Welcome To My World of Family Insanity

DIABETES

Insidious and so common. People are so nonchalant about it . No one wants to give up their favorite food. They’d rather die – literally.

I sit here with my chin on my hand trying to understand what went wrong. Maybe we get more cynical as we age. Maybe we don’t want to accept the fact that the life we thought we would have when we grew up, when we played at being grown ups and we wore our mother’s shoes didn’t turn out to be much fun as we thought it would. We wanted happiness and perfect families. We didn’t imagine people dying or even getting sick. We didn’t know about trauma. But now that we have lived a major part of our lives we don’t want to let people know we screwed up. It mightchange their perception of us.

Welcome to the real world. We close off the things we don’t want to hear. Is that why it is so hard for most people to listen? Is it ego? Family members instantly jump to feeling criticised. “How dare you! You aren’t perfect!” or “Who are you to tell ME that I am not?”

No matter how I say it; no matter how non threatening the words are, their noses instantly flare, they get defensive and act as though they have been personally attacked. Wow. I wish I had recorded that so they couldn’t get away with twisting it around so they’d look like a victim.

Aren’t families fun? Not at all. We joined the ranks of one of many dysfunctional families that gets worse with age

I admit it, I come across strong when something is important to me – like staying alive – and doing what I need to do to make that happen. The quality of the food I eat is crucial. Someone don’t have to be a vegetarian, or go on a macrobiotic diet, or Paleo, Atkins or Weight Watchers. Those are “diets” and rarely do people stay on them. Some of them are not healthy longterm and even if you lose weight, you gain it back.

If you eat a good, healthy, balanced diet, eliminating fake food high in chemicals and bad crap, you will naturally lose weight. If you have a disease caused by eating a lifetime of shitty, good tasting garbage your body is going to fail you. You need to take the time to read and learn about what the food industry has done to ruin out health.

IF YOU DON’T STOP – bad things happen.

If you don’t like hearing, because you want to stuff yourself with that wonderful bread at Red Lobster, and even get an order to go, AND you have diabetes, your health will break down and you will severely pay for your choices. We are responsible for ourselves. “Poor so and so, she died too young.”

Is it worth it? Emphatically, no! But if you haven’t had a severe illness you don’t understand how hard it is to gain back your health.

THE FOOD ADDICT’S LOGIC

I only eat ( item) once in a while. Once in awhile is okay, right? That may be true for some people, but if you have diabetes and the next day you use the same logic for why you ate a pizza, and the next day your dinner is on a bed of pasta with a side of garlic bread, and it tastes sooo good – you are in big trouble. – even if you spread that out over 6 days instead of three. If you eat different bad things all the time and have an excuse for every one, do you think you are fooling yourself? There are three women in my immediate family with diabetes, that I know of.  I’ve heard every excuse possible.

My mother has Diabetes. She lived with that logic for ten years, after her diagnose. She has charts trapped on her kitchen cabinets about what to eat. These charts do not take into consideration the quality of that food. She had a stroke. I tried hard to help her understand why she needed to change her diet, but she wouldn’t. She “tried” which is a cop-out. It sets you up for acceptable failure. Now she has to live with it – in a wheelchair. Am I 100% sure diabetes caused it? No, but it was likely affected by it because of the failure of small blood vessels in her brain which is what diabetes affects. It is why diabetics also have kidney failure, go blind and have their feet or toes cut off from gangreen. I’d like for her to not have another stroke. I don’t want to lose my mother earlier just because she had to eat cake. Her words, “I never meet a desert I didn’t like.” We all love desert. But it’s more than that. it is starches that break down into sugar. Regardless, at 83, junk food isn’t very wise.

I fell recently and couldn’t continue to care for her so she is living with my sister, unfortunately another diabetic who has the same distorted logic about what is okay to eat. And boy is she is pissed off at me for telling her that cake, pringles, white bread, potatoes, and cream of wheat cereal is not very good for anyone to eat, let alone a woman shooting insulin to stay alive. I could have given her detailed reason why except she was too insulted at being told something she didn’t know. Her hands went up in the air and she cut me off. How childish. “I’ve been feeding mom for four months. I know how to feed her!”   Let me think that through. Is it the fact she has been coming her meals for four months the important thing? No, it isn’t. The issue is I just told her she should change how she feds her because they both should eat better ALL OF THE TIME not sometimes because diabetes is a serious illness. But shell have to learn that the hard way. So – let her eat cake. It’s just a shame she cares so little about what she feeds her mother at the same time.

Because I have been very sick, and it was my own fault, I have learned it is easier and far better to not get sick than to try to regain your health. Some damage can’t be undone. That is not fun watching people hurt themselves and learn it’s too late to go back and change it. It’s hard to watch when you see people being so careless with the most important thing they have – their health. Life sucks when it fails. So my family can be as angry at me as they want. They are on the losing side of this issue.

“You’ve put my life on the internet for the world to read!

Meaning: I didn’t want people to know how I treated you was while you’ve been struggling with your health.” I don’t know how to be a sister, but all my friends love me!” (Direct quote. I couldn’t make this stuff up.) Or, “I don’t want people to know I’m not who they think and have a cruel steak in me”. Or, “I don’t want you to talk about us to everyone” Gee, maybe this family should have stopped wagging their tongues a long time ago. No one would listen. Phone lines have been burned up.

If they refuse to speak to me again – gee, we don’t speak now so where is the loss? If they get rude I have two other posts ready to publish.

All of this is about ego. “How dare she tell ME anything about what to eat.” She could have said, “Really? I didn’t know that.” She could even check it out for herself. In fact, if this makes them stop making excuses and learn why they need to pay attention to what their body is telling them, it might help their health, if it matters enough You’d think that would be important. Maybe it isn’t.

My sister has worked for decades selling Hondas. If I wanted to by one wouldn’t it make sense to talk to someone who knows about that car? Or maybe I should ask my dentist what she thinks. Would that be wise?

My mother told me, “I wish I would have listened to you ten years ago.” She might still be zipping around in her bright blue Honda.

someone-did-you-wrong

My sister and I haven’t had a relationship for quite awhile. I’ll only say she has done a lousy job being a sister. People who know me understand the reasons I say that.  So why I thought she would hear me about diabetes was pretty stupid on my part. I honestly wanted to help her understand how much she was hurting herself – and my mother. They are at a point, when you need insulin – that you CAN NOT eat something just because you want it! Your body will fall you! But why the heck should I care about her life? Because it’s a life? Because she doesn’t care about mine? Is that a good enough reason to say nothing? Even her doctor asked my mother to help her with her diabetes. The blind leading the blind. Of course I know this because no information is sacred in our family.

It’s wrong, but sometimes I want her to feel the pain she caused me so she understands. I guess I have issues, huh? It’s been hard for me to deal with. At least I can admit I’m not perfect. If I hurt someone the words, “I’m sorry” are in my vocabulary. Some people choke on those words. If our mother had not had a stroke we still would not have spoken to each other. It’s not easy to look in a mirror and examine the hurtful things we’ve done to other people. But life always gives back to us the effects of the causes we make.

With diabetes and one stroke under her belt, and needing a wheelchair now, what my mother eats, and more important, what she doesn’t eat is crucial. I believe, because so many people have diabetes, they don’t take it seriously. It has been normalized because it is so common. Even fat kids have diabetes now, which is sad. It is adults who feed them the junk they see on their TV.

FAILURES OF THE FOOD INDUSTRY

Profit is everything. Who cares if it kills you?

I research everything I can to stay healthy. In the 60’s we didn’t know what the food industry was doing. They hid data about lots of harmful products so we would continue to buy them. But once you know, how can you continue to kill yourself by consuming it? And how can you continue to support corporations who harm people and the planet? We have allowed our own destruction. Isn’t that stupid? Taste buds win over common sense.

There are two issues working here. People are now addicted to unhealthy food and to give that up is painful. That is why addictions are hard to break. They’d rather take the chance of cancer, a stroke or heart attack, to name a few, than give up the taste of certain foods they like. The other issue of ego is just as hard. Who wants to think they are looked at as weak and unable to control what they eat – and the person telling you is your sister and you don’t like her. How can you admit she knows something you don’t? You’ve just spent 6 years ignoring her, letting her know you don’t care about her so how can you let down your guard now? We didn’t speak for years, but now our mother had a stroke and it forced us to. It is detrimental to my mother’s health if she feeds her what she eats herself.

I don’t care if I made her angry trying to tell her why certain foods were not a good idea for diabetics to eat. Let that sink in. This entire drama was about unhealthy food. Isn’t that ridiculous? Welcome to my world.

I’ve been called a few choice names over these past few years. Old hag, drug addict, I’m evil and have a black heart. It’s amazing how defensive people get when they don’t like to hear the truth.

Foolishly, I thought I could set an example of how to care about someone. But it seems even the most devout Christians don’t apply the golden rule. As a Buddhist, it is the same as the Law Of Cause And Effect. How about – What goes around comes around? You get back what you dish out? You reap what you sow? Where is that understanding in the effects of each of our lives? That is what we all need to look at. Do you like where you are in your life? Do you take responsibility for the bad things or do you just chalk it up to, “That’s life. It is what it is?” Or maybe God wanted you to be sick. Then you can remove yourself from causing your own illness.

I’ve lived my life with a few mottoes that got me through life. Here is a good one for today. It is one of my personal quotes:

If you don’t like what I’m doing, don’t watch me do it!

What Happened To The Word Thank You?

Our world is going to hell in a hand basket. As I write these words I wonder where they come from: hell in a hand basket. Maybe it’s because as we go down this slippery slope of not caring about each other we wrap it up in pretty paper and pretty words and add pretty flowers that smell oh so sweet! and it hides the rotten smell of what is inside.

It’s everywhere. People you think should love you, and they say they do, but delight in negative gossip because it makes them feel better about themselves because their life never amounted to a hill of beans. Maybe this is why so many older people are so bitter because they think they reached the point they are too old to do begin anything new. 

I’ve talked to quite a few people and asked them about their families – trying to find a family that isn’t dysfunctional. But I found there aren’t any. Whenever you get beyond a small family, where there are sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, etc., the nitpicking, and jealousy comes out. Family thinks they have the right to judge you and the right to gossip so much more than your friends do. Maybe we are more careful with our friends because they can leave us in a heartbeat, but we expect our family to try to understand us and love us because we are tied by blood. We think they are “supposed” to love us and then we’re hurt because they don’t. So we wait, thinking someday they’ll see the light, but they never do. Our bad, thinking that will happen.

I’m not very good at superficial relationships where the conversation never gets any deeper than the weather. In a large gathering of people the main topic of conversation revolves around each others jobs while we politely listen to each other is rapt attention. We don’t know each other. We rarely talk to each other holidays and getting together to actually get to know each other doesn’t happen because there is no time. But we say, “Of course, I’ll call you and we’ll get together real soon,” but it never ever happens.

And I’m expected to keep trying. They’re family!

The man Jamie I write about at My Name is Jamie. My Life in Prison also has a large family. He’s been locked up since he was 16. He’s 33 now. His own mother never answers his letters because it hurts HER too much because he’s in there. The rest of his family can’t even put a stamp on a birthday card. His hurt has been devastating. Then it made him numb. But I’d bet they’d all say they love him. Love him why? How do they show it?

Is there anyone out there that has a large family where everyone loves each other? How do they show it because I’m confused. I’d sure like to meet one, where there isn’t someone who gets talked about and lied about, behind their back and forth from one cell phone to another. Do you have family members who insist they are nice people, but they just can’t be nice to you,’right now’. Don’t pressure them and maybe they’ll be nice to you later, in a few years, if they think about it. Do you have family members who treat you with indifference and then say it’s your fault, because you had the audacity to actually expect them to do something they said they would do, but just can’t get around to it, and you had the nerve to ask them why? Do you have family that have lost the ability to say, “Thank you,” when you have done something special for them, a gift from your heart to theirs and you wait to perhaps hear what they thought about it, and they don’t even acknowledge you gave it to them? I’ll give it to you instead

Anyone who has read this blog knows I record improvised piano music. Except for my mother, no one has ever taken the time to listen to it. I’m 61 years old. No other family member has ever heard me play in my entire adult life. I’m assuming my sisters heard me practice as a kid. If you go to the Sound Cloud and scroll down a few pieces you’ll see “Graduation Day”. That was my gift. Something else . . . If you think I’m wrong or if you think I’m overreacting, let me know, because I am at a loss. This has made me very unhappy and out of a sense of self preservation all I can of is to just cut them out of my life like a hanging toe nail I keep banging on the end of my bed.