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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I fly out Thursday morning for Phoenix. My mom had her first chemo treatment last week. I have several more days of antibiotic to take for my bronchial infection. I feel horrid -- an almost constant headache. Still running a fever. Exhausted and need multiple naps a day.

And that's just physical. Emotionally, I'm horribly weepy after going shopping for a shirt. I had to -- for the first time -- buy my clothes in the "Big Woman" part of the store. I look horrid in the clothes, but at least they don't have to be stretched to fit across my body. I swear I'm not eating irresponsibly. I haven't been able to walk since I got sick -- nothing to do about that. I feel like Eddy Murphy in that horrible movie where he drank that stuff and exploded into a massive blubber. I'm having a hard time not crying. Add to this, my older sister is a size 1 and she's on Weight Watchers to lose weight. My younger sister is only a bit shorter than I am and she's a size 4. The want me to come to my niece's piano recital while I'm there, but they say it's very dressy. I don't own a single dressy thing that I can fit into, and I just can't spend enough money to get something really nice to wear once.

Mostly, I'm wearing my son's tee-shirts under one of my husband's old denim shirts. I just look awful. And I have to go spend a week with these people. And yes, they do feel free to talk about how fat I am and how bad I look and how can I "possibly stand to get yourself looking like that?" Been there, done that.

Ok, so sorry to vent so long and self-pityingly. Had to do it here so I don't start bawling in front of my husband. I've been biting back tears all day. I don't know how I'm going to do this physically. I'm glad my son is going along; I can throw him to the wolves and go take a nap. :lol:

Well, gotta go do laundry.

Sunny
 

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Hi Sunny :hug: :hug::hug:

It sounds like you are totally dreading your visit to Phoenix and after reading your post i don't blame you. I can't believe that these women are your sisters and they have the cheek to say how big you are and how terrible you look, they are fortunate that they are both slim women and healthy too. Do they understand what lupus really is????

You are going to visit your mom because she is ill, please just try to focus on that, but whilst there you must still listen to your own body, if its telling you that its tired and needs to rest then you must do it.

I am really glad that your son is going with you. If your sisters have a problem with what you are wearing or what you look like then thats their problem not yours hun.

If you feel like crying then try not to bottle it up too much, try to let it out when you can, otherwise you are gonna feel worse not better, i have learnt that if i feel like crying then i just cry and it usually makes me feel better.

I hope you survive the week without too much upset, i will be keeping my fingers crossed :fingers: for your moms health to improve too.

Take good care of yourself :bunny: Jo :bunny:
 

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HI Sunny,
I totally agree with Jo.
Don't lose sight of why you are going, to see your mum.
I t truly must make you feel awful though having sisters who are saying things like that.
And it's true aswell do they really understand the disease and that the weight gain is beyond your control and that you couldn't exercise too much or atall even if you did want to.
I am so sorry you have ended feeling like this.
I would agree with jo, if you need to rest just rest.
As for the piano recital, are you going to be really upset if you don't go?
It sounds like its puttng more pressure on you, is there anyway you could say when you are there that you don't feel well enough to sit through it, could somebody video it for you? I might be being stupid and it might not be the done thing to take video cameras to these things, just an idea.

I really hope you get through it ok and start to feel better soon.

Take Good Care

Cassie :)
 

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Hi Sunny and (((((((hugs))))))

The sound of that visit does sound truly horrifying :(

As the others have said, the "why" you are going is very important and you should keep that in sight.

I presume you have tried talking to your sisters and telling them how hurtful their remarks are? I don't know, being firm and saying that your weight is not going to change and how about them helping you to find a way to look and feel better with the weight that you've got.

If your sisters won't help there, I'd try and get someone to go shopping with you. I don't have a size problem with clothes but I do still have a problem finding things that suit me and make me "feel" good. I find it is a lot easier if I take a kind but honest friend with me and do a "girly" shop.

I'm sorry I'm out of ideas here but it seems so awful to be dreading it to that extent.

Katharine
 

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Dear Sunny
I didn't laugh at your post believe me :worried: I chickened out of a farewell party last year. There were already a few reasons why I wasn't too happy about going although I really wanted to give my good wishes to this long time friend starting a new life at 60 downunder.
But I hadn't seen her and several of the other people I knew, for many many years. I never dress up these days but I do have one or two dressy and classy outfits. I spent ages on assuming human form: hair and make up were as good as possible short of divine intervention. It was only when I donned my glad rags not having dressed up for two years, that the grim reality hit me. I could get into them sure enough, but the effect was Retro Barrage Balloon.
There was no way I was going out looking like that it was bad enough me looking at myself without the added humiliation of others looking at me.

The others have said not to forget about the "why" you are going as very important and you should keep that in sight. I did smile at that initially because I thought at first reading they meant why the heck are you going on this trip, which is my reaction to the situation.

I realise that me not going to a party isn't the same thing as you making what might be the last visit to an ailing parent, except there are some parallels. ( I am bringing some background knowledge to bear here in case anybody thinks I am a monster.)

I had been hoping to renew our old friendship when we got back to the UK. However happy I was for her, the party represented yet another bitter loss for me and I would never have enjoyed it nor would my presence have made the slightest difference to anything.

So if I say "think about the reason you are going" I mean it in a very different way! I question if doing the right thing, which is sometimes called virtue, really is its own reward. In fact I have spent huge chunks of my life putting myself through agonies of effort and huge emotional stress doing the right thing as I imagined it to be, often trying to please other people meet their expectations of me.
Some people can't ever be pleased and if you have the courage to do the right thing for yourself the ground doesn't split open and swallow you up. The only problem is knowing what the right thing for yourself is. It can boil down to being as simple as not wanting to do it for whatever personal reason. The reasons don't have to seem reasonable to other people but hey that's their judgement. Why inflict unnecessary pain on oneself, pain upon pain.

I just can't resist commenting that somebody who is a size 1 and goes to Weight Watchers would be better off spending their money with a therapist. For crying out loud !

From the medical point of view you are probably not fit to travel and risk being ill when you get there.

I am being devil's advocate but only in a small way and I know it is all much easier said than done. All the same, your predicament has struck several sad chords in my own experience. Maybe my thoughts will strengthen you to make this visit more comfortably & on your own terms, or consider that there is always the option not to go at all.

Lots of love
Clare
 

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Dear Sunny :hug:

I absolutely understand how horrible this is making you feel and I dont have a lot of words of wisdom to offer. There are days when I just hate my body (I am obese). I mostly wear stretchy pants and t shirts as well. Sometimes I would love to be able to wear something 'nice' but either I cant get anything to fit or I look like a clown or I cant afford it - so pants and t shirts it is.....

I try to buy light wool-type cardigans as they seem to sit better on me. Sometimes shirts are bulky and big in the wrong places and can make me look even bigger. I have a couple of cardigans that I wear - black, navy, red and pink - so that I can usually match them with at least one of my tee shirts! You can then wear a bright t shirt (even one with sparkles:)) and the dark shirt and pants will tone it down and make you seem slimmer.

I find wearing a white or black tshirt looks better on me than colours. If I wear a black one I can wear a bright cardigan (red or pink) and if I wear a white one I can wear a dark cardigan.

Despite all this, the thought of my daughters wedding (probably next year) is already throwing me into fits of despair. I just hate the thought of trying to find a tent that doesnt look like a tent and I dont want to look like a Christmas cake gone wrong either. Oh well...thats for another day.

In the meantime all you can do is your best in the situation. Knowing beforehand what your sisters are likely to say actually puts you in a stronger position. Its mostly the unexpected that throws us off balance. If you can think of a good response to their comments beforehand, that may help the situation. Sometimes the 'kindest' put downs are the best. Maybe something like a heavy sigh and a comment that they must have little else to be worrying about if they find time to comment on your weight...

I read a quote by a woman called Phyllis Bottome which might help

There are two ways of meeting difficulties: you alter the difficulties, or you alter yourself to meet them.
Now if you cant alter the difficulties (i.e. if you HAVE to go visit your Mother) then you will benefit from doing some thinking about how you are going to meet them.

Lots of strength Sunny and know that the thing we most remember about people we meet is how they made us feel - not what they were wearing or what they looked like. Small comfort - but it is a comfort nonetheless.

Lots of love
Joan:rose:
 

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Hi again,

I had to laugh at Clare's comments but also salute her and Joan's infinite wiseness and their "as usual" braveness in saying what some of us don't dare say.

Myself I do actually tend to chicken out of a lot of things when I just can't do it but that may well ot be an option here.

Katharine
 

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awww confused............:( Big hugs (((((((((((((((((confused))))))))))))))))).............Feel Better soon!................................Laura(LWL2002)
 

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Just want to send lots of gentle hugs and knowing nods your way.

My family is horrible with me about my health and size as well and I have made the decision to just keep away from them as much as possible, too much negativity! No matter how much we give or do for some people it just doesn't make a difference in how they treat us. I agree with Katherine, Clare and Joan. Do what is best for you ... no one else will.

I wish you luck dealing with your sisters and I hope you get to have some quiet, peaceful time visiting with your Mom.

Hang in there, we are right here with you!

Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, I'm sitting here bawling for all the kind, sweet and just-right things all of you said. Claire, ohmygosh -- I wish I could just give you a hug. That's all so horrid it just makes me cry harder. Joan, thanks for the great advice. I would just pull on a sweat shirt and live with it, but Phoenix is still having 100 F days. Summer goes on until November there.

I do HAVE to go. No way I can back out, regardless of how much I want to. The big problem is, neither of my sisters really understands Lupus and they don't want to. The older one is convinced if I would adopt a better attitude and get off "all those pills -- they can't be good for you!" I would be better. She wisely explains that I didn't start to have really bad symptoms until around the time I started taking all those pills. Yes, I know.....she is really smart but has a few blind spots. The other sister (who I've always been so close to and considered her my best friend) just refuses to deal with it all. We can't talk about me being ill. She cuts it off, hangs up the phone. In her world, I'm not really terribly sick, I just complain a lot about the same aches and pains everybody has.

I do love them. And I'm complaining horribly here but the fact is I miss them. I won't talk about my mom. She's bi-polar and terribly mean and conniving. But she's still my mom and I really feel horribly about her having cancer.

Ok, that's all. Thank you so much. You are all wonderful. Claire, you definitely give me strength. I have not seen you, but I can tell that you're beautiful. If we all lived in India and dressed as the women there do, our size wouldn't really matter. Those clothes are flattering on women of all weights. But we live in the West where our size defines our self-control for all to see (at least that's the story) and those without self-control are all up for public disdain these days.

Love,
Sunny
 
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