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Old 05-01-2009, 06:47 AM   #1
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answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

to all my friends --

With Mom gone, Sister is, of course, all alone now.

She lives 6" on the other side of the wall. I love her dearly but I still have so much built up anger over things that I truly can't stand being home anymore -- I take every excuse I can think of to be around my boyfriend and feel in control of things again.

I can't put myself on a pedestal, I wasn't doing what she was doing 24/7 and knew that I wouldn't necessarily be good at it if I was because of the non-relationship I had with my mother. I was very supportive of sister, I hope, especially each and every time Mom and her battled (aka screamed, yelled, etc). Mom wasn't yelling clearly it was during the slamming hand on everything or stomping foot down, etc. I made myself available when sister asked me to be at a doctor's appt, etc. But there was a time I was extremely mad at having to take mom to a doctor because sister had an appointment herself and didn't tell me that there was the potential opportunity that the doctor was going to take Mom's toenail off, during the appointment. I freaked and told her in no uncertain terms that it was not going to happen during my shift! -- My mother hated me, didn't know who I was and didn't like that sister would leave me with her. I wasn't going to let my mother go through something tramatic like that without having anesthetia which would make her easier to control!!!! -- its was those 'bomb-drops' that I would get hit with at the last minute that I dispised so tremendously

I guess I hated going over and watching Mom because sister didn't plan her outings properly. She'd just jump in the car and go. In the beginning, I'd find she did this usually around the time I was supposedly coming home from work. Only sister wasn't assured that I would be coming home on time or wouldn't be stuck at work -- numerous times I'd come home to find my mother at the door, grabbing me and pulling me into the house in tears because she couldn't find my sister. And getting her to tell me that when she couldn't talk well was a feat -- let me tell you.

I'd stay with Mom until sister got home assuring her that Sister didn't leave her permanetly and then worrying that if anything happened to sister outside the house, what would I do about Mom? -- then kicking myself for selfish thoughts.

As I said in another post. Our relationship (sister and mine) could've been better had I not held such anger over the fact that she gave up her life -- all her life. She pushed away without meaning to or knowing she did -- all her childhood friends. My mother's control over my sister also didn't lend itself to my sister having the same type of childhood I had. In her case, my mothe wanted to keep her close -- in my case, I was more pushed out of the nest.

As she got older, my parents never asked this of her, it was just easier within herself to be a home-body. Me? I like being around lots of people, making friends, planning or participating in activities that are fun. I have such anger inside me that she took on such a demanding roll and didn't let it be a nurse in the house nor plan to put mom into a home earlier that would've enabled her to get a job at a time when the economy was better -- now she's going to try to navigate the world of on-line resume' submissions, and phone interviews etc. She's 58 and and hasn't worked in an office environment in 8 years. Back then they had secretaries and admin. assistants -- now most companies have done away with those jobs in light of the computers everyone has, voicemail that takes calls, and features such as call forwarding so they don't need people to cover the phone calls anymore.

Numerous times over my life (and I'm 4 years younger than Sis) people would expect me to include her in most things I was planning or doing. When I got married, my father would constantly say "doesn't Mike have any buddies, you can set your sister up with?". I seethed inside when that happened. If I didn't include her, she'd just sit home, doing nothing. As Mom got sicker, everyone kept saying "you're going to have to take care of your sister now, and watch over her". Again, I seethed.

I feel she is old enough to have a life -- whatever life she wants. I suggested she look into a single's trip and take some of the money left and go. She use to go with my parents to Tin Can Sailor reunions and she kept in touch with a lot of the old timers from the group since they were all my parents age, I said "why don't you plan to go visit . . . in . . .", etc. and all I get is "no".

I know I should be open to having a meal with her once a month or whatever but I am uncomfortable around her because she's always trying to tell me what I should do or what my kids are doing or not doing -- like I wouldn't know about my kids. She also had such a sheltered or isolated world and yet when we're around people and I'm talking about something, she'll come up with "yet, she never asks her older sister for advice, I'd tell her that was a wrong thing to purchase"

I hate my now life, I hate being single and people asking me at weddings to be part of the bouquet throwing process. I hate being alone at night, now sleeping in a twin bed, I hate my new adjectives that define me since Mikey died. "widow, single, head of household, single-parent", etc. hate it!, hate it! hate it!.

I've been angry all week that I know is delayed grieving as Mikey's anniversary of his death was April 13th. I truly hate my life and people think its great that I'm alone now and so is my sister == and boy, you two can go on vacations together and everything!

I didn't mind having to be supportive of my sister during that time with Mom. What made it harder for me to do more was the fact that my mother's failures through dementia coincided with my husband's diagnosis of Kidney Failure and the numerous doctors visits and hospital runs that we had to take during the day and nights. All this so close and his subsequent death in front of my eyes, I just want to run away from everything.

Its funny that everyone fools themselves into thinking I'm doing fine because I have great kids and wonderful boyfriend who I care deeply about -- if only people could see the inside of me, they'd know I'm just holding on by my fingertips.

yes I do love my boyfriend and yes, he's my comfort and serenity in the storm of chaos of what my life is like now. Being a widow himself, he sometimes understands my grieving. His last few years with his life wasn't the greatest and I guess he feels a sense of relief that its behind him so it doesn't seem he grieves as much or as hard as I do. But there are times, special dates on the calendar, holidays, etc. when it hits home and he gets as meloncoly as I. But having him in my life, doesn't mean he's there only to make me happy 24/7.

Sorry I needed to vent. Debbie my asking you the question about sister #4 in another post, made me think of my sister and my life and most of all our relationship. I don't know what I'd do and scared that I would be a failure or judged unfairly if I couldn't rise to the situation the way others may have or do.

 
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Old 05-01-2009, 12:39 PM   #2
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Dear Diane,

Now that your Mom has passed away, you are re-thinking your whole life. It is normal, and advising people here with similar problems makes it even more acute.

I was a mess when I left NY to come here and live alone. I felt I had messed up my marriage first, and then my mother-care attempts.

I was really fortunate to find a very understanding counselor (mental health therapist) who worked with me for nearly 2 years, first every week, later ever 3rd week, and got me to see things from an entirely different perspective. I did not abandon my marriage and later my Mother, but unbearable circumstances both times led me to choose a different path for myself. I chose life. It took quite some time for me to agree. I used to use words like "in my stupidity, I then did...'' or "I was not strong enough, not capable of handling this ... '' etc. She taught me to use other words in my thinking and talking about the past. ''This and this happened, so I decided to do that and that.''

I very highly suggest this kind of therapy for both you and your sister, each alone unless later you want to go together. It is amazing just to have a professional guide your way of thinking and help you see yourself as a good person, when you are down on yourself.

I pray you will find peace, dear Diane; you have been such a help here to so many.

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 05-01-2009 at 04:00 PM.

 
Old 05-01-2009, 01:29 PM   #3
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Dear Diane,

I've read your post 4 times now and I'm trying to say the right things to you so as not to upset you any further. Here goes friend.

I am soooo sorry that your childhood was such a bad experience for you. I can't imagine how you felt year after year enduring your own Mother's indifference towards you. You deserved better than what you got. Every little girl deserves a loving Mother. I certainly had one and you should have had one too. You are a caring and loving person and I wish I could help in some small way. All I can do is listen and respond. Is that OK??

You my dear friend are still grieving your Mikeys death. Another terrible thing to have to go through. Here also I can only imagine your pain because I still have the love of my life here with me. I've lost loved ones that I still miss to this day but not my husband and God willing I will go first because we have been together since I was 14.

You are a survivor Diane, a strong woman, even if you don't feel strong at this moment. Like Martha said I too will pray that you find some kind of peace of mind about your life. We care about you here, very much. So type away and maybe just by listening we can return the kindness you have shown to us many times.

Love and hugs to you,
Chris

 
Old 05-02-2009, 11:29 AM   #4
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Diane
You have suffered a lot of losses in your life. One of them being a mom whom you feel was not really a mom to you in the sense that you wish she had been. That can be a very difficult thing to come to terms. The loss of your husband Mickey whom you loved with all of your heart had to be devasting as you have now lost the love of your life your best friend. Those are two really hard things to go through.
Not sure if you ever considered therapy as a form of help to guide you through this or not. I know therapy is not always for everyone but if you can find the right person to go to it may prove to be very beneficial. I myself could not do it . When I was in a long term relationship that ended abrubtly for reasons that never was clear to me, I seeked therapy but never got anything out of it. My best friends were the ones that pulled me through. Then just coming to terms with the fact that this is what it is and moved on.
You are a very strong and caring person that I believe has the ability to get through this. You have been so very helpful to some many on this board so that alone says a lot about you. I wish I had a magic pill to make it all go away and help you heal from this but I don't. Just know we are all here for you.

Love Pauline

 
Old 05-02-2009, 12:27 PM   #5
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

People who are in the same boat are the best help. It turned out that my therapist has also lost her husband of many years to a younger woman, so we had a lot in common. Talking to a good friend is very useful also. Praying is helpful. Somehow losing the guilt is the most important aspect, in my opinion. That's why this Board helped me so much when I expected myself to do the impossible in caring for my mother as her dementia grew worse and worse.

Love,

Martha

Last edited by Martha H; 05-02-2009 at 12:27 PM.

 
Old 05-02-2009, 10:44 PM   #6
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Diane... my answer to your question was just that, my answer as to what i would do. That does not mean, if you make a different decision, that there is something wrong with you. We each have to do what is right for ourselves and not what is right for somebody else.
.
Yes, you have had too much rejection and loss in your life. You are still grieving for your dearl Mikey and now your Mother. Even though she didn't treat you properly she was still your Mother and the loss is painful as well. Your sister made choices in her life and you should not be expected to prop her up now that she has other options available to her. It is time for her to stand on her own two feet and it is time for you to take the personal time you need to heal yourself.

If you can find the right person, therapy is wonderful. Sister 2 had a wonderful therapist that guided her through her divorce. I also have a good friend who lost her DH and (and my good friend) in a horrible freak traffic accident. Her therapist is amazing. But I also know those, including my daughter, that iwas totally useless. But you never know until you try it.

So never feel guilty and sad or less of a person because you need to say no to your sister and take the time you need to make yourself whole again. your first priority is YOU!!! Know I keep you in my thoughts and prayers and surround you with hugs....

Love, deb

 
Old 05-03-2009, 02:25 PM   #7
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Thanks to everyone. I guess I was feeling hum-drum and kept harking back in my mind to all the people who whispered in my ear during Mom's illness "what is your sister going to do when your mother's gone . . . You know you'll need to be there for your sister, etc.".

But it was nothing more than I heard throughout my life. "Oh, you're going out? Can't you take your sister with you?" -- "do you know of someone you can set your sister up with? -- Oh, how lucky you can be, you can do things with your sister now that you're both single.

And the list goes on. I never raised my kids to be responsible for me yet my son feels he's responsible for my sister. He keeps saying "whose going to take care of Aunt Lil?". i love him dearly for this but I keep telling him "I will, its not your responsibility". But its also that I don't intend to.

I know she's responsible for her life. As long as she's capable of living a life then she's responsible for what she wants to do with it.

Thanks for everyone's response and the loves, hugs, and pats on the back we give each other.

Love you all very much

Diane

 
Old 05-06-2009, 05:08 PM   #8
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Hi Diane...
Sending you big hugs....I totally understand what you're saying about your sister......you can be supportive to an extent, but she has to find her way, it is her life. I'm glad you came here to vent.....this is the place to do it, you are among many who love you....myself included of course!!! I hope today finds you feeling a little better......

Love, Caroline xo

 
Old 05-07-2009, 03:22 AM   #9
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Caroline,

thanks for the notes -- how is Ryan and Nicholas? And your Mom, any results yet?

Keeping you in my thoughts -- Oh and Uncle (what's his name?) I hope this is finding him still having a relationship with his sibling(s) and adjusting well to the less demands on his time and life.

Love you.

Kiss hubby and kids and have a great Mother's Day.

 
Old 05-07-2009, 04:28 AM   #10
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Dearest Diane,
I too read your post with a lump in my throat. You, thro' venting have inadvertently put into words how i feel and have been feeling. I was pushed out by my mum, whilst my younger sis and bro were loved and cherished. I went thro' therapy for a long time and was only just getting my life into gear when mom was diagnosed with Alz. So that bit i do have empathy with. As to Mickey, I can only agree with what the other sisters say. You are facing your life through a new perspective. I feel you are strong enough to travel though this journey that you find yourself on. Don't beat yourself up. Just lately I've been pretending that this is how I feel about a certain person/situation and this is how I am going to react to this person/situation. Always in a positive up-building light. Take my lil' bro for example. I pretend that we are really close and I anticipate that we act towards each other how you envisage healthy siblings acting. When a negative thought comes into my head rather on feeding on it, I banish it and hang onto the positive. When I'm with my friends they ask how mom is. They know the pressure I am under. They are shocked when I say that I will be glad when my mom dies. But they now understand that as my mom I love her, but her as a person I loathe. The same is true of my lil' bro. Because he's my blood/kin I love him, but as a person I can't stand him. There is a difference. My younger sister I feel different towards. She's come out of this twisted relationship with our mother as a paranoid schizophrenic. She's too humble and self-depracating. I just feel so sad for her. My brother bullies her.
Give yourself time. Maybe write a letter at first to your sister. All I can do is hope for the best for you. You have been a rock to me in the past. A bale of towels are on their way.
sandra xoxoxo

 
Old 05-07-2009, 06:02 AM   #11
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Hi Diane,
Thanks for asking....
Both Ryan and Nicholas are doing well....Ryan is growing like a little weed already. They both keep me on my toes thats for sure.
Mom is actually having her biopsy right now as I'm typing this message....I'm praying for a good result....dont want to think of anything else. We still need to wait for an appointment for the other test on her heart.
Uncle is actually coming here tomorrow for 10 days. He has signed a 6 month lease on an apartment and will be moving out of the house he shared with my grandmother and his brother for 15 years. He will be leaving so many memories behind....I'm encouraging him to take the good ones with him, and leave the bad ones behind. He is struggling, up and down, to be expected, but he's doing his best to get through each day hoping the next one will be better than the last. That one sister is still calling on him, and went to see the apartment with him, so hopefully she will help him move when he gets home from his visit here.
I couldnt do anything to help when grandma passed so I will take this opportunity to make him feel welcome, and make him dinner/etc.....basically just part of a "family". I know he's missing that. Will do that for him and for my grandma, she would be happy about that.....

Other than that, things are okay Diane, I'm just really needing mom's results to be okay as I just dont want to face any more illness for awhile. I know I have no control over any of it....but I just want a break. I had a horrible dream last night that my mom was really ill, and the feeling I had in the dream seeing her that way was so real and so scary. You know when you have dreams that feel so real? I'm hoping the good Lord is hearing my prayers.

How are things with you?

Love, Caroline xo

Last edited by mary09; 05-07-2009 at 06:05 AM.

 
Old 05-07-2009, 07:12 AM   #12
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

praying for you too!

Love,

Martha

 
Old 05-07-2009, 09:40 AM   #13
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Caroline

things are fine after my vent. i think it was reading all the sibling relationship stuff that caused me to re-think mine. My sister and I had a relationship in the early years of always fighting. 4 years apart and difference of home environment with her getting a fairer side of the hand than I did from hom didn't help.

As we got older, it got better. When I graduated and started working full-time I tried to have a better relationship by going on vacation with her. But there we were in lovely Florida and me in a bathing suit ready to go out to the hotel pool only to have her stop me from leaving the room (the pool was right outside our patio door!). She said she'd call my parents if I left the room that she was afraid something was going to happen to me.

Then because I have a little pouch -- she accused me of being pregnant!!
that ruined my whole trip, I'll tell you. I wasn't pregnant in the least.
when we got home, I retold the story to my mother and she questioned my sister about it. My sis didn't have an answer as to why she felt like she did (at the time, I had friendships with some male people but nothing serious).

So everyone begged me to give it another chance. We went to Canada next year only to have food poisioning upon arrival. We saw Man and his world and then came home. But again, no clubs, dancing, doing anything other than being at the Montreal exhibit and then back to the hotel room.

We use to go down the shore with her and her two girlfriends, but my sister told my mother she didn't want to go anymore because when we did and we'd walk the boardwalk, I'd wave and say hi to cute guys we saw. She said I acted like I was a "fill-in-the blank". My mother did stick up for me then. But the damage was done. My sister's warped view did not make me feel like I ever wanted her on vacation with me ever again.

We've had a supportive relationship and that's it. Its not a friendship in the way others have. I am there if she needs me for anything and instead of my usual jumping in and taking over trait, I stepped aside and let her do everything and anything with regards to Mom and her care, only voicing my strong opinions when I saw that nothing she did was really helping Mom any longer and was just prolonging the nightmare day-to-day. As my sister screamed more than one to people; you all are treating my mother to die, I'm treating my mother to live forever!. I heard her pain and it hurt me so much.

She was aware of my failures due to my still continued grieving for the loss of my husband. So at least I knew she was able to understand my lack of more hands-on plus I felt that (maybe wrongly) she lived a better life than I and it was time that she be able to be independent of me and my family and be responsible for something other than herself.

So like I said, the stuff here about siblings just caused me to look at my own life with some regrets. But also with fear because everyone thinks she needs looking after because of her isolated, hermit, existences and I don't want to be responsible for anyone but myself. I don't even feel responsible for my children but its not a negative of me as a Mom. Its just saying, I don't make their day-to-day decisions but I'm here to lend an ear or emotional support if those decisions don't work out positively. When Son got his first ticket, I was right there but I wouldn't pay the ticket for him. When they register for their semester, they don't ask me what courses they should take, its up to them to talk with their counselors and get on the right track to meet their goals. I've told my kids that I've given them guidance and love to have a foundation. Purchasing their life insurance policies to ultimately hand over to them, covering them on my car insurance, etc. is my way to let them establish themselves further. I gave them the foundations, what kind of life they build on it from now on is entirely on them.

I love you all. I'm feeling better and things will play out whatever way God choses. We are pawns in his plan. Have a wonderful mother's day one and all.

Your
CaringSister54

 
Old 05-07-2009, 07:53 PM   #14
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Re: answering one post -- made sister relationship come up

Diane, each finds their own way and their own relationships with others. Just because you are born of the same blood does not mean you are bound to that person. Love and friendship are emotions that you attach to people for reasons. You can love without liking what a person is doing and you can be a good sister without being a best friend. You define the relationship you want with your sister. Her needs may not match what you are willing to give and that's ok.

I have one sister who is on my best friend list. I have one sister that is on my good friend list. I have one sister that is just that... a sister. I have a different relationship with each but I love them all equally. It is just a matter of how they fit into my life at the moment.... and that is my decision based on so many factors.

So have no regrets for your true feelings. Just own them and know they are yours!

Love, deb

 
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