Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Art of saying NO

I tend to push myself so much every single day and on top of everything I {try} do I find it extremely difficult to say no to people. I've always been one to say that if I can help someone then I will. The problem is that I don't think I really know when I CAN'T or SHOULDN'T say yes.

It is very rewarding to be helpful, to be of assistant and to be caring of others but when you start to feel resentful because you are always doing for others (even when you know they wont do for you) or when you are so exhausted you think one more step and you will collapse...then I think is time to reevaluated the art of saying NO.

I've been the friend that gets up in the middle of the night to get a friend stuck at a parking lot in winter time, the one to drive back and forward to drop a friend if her car broke down, the one who goes to airports, doctor appointments, to house sit and take care of pets, the one who babysit kids if need be, to the point of being exhausted and sleepless as of late. Even though I do these things because I want to, there are times I don't want to do them and feel guilty and eventually cave in and say yes, only to feel used (specially when people don't reciprocate).

In the last week, I had to say no to request from a friend to get up at 5:30am to take her to work and to keep her cat at my home (fyi I have a cat that is not very friendly to other felines and such, plus I had no place for it). My friend would not give up and suggested I kept her cat in a closet or our bathroom, or even in my son's room locked in a cage while he studied. Things which I can't and wont do. Seems is hard for people to get a no from me, I think I may have upset her but in the end, I didn't want to do it. I had both my Hubs and the little guy sick and did not need the extra stress of caring for another pet, no matter if it was for a few hours.

The week before she asked me to take her to work again and I said we couldn't but she insisted so much Hubs say yes after all. Now I know she is a predicament with having no vehicle right now but I don't think she understand how hard it is for us to get up extra early, drive 25 min each way and rush to get our day started. I feel for her but I often wonder if she feels for me and our situation. I love her, and I don't mind helping once in a while but there are days when we really can't help.

In the mist of everything that is going on with my brother, I 've been so emotionally exhausted. Yes, it has been tiring to drive back and forward between 3 states so I can go see him, but that's not even what is the cause of my distress. He is doing better from the surgery and it's finally eating. Now we know that there is no cure for him and that he will die from this, but the immediate issue is where he is going to live.

Now, after reading this you may decided that I'm horrible but honestly, hear me out. In the mist of finding out the stage of my brother's cancer we where told he cannot longer live alone, the problem is his kids live abroad and he has been a loner and has no one to care for him. At the beginning I though this was something I could do, only to realize it would not only be an overwhelming task but also that I cannot have the means to do it.

We have no room in our place, we have no time, no financial resources and this would be a tremendous task to add to my already crazy life. A life that is exactly what I want and have chosen to live this way, but adding this would be something I do not sign up for or, what is worst, want to do.

I think I got carried away by the fact he was having emergency surgery and now, with a cool head, can see all the obstacles that would face me. I would be the one cleaning him when he gets sick, taking him to appointments, chemo, radiation, being a full time care giver, am I going to be able to take the little guy on trips? visit family in NYC? travel back home?

Yesterday alone I had to take the little guy to the Dr. while the hubs sweat a fever, then came home to make lunch, dinner, clean the bathroom, do 2 loads of laundry, etc. I cannot imagine adding even more to my load.

My hubs believes I can do this, and that I should. He believes I can do anything but honestly, no offense to him, he goes to work and I would be the one doing this...alone. Is my brother going to be ok having kids around him, jumping, moving, running, etc? or is he going to be bother since he likes to be alone? He has said he wants to speak to his younger kid because he believes he would stay with him in his current home (I don't think he will) because he does not want to leave his town.

I signed up for THIS crazy life that I have now, to be a SAHM, to care for my home, my kids, my husband. This is something that I welcome 99% of the time because it is the life we want together and what is best for us.

Is it ok to say no for my own sanity, health and well being? Is it ok to care deeply for someone but not want to take care of him? My younger Sis agrees that this is a task that I cannot accomplish without loosing my sanity. She believes he needs a different kind of care that I cannot provide for him, and saying no, if need be, would not make me a bad person.

I hope so. Because I seriously need to learn the art of saying NO.

Over & out

***pictures of the my homeland by Daniel E Liranzo


Carbie Girl said...

My aunt just passed away two weeks ago from Cancer and believe me, I know you are already thinking its going to be a LOT of work but if I may say its more than likely more work than you even think its going to be. My mother works only part time and all her kids are grown and out of the house .. she took the job of caring for my aunt and even between her, my uncle and my aunts son, it was a lot of work -- all day long. Your brother in his condition needs all the care he can get -- its whats fair to him at this stage in his life and if you cant provide that for him there is no shame or guilt in saying so. My aunt decided to put herself into a hospice center because she knew how much work it was to take care of her. Any chance your brother could look into something similar? My heart goes out to your brother and family. These situations and decisions are never easy.

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia said...

thank you for your comment...I'm hoping to get this kind of help for him...I'm waiting to hear from his kids to see what they want to do, but your comment really helps me out, THANK YOU!

PlumPetals said...

Wow. I can't imagine how overwhelming this all must be. You have every right to think about how this will have an effect on you and your family - because in the end, if you're tired, frustrated, and stressed, you may not be able to give your brother the attention he needs. My aunt is going through something similar at the moment - and it's tough. No matter what decision you reach, it will be tough ... but that being said, seeking outside help may be the best option. And even if somebody else is doing the physical caring, that doesn't in any way mean that you don't care and that you can't be there for him. I think that it'll be better to have good, quality time with your brother than moments laced with frustration and exhaustion - Hoping the best for you and your family.