Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fed Up

You know, I have been killing myself at work. I'm so tired. And I finally managed to negotiate a few days off work in return for all the extra hours I've worked in the last few weeks. I was really looking forward to having a bit of a rest and some time to myself, while also intending to get some things done around the house.

And I've done really well. I've cooked and filled the freezer, I've cleaned, I've scrubbed, I've done laundry, I've paid bills and organised repairs. I've done every bloody task on my endless things to do list and more. I've even managed to keep the Little Dude almost entirely with me while I did it all, in recognition of the amount of time the Big Dude has had to put in with him lately while I've been at work.

Needless to say, the whole plan for some rest and some time to myself quickly unravelled. But I've been nothing but affectionate and kind to the Big Dude.

But do I get an ounce of gratitude? No, I get sulking, rolled eyes, complaints and finally yelled at. Obviously I haven't done enough.

Sometimes it seems like the more I do for that man, the less appreciation I get. And I'm absolutely fucking sick of it.


Anonymous Rosie said...

If I say I understand how you feel - well, I do. I know how it is to do and do and give for someone who is ill. But they are so self-involved and self-centered that they neither notice all wonderful things you've done nor notice that you have reached the point of exhaustion. Wish there was a better answer. All you can do is voice YOUR needs and try to talk with them - when they are well enough to listen and you feel well enough to talk.

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Emily, this is a classic.

You might have thought you were doing things for him but his behavior alone tells me that you weren't. You were doing things that YOU thought were for him, but they weren't important to him.

It happens often at our house, but less often than it used to occur. MLBP would be spending incredible amounts of her valuable time doing things that I frankly didn't care about, all the while thinking that they were being done for me.

Example: spending oodles of time, I mean hours, balancing the checkbook down to the penny. I don't give a shit about that. I don't have plans for those pennies and my time is worth more than they are. She'd spend hours of time on shit like that, when we could have been recreating, either indoors or out, and there was no value to it.

That is an extreme but real example, and I'm not saying whatever you were doing was trivial in nature, but I can assure you that by his response, it wasn't important to him.

MLBP since moved on to doing things for the little ones that aren't important to them either, and I've learned to make a big deal out of stuff that she does which I would never do.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feeling unappreciated is never fun. I have been on both sides of that equation. I don't have any advice, just hopes that things feel better soon

8:18 AM  
Blogger F2 said...

Hugs for you, Emily.

I got tired just reading your list, girl... you did a lot for your home and family.

I don't mean to stir up a hornet's nest, here, but I've been really wanting to ask: Do you feel that Big Dude wants to get healthier? Does he (or you) realize that there are successful therapies and protocols for chronic fatigue -- that people have regained a level of function, if not total health? That, he too, could do so?

Just wondering. Having lived with someone having a similar sickness, I realize that often the constancy of "being sick" becomes normal, becomes -- in an odd way -- a contentment, a dependancy. And this can cause tons of resentment in the family. Just wondering if that was happening here.

8:23 AM  
Blogger aphron said...

I don't doubt it. You need a holiday.
I'm sorry, but I don't have any magical advice. It seems that nature hates a vacuum, so the doing gets stuck doing more.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

LBP - I take your point about doing things he values, but these are all things that need to be done. He doesn't value cooking per see but he hates it when there's no dinner, he doesn't value laundry in itself but he gets upset when there are no clean clothes, etc etc.

His quality of life would deteriorate drastically if he had to do these things for himself. The whole reason I'm doing them all by myself is so that he can have some time and energy spare to do things that *he* likes to do. And certainly, keeping the Little Dude with me so much was something he normally values.

You know, the fact is that I didn't really mind doing them. I had a good sense of achievement when I walked in the door.

But I did expect a "thank you, the house looks great" kind of comment and maybe a kiss. What I got was really crappy behaviour and yelling. The man has a temper and sometimes I just get very sick of it.

If he keeps this up, I am going to go on strike!

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Cat said...

Now there is an idea, going on strike sounds like an excellent idea. Maybe he has forgotten that these are things that must be done because you are always taking care of them...

1:08 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Yes, I think so, too.

Since there is food in the fridge and clean clothes for a few days, I might test the impact of a go slow... :-)

Yell at me = Cooking your own dinner!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Lickety Split said...

Sweetie...I wish I had some great advice on this and I don't. Some points to be made though...

1)Value the things you do for yourself. In other words, if he cannot value what you do, realize that there is inherent value to you.

2)If you want to please or impress the Big Dude, be very careful in what ways you choose to do so. As others have stated, tasks that seem important to you may not be so to him.

3)Be sure that you're speaking the same language and exchanging the same type of currency. Clearly the household will not run on its' own. Chores, however, don't always carry the same meaning for all involved.

That being said, I get the impression that things ARE important to him (like laundry and food) however he's not willing to expend the energy to do them or acknowledge them unless they are done. That's not good. I think that Big Dude's eyes need opening. Easy for me to say. Pack up and go away for a weekend and let the man fend for himself.

We had this scenario in my house (with me in your role) and after I left and refused to come home...she's been nothing but thankful ever since.

Just my .02. I could be totally nuts.

4:31 PM  
Blogger Fiona said...

Sometimes people take things (and other people) for granted. Remove what he takes for granted and he'll soon discover he has an awful lot to be appreciative for hon.

I'm sorry this is happening to you Emily, you deserve a lot better!


4:47 PM  
Blogger O272 said...

You're gonna run yourself into the ground, Em. :(

5:49 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

Dear Emily,

Sounds like your sandbox is not so fun right now either.

MAy I ask what your hubby is sick with? What's wrong with him that he is too sick for "naked time", or to help with the chores?

I hope today was better!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Well, you guys have inspired me.

Rosie - You made me think of all the times I have voiced my concerns but nothing has changed. Its time to try something else.

LBP - I think the tasks I do actually do mean something to the Big Dude. Its just that, generally speaking, he doesn't notice them unless they are NOT done.

But I'm sure you are right about ceasing to do things he apparently doesn't give a shit about. So I'm going to stop.

Finished Last- I have a little plan to make that happen.

F2 - Yes, I do think he wants to get well and tries to get well

What he doesn't do sometimes is do what he CAN actually do, ie although sometimes he can't do housework, he can say thank you to the person who has to do his share.

Aphron - Yes, I'm actively planning a holiday. Sort of a holiday at home.

Cat, Lickety Split and Fiona- Thank you, you have especially inspired me, as you will see!

Ali - He has a number of illnesses that are largely the result of war service. I don't like to list them here, because he is a prominent enough personality that that might lead a knowledgeable reader to identify him. But he really is ill.

But he also has a bad attitude at the moment. And that needs to be addressed.

3:45 AM  
Blogger Emily said...

O272 - Thanks also for your comment. You're right. I am very tired. And if I keep going like this, I might become ill myself.

So I am going to have a little rest...:-)

4:32 AM  

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