To tell or Not to tell???

By Beerlilly Latest Reply 2010-12-27 08:14:02 -0600
Started 2010-08-29 17:17:37 -0500

I have a question/problem to ask Diabetic Connect about; I hope that its ok. Well here is my problem, I have not told my father that I'm a diabetic. I'm kinda afraid of what his reaction to will be. I afraid that he'll yell at me because its my fault that I happen to have this disease. Or that he'll say something that I can never forgive him for. Do you have any ideas of how I should tell him? I could really use the help

61 replies

Life Saver
Life Saver 2010-12-27 08:14:02 -0600 Report

Thanks for the update. He realizes that having diabetes is made worse by being overweight, but being overweight is not the sole cause. I have 3 kids and 6 grand children. Dads can be very loving and helpful. ;-))

Beerlilly 2010-09-18 17:54:13 -0500 Report

Here is the update that most of you have been waiting for…I told my dad!
I really didn't know how I was going to start the conversation but I just started with "We need to talk about me." I told him everything that I could think of that had or will be happening to me. He sat through my little lecture and was very interested in what I had to say. So after my little lecture he was not mad at me; like I had feared. I made the situation worse in my head than it turned out to be.
I'm glad that I told him. He gave me some information about our health insurance that I did not know about. He's also helping me by giving me a year long gym membership for my birthday.
I want to say thank you all for your support and the words of encouragement. If anyone is debating on telling there loved ones (spouse, kids, parents, etc.) they should!

Diane987 2010-09-19 15:45:58 -0500 Report

I'm happy it worked out well for you! Give your Dad a big hug from all of us for being so supportive!

angelalock 2010-09-19 12:33:26 -0500 Report

that's awesome, lilly!!! i'm glad you finally got the courage worked up to tell him. and don't we humans always make something bigger and worse than it really is? i'm proud of you and your dad, too.

hogrider37 2010-09-16 10:19:10 -0500 Report

Listen to angela, she said it to a tee, you need him to know and understand. My Grand daughter knew all about it and was able to stick me and take BG levels at 8 years old. you never know when you need someone to be able to help you out. Tell him, he's your dad, he will understand.

sweetsandy1959 2010-09-11 15:23:36 -0500 Report

You will be in my prayers,i know how it feels to be yelled at by a parent or told it's my fault for having Diabetes,and heart diease.When i would get upset i would eat, and eat, and now that i am older it has made it harder on my health it was no ones fault, I found that the less you say ,the better.But on the other hand ,if he doesn't know and your blood sugars drop, he wouldn't know what was wrong or know how to help you .Don't be afraid hold your head up, and face him head on,. he may surprise you May God Bless you and keep you

Amalia Alonzo
Amalia Alonzo 2010-09-10 12:57:37 -0500 Report

Omg. I know exactly what you mean I haven't told my mom I have diabetes. Maybe you could tell him over dinner. This is a tough one, I would rather my mom not know I think thats for the best.

shorty31 2010-09-09 12:10:47 -0500 Report

when i founded out i was diabetic i criend i called my dad and he was very understandind. he knew i was scared and didn't judge or yell all he said was you know what you have to do. now on the other had my mom did all the yelling calling me fat, telling me it was all my fault, sure maybe some of it was . because when i'm stressed out i eat and eat the wrong things but then i learned it wasn't my fault skinny get diabeties to even children. if you haven't told your dad yet try to he might surprise you. i'm glad i did. and just be truthful. it even might help him to eat better.being afraid for you. before my da died he allways called to see if i took my meds. i don't have that lift anymore so please tell him. it will be allright.

angelalock 2010-09-06 12:36:01 -0500 Report

something we haven't addressed yet is the fact that he NEEDS to know. if you are with your dad and your levels soar or bottom out, how is he supposed to know what is going on and what he needs to do for you if you are not able to do it yourself? he needs to be educated on how to use your meter and administer insulin if you are on it. even something as simple as knowing what he should get you to eat or drink when you are low is crucial. sweetie, you need to tell him. arm yourself with pamplets and any info you have. log on to dc and have him read some of the discussions and articles. this one especially. good luck and we're all behind you 100%.

MAYS 2010-09-06 06:59:48 -0500 Report

It's very simple, and important, just say " I am a diabetic."
The longer you wait to tell others, the more stress you put on yourself, the drama increases, and precious time is wasted, to some people this is exciting, if you want excitement, say it, get it over with and move forward caring for yourself and enjoy your life.


TOJO 2010-09-06 06:36:43 -0500 Report

People..People..People come on now!!! Letting your family and loved ones is or shouldn't be a big deal..If anything by letting them know should be a plus for you. Your loved ones and family member are your support team and can help you with controlling your diabetics. The only problem is see here is the stress your causing yourself …Tell your family,your kids,your dad,your husband…Again it's really not a problem when you think of the person that has to let their family know they just found out the have cancer or HIV/AIDS

jason123 2010-09-06 07:05:10 -0500 Report

wow…if some people have problem telling their life partner about this, can you blame OP having a problem telling her dad?? How do you hide this from people that you share your meal and day to day life with?…I am speechless…

shorty31 2010-09-09 12:18:42 -0500 Report

how can you say that if you had a mom like i have who blames you for everything you have done wrong in you life i understand how she fells, may be your parents didn't yell at you but my mom sure as hell did. until this day i can't do anything in her eye sight right. and i'm 54 yrs old. don't judge if you haven't been down that road.

2004jeep 2010-09-06 06:22:06 -0500 Report

I'm in the same boat I need to tell my children,husband but I don't know how.
Any suggestions?

shorty31 2010-09-09 12:14:12 -0500 Report

trust them they will be afraid at first but will understand. this could work in your that you have to eat healthy, they will have to eat healthy to support you.

TAR Jewel
TAR Jewel 2010-09-05 06:12:39 -0500 Report

I noticed that you said in your letter that" it's your fault". I assure you that being a diabetic is never anyone's faults but you must understand and believe this for yourself. I don't know what type of relationship you have with your dad but I do believe you should inform him about your condition and perhaps write it in a letter explaining and educating him about diabetes and also about your emotions and feelings concerning your diagnosis. This will allow you to get it out while avoiding any negative remarks should they come. I would also include in the letter how I seek support and no fault findings because negative energy is hard on the health. If you would rather tell him in person then I would suggest you have a support team or someone that can be your backbone of support. I wish you the very best and will pray you strength! Please believe diabetes IS NOT YOUR FAULT!!!!!!!!! I was already a healthly eater when I was diagnosed in June 2010.

nascarnurse68 2010-09-04 19:05:13 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed in May and didn't tell my mother for a month. I too was afraid she would blame me. I finally just sat her down and said "Mom i have something to tell you because you are my family and I love you. I don't want you to judge me or make any negative comments about it. I am a diabetic" She was, to my amazement, fine and has since been very supportive and positve. There are times she's like can you eat this or that. I just answer her and don't make it an emotional issue. I think if you set the ground rules first and be honest it will go ok. Besides people that blame you are just uneducated on the disease.

bicker68 2010-09-04 02:57:39 -0500 Report

It's definetly not your fault you got Diabetes, it runs in alot of families. Even if it doesn't run in yours I think everyone is still at some risk for getting it. I myself new I would eventually get it, because I had Gestational Diabetes in 98, then was diagnosed in 2003.
I agree your family should know, if something should happen your sugar would go to low or to high they should know what to do. I don't think fault should lay anywhere. Best to you.

speak up
speak up 2010-09-03 10:50:21 -0500 Report

Your family should know, but it is not your fault, I am 47 years old and have never been a big sweet or sugar eater and I have bought the book Diabetes for Dummies when I was told and the book clearly says it is not your fault it just happens!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2010-09-02 08:09:02 -0500 Report

Hi! A diagnosis of a chronic condition is always a hard thing to disclose to friends and family. When hearing bad news, it is human nature to want to do something about it, and to feel helpless when we can't. As a result, loved ones may react to this news by worrying too much, by being reallly emotional when the person who has been diagnosed is already trying to deal with a lot of emotions. They may be feeling so helpless that they want to jump in and take control as a way of trying to make their own feelings of helplessness go away. In other words, it can become all about them. OR, as you describe in your post, their feelings of helplessness can lead to anger at the diagnosis, and they may become judgmental and accusatory. It sounds like you are concerned that your father will react this way. Who needs to be put down and a made a bad guy in a time like this?

What I tell my clients is that you don't have any control over how other people will react to your diagnosis. They may surprise you, in good ways and bad ways. I also encourage my clients to keep in mind that even a negative reaction like a good scolding comes out of love and concern and fear, and helplessness, not out of a desire to be hurtful. Even if it comes out that way. Behind all the bluster is a father who is scared for his child.

And also keep in mind that our loved ones react out of lack of knowledge. They may ask -- Why did this happen? They may be wondering what they could have done to help you avoid it. The bottom line is, they don't have any information and, without it, they are stuck in fear. They most likely don't know what lifestyle and treatment options are available to keep you healthy.

I would encourage you to have compassion for yourself and for your father. Give him a chance to react -- he may surprise you. But you know him better than I do. If he does blow up at you, let him know that you understand that he is frustrated and worried. Assure him that you are doing everything possible to take care of yourself, and working closely with your doctor (and please do that). Offer to help him get educated. And let him know that you could use some encouragement, and not anger or put-downs.

Again, you can't control his reactions. If he can't be supportive at this point, he may come around in the future. In the meantime, you have found people here on DC who are ready and willing to be supportive. You might also look to friends and family who can be supportive. Make sure you build a team who can partner with you as you begin this journey.

Please keep us posted! All of my best wishes to you!

22froggy 2010-09-01 11:41:55 -0500 Report

I think it is important that you family knows your health problems. I would hope to say that he will try to help you with this..Good luck

angelalock 2010-08-30 20:00:54 -0500 Report

gosh, i want to give you advice so badly, but i am just blank. i was afraid my mom would freak out, too, when i told her my diagnosis because my grandmother was a brittle diabetic and she never took care of herself. her answer to wanting a big piece of cake was take a little extra insulin. mama was upset, but not WITH me, only FOR me. but she does stay on me about my diet and remembering my meds (which is a problem). i can only hope you're worrying needlessly and your father will find only compassion and kind, encouraging words for you. be strong. anytime you need one, i have big shoulders.

Beerlilly 2010-08-30 14:08:13 -0500 Report

Thanks again for all the words of encouragement. I will let you all know what happenes after I talk with my father.

GabbyPA 2010-08-30 21:29:13 -0500 Report

We will be pulling for you as you do that. It is scary sometimes, but sometimes the fear is more in our minds than in reality. Make sure that you don't blame yourself for your diabetes. If you don't, then you can help him understand why it is not your fault. You may want to deal with that first. I know I went through a time when I blamed myself 100% for it. Now I am learning it is a combination of things. I had a part in it, but somethings are just in the cards.

realsis77 2010-08-30 14:03:56 -0500 Report

Hi! I actually waited about 3 weeks to tell my mother I was diabetic. I understand what you are going through. Once I did tell her it was actually easier than I thought. I also thought she would blane or shame me but she did not. Please remember no matter WHAT your father says to you this is NOT YOUR FAULT! Please keep in mind that there should be no shame or blame or I told ya so. As long as you keep these things in mind it dosnt really matter what he says to you. Take care of yourself and remember you did not cause your diabetes to happen, it just happened. You also have a whole family here on this web site who cares about you and who will be here when you need them. Don't forget that. If after you tell your father and he starts to shame you just walk away or let him know that's not acceptable! Its hard enough to deal with this disease you don't need people blaming you! Good luck and let us know how it goes ok?

Gemm 2010-08-30 13:00:01 -0500 Report

Hey Beerlily —- I know exactly how you feel. If my mother were still alive I'd be in the same boat you are in. She had her beliefs and nothing anyone could ever say would change that. In fact my mother-in-law is like that too in some ways. My husband is also diabetic as are 3 of his 4 brothers and she always tells them it's their own fault even though their father died a few years ago as a direct consequence of his diabetes - complications because he didn't take care of himself and refused to change his diet or lifestyle.

I've told my children and for me that's as far as my family needs to know except I will also be telling 1 of my sisters who is trying to get a family medical history compiled for all of us. I don't envy her that task (there were 14 of us kids). She's been at this for several years. I've tried to call her a few times since finding out about my diagnoses just a couple of weeks ago. She must be on vacation as she hasn't been home nor returned my calls. I'm sure she will when she and her husband get home.

Best of luck to you as you decide whether or not to tell your father. Sometimes it's difficult to know how to approach the subject of many diseases with people that we know are already prejudiced in their views of them (like my mother). I can't tell you what to do, only let you know that I'm here for support if you need any. I've found I can get through a lot of things without my family's support. Contrary to popular opinion about large families - we are not by any stretch of the imagination a close family so I've learned how to be able to find support for what I need elsewhere. Guess I'm a bit jaded where family is concerned. I know how I try to be with my children which is totally opposite from what I've known from my family - I try my best to be supportive and let them know that no matter what I love them and support them, even if I don't agree with them :)

Hugs to ya

Diane987 2010-08-30 12:17:20 -0500 Report

Hello Beerlilly,

First, I'm sorry that you have to deal with this on top of being newly diagnosed. Diabetes is hard enough on its own without the crap from ignorant people. Understand that some of the people who give us the most grief are the one's we love the most. There are a lot of misconceptions about diabetes and you need to find out what is true and what is not. Arming yourself with the truth will protect you from internalizing any of the fault or guilt others will try to throw your way. I know it may be overwhelming right now but the best thing you can do is be strong and be smart.

If you decide to tell your father I would suggest you do it after you have learned about what causes diabetes and what doesn't. Your dad may believe a lot of the misconceptions about diabetes. Maybe some pamphlets about diabetes will help or the two of you taking a diabetes educational class together. If you are really that afraid of what his reaction will be write him a letter and tell him not only about your diabetes but also about how afraid you were of his reaction. I would think any father knowing that his child was afraid to tell him something like this would make sure his emotions are in check before he says anything hurtful to you.

You can also tell him to come to this website and read some of the information here. People here will certainly provide him with the truth about diabetes and what it is like when family is not supportive. If you send it in an email you can even provide links to the discussions you want him to read. Good luck, and let us know if there is any other way we can help.

LennyDenny 2010-08-30 08:46:43 -0500 Report

Speaking as a father, I would hope that my kids would be open and tell me about being diabetic or anything else. The more I know the more I can help. I've always been there for my kids no matter what the problem. Granted my kids are 28,30 and 37, but I would still like to help out where ever I could. I would hope that he would understand that this is not your fault and there was nothing you could do to prevent it. You need his support not his criticizim.

SueIzzy 2010-08-30 07:18:42 -0500 Report

I too was afraid to tell my Mom, even though it is through her that I have type 2. But she was terminally ill for many years and I did not want to burden her with this or give her something to worry about. She died without knowing, and is something I sometimes struggle with to this day 3 yrs later. I'm sure she would be disappointed if she found out I kept it from her.
We all have to live with the choices we make in our lives, so whatever choice you make…make sure you can accept them later on.

judylynn4168 2010-08-29 23:29:06 -0500 Report

well i,m not sure but you realy need to . that way he know and hopefully gives you suppoort .If not i,m here to suport you in any way i can . i send you best wishes.I realy hope it goes good for you ,but atleast you know what to suspect from him .Good or bad keep me posted i,m here for you okay .take care .JUDY

Mama Dee
Mama Dee 2010-08-29 19:58:57 -0500 Report

Happy day Beerlilly,
I feel bad for you that you are having a problem w/telling your dad about having diabetes. I will stand on the wall for you in the name of Jesus concerning this situation. But do you know that God is looking @ how you are reacting to this situation not the situation it self. He (God) is w/you, ask Him to help you w/the words then go to your dad. What he may say to you may hurt @ the time but he should know so that if you get sick are something in that nature then he can assist by letting the hospital staff know what is going on w/you. God didn't give us a gift of fear, & don't worry about him judging you God will handle him on that. Be blessed & know that you are highly favored in the name of Jesus.

Working 4 Jesus, & Loving it.
Mama Dee

RAYT721 2010-08-29 18:52:11 -0500 Report

First of all, YOU should be educated that diabetes is neither a caused nor cured disease. It wasn't those frosted flakes that caused you to become diabetic. It is your pancreas and the amount of insulin it makes or does not make. There are treatments for diabetes (diet, exercise, medication) but unfortunately there is no cure. You don't have to tell anyone that you are diabetic if you don't want to but there is no reason or need to feel shame. You cannot change your diagnosis any more than you can change your height or your eye color. This is you. This is your body. This is your condition. A person's weight, family history, waist size, etc are risk factors and not causes. Unless you are at peace with your disease and with your control, you most certainly can't make a good presentation to someone who may not understand. I would suggest that you hold off from doing something that you don't want to do until you want to do it.

jason123 2010-08-29 19:05:13 -0500 Report


RAYT721 2010-08-29 19:38:26 -0500 Report

Jason… that's for sure! I didn't realize this was a question of age. I thought it was a case of speaking truth to one's family, co-workers, friends or anyone involved within the emotional side of diabetes. I am sorry if I am speaking out of place.

jason123 2010-08-29 18:23:14 -0500 Report

You are an adult, just because he is your father doesn't mean you have to tell him everything about your life, especially if you think he will just make you feel worse…Having said that, if he really loves you, he maybe upset at first, but will come around to support you in time…you just need to withstand that initial blow…good luck, and we are all here for you!

LennyDenny 2010-08-30 11:49:55 -0500 Report

I can't understand why any parent would be disappointed in knowing that their child is sick. Upset yes disappointed no. Any parent should be there to support and take care of their child no matter what age.

mas14years 2010-09-15 21:02:53 -0500 Report

I agree with you denny. Behind anger is fear. It is a scary thing to think we will lose our loved ones someday, but I would think a father would want to help and support in the best way he knows how and can.

retta 1
retta 1 2010-08-29 17:39:25 -0500 Report

well first of all,it is not ur fault that u have diabetes,it is a deisease.—then say dad,was there diabetes in our family?
my dad was a diabetic but his parents were not,but somewhere in the family tree it was there.there was nine of us and out of the nine,5 of us had and has doctor said it runs in familys,just like ra,heart diesease or any other problems.hope this helps and hope i'm correct.

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