Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Anonymity and Misunderstandings

Here is what Anonymous TX wrote to me:

After reading all the new posts...I got worried
that I had said something...but think I was hurt by the comment about you thinking my DH following me in the car was scary or creepy...
I meant it to be that he would try to drive in an diabetic alterted state and it would be scary for me not how you said it...or the way I took I stopped posting for a few days to think about what I say before I write.
Well, I read your latest post and thought I had said something offensive...but I checked other posts and saw the anonymous post suggesting that we all leave our DH instead of complaining and I really was offended...we stay
or I do because I do love him in some way...and in the beginning it was totally different...we were happy and in 40 years later and 27 years into diabetes.. it's different but as so many of you said...I won't leave for someone else to let him die...
and of course those wedding vows...I just am so thankful that I found a place where I can vent and be understood by 99% of everyone..and as for the post "why don't we leave" me that is someone who is NOT walking in our shoes...I need this site for daily sanity...I feel that some or you girls are worst off and some better than I but we are all in this boat and I have come to learn so much...especially that this disease has a heavy mental toll..not just a physical one...sure wish the DR's would see that side...that is the part that hurts so deeply...think I could stand the physical if only DH would appreciate a little more and show a little more kindness...know you all understand..and for that I thank GOD! Please keep posting...ignore those who are ignorant and continue to help those who understand the daily life with a DH....Thanks again for letting me vent....TX DW

and here is my response:
I am sorry if I said something that hurt your feelings or gave the impression that I was less than 100% supportive of you.
I can't speak for everyone -- but most of us wives do not judge each other
even when we are in different situations -- we understand....
we are looking for what you are looking for -- some kindness
a place to share -- to vent -- some sanity
we get judged every day and from just about everyone else
we don't want it here in this little corner of the cyberworld

we share ideas, we share feelings, we just share...
you are correct, I thought you were afraid of his following you in a creepy way
but the point of my other blog, was that even if he was in a bad/low insulin place
and got behind the wheel of a car -- I was so determined to make him responsible for his own actions that I would have hidden his keys and left anyway.
sometimes the only way to make these guys understand is shock therapy
(and not the Dr. Frankenstein version)
Not saying I was right - just that it was the moment in time for me!

One more comment on this issue that I feel I need to say. Some wives do leave their husbands. There are times when despite their love, and their caring, and everything that they have done to take care of that man they married so many years ago, they simply must go -- to protect themselves. That's ok too. There can be so many reasons for that -- We (at least me) don't judge that either. I have read some posts over the years where it sounds like the only alternative -- for all we know the husband was abusive before the diabetes which only made it worse, or the diabetes caused some brain damage that no one knows about and just can't be reversed. The wife simply has no alternative but to save herself -- and maybe her kids.

So, just to clarify -- NO JUDGEMENT! JUST SHARING!

if you ever, ever are hurt or confused -- let us know
its probably just because we didn't understand your words
its one of the challenges of black letters on white background
there is no nuance, no facial expression, no change in voice

clearly my words are often misunderstood
I like to think that I have a wry sense of humor
(whatever that means -- is that supposed to be rye?) ha ha
but it doesn't always come across

and yes, my first concern is always for my fellow wives
I kind of get defensive there - even though I have never met or spoken to a single one of you

and you, Anonymous TX, in particular - always identify which anonymous person you are.
I have missed your posts. I noticed.....
I believe that the Anonymous who sent that message to Lily is the same one who sent me and others a similar message. This person appears to be a mean coward OR is someone who truly does not understand our situation. Otherwise why use such harsh language?

After all of my words, please don't stop writing,
If I say something that hurts your feelings, or you don't understand,
PLEASE call me on it
it was probably just my rushing writing style

Take care everyone
lets keep the communication flowing
even if we misunderstand each other......

Tom's Wife

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Commenting on Others Posts

Reading posts by Diabetic Wife and Lilly - some comments just came to mind and prompted me to write my own ramblings........

On Family:
Several years ago we moved to be closer to my family --- and his. His is still about 4 hours away by car -- but that's better than 12 and about as close as either of us could handle. :)

My family clearly challenges me sometimes, but I am grateful to be here. There is no doubt in my mind, that every one will drop every thing for me if I ever need anything.

On one of Tom's trips to the ER in the middle of the night, I thought about which one of them I would call if I needed someone with me at the hospital. (I drove my own car -- which is horrible by the way if you haven't done that. It is very scary driving behind and wondering if they were able to revive him, racing to the hospital at 2 am, hoping that if a cop pulled up, he would know you were appropriately following the ambulance.!)

The point is that I have three sisters within a couple of miles of me who I could have woken up and they would have been at my side within minutes -- probably with their husbands! I am so grateful for that I can't express it. They would also take the burden of talking with my parents and his mother if I needed them to -- and for that too I'm grateful. Sometimes the thought of making a bunch of calls after an "episode" like that is too tough for me.

On "Just Getting a Divorce"
Leaving a marriage is a very difficult thing -- no matter the cause -- so many people are involved: the husband, the wife, the children, the husband's birth family, the wife's birth family, and the social and work circles in which both evolve. It is never a decision that affects only one person.

And even if it did - one asks herself: How can I leave this man that I loved to die alone? I have worked so many years to help him and saved his life so many times in so many ways? If I leave, he will surely die, how can he live without me?

But he has also done some fabulous things for me, remember when he just held me when I cried that time? how about the time that he..... We have wonderful memories of these men....

I remember one time thinking -- if I leave him and someone asks me, what happened, why did you leave him and my answer is -- oh, he got sick and I couldn't tolerate it any more. what kind of person does that make me? how do you leave someone you love because they got sick? I would hate that kind of person! Am I really that kind of person?

You see, this is a really complicated issue. And if you think this makes me sound selfish - so be it.

And, I will return to my "tirade" against the medical industry. Diabetes has two components: they physical and the mental/emotional. The Medical Industry addresses the physical -- they measure chemicals in the blood and think they know what they are talking about. But they don't know anything about how the brain works - that's where this disease is affecting behavior. We believe that our husbands are suffering from how the disease affects their brains. it is the impact on their behavior that is the real crisis of this disease. These ill people have a disorder in their brains that impairs their ability to take appropriate medication, to control their tempers, to manage their pain, etc. Maybe this brain impairment is "self-imposed" because they didn't take the proper care earlier in their lives -- but blame is irrelevant -- we are here today and we have to deal with what is happening in our (and their) lives.

Sometimes - we have to take care of ourselves and our children because there just is no other avenue -- the ill patient that we used to love just no longer exists and self preservation wins out. But other times, we need to stay -- we need to see this through. We need to do every single thing that is in our power to help. We can't leave a dying man on the sidewalk for other people to kick.

if we get some comfort from posting our angst, anxiety, and pain (and occasional joy) on this site, well last I heard we were free to do that. If someone is offended by reading any of this. Then you are quite free to not read it.

People who want to criticize us are NOT welcome to tell us -- we don't want to hear that
we only want to hear support on this particular site.
that's what we are hear for.

I guess I had something to say.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Responding to Comments from last post

It seemed like several questions revolved around the one that asked if my marriage got better -- will it ever be like it was when we first got married?

We will never have the marriage we had when we were younger, of course
And yes my marriage got better

but its not necessarily a direct path

you see, while he changed, so did I!
I have stopped enabling him and he has had to take care of himself

I remove myself from situations where he can hurt me -- verbally or otherwise -- if at all possible

I understand that we are not all in the same place
and I feel sorry for the wife who believes her DH will follow her if she left

that sounds creepy and scary

but I have a new sense of self confidence and just try not to accept "bad" behavior from him anymore

its not perfect but its better.

good luck.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Labels, Leaving, On Notice...
I have been reading my friends posts and painfully remember a horrible period in our marriage not long ago when I was seriously considering leaving Tom

with a great deal of help, I changed my behavior -- I literally stopped enabling him
I stopped helping him
I stopped arguing
stopped asking about his meds
stopped asking about the tests
stopped everything

if he was low (which happened multiple times a day) I handed him some juice and left the house
even if it was the middle of the night
I just took a drive

I called in all my chips -- spoke to his brother, spoke to my sister, spoke to every friend I had
asked for the support I didn't know I had

it was just about the hardest thing I did

I remember one night when I left the house - it was February and freezing outside
I was absolutely certain that he would be dead when I returned

but I just forced myself to stay away from the house for two hours
amazingly, when I returned, he was fine
not just fine
but he had eaten, cleaned the kitchen, and was waiting for me

It has certainly not been perfect since then -- but it has been much better
I don't know what happened during those two hours -- we never discussed it
but I still don't help

I'll give him juice and walk away
I don't go to the doctor
I don't argue

if he wants to die -- he can
if he wants to be angry and yell at someone -- its not going to be me

He changed -- but so did I
I simply won't accept his entitled behavior anymore
25 years is enough

it has changed our relationship

of course it could change again
but I hope I can stick to my guns

none of us should have to accept it

but we have to change to
we have to figure out how to stand up and show them that we will not permit them to be whiners, dependents, in other words, be their moms

first we have to show them what we expect -- not with words but with actions
its not being mean or nasty
its being a self-respecting human being

this is not meant to say everyone should be like me
but I only learned this because a very smart person taught it to me
and it worked for me -- at least so far

hoping that someone else may get something to think about from my experience

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Been Catching Up

Its been a busy summer for me
I am wrapping up my job before "retiring" to my next career step
its the best feeling in the world

Tom is being great -- he is taking care of himself and being supportive of me
its a nice change of pace
I hope it continues

reading the other DW's blogs, they are not having so much luck
(and I know my turn will come - so I am very sympathetic)

And yet, I don't see myself as kind as others
Getting up to feed him a fourth meal while he sits there whining? not happening -- feed yourself -- I'll be somewhere else.
Getting up in the middle of the nite when he doesn't hear the beeps? Been there done that -- not sure I'll do that any more.
Trying to fix the windows in order to sell the house while I'm in pain? ok, maybe, I would do that - but I would probably kick him out first and do it on my schedule and only when I feel good and wouldn't share any of the money I get from selling the house with him.

Of course you know I say all of this with a little bit of sarcasm
its easy to say what i would do when I am not in those shoes

I remember someone telling me not to help Tom when he was in a low
oh, yeah, just let him die!
of course, that's so easy!
I'll just go to sleep while he goes into a coma beside me
when I wake up in the morning he will be dead and I will calmly call the paramedics
no problem
easy as pie

this is the man I married 25 years ago
I love him (or at least I used to)

what has life become?

going from one crisis to another?

Its a good thing I love to work
I am hoping that I can make a ton of money in the next 10 years
I can dream and wish and hope that I can buy my way out of this
what do you think?
will that work?

probably not
but dreams are dreams

clearly its time for me to go to sleep tonight
hope you get a good night's sleep tonight also

sometimes its all we can hope for....

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A little Catch up

I've been traveling for a few weeks so I got behind on my blog
finally posted a few messages from my last one - read them - they are important

Our 25th anniversary is Tuesday and Tom is being super nice and healthy
I am taking the opportunity to be thankful
we are starting my next work venture together
it feels very nice -- and I am trying to stay focused
trying not to think about when that other shoe is going to drop

my days like DW will come - I just hope I can put them off for a little longer.....