Feeling sorry for myself today

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by muttmeister, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    This is just a whine so if you're not in the mood don't read any further.
    Yesterday we had our Christmas. Christmas has always been a big deal here. The kids always get a couple of big presents and lots of small, inexpensive ones so they have lots to unwrap. The grown ups have always followed suit. I love the holiday; the preparations, the giving, the food, the family traditions.

    Yesterday, younger difficult child was here with his family, his brother in law, and my 96 year old mother. I made a turkey dinner, etc. Older son was with his family a couple of hours away. He had to work last night and I had just seen them so that was OK. I took a car load of presents to them and I suppose they unwrapped them yesterday.

    When we did the presents here I really did enjoy watching everybody unwrap their gifts and I think they were pleased with most of what they got - even the little funny things. I got a Kindle and a 365 day dog calendar from my mother - she is too old to shop so she told me to order what I wanted and charge it to her credit card. So it was what I wanted but not exactly a nice surprise. From my cousin I got a metal sculpture that is supposed to be a jewelry organizer. She knows I have a big jewelry chest so I don't suppose she thought I'd use it but it is kinda cute. I got a $20 check from my 94 year old aunt which I used to pay one of younger difficult child's bills. I also got a really ugly painting of a pair of shoes. I suppose I'll have to hang it someplace. THat's it. Now, I really don't need anything and my younger difficult child is unemployed and older difficult child is having trouble making ends meet. I suppose it is partly my fault that they didn't get me ANYTHING because I told them it was OK. But I would have liked to have SOMETHING. I don't expect them to buy me a WII or a new Corvette but I'd love a pair of fuzzy bed socks, or a pretty colored pair of gloves from Dollar Store or some flavored coffee they picked up with their food stamps. Older difficult child works at a liquor store; if he really wanted to splurge I'd love a bottle of Asti. A pair of earrings from Claire's would be nice or some cheap perfume they got on sale. But there was nothing.

    I don't mean to complain. I know how lucky I am. My mother is still alive and with-it enough to enjoy Christmas with us. THe 3 grandkids and 2 step grandkids are healthy and happy. Neither difficult child was in jail (that hasn't always been the case at Christmas at our house). My house iand car are paid for, my pension is solid, my utilities are paid, I am healthy, my car runs, I have food to eat and people who care about me. Even my dogs seem healthy.

    I go to church and try to remember that the season is about God's gift to us; not about our gifts to each other. But I still am in a funk. I'd like to tell them how I feel but I can't even think of how to bring up the subject without sounding like a whiney (insert the name of a female dog). Should I bring up the subject with them or just keep my stupid mouth shut?
  2. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    While it is unfortunate the kids did not think to themselves 'mom would probably love to have a gift from me under the tree' it is not a lesson for today, in my opinion. The joy of giving is for you and not them it seems - at least this year. I think I would mention it in a few weeks to get them thinking about it for next year, without any guilt of course. It is not about the gift, but the appreciation and thoughtfulness that they did not show to you. Of course, they are boys....so they do not think about showing appreciation like us women do.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I agree with BW but I can understand why you feel that way. I used to feel that way after shopping for my son and taking him out to buy gifts from him and myself to my family members only to find that I'd be lucky if I received a single thing- what got to me the most was that they never took him out or "helped" him get a gift for me when he was young. It wasn't the gift itself that was important to me- it was him learning to think of getting a gift for others instead of just receiving and then if he did think of it, he had no one to help him do it until he was old enough that I could sit out front of the store and send him him with a little cash on him to buy something by himself. I wonder- did any of your family members help your kids get you a gift when they were very young? Either way, they are certainly old enough now to also understand that Christmas isn't just about receiving a gift or coming to your house to get a good meal and spending traditional family time.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Wait... you told them not to get you anything, and now you're disappointed they listened and obeyed? Isn't that a gift on its own?
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well I can understand the disappointment to some degree, yes, as I've felt it myself. But it's not really fair to expect the kids to think of those types of things on their own, especially difficult child kids and males on top of it. If I tell my kids (any of them) I want nothing and they believe I'm serious? I get nothing. Why? Because that is what I said I wanted.........and they know me well enough to know I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it.

    Katie and M were told to get us nothing and not to worry about the family presents due to their situation. They obeyed and no one had an issue even though everyone had bought for them and their kids. However it was a nice gesture for them to clean the house after everyone left, and in my opinion that was a nice gift. I did tell Katie that having my family all together for xmas was a gift I'll treasure forever, and she is the one who made that happen.

    Travis is also unemployed and has been for months, he's looking he's just not finding. He sold his college textbooks online for cash to buy xmas for his neices and nephews. He was worried about his adult sibs ect but they told him to foget about it. He was really worried about getting me a gift......and still didn't like it when I told him to forget about it. So I finally had an idea for him and asked him to reload my sims 2 game back onto my computer for me. (this is a huge ordeal to do lol) Didn't cost him anything but several hours of time, but I've been having a blast with it and he's glad he could do something to make me happy. Oh, and he dug out old family tapes of Kayla and Alex as babies and converted them to dvd for the computer.........he did this for katie as my game idea seemed to inspire him. He's since gotten request from easy child and Nichole to do the same for them.

    Sometimes, especially with difficult children and when money is tight or non existent, you have to help them come up with ideas like that which other people would truly appreciate that they may never think of on their own. Sometimes one idea starts their brains working and triggers many more ideas.

    Odds are they thought little things such as you listed would have disappointed you. So better to do as you said and not get you something. I've just found from so many years of money being tight.........ways to give things that are appreciated even when they don't cost hardly anything at all. Like the thermal socks and hand and foot warmers I gave to sister in law.........I think they cost me all of 5 bucks for all of it.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    OK, MM - First big Christmas hugs.

    I find that when you lower your expectations you are less disappointed. I got nothing this year from anyone. That's not true. I got a couple of gift certificates and a bottle of wine from a woman I do work for. And a candle holder and bath salts from a neighbor. My children didn't call, my husband got me nothing. My mother sent a card. I heard nothing from any other relative. I got some cards in the mail from some friends. That's it.

    I'm not so bad with it though. I really don't believe in the Spirit of Receiving at Christmas anymore. I believe in the spirit of giving, and I have given to several people, including family, and to my favorite charity. But, I find that I set my expectations too high when it comes time to receiving. This way, when I expect nothing and get nothing, it's not as much of a disappointment. That's not to say that I'm not going to give husband a hard time when appropriate about not getting me anything. After all, I turn 50 in a few weeks and I darn well expect something. ;)

    Merry Christmas, and put your disappointment down to hormones and stress. Christmas is a lot of work, and then it can be a let down when it's over. We know you're grateful, and you'll feel better next week. {{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}
  7. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Mutt -

    I don't know that it's whining....I think it's one of those things where we say "Oh don't worry about getting me anything." and the underlying meaning is "Don't by me a bedspread bed in a bag from Bed Bath and Beyond because I know that you can't afford it, but for goodness sakes - have the initiative to go out on your own and at least get me a box of chocolates from the dollar store for a buck. This year, and except for last year? I have to endure the mopes and supreme depression of DF. Now I can deal mostly with his sadness, his sleeping all day long, all night long, then only eating and doing nothing else. His inability to help or even comment something nice if I put up a tree, or the glazed look he gets when I'd come back from shopping and say "What do you think?" but what I can't take is all the sounds. OM?! The exhales, the sighs, the I'm sorry I've ruined yet again another Christmas for you - (pause) haven't I? (pause) then walks away slowly with head hung.

    Last year and many years I was supposed to go to my Moms. Something or another has ALWAYS prevented me from going. Either he gets sick, or the car won't run - SOMETHING. I swear to you I thought for the longest he'd purposely get sick before Christmas so I wouldn't go. I'd never SEEEEEEeeeeen anyone get sick EVERY single year at Christmas. EVER. This year - I announced I wasn't going - and voila - no illness. I also told him two years ago how I felt about his moping. But this year? My depression has been at a near all-time high, and honestly? I didn't put up a tree, I didn't go shopping, I didn't plan a dinner - I just tried to stay away from the house and avoid watching DF sleep. I thought 'maybe', just 'maybe' one night he would go into the garage and get the tiny 1' prelit christmas tree and make merry, or throw up a strand of lights - but no.

    When it came time to send something to Dude? I got some cookies with FS and he opened them and him and a friend ate one box. I was livid. I kept my cool and packed the others. I had found a watch at the Salvation Army before I lost my job, had a battery put in it and wrapped it for Dude. I found a few nice Tshirts there too that I couldnt have afforded in the mall and sent those along. My Mom? My Mom LOVES Christmas - she had a tough time as a child and every Christmas to her is wondrous and she has made it so every year. Presents to the end of the livingroom - joyous music - breakfast - it's awesome. I sent her socks. My sister who decided in Sept. to not have any more to do with me, after I went to the mini-reunion also has my niece not speaking to me for no reason at all other than brainwashing - so there was no card, no call - nothing. My son is diving in dumpsters he tells me - to eat because they are starving since Daddy Disney got arrested and is in jail -and texted me at 5 this morning that he's probably going to go there too. In the mean time? I took my entire savings to try to get a car, and bought a stolen one - the police won't help me - because I didn't have a car I could't get to school - which moved 1.15 hrs. away from my house, and I lost a job starting around $700 a week. Not to worry - I drove my car which is falling apart at 20 years old - and now it's so near death it may not be fixable. lol.

    In the mean time? I go to the doctors to get my AD's upped and he tells me I'm about () close to the nutshack - and I haven't even begun to tell him about the rest of the month - you know - cutting off my foodstamps, cutting my unemployment...staying all day at a place to get help with the lights, filling out mounds of paperwork - only to find out THEY don't help that county - send me 20 miles the other way and well - too bad, so sad - they don't have any more vouchers, if I had come earlier yes. Then the food banks here running out of food. oh not like you think - They handed me 5 bags of cookies and 9 bags of collards. So that solved the cookie dilema. hahahaha.

    Then just when I think - OMG don't ask if this can get any worse, how sad do you want to feel for yourself today? I'm sitting here crying about myself and just thinking how horrible this all is? The phone rings and DF's Mom asks us to pray for a family in their town. The Father and 3 children were hit by a semi-truck. Two children were killed, one is on life-support and the Father is in ICU - please pray. At that moment? I realized -----somewhere out there is a woman who just lost everything.....and probably wouldn't mind not having a tree in her house, or presents under the tree - or the fact that she could only talk to her son and Mom on the phone - and I felt VERY selfish.

    We haven't gotten an update yet - and when it's something that's (right here) for us, it tends to make us not see things even though we say we're blessed.....So Do I think in retrospect I would say something to your boys? Yes. Yes I do. I think I would tell them "I was wrong to say don't get me anything, after I thought about it. Next year - I'll take whatever you bring me." Then I'd tell them I loved them both very much and thank them for listening - and tell them that the ONE TIME they DID listen? Really backfired for you. lol. Maybe for your present in retrospect? They could just listen to you all year long? Or a little more - okay a LOT more.

    I understand how you feel - I'm sorry there wasn't any surprise for you - but tell them they have 364 days to get busy on the next surprise.

    Hugs & Love
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am sorry you are down in the dumps. Holiday letdown can be a real bear, regardless of why it set in.

    This year you told them not to give you anything and they did it. Not a real surprise, but something to think about for next year. About 6-7 years ago I was literally DONE with all the gift shopping, including for my inlaws, when my mother in law decided they didn't want to do gifts for adults. If this had been done at Thanksgiving it would have been okay, but it was Dec 15. I said that I didn't mind not getting gifts but the kids had each purchased or made a gift for each family member, some of which we did as a family. So we did gifts. The next year the message went out earlier that we were doing homemade gifts. husband's sister and her husband blew that off and spent lavishly. Finally we were all in sync. The first year my inlaws were pretty upset with me, but the kids and I had spent HOURS and HOURS working on their gifts, and the kids were devastated at the idea. I finally had a chat with just mother in law (husband's stepmom, haven't seen his mom in 10 yrs come Feb) and she was able to understand.

    This year they followed your words and maybe didn't realize that a token from the heart would have been awesome. So at some point (or a couple of points) during 2011 it is time to be honest and up front with them. You may or may not want to let them know how it hurt this year to think that they didn't even bother to give you a small token. LEt them know that you do NOT want an expensive gift, but a small, inexpensive item or a gift they make for you would be a wonderful way for them to show you how much they love and appreciate you. in my opinion it will go a long way, because you will be treating them like the adults that they want to be. For some reason this does not occur to many men, though I know not why.

    You might consider what my side of the family has done for about the last 15 years or so. We put a price limit on gifts - usually $10, though one year we went up to $15. We keep our eyes open all year, go to garage sales, thrift stores, sales, etc... and the gifts have mostly been incredibly thoughtful. It is easy to spend a lot more than that, but to find something that the receipient will really enjoy that is priced under $10 is a challenge. One year I spent $20 for 6 gifts. I ran across a sale on adult sweatshirts in solid colors. Then I used acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium (sold right with the little 2 and 4 oz bottles of acrylic paints in craft sections/stores) and had the kids paint the bottoms of their feet and put footprints on the shirts. I painted "My Grandkids Walk All Over Me" on it. My dad and mom still wear those shirts a couple of times a month in the winter! There are all sorts of easy, fun things you can do in very little time. Once the shirts were washed, the longest part of the painting was washing off of 11 month old thank you's feet.

    This is just an idea, but one that might help your kids understand that it really isn't so much WHAT they get you but that they thought of you enough to get a small item you will truly enjoy.
  9. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    My son and his wife just bought a house (short sale) right up the street from us. It was a rental for over 10 years and needs a LOT of work. I know they cannot afford presents (she has a large extended family) for everyone, so I said to not get us anything. We got him a table saw (he needs it) and he was embarrassed, they got us ornaments that were specific for our tastes or hobbies and that was just fine. My "present" is having them living so close.
    My other son always asks me what I want for Christmas. He's a wonderful kid, but he has trouble thinking of "things" to get. One year I asked him for a lunch box - I take my lunch to work every day and needed it. This year I asked him for tea - he went to a specialty shop and got me several kinds and told me when I found one I really liked he'll get me more for my birthday in February.

    If you really want something - be specific or say something, don't say "don't get me anything". Especially boys - their minds don't work like that in most cases.
  10. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    There's a book that really helped me put gift-giving into perspective called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. If giving and receiving gifts is what really speaks to your heart (and it's okay--we're all wired up differently) then it's hard to be left empty-handed. Gifts is not my big thing--I certainly appreciate them when they come my way but if someone bypasses me on a traditional gift giving occasion it doesn't usually phase me. This year I had a one nice gift each from my inlaws and husband/kids. Last year I don't think my husband/kids did anything--can't even remember--and that was fine.

    Reading the book did help me understand the needs and responses of others whose love languages fall into categories other than mine (gifts, quality time, acts of service, physical touch, words of affirmation).

    It also helps you deal with some of the situations in specific ways, such as Skeeter mentioned above. Gifts aren't all that big of a deal to me so if you would tell me not to get you anything, I wouldn't, especially if it was a struggle to put food on the table. I'm good about taking care of kids on gift-giving occasions but beyond them I'm hit or miss. I also preach it to my boys every now and then (Just because I don't want a gift this Mother's Day doesn't mean your wife will feel the same way, should you ever get married).

    There's versions of the book for kids and spousal units.

    Anyway, all that said, I'm sorry you feel disappointed. I wouldn't say anything, but next year I'd give them a written list of affordable items when you ask for theirs.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    Wow! SRL makes a really good point here....

    For some people, gifts are a sign of love and for others - it is not. For me, actions are a sign of love (I think the book SRL references calls it "acts of service")....Gifts often feel very "hollow" to me if the giver is only going through the motions - so I tend to let people know that I would rather have their love and affection than something in a box. In other words, treat me nicely! My son explained that he couldn't figure out a way to giftwrap "Love" so he wrote it down in a letter, put it in a box and wrapped it! Great gift!!!

    I think you need to let people know how you really feel...

    But not right now. Wait a while until the holidays are over and done and then let them know that you DO think gifts are important - even if they are only small.

    Do NOT try to wrap it in a "guilt-trip"...they should not feel guilty because they cannot read your mind or your heart. You told them to get you nothing....and they assumed that you meant what you said. Not their fault!
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    I'm an acts of service person too. It's very rare that I'll mess with a card or gift for a friend for their birthday, but I'll be on her doorstep surprising her with a meal for the family when life gets too crazy.

    Especially for people like me, it's important to mean what you say when you speak of gifts. If someone says 'Don't give me anything" it's rare that I would buy them something because that's what I mean when I tell it to someone.