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[IPr] Allie & Guilt

> But.......................... all that said..........................  I
> (even though I feel like we have worked hard to eliminate guilt) that
> often (appears) to feel a lot of guilt regarding this disease.  There are
> many times she seems to feel as if there was something she could have
> not in having the disease, but in controlling her sugars.  Granted,
> there may be, but most often there isn't.  I hate to see that feeling of
> guilt in her

One of the moms on the regular list wrote a few weeks back that her child's
numbers were so high she was ashamed to post them...guilt is one of those
monsters that runs rampant, I'm afraid.  Most of us are taught from
childhood that, if you do things the way you should, everything should work
out well...& if you don't, you will be punished.  This carries on into
adulthood as well - we have laws to obey, bills to pay in a responsible
manner, etc...if we do what we should, we should have no problems there - if
we don't, we will be facing trouble.

One of the most frustrating things for me as an adult are those times when I
feel like I'm doing everything I'm "supposed to do" to control my diabetes,
& Wham!  Out of nowhere (it seems), BG's are way high & I don't have a good
way of understanding it.  Since we live in a "cause & effect" kind of
society, other people inflict guilt without even meaning to - "What did you
eat?  Did you bolus enough?  Are you sure you figured your carbs correctly?"
Since this disease is one of self-responsibility, then the implication is
that if the numbers are high, the person in charge of maintaining them must
have done something wrong...sad, but we are also a very much "who's to
blame?" society.

Kids end up feeling unnecessarily guilty about a lot of things anyway...I
can't tell you how many kids I've counselled through divorce situations who
were completely convinced that the family breakup was all their fault.  It's
really a doulbe-whammy kind of thing to be carrying around a disease that
gives you a complicated set of rules to live by, & even when you follow
those rules to the letter, does not always provide you with good results.
Stress to her (a hundred times a day, if need be) that it's NOT her fault -
even if it doesn't seem to be sinking in, a tiny bit of that reassurance can
break through the wall of guilt & start to make a difference.  Another
suggestion (this one may be tough): try NOT to let yourself make too big a
deal of it when the numbers are good - or at least not in a "congratulatory"
fashion.  Even though that might feel like a very positive thing, telling
her how well she's done, it has an ugly catch...if she gets glowing credit
for the good numbers (implying she's entirely responsible for them), then
convercely she also carries the guilt or blame when the numbers are so good.
The flipside of the coin there is not such a good one.  If you are proud of
her for good numbers, then yes, celebrate & give recognition to that - but
if you turn it into a "let's celebrate & be thankful that your BG's were so
good this week"...it is something to rejoice about, but it's not so specific
that it may come back to bite her when the numbers are not good & she thinks
"well, then that must be my fault."

Something else I've found VERY helpful (don't know how well all of it would
translate for a 12-year-old, but there are some very good stories in there
that she might connect with) is the book by Catherine Feste called
"Meditations on Diabetes"...really good stuff, that I think has something to
offer for folks of all ages!

Please know that the suggestions offered here are exactly that...you know
your daughter's situation far better than I ever could!  I do feel deeply
for anyone wrestling with the guilt that comes with inexplicable highs,
though (and those ones you CAN explain...because you just get fed up with
those rules & defiantly break them once in a while...yep, we are all
definitely human, too!), & I wisn you the very best in helping her through
it all.

Seldom accused of being brief  :),

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