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cherylm

A Blue Christmas

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I had such hopes for this Christmas. For the first time in three years, I was NOT in the hospital or recovering from surgery at home. I was, in fact, quite healthy. And for the first time in three years, I was going to be hosting the "family" Christmas celebration. (Previously, I'd either been laid up post-op pretty much without a Christmas, or I'd been the one to travel up north to spend it with my sister and brother in law.)

This year, Sis and Bro-in-law were coming down to stay a few days with me... this year, I'd be able to treat them to a good time. I'd planned my menu for Christmas dinner, bought the ingredients, bought my baking supplies, invited several of Sis's old friends from when she lived down here to a casual party at my place on the 26th. Bought the supplies for that, too. I'd made special arrangements with the sponsors of the "big" holiday lights festival in the area to get some special accommodations so that we could see the lights without having to wait in a long line. (Bro-in-law has serious problems with his legs, hips, and back, so it was important that he not have to stand or sit around for too long... and that's an obvious advantage for me as well.) I thought I'd planned a time everyone would enjoy.

This year, Christmas blew up in my face.

Bro-in-law kept balking at the thought of coming here for Christmas... he's very set in his ways, and he tried several times to cancel the trip and get me to come north instead. Sis insisted they WERE coming. I kept preparing.

They were supposed to arrive on the 23rd "around supper time." I assumed that this would be MY "supper time"... about 7:00 p.m.; THEY were thinking in terms of THEIR "supper time"... about 4:30 p.m. ... and then they arrived two hours earlier than that, at 2:30. I was struggling to get all the "preparations" clutter cleared up when they arrived on my doorstep.

I'll be the first to admit that there was still quite a bit of clutter to be packed up and stored away. I seriously miscalculated how long it would take me... that's still a problem for me, estimating how long any sort of physical task will take me. However, it would have been a LOT less cluttered by the later arrival timetable I'd been working under.

It was embarrassing... but we could have had a laugh about it and sent them off to a movie or something while I finished up. That was what I was about to suggest, when Bro-in-law announced bluntly that my accommodations would not be up to his standards and he was going home. "Home" is nearly 450 miles away... he'd been inside my apartment for less than 30 seconds.

Sis was caught in the middle... I was devastated... Bro-in-law "got his way," so I guess it was good for him. Eventually, to keep the family peace and not leave Sis "stuck," I wound up following them up the 450 miles to bring them their presents and sleep on their sofa. No tree... no lights... no party... and Bro-in-law didn't even want me to use the shower because it would "make him nervous" worrying about whether I'd hurt myself. At least I managed to get word to all but a couple of the party guests... I still have to apologize to the gal with the holiday lights festival.

The whole affair just hurts so much! I had such high hopes for a nice holiday with my family... now I just feel like some "freak" who's barely being tolerated. I know I'm not as fast or energetic as I was before all this darned foot/leg stuff happened to me... but I work HARD to have as close as my "normal" life as is possible.

Sis says that Bro-in-law has been under a lot of stress, and that she appreciates that I came and had Christmas with them... she also says that she'll get Bro-in-law to understand "my side of the story." I guess that's good. I don't know that it makes it hurt any less, though. I don't know when I last hurt so much... not even losing the leg was so gut-wrenching, as that didn't seem to be intentional and this DOES.

I wish there were a way for ABs -- especially AB family members -- to experience this life for just a few days, to truly understand that even a successful amp puts an AWFUL lot of energy and time into maintaining that "success."

I'm so rattled, I don't know what to say or do. When I got home to my apartment tonight, all my "preparations" just seemed to be mocking me. I've made a fool of myself...

Okay, I'm just rambling now... need to try and get past this... thanks for "listening."

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I'm so rattled, I don't know what to say or do. When I got home to my apartment tonight, all my "preparations" just seemed to be mocking me. I've made a fool of myself...

Okay, I'm just rambling now... need to try and get past this... thanks for "listening."

Hi Cheryl

Sorry that Christmas didn't work out as you intended this year. Of course you haven't made a fool of yourself Cheryl. I just can't believe the rudeness of your brother in law, he is really the one with the problems.

However have had similar things with relatives in the past myself and know how upsetting it can be, especially at Christmas when families get together. Would try not to worry about it too much, pour yourself a few drinks and enjoy the New Year.

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awwwww cherylm, I'm so sorry that you had such a bad experience. But, it sounds to me like Bro-in-law didn't want to be there in the first place and was going to cause a stink no matter what...it sounds like he just wanted to be a butt head reguardless. :blink::angry::angry: He got his way and got to go back home. I feel sorry for you... you done so much and looked so forward to it. Maybe he was in a lot of pain, who knows.... but, the shower crack was uncalled for. Maybe, he is the one that is uncomfortable around you, is that possible?

Just try to put it behind you...You are a good person...and a valued person. You contribute a lot to this board, and you always have a good word for anyone else.....Please don't let one person's attitude get you so down...

As you know, you aren't responsible for others... only your own actions.....So, hold your head up, dry your tears, and please don't let him beat you down.......

Invite your friends in, make your own party, enjoy and put it all behind you... One moron isn't worth you beating yourself so far down for......

(((((((((((((((((((Big Cyber Hug)))))))))))))))))))))

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Oh, Cherylm, please don't be sad. It sounds as if Bro-in-law needs a swift kick in the rump & your sister is indeed caught in the middle. And like Higgy said " he got his way" and in the process made you feel very sad. :blink::angry::angry: that makes me very angry @ him, AND I don't even know him!!! Go on and cry ( get it out) of your system....then try to remember what a butt he is.....consider the source. You do so much for us on this forum & always have kind words for everyone......try NOT to let it depress :( you. AND remember never plan anything again that includes HIM....he truly hurt you very deeply.

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All of the above. What a jerk.

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Guest bearlover
All of the above. What a jerk.

I second that...Hope your doing ok Cherylm :( . Life can be so fustrating this was not your fault and you certainly are no fool. The only fools are the one's you mentioned..Take care and treat yourself you sure deserve it.. ;)

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Thanks, everyone... I'm still kind of shaky but starting to feel better. Just "venting" to some friends (real-world AND cyber-) and all the support I've gotten has helped... so has being back in my OWN home, where I can relax and not worry about what anyone else is thinking. You guys are the BEST.

Bro-in-law and I have always had a slightly "cautious" relationship. He adores my sister, and she loves him, and I guess that's the important part... but we would never choose each other as personal friends, without that connection. We both usually try, though... this time I felt that NO effort was being made. Especially at Christmas -- where our family's philosophy was always to pull together and celebrate as best we could, no matter WHAT the circumstances, to MAKE Christmas for each other -- I was knocked for a loop by the whole affair.

I rested a LOT today, and talked to some friends. It'll take a bit, but I'll be okay with time.

I hope that all of you had a good Christmas, my forum-friends... and may we ALL have a Happy New Year.

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I'm afraid that you've hit the nail on the head, Cheryl: You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family.

Your brother in law sounds like a right bully...the original Mr Scrooge (if you don't mind me saying so?). Having gone through all your preparations, to be snubbed like that, you must have been devastated!?! :(

I hope you're feeling better now? Take Higgy's advice & have your own party, you deserve it! B)

Lizzie :)

PS Can I come? ;)

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<snip>

The whole affair just hurts so much! I had such high hopes for a nice holiday with my family... now I just feel like some "freak" who's barely being tolerated. I know I'm not as fast or energetic as I was before all this darned foot/leg stuff happened to me... but I work HARD to have as close as my "normal" life as is possible.

Sis says that Bro-in-law has been under a lot of stress, and that she appreciates that I came and had Christmas with them... she also says that she'll get Bro-in-law to understand "my side of the story." I guess that's good. I don't know that it makes it hurt any less, though. I don't know when I last hurt so much... not even losing the leg was so gut-wrenching, as that didn't seem to be intentional and this DOES.

I wish there were a way for ABs -- especially AB family members -- to experience this life for just a few days, to truly understand that even a successful amp puts an AWFUL lot of energy and time into maintaining that "success."

<snip>

Sue,

So sorry you were treated so poorly. It was downright nasty, rude, inconsiderate and mean. I read your post and almost cried, I felt so bad for you to have to experience that after all your hard work. Bad, bad, bad.

:angry::angry::blink:

Susan

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Guest bearlover

Cherylm, you are NOT a freak...Period! This is totally not your fault..The two people invilved need some searious help..Please do not put yourself down. You are a wonderful caring person. It is their major loss.You have so much more to offer...(((((HUGS))))))

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Cherylm,

Most Christmas disappointments come about because we have such high expectations. Bless you for trying to create such a great Christmas for your family. I'm sorry that it didn't happen.

On the bright side, YOU don't have to go home and live with the bro in law!!

Take care.

Carol

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Guest bearlover
Cherylm,

Most Christmas disappointments come about because we have such high expectations. Bless you for trying to create such a great Christmas for your family. I'm sorry that it didn't happen.

On the bright side, YOU don't have to go home and live with the bro in law!!

Take care.

Carol

:lol: :P :D

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Thanks again, everyone! It's going to take some time, but I'm doing better every day. I had dinner with an old friend tonight... we talked and munched, had our own gift exchange, and did some crafts to while the evening away. It really did help... as have all of you. (Carol, you gave me a real laugh -- THANK YOU!)

If I could afford it, I'd fly the whole lot of you out here for New Year's Eve and we'd have one HECK of a party!

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If I could afford it, I'd fly the whole lot of you out here for New Year's Eve and we'd have one HECK of a party!

OOOOOoooooooooo did someone say party???

Cheryl can you get a ticket to me by......ummmmmmmmm......midnight tonight? :lol: :lol:

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Cheryl

It was my first christmas as an amp and my Mum had expressed a wish for all her children and granchildren to be together. I wanted to grant her this but having spent numerous evenings filled with family arguments I wasn't looking forward to it. My attitude was that no-one was going to spoil my christmas after having had such a sh*t year. I spoke to my brothers even though I thought it would put their backs up, but it ended up being fantastic. I won't put up with certain behaviour anymore and you shouldn't either. Just because we have all been through an amputation doesn't mean we should get our own way all of the time but I suppose it makes us appreciate things more. You don't have to put up with someones complete lack of manners especially after you had gone to such trouble. I personally would have to have words with the bro-in-law and tell him what an ungrateful and insensitive person he was but having read quite a few of your postings I know that's not in your nature. I suggest you organise next year exactly how you want it and blow what anyone else thinks.

I hope you have a brilliant New Year!

Lisa

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I have absolutely no truck with rudeness - for any reason. Someone used the term "bully". I agree.

Personally, I think that you should copy your original post here and put it in a letter and send it to your sister. You articulated your feelings very well. To stand by her husband is one thing. To stand by while he disparages a close member of the family is another. My wife would have me sleeping on the couch for some time if I were to even act like that. :) I fault your sister for allowing it and doing nothing.

To borrow an old saying: "I don't suffer fools gladly", and neither does she.

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Guest bearlover

Good Idea Jim! Go for it Cherylm...Unless he is a brick and nothing bothers him :lol:

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OPPS!!!!! I meant Cheryl.....duh.....(must be those narcotics........) :wub::wub::wub:

Susan

Sue,

So sorry you were treated so poorly. It was downright nasty, rude, inconsiderate and mean. I read your post and almost cried, I felt so bad for you to have to experience that after all your hard work. Bad, bad, bad.

:blush::wub::huh:

Susan

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I have absolutely no truck with rudeness - for any reason. Someone used the term "bully". I agree.

Personally, I think that you should copy your original post here and put it in a letter and send it to your sister. You articulated your feelings very well. To stand by her husband is one thing. To stand by while he disparages a close member of the family is another. My wife would have me sleeping on the couch for some time if I were to even act like that. :) I fault your sister for allowing it and doing nothing.

To borrow an old saying: "I don't suffer fools gladly", and neither does she.

Jim :huh: not only would hubby be on the couch, there might even be BUMPS :wub::wub::blush: on his head. Yeah, we all like to PARTY......am glad you are feeling better.....see it helps to just get it off your chest (so to speak) :)

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Hi Cheryl, I am sorry about your Christmas. I am so moved by your pain.

Don't waste your time with your brother in law anymore. Face it, you will never win him over so just be fair and polite when near him. Give your time and friendship to those who deserve them

Love and God be with you

Dea

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Cheryl, there is a saying, "Love is blind, but the neighbors ain't." I'm sure your sister realizes that it was her husband who was the rude one. She loves both of you so it must have been rough for her to be caught in the middle. Some people just don't realize that when one becomes an amputee, our whole life is changed on how we can do things and how quickly. I lost my husband in May. He was great with me after my amputation, but I've found that others just don't realize that because I have a prosthesis doesn't mean everything is the same as it was prior to that ocurring. Christmas was rough for me as well, but like you, I just keep trying to move forward with my new ways. In time we will move about with greater ease and quicker, we just have to be patient with ourselves and with those who have no concept of how hard we're trying.

Carole

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Gosh... it's the thread that just won't die! You folks have no idea just how much this means to me... I couldn't ask for a better bunch of cyber-buddies! I'm basically back to normal now... albeit a little apprehensive about the next time I see bro-in-law. We have had some nice phone conversations, so maybe by next time things will be calmer.

Carole, I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your husband. To lose not only a spouse, but the one who "gets it" with regards to your amp must be extra-hard. You're right... the majority of folks out there think you just "slap on a new leg" and walk off into the sunset. (I know that I did, before it happened to me!) I still have to work on "pacing myself" and allowing sufficient time to do things I used to whip out two-at-a-time.

This slow and deliberate living business can be frustrating to me... it's just not my "style." But perhaps it's a lesson I needed to learn, eh....?

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Cheryl, there is a saying, "Love is blind, but the neighbors ain't." I'm sure your sister realizes that it was her husband who was the rude one. She loves both of you so it must have been rough for her to be caught in the middle. Some people just don't realize that when one becomes an amputee, our whole life is changed on how we can do things and how quickly. I lost my husband in May. He was great with me after my amputation, but I've found that others just don't realize that because I have a prosthesis doesn't mean everything is the same as it was prior to that ocurring. Christmas was rough for me as well, but like you, I just keep trying to move forward with my new ways. In time we will move about with greater ease and quicker, we just have to be patient with ourselves and with those who have no concept of how hard we're trying.

Carole

Carole,

I lost my husband in July of 2005 and my leg in Nov 2005 so Christmas of 2005 was really a blur - I was still in shock from both the loss of my husband and my leg. This year was awful, horrible and nightmareish. I was alone - 3 of my kids live too far away and the son I thought was coming with his fiance and my granddaughter and great grand son blew an engine three days before. I woke up Chismas morning and felt as though someone had pulled or was pulling my heart out of my chest. I couldn't just get up and pace I had to put my underliner on and my liner and socks and my leg and get it clicked in. I held a private pity party for about an hour and then decided that unless I wished to spend the rest of my life like that I had to stop then. My husband certainly wouldn't approve of my acting like that and I did not like myself like that either. My leg is not my life it really is only a pat of my life. Graanted it makes a huge difference in my life. It affects every part of it. But if I let it rule my life then "it" won. I cannot begin to tell you how much the support of people on this forum means to me. It is always a place if you are down people boost you up and it is so great that it is here for all of us. My sympathies and good luck..

JudyH

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