First...is he still gone? I was a little confused on that one. Did he move out? If it were me, I would get an attorney. I can't begin to fathom and angry diabetic, moving out in a huff, leaving me with children at home. More on that below.
" I have had some issues in dealing with some of the things my normally loving husband said to me during one of his last outbursts. I've been really down. He attacked me on every level - being a parent, my family, my business, my housekeeping, my friendships, and finally my faith. Then he sleeps it off, doesn't really apologize (because I don't think he remembers anything or he's a expert on everyone else) and expects me to just pick myself up by my boot straps & smile & laugh"
That was me 2 years ago. And yes, the words hurt so much that I would cry for days on end. That old saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt" just is not true. Words hurt to the very core of your being as they are nothing less than abuse. And of course he sleeps it off and then expects you to forget just like he has forgotten all about it.
I think it's one of the hardest things a spouse has to endure. The tirades that occur during a low that the diabetic will never remember....but are like a fresh stab to the heart forever to you.
" I have 2 children, so I have to keep a good front for them. He expects the whole world to revolve around him - his day, his recreation, his needs. In my last post I shared I have no one to talk to. Well he stormed out this morning. I was in a wonderful mood - beautiful day. He packed up all of his clothes & he's gone. This was all because when he got up in the middle of the night I asked him if he remembered to take his meds. I ask him this about once a week. He yelled at me, Have you taken yours? I don't take any. Thankfully, our teenage children are oblivious."
You may think your children are oblivious. But they are not. In some fashion, their father's anger is abuse and they are growing up with that. If you read one of my recent posts where I was chatting with the adult child of a diabetic father...she knew she grew up with abuse but had not associated it with her father's sugar lows and was shocked when I explained that he probably had no recollection of it. Yet she remembers it so vividly.
You do have me to talk to now, and a lot of other spouses who are slowly coming forward. I think a natural evolution of abuse is to think it's all our fault, that we are the "imperfect" spouse, that we "deserve" this kind of treatment, or that there is something "wrong" with us. We tend to clam up. To "believe" it is all our fault. Trust me, I was right where you are 2 years ago. I just cried so much my hubby told me I was insane. Of course....he also blamed everything on "my midlife crisis" and to this day...he thinks "I'm better because menopause is over". He is so completely clueless. I am better because I have gotten therapy, I've done the research, I know it is HIM and not me, and I am making choices based on facts, not his emotional outbursts.
It was extremely scary for me to "stand up" to him the first dozen times I tried. But I was (and still am) ready to walk out in a heartbeat. And I think once he realized that, things slowly started to change.
But back to your children. I'm only beginning to realize the full impact of my husband's scenario. His father is a diabetic. So my husband proably grew up in a household with these sugar-low-induced-outbursts. Shall we call them SLIOs? My husband has had diabetes since he was 22 years old. So I am sure he then had the same SLIOs towards his own 2 children. His kids are now in their mid 30s and are both pre-diabetic. His son has 2 daughters. So can you see the pattern that continues throughout the generations?
The difference is that I have identified his SLIOs for the most part and have come to learn that I can either insist we immediately go out to eat (and feign hunger on my part) or I can have my own fight-to-get-your-sugar-high with him. (Laughing here as we need an acronym for that one, too!) But every once in awhile I totally space it out and miss one of his SLIOs.....but eventually I figure out what is going on. And at that point, I realize that it is NOT HIM saying those mean words. It is his body's way of trying to let me know that his sugar is down and I need to help him out.
OK....it's my way of staying sane. Because on some level, he must think those awful things about me if he is going to say them in a low. But I swear, he does not remember saying them at all, will deny he ever said anything that horrible to me and thinks I think them up in my head!
Most of my husband's SLIOs come when I'm at my happiest. When I least expect them. Hmmmm.......
"I was so happy last week that he (after me insisting this was his sugar levels AND he wants to prove me wrong) made an appt to go to Mayo. He has been once before without me. (I didn't know he was going.) The doctor (I think) scolded him pretty bad & told him if he didn't drop 20 or more lbs & get in shape he was getting a pump. So he hasn't been back, just continues to eat and eat. Finally I took the initiative 2 weeks ago in desperation to visit my own doctor. I was really scared, and don't laugh, that he was going to check me into a mental health clinic to save face for himself. Now remember I have not shared what I have been going through with anyone for almost 2 years. He told me he called all of these places about me. HE HAS diagnosed me as bipolar because I "cry all the time". He has never taken 1 medical related course in his life! I admit his outburst the week before, the one I wrote about in my first post, that I really fell apart. I have never had anyone talk that way to me. It was all over me interjecting to suggest my daughter wanted a hard shell taco instead of a soft shell taco. He called me down in front of the waitress like a 2 year old. I just got up & went to the car. All the way home he screamed & screamed. I found myself retreating into myself. I was scared & I hated myself for letting someone talk to me that way and I've heard the same things so many times - stupid, crazy, not good enough, not religious enough... I think I was just about there! I stayed up most of the night just praying. Sad to say, I haven't done alot of that lately."
I really want to cry for you and with you. I can't begin to tell you how many, many, many times this happened to me. Like you, I really thought I was the insane one. My husband was forever telling me that I needed mental help. He could make me cry at the drop of a pin. I realize now it's because I was scared, I had no idea what was happening, I felt like our marriage was falling apart, that it was me...that I wasn't a good enough wife....everything you just wrote. Everything he said belittled me. Everything was my fault. Oh goodness....if he couldn't find an ink pen it was because I had taken all of them! And pray? well...my knees had callouses! I was "weepy" for nearly 2 years. I NEVER talked about any of it to anyone....not even my sisters who I am very close to. I totally fell apart....with each outburst....and it even got to the point where I fell apart if he just looked at me with an angry look.
I didn't want to endure another outburst. I couldn't even handle the thought of it. I remember laying awake in the middle of the night thinking that if I get up to go to the bathroom and I wake him up, he will get so mad at me.....and I would just lay there until I was in such physical pain...and then lay there until he was snoring so loud I hoped I could get up without waking him up. You get to where your whole life is just eggshells and you have no idea what it is that is going to cause an outburst.
Someone asked me a couple of years ago why I had such black circles under my eyes. That was a turning point for me. I realized it was impacting my health and if someone else could tell there was something physically wrong with me, I had to get help. Well...the black circles were from stress and lack of sleep...NOT from him hitting me! Guess I should clarify that!
"The next day one of the people who work under him at his job approached ME & she said things had been terrible for her. I was put in a very awkward position. I told her to do her job and not argue with him. He guessed by something she said that she and I had talked. I have never lied to my husband. I explained to him how it came down and he said I was not to discuss anything else with her. The next day he made me an appt. to go to Mayo, too. After this morning's incident, I've thought about it, and I canceled my appt. and I'm going back to my own doctor here. I feel like the whole reason for me wanting to go with him in the first place was to be there for him & possibly get some information on helping him. I would never go behind his back, but I feel like he wants the docs there to find something on me to take the pressure off of himself."
Your advice to his employee was very good. Do your job. Don't argue. I have started telling my husband that he needs to call so and so back and apologize to them. Or I will ask, "do you realize you were just yelling at that person?" I think we are past the stage where you are....my husband has started to realize that he does not remember some of these things. But I also have learned to tune in and listen to his work conversations (he works from home most of the time) around 10 am....when he seems to take a dive in his sugar levels.
And good for you for cancelling your appointment! Trust me, as women, we know our own bodies so much better than anyone else, so go with your gut feeling on that one.
My husband still will not allow me to go to the doc with him. He will even lie to me point blank about which appointment he is going to in order to keep me away. "It's just the eye doctor today." and then 3 hours later, "well, I messed up, it was the neuropathy guy"! Can you believe he LIES to me? Just proof that he does not want me to know what they are telling him. Well...one, I won't let him lie to the doc and 2, I would then know what he's NOT doing! Such a child!
"I know I'm rambling, but this is the only outlet I have. I can't sleep. I am worried about him. I don't know anyone I can confide in that could talk to him. He is known for being a expert negotiator and a problem solver in our community. What kind of credibility would I have? I'm getting worried how this is affecting his memory, judgement, & decisions as it pertains to our business, too. When he left this morning, he yelled he had had enough & was calling a lawyer. I am heartbroken or am I just in a bad, bad dream."
Sad to say, this is not a bad dream. This is very real. The good thing...you will survive. IF IF IF YOU take steps to protect yourself! Get a lawyer. Go see a psychiatrist. Go through the entire battery of exams to PROVE YOU ARE SANE as he is most likely going to accuse you of being insane. Find a diabetic nurse who will provide you with some counseling. Join a diabetic support group. Even though he may leave you.....he is still the father of your children and a support group can help all of you deal with him and his outbursts even when he is not living with you.
Uncontrolled sugar levels WILL destroy ALL of the nerve endings in his body. So, that is not just the nerve endings that go to his fingers and toes....it will attack the nerve endings in his intestines, his heart, his brain. He will forget things, make bad decisions. It will eventually (if it remains out of control) impact decisions, judgement, driving...everything. He may slip into a coma and not even know it if he is lucky enough to just "wake up". The first time, if like my hubby, he will just deny it happened...even when it happens with a house full of people. And when I called 911 to a neighbor's house when non of us could revive him..he still got pissed at me for doing that! But at least he couldn't deny it happened because the EMTs made him go to the hospital, his levels were so low.
You know, it doesn't matter how good of a negotiator he is, or how important he is. Uncontrolled diabetes will take him down. He needs to do what the doctors tell him to do and he might be able to correct or stall the progression of this disease. But if he refuses to do that....just like my husband is refusing to make any changes at all....then you have 2 choices. You can stay with him or you can leave him. If you stay with him, you have to step up to the plate. I have told my husband in no uncertain terms that he no longer has permission to talk to me in a negative way. And when he starts in, I just say to him in a very loud, stern voice (like I were yelling at a 10 year old) "YOU STILL do not have my permission to talk to me like that". And if he keeps it up, I will get my jacket and keys and walk out. I got that from a therapist and it has worked. Yet I know that any day I may have to leave him permanently. So far, it seems to be working. I just no longer allow him to talk to me in that manner. But I am the one who had to tell him that he could not do that.
What do I have to lose? Anything I say to him in a true sugar low...he is not going to remember.
Think about the example you are setting for your daughter. If you allow your spouse to talk to you in a demeaning manner in front of her, if you clam up and "take it"....you are teaching her that is what she must do if it happens to her. And/or you are teaching both your son and daughter that it is proper behavior to talk to other human beings in that manner. I have learned that it is up to each of us to stop the cycle of abuse....even when it is SLIO related.
Shall I end by repeating, I am not a counselor, therapist, doctor. I only tell you what has worked for me and each situation is different and it could be disastrous for you. I cannot give you advice. Only tell you about my life. Just know you are not alone. There are hundreds of us, probably thousands of us....but I think very few who stay with a non-compliant diabetic until the very end. A choice that I will continue to negotiate every single day.