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I always smile say "that's nice and if you have that much free time, why don't you stop by Aunt ----- house and fix her some dinner, or I need someone to sit with Uncle Bill on Saturday afternoon." it shuts them and they scurry back to their rat holes.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Bridger46164

Wow, I feel some replies are almost dissing you for feeling as you feel; I get that when one is 'grounded' it can seem thoughtless of others to go on and on about their adventures. They don't realize it can come off as bragging! I appreciate you're wanting Tactful ways to communicate to them; sometimes you just have to be blunt, but maybe try to do it with Humor: "Take me with you!' Of course you begin to feel envious of their apparent 'freedom'. They may think their stories are entertaining for you when you feel instead 'left out' of the fun; it's OK to just tell them that: "I'm glad you're able to get out and do fun stuff but it's hard for me to not feel my life is dull and overwhelming by comparison." See how they react and then ask for help; it could be a good 'wakeup call' for them. In a way, they need the tact to not go on and on about themselves, to be sensitive to your situation.
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Reply to Santalynn
bundleofjoy Sep 19, 2021
hugs :).

you wrote:
“sometimes you just have to be blunt”

personally, i would indeed choose to be blunt and direct.

I totally get where you're coming from. Sometimes we all can get to a point when we just cannot tolerate hearing about everyone's wonderful times and how they are out there living their best lives and all that.
There's a name for people who brag about their fabulous trips and all the wonderful things they have to others who have very little and are in miserable situations. Those people were called show-offs. Their "let them eat cake" attitude when it comes to far less fortunate than themselves can cause great resentment. I understand how you feel and have often been there myself.
These family members of yours can go and talk about their wonderful trips and all the fun things they do to their friends.
If they had any class this is exactly what they'd do. They would not throw it in your face when you're struggling. This is also called kicking 'em when they're down. No need.
When times were good for me and I would go visit my cousin and her family who were struggling, I didn't talk about how I just dropped $300 on getting my hair done. Or how much I spent on the designer clothes I was wearing, or the wonderful spa day I just had. What I would do is insist that she let ME TAKE her and the kids out. Then I'd want to hear all about the kids and what they were doing in school and those kids could talk your ear off. My cousin too. When family comes to visit, it's supposed to be just that. A family visit. If they don't know well enough that they shouldn't brag, well then that's on them not you.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver

Why wouldn't you want to hear about these things from your family? Is it because you are perhaps overwhelmed in your caregiving for your husband and don't get to do many fun things anymore because of that, and are a bit jealous or envious?
I guess I'm not understanding why you wouldn't want to be happy for your family members who are fortunate to be able go and do as they please, just because you may not be able to yourself. You may need to elaborate a bit more.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
Suffocating Sep 19, 2021
You obviously are not a sole caregiver if you were you would never grant the answer you did. Do you want to be the person who does nothing? sees no one?and just worries about the next correct thing to do and know no one cares and theres no one coming through that door to help?
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You don't "tactfully" tell them anything, it will be water off a duck's back. Here are some options:

(1) Be a downer. If they talk about the great film they saw you say "Isn't it well for some, I can't sit down and watch TV for 10 minutes without having to get up due to some disturbance here". If they talk about their trips say "Isn't it well for some, I consider myself lucky if I can get half an hour alone to go and do grocery shopping, pharmacy runs etc.".

(2) Go nuclear. Shout "Will you ever STFU about your trips, movies etc., I'm fed up and burned out from doing everything on my own and I haven't gone anywhere for the last X years because of that!" Throw something in their direction for good measure (a pair of socks or something you won't have to clean up after, you have enough to do as it is).

(3) If you want to be a bit "nicer" say "it's great to hear about your movie/trip etc. but that's something I haven't been able to do for a long time. I'd really appreciate it if you could spend a few hours or an evening filling in for me so I can go see a movie or take a trip to the hairdressers, beauty salon etc. for a little down time." If they look askance or don't volunteer next time they start going on about movies and trips do option (2).

Seriously you have to look after yourself. Nobody else will do it. Is it possible to get respite care? You can always ask family to contribute towards it, they have money to spend on movies and trips so they can give you a bit to help you out if they aren't willing to pitch in themselves.
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Reply to Elle1970
Momheal1 Sep 20, 2021
Lol I like the nuclear because it made me laugh and validates we have all been there and I also love when we can all make each other laugh 😊
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Maybe use those conversations as a lead in to them coming to help caregive, so that you can get away for a short vacation, or go see that movie?
For a local friend say, that does sound like a good movie. I'd love to go see it too. Could you stay with Mom for a couple of hours next week sometime so I can go?

If it's a trusted family member, you can at least ask for a long weekend at maybe do a stay cation in a local nice hotel or nearby city, so you could still get back if needed in an hour or two, but still relax.
Im assuming that this is a caregiver issue, not money. But what do you want them to talk about, if not their life? But you can clue them in a little that you are having difficulties, if that's it, and maybe they would tone it down. But most people aren't rubbing your nose in it, they are just excited about their vacations etc.

If you or your loved one are involved with a church, often they have members who would come sit for free, while you shop or go for a meal, or a walk in the park.

Often people don't know how to help, and they say whatever I can do... and people don't take them up on it. Most friends/family ,even busy ones, would love to help. Be specific. Bring or order you a meal. Sit with mom, so I can do laundry. Can your teenager mow my lawn? Come visit with me, so I can have company while I take care of mom.
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Reply to Gracie61

Well if you can't beat them, join them. You listen with enthusiasm to all their anecdotes and bulletins, and in return they listen attentively to the blow-by-blow details of your day. Fair enough?

You never know. If they've any sense or tact, this might spur two or more of them into offering to sit with your DH while you go to the movies - assuming that would help. Would it?
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to Countrymouse

What would you like them to talk about? I can't afford a river cruise in Europe but I was thrilled to hear about my cousin's trip. People talk about what they know. You are free to talk about what you are going through.

For those who posted that if they had time for a trip then they should have time to help out...really? So since my cousin can afford the river cruise maybe she should put some funds aside for me so I can go too? Sounds ridiculous, doesn't it.

When I was going through a terrible divorce it was all I could talk about. After a while, my friends got sick of hearing about it. You can't dump bad things on others and keep expecting them to come back for more. How many here have heard posters saying they lost friends when they became full-time caregivers. Of course they did, because they no longer had the time to put any effort into being a friend. If every meeting with a friend revolves around you telling them how hard you have it and then you don't want to hear about their lives...especially if you are going to begrudge them from having something good happen, then they will be there less and less.

Please understand I totally understand the life you are living. I would have in-depth conversations with my assistant regarding caregiving and how soul-sucking it was. I could do this with her because she was going through the same thing. I didn't have these conversations with my friends because they weren't going through this and wouldn't comprehend. With that said, it did not stop me from having normal conversations with friends and being happy for them when a good thing happened.

Think of it this way, would you rather they didn't come around at all?
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Reply to lkdrymom

For the love of all that is good, I get you! I had one friend, with whom I'm barely speaking now, who for several years was sending me pictures when she went somewhere on vacation--Italy, the shore, really anywhere. I was confused by it--are you sharing this because you want me to see the world still exists without me out there? Are you sharing this because you wish we could be having fun? Are you tormenting me with it because I haven't been to a beach, vacation, away for at least three or four years? What gives? I know it sounds petty and probably ridiculous but I DON'T CARE. What's more is we really don't talk very much anymore, and I really don't miss her at all.
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Reply to Tynagh
BurntCaregiver Sep 20, 2021

It does not sound petty at all.
Someone who comes here and says what she said is - burnt out - emotionally exhausted - being hurt by the trips and feeling left out and the other 1000 things that we feel when we are a sole caregiver.

I get it Pammie and those words or trip talks probably end up landing in one of your hardest days. It is hard in those moments when you feel like a ghost that nobody sees.
I have been there - doing Covid alone was hard and then the world opened and everyone wanted to be out and living again - and yet you were still just alone.

Im not sure of your circumstances - but I do know that all of ours are very different and so I always try to not judge someone else’s feelings or struggles. I often have to put mom on FaceTime with my sister and either go to the shower or outdoors where I cannot hear them talk.
My sister has her own business like me - we are the bosses and yet I’m the one who has done it all. I do not want to hear about her weekends - her trips to Aruba - how she went to church or went for a walk or even to tjmaxx.

I have done icu - acute care - rehab - took mom home - do full care - did every bill - banking - meal - bath - laundry - sold homes - packed homes - took it to storage - took it to my house - order every supply and met with every dr - done every wound care - learned everything stroke - I taught mom how to brush her teeth - eat - swallow - speak - do crosswords - blah blah blah blah.

I don’t want to hear a darn thing about how busy she is doing stuff but too busy when mom asks her when she can come see her and misses her.

So I validate you not wanting to hear it as I understand that if your feeling that way - you are hurting.

There is some good advice in regard to telling some of the family that you miss them and your missing being part of their lives giving them an opening to find ways to include you or come to you and just spend some time with you. I’m hoping you do this - don’t feel bad saying “hey I really miss doing those things and though I cannot do that specific thing do you think we could plan something at my house” or “gosh I really miss what normal life was can we find something I can escape for an hour and see you” etc Etc.
It is hard - I hear you and I see you and honestly I think if you got some time with these people who you feel hurt by then you wouldn’t mind hearing their journeys. So speak up and just tell them “I need some time with you or from you”. 🦋
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Reply to Momheal1
CaregiverL Sep 20, 2021
Momheal, You are SuperWoman! & I thought I did a lot until I read all what you do alone PLUS running a business! I applaud you. Hugs 🤗
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