Hi ... coping with the illness of a loved one

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Alison
@alison
4 years ago
71 posts

Hi

My name is Alison and I'm new here. Sorry not to introduce myself properly but I'm having a bit of a tough time and need a bit of help.

I suffer with chronic fatigue syndrome which I suspect has some to connection to being an empath. The main way that empathy affects me is that if anyone is in trouble, I'm there. I just really want to help...I have a picture of me literally giving my energy to them. Over the last few years, I've learnt to stop doing this mainly by being aware that I can't help everyone and pulling back from situations.

Obviously this is much easier to do with people you're not heavily involved with emotionally. It's much harder with family. Because of the CFS, I've become quite isolated and rely heavily on my family and I worry about them. Again because of the CFS, I'm quite health aware so I try to do things like getting them to eat more healthily and then when they don't, I feel responsible.

My problem is that my Mum has just been in hospital with heart problems. They fixed her up and sent her home but she's been unwell this morning so they've just taken her back in in an ambulance.She's been unwell for quite awhile now and I've encouraged her to try various things to improve her health(I'm not an expert but I've learned a lot through my own experiences) but, for various reasons, she doesn't and it makes me feel guilty.

Basically I feel responsible for the health of those close to me. Why??? I'm confused by empathy because I'm not really aware of taking on other people's feelings like sadness or happiness. Instead I seem to hone in on suffering. I just hate to think of anyone in pain or suffering and I just want to help. Can anyone explain how this works? Perhaps if I can understand why I feel so guilty if will help me to deal with it all. It's as though it's my job to make people feel better and I feel bad because I'm unable to do it properly.

I know I'm not responsible for anybody's health or life but my own. I understand that my Mum is her own person and is entitled to make her own decisionsbut I care so much about herthat I'm finding it difficult to be rational. Does anyone else identify withthis?

I've been trying to build myself up energetically lately with my limited resources through yoga and meditation and I know all this worry is not helping me or Mum. One thing that does strike me is that whilst she's in the hospital, even though I miss her my sense of responsibility is relieved somewhat because somebody else is looking after her.

Thanks for reading

Alison

PS I am praying for my Mum. If anyone else feels like saying a prayer for her, I'd be very grateful. Thanks.


updated by @alison: 05/15/17 12:21:38PM
Dice
@dice
4 years ago
284 posts

Oh do I! My mother has been sick for many years.. it is hard for me to cope with her sadness after my dad's passing. She goes through the motions of life at this point. She recently had a heart attack and I have to watch this downward spiral.. it is one of the most difficult things I have had to face and accept.. I will say a prayer for your mom...and for you.

Chin up and feel the sunshine on your face,

Candice

Alison
@alison
4 years ago
71 posts

Thanks so much for the responses and prayers.

Does anybody have any thoughts why I feel SO responsible and how to deal. I've done quite a bit about boundaries and it's helped but am struggling because this is a close relationship.

Bruce
@bruce
4 years ago
207 posts

Hi Alison,a fewyears ago on here I came across a battleaxe who's motto was First Faith, Then Me, Then You. I say battleaxe but this is a term of endearmentfor a wise woman.

Is it possible for you to apply this to your situation? It isn''t selfish to put yourself before others maybe try centering a few things so that you are doing more stuff for you and not "suffering" because you put them first. A nice easy one to try is get up get washed and dressed for you, this sounds silly but get up at a time of your choosing, dress because it is your day if you want to have a pyjama day... have one lol. Try not to have two or three in a week but it's up to you HA HA HA HA HA HA Don't dress for the hospital, aunty Mable, doing next doors garden just dress for you. If you want to have breakfast eat because you want to not because it is expected, as long as you are sensible with your food then all is good.

We all carry the burden of responsibility but not all of us make responsibility our purpose.

I hope this helps, sending healing and love to you and yours.

With Love

Bruce

Alison
@alison
4 years ago
71 posts

Thanks Bruce/Jo for your replies.

I do work on boundaries and doing things just for me. I guess I'm looking more for an explanation as to why empaths feel so responsible.

Jo - thanks for your thoughts. This hadn't occurred to me and I've given it a lot of thought. My feeling is that it is my own guilt but who knows?! I still feel a lot confusion about this empathy business. Think I need to keep on reading and researching :-) Really glad that you've figured this out though. It must be a great comfort to know that yourMumis not distressed.

Thanks for the good wishes

Alison

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