov 19, 2012
 
L1: What Toj said.

L2: Whoops. I showed up for bunco about 5 minutes early this week. I just answered the door so the hostess could finish prepping dinner.

L3: Well, that's just weird. Maybe the LW should help her daughter out so this neighbor doesn't have the opportunity.
Kuuipo

Monterey, CA

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#9
Nov 19, 2012
 

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LW2: If guests are coming from a distance, they may allow extra time for traffic delays and arrive earlier because traffic was lighter than they expected. Or they may know that parking in your neighborhood is tight and want to get a close spot. I don't think 10 minutes early is all that rude. 30 minutes, maybe. My close friends can come early and help.

Since: Jan 10

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#10
Nov 19, 2012
 
Kuuipo wrote:
LW2: If guests are coming from a distance, they may allow extra time for traffic delays and arrive earlier because traffic was lighter than they expected. Or they may know that parking in your neighborhood is tight and want to get a close spot. I don't think 10 minutes early is all that rude. 30 minutes, maybe. My close friends can come early and help.
Yeah, I can see 10 minutes, and I arrived right at the starting time of a party once, and my friend said "Oh, thank god, I always worry until the first person shows up." Then she put me to work on finishing touches (which I was happy to do).

30 minutes is extreme, but I think most of us should be forgivign of 10 inutes.

“suffers from formicophilia ”

Since: May 09

Chicago, IL

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#11
Nov 19, 2012
 
2- I don't see the BFD in showing up a little early. They can help prepare. I need a hand getting the gimp in the harness anyway.

Since: Mar 09

United States

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#12
Nov 19, 2012
 
edogxxx wrote:
2- I don't see the BFD in showing up a little early. They can help prepare. I need a hand getting the gimp in the harness anyway.
HAHA!

I think it depends on the host/ess's relationship with the specific friend as well as how early they are.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#13
Nov 19, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
And I most definitely am not interested in a therapy session to teach me about your diagnosis,w hen I'm not responsible for your care!
Sometimes a therapist's word may carry more weihgt than a patient re-telling family the same thing. i htink my MIL should meet wiht SIL's therapist at least once to get a clue (i'll even give her a quarter to buy it) about what's really going on with SIL. MIL keeps trying to "help" and rebuild a relationship with SIL, and hubby has told her a couple times tath SIL is different from her experiences in the last year, and that she may never go back to how she was. But MIL keeps trying the same old ways to rebuild. it didn't work years ago, and it sure as hell won't work now...

I've been saying for YEARS that those two need family therapy, adn not faith-based, which is how some of them were leaning for a couple years.

Since: Jan 10

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#14
Nov 19, 2012
 
Aisle Sitter wrote:
<quoted text>
Sometimes a therapist's word may carry more weihgt than a patient re-telling family the same thing. i htink my MIL should meet wiht SIL's therapist at least once to get a clue (i'll even give her a quarter to buy it) about what's really going on with SIL. MIL keeps trying to "help" and rebuild a relationship with SIL, and hubby has told her a couple times tath SIL is different from her experiences in the last year, and that she may never go back to how she was. But MIL keeps trying the same old ways to rebuild. it didn't work years ago, and it sure as hell won't work now...
I've been saying for YEARS that those two need family therapy, adn not faith-based, which is how some of them were leaning for a couple years.
I guess I wouldn't want to meet with the therapists or doctors becuase I *get* mental illness. but this woman's family seems to not even believe these problems exist! Two suicide attempts isn't enough for them to take her issues seriously?

I bet they would be inclined to not believe what a professional told them, because they're willfully oblivious, it seems.

“It made sense at the time....”

Since: May 09

Schaumburg, IL

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#15
Nov 19, 2012
 
RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
I guess I wouldn't want to meet with the therapists or doctors becuase I *get* mental illness. but this woman's family seems to not even believe these problems exist! Two suicide attempts isn't enough for them to take her issues seriously?
I bet they would be inclined to not believe what a professional told them, because they're willfully oblivious, it seems.
i think i get it, at least get that it's a problem. and you're right, these folks seem oblivious. i'd be itnerested in hearing more about how the illness makes one act and why, so that i can re/act more appropriately.

SIL is a smoker, so wehn she gets wound up or people are driving her over the edge, she steps out. Soem of us realisze that she's blowing off steam, some think she's using again. since i realize she's stepping away or, really, just going for a smoke, i'll ask her if she wants company before following her outside. since SIL would disappear and use, one of her girls is suspicious and can get accusatory. getting a therapist to explain what's going on when SIL does this would probably carry more weihgt tahn SIL telling peopel what's going on.

She did burn some bridges and abuse some trust, but she's tryign to rebuild now. the girls are coming aroudn and startign to "get it' better, thank goodness. her mohter on the other hand will always be a problem for her i think. on the surface, she seems to mean well, but she just... doesn't... get... it... and also probalby has an agenda to keep herself smelling like roses.

Since: Jan 10

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#16
Nov 19, 2012
 
Oh, I didn't mean to imply some great knowledge about mental illness, I only meant to say that I understand it exists and it's more than just "quirky" or "eccentricity," as LW's family seems to think. Their denial is just weird.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

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#17
Nov 19, 2012
 
j_m_w wrote:
<quoted text>
HAHA!
I think it depends on the host/ess's relationship with the specific friend as well as how early they are.
I think it dpnds on what you do last minute. For me it is a personal clean up, make up, hair and putting on party clothes. No help with that, TYVM

“On Deck”

Since: Aug 08

French Polynesia

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#18
Nov 19, 2012
 
L1. Yeah, it's hard for normal people like me to understand mental illness.
I have a friend whose son has apparently gone bonkers. She told me the other day that he's suicidal, and I don't know what to say. So I said nothing and just acted casual.
This is true. He's of high school age and he's been punching holes in the walls and breaking furniture, and I don't know what else. But it's so bad that they had to pull him out of school too. He's tutored at home, by tutors I guess, who come to their house.
I just don't get it. I hope they don't read this....

Toj

“Equality”

Since: Jul 12

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#19
Nov 19, 2012
 

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RedheadwGlasses wrote:
<quoted text>
I guess I wouldn't want to meet with the therapists or doctors becuase I *get* mental illness. but this woman's family seems to not even believe these problems exist! Two suicide attempts isn't enough for them to take her issues seriously?
I bet they would be inclined to not believe what a professional told them, because they're willfully oblivious, it seems.
After the therapist meets with them. might help her deal with them giving the therapist insight. Maybe.

If a family member asked me, I'd want to help them when they are helping themselves also in a good way. I can't understand why someone would say no to a close relative.
Julie

Skokie, IL

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#20
Nov 19, 2012
 
loose cannon wrote:
L1. Yeah, it's hard for normal people like me to understand mental illness.
Fortunately, plenty of "normal people" are not ignorant aholes and *do* understand mental illness. You're obviously not one of them.

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