Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Recurring Argument...

I don't usually title my posts, but this one deserves a title, because it's been an ongoing problem between myself and my mother. The cause of the problem? Well, I guess it really boils down to my Diabetes. I know deep down my Mom cares about me, but she is so resistant to learning anything about this condition or what I go through each day. I can't even have a conversation with her about it, b/c she becomes so defensive...maybe that is my fault, but if you can't talk about something, how are things going to change/improve? This issue is making me miserable and my mother as well.

Basically this is what happens...
Mom will call me (or I'll call her) and we'll start by having a normal conversation, but as the conversation goes on, I grow more and more tense and irritable. It hits me that she isn't asking me how I'm doing or how my blood sugar is and that bothers me a lot. I mean, I am her daughter and shouldn't it matter to her if I am struggling? Shouldn't she want to know? Anyway, as she is about to hang up or when she says that she has to get off to go do something...I say to her "That's it?!" Of course by this time, I am way beyond annoyed (and hurt) that it didn't occur to her to bring the subject up, and this is where things start going down hill. I lose control of my temper and she gets defensive and nothing gets resolved. Usually, one of us hangs up on the other and then there is name calling spewed out - though more so coming from my Mom, which I know basically stems out of her frustration.

According to my Mom, we've talked about this subject over and over and she doesn't understand why this always has to be the topic of conversation. I admit, I do want to discuss it all the time-it's a huge issue in my life and I don't understand how she can not realize the importance of this to me. I also don't understand how she can think that we've talked about this- our conversations never go very far. They often erupt in anger and turn into huge arguments. Sometimes it makes me feel like she could care less, like she doesn't want to be bothered with hearing my problems. I know if it were me in her shoes, I would want my daughter to vent to me, if it meant that it would help her deal with things. But I guess she doesn't feel that way...

So neither of us are happy :( . In a way, I can understand how she feels. She doesn't know what to say or how to help me when I'm frustrated. I think hearing my frustration, she becomes frustrated herself. I get more and more annoyed that she's not saying what I think she should say. It's not really fair to her, I know. Maybe I sound like a complete, immature brat, and I know I can be at times, b/c I shouldn't always take out my problems on her. She tells me that she can't do anything to help me with my numbers, and in a sense she's right. Only I can take control of this disease and, as she has said, I'm 28 years old and should be able to take care of myself w/o getting her involved. However, saying that, the support I feel I need so much, I'm truly lacking. It's funny, b/c I don't really want to discuss this subject with my other family members, I only come to her with this issue. She often states that she doesn't know why I only "badger" her with this (in her words) and to be honest, I don't know. I just feel like she's my mom and she should care even more than my other family members. Does that make sense?

The reason I decide to post this today is because this happened again this morning. It's becoming almost a daily occurrence and I know it needs to end. I'm not sure how to amend this- my mom wants to blame this all on me, but I think both of us are responsible for these problems. We've talked about me speaking to a therapist, but I think I would still resent the fact that she chooses not to get involved. It almost sounds like she doesn't want to be bothered with it all...like it's not her problem, so why should she care? Like I said, I know she cares deep down, but sometimes she doesn't make it apparent. I'm at a loss right now...I don't know what to do about this situation. I wonder how other diabetics cope with these emotional issues regarding support from family...I guess I'm looking for some suggestions or ideas on what to do in this situation. Yeah, physically this disease plays a real number on you, but I think the emotional and mental side of things are far worse. I wish it was easier.


Blogger Sandra Miller said...

This is a tough one.

Andrea, after reading this post, it sounds like your mom may not have fully accepted your diabetes. And, she probably doesn't truly understand the challenges of living with the disease day-to-day.

Her seeming lack of interest in your condition might also be her way of coping with the sense of helplessness she likely feels in the face of what you're dealing with. It's hard to watch your child suffer in any way-- and, to know that you can't take away the source of that pain, for a mother, is almost unbearable.

I do believe that your desire to confide in your mom -- to share the pain of what you're experiencing -- is only natural.

After all, she's your mother.

So, what am I trying to say here?

Maybe, that diabetes sucks.

And it can impact a lot more than blood sugars. Sometimes it brings children and their parents closer together-- it has for me and Joseph. The fact that Joseph is still a child probably has a lot to do with this. I have to be far more involved in his care.

I think that when the child with diabetes is diagnosed as an adult it puts a far greater strain on the parent/child relationship-- at least in part, because the parent really has no control over the disease. No direct involvement.

I'd wager that many of these "children" wish they did.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

If you were diagnosed as an adult, out of the house and on your own, chances are your mother doesn't have a clue as to what diabetes does to a person psychologically and physically.

My parents know what's it's like to raise a child with diabetes, and they know the damage that it can do physically. But they don't really understand what it's like to live with it emotionally. My parents were obviously heavily involved in my care as a child, and slowly backed off as I got older in order for me to learn what I need to do to survive on my own. But they don't know the impact psychologically on a person living with a disease. It's very unique to the individual.

My point is, you're in a different boat than most people. Your mom has not spent a lot of time pondering your diabetes, and unless she truly been educated on the disease, probably doesn't have a great sense of what it is. Maybe you could take your mother to a Diabetes Expo or ask her to read a book on the subject, as a favor to you. See what she says. Tell her you want her to know more about your life, and you think this will help.

Your mom also might not be the best person to get the kind of support you're looking for. She doesn't have the kind of first hand experience that Sandra, other Moms or people with diabetes have. Connecting with more people from the OC or seeking out people in your community would be a good way for you to express your frustrations and your thoughts. JDRF and ADA might have support groups in your area, or your CDE or local hospital.

1:20 AM  
Blogger Kerri. said...

I was diagnosed as a little kid, so my mother had no choice but to become educated and involved in my diabetes care. It was a part of my childhood, my upbringing, and my relationship with my parents.

Being diagnosed as an adult must kind of alienate your parents from the disease. Tek over at [url]The 'betes[/url] has mentioned this issue on her blog. I would encourage you, as the other Commenters have, to seek out support in the form of online and in person support groups in addition to continuing to try and talk to your mother.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck. And lean on your fellow O.C.ers for support, if you need us.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Erica said...

Wow. I don't know what to say but I think the posters above have some good advice.

I was only diagnosed fairly recently and I feel the opposite way. I don't want anyone to ask about my blood sugar. And it irks me to no end when someone says "How's the diabetes?" I mean what the heck do you say to that? I always just quickly say fine and change the subject.

I hope you and your mom are able to find some common ground. But know too that we are all here to support you as well.

11:16 AM  
Blogger julia said...

Would your mother go to an endo appointment with you? Would it help to point her at some of the other adult blogger's sites so she can read a bit about the impact this disease is having on you, physically and emotionally? Would she be open to a couple of therapy sessions with you?

I can't imagine not asking my daughter, when she's an adult, how her numbers are and how she's feeling, but my child was diagnosed when she was two.

It could also be that your mother just isn't going to be there for you when it comes to D. It's really hard to deal with that - I've had to on a lesser level with my relatives and friends - and you just have to find support where you can get it. The O.C. is a good support, but if you need more face-to-face stuff, maybe see about joining or starting a support group of your own.

Parents, even at the best of times, can drive you mental. Best of luck with this situation.

11:30 AM  

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