Stress from Outsiders

My particular stresses come from my job and from friends. My job is somewhat understanding of my care giving responsibilities but the stress comes in the summer and at holiday periods when I'm forced to cover for multiple coworkers who take off while I cannot take any extra vacation days because I need all of them for my parent's medical issues. So the workload at my job in summers and around holidays is usually stuck on me and that is stressful. It is very stressful to hear coworkers bragging about their 4 day weekends at their shore houses when I'm lucky to get 1/2 hour sitting in the sun on my deck...

Secondly, my friends have NO understanding of my situation whatsoever and that is stressful. I can't tell you how many so-called friends dumped me when I couldn't go out with them anymore. Or constantly talk about their trips and vacations and cruises and what have you, whereas I haven't had a vacation in over 5 years. My friends never ask me about what my day is like; they have no clue that I get up at 4:30 AM, try to squeeze in as many chores as possible before leaving for work at 5:45 AM, work a 9-10 hr day, put up with a 40 minute troublesome commute on 2 lane roads, then stop at my mother's for an hour and take care of everything over there. Get home by 6 pm, take out the trash, clean,
wash dishes, cut my own grass, laundry, etc. Collapse in bed at 9 PM.

On Saturdays I'm up at 6 AM and do cooking for the week, errands and chores before going to my mother's. Put in a full day at my mother's, take her food shopping, church, sometimes clean for her.

Please--do not want anyone telling me that I "should" get paid services, not an option and not what this post is about. I'm just saying that THIS IS MY LIFE, this is what I have to do, and that's fine, I'm able to handle all of these tasks. But it's my friends' attitudes which bug me! They never ask me about all of it, never show any empathy, never offer to meet me near my house for coffee, just expect ME to drive an hour or so to see THEM. One of my friends actually got on my case about not showing enough enthusiasm about making more frequent social plans with her (how much enthusiasm can one muster when one's only free day is drained by a chattery self centered boring girlfriend who hasn't a clue what one is going through). It is just their lack of interest that bugs me and stresses me out. They just think that life is all about the latest art show at the museum or about which movie they saw or which trip they took, never a kind word about my burdens. I have pretty much broken off seeing all of them.

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Your own Life and New Friends.
by: Kimba

I am writing in response to your situation. The sad fact is no one really understands what your going through, apart from you. I am going through a situation with elderly care (long story) and it seems very very few people actually want to understand or listen. I think people are so wrapped up in their own worlds that they can't see beyond their nose. Your "friends" will only understand when they go through this.

For many years I have tried to have baby and all my friends never understood how hard it was for me to watch them having many babies, instead I heard "oh, we weren't even trying for our fourth one!" and I just wanted to punch them in the face. But instead you smile and say oh congratulations!

So yes, it sucks! But the fact is you do need friends, maybe new and better friends. But you need a social life. You can not let the care giver role be the only and most dominant role in your life. Your life! Find something you love doing and do it, you will find friends with the same interests. Like go and do yoga or something near you and build connections.

Good luck

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