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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

You Hate, But We Cannot

I feel like diabetics aren’t allowed to hate others, yet those others can hate us.

Earlier today I saw a Facebook post from a good friend of mine talking about how her child was bullied today at school for being diabetic.  There was an outpouring of support from fellow D-Mama’s, and said poster even said her child took it in good spirits (as he should; I know the kid, and he is 100% awesome), but it still made me extremely upset.

First of all, what the hell?  I understand 12-year-old boys sometimes say and do dumb things (My brother was 12 once; I don’t recommend anyone live with a brother who is 12), but who in their right mind goes ‘you know who’s really weird?  That normal looking kid with the cell phone thing they use sometimes.  I mean talk about a freak show!’  Like, as diabetics I feel we don’t try to call attention to our disease very much, unless we’re a) advocating or b) explaining something to a teacher/peer.  I’m not saying there are easier targets to bully, because bullying is wrong and you shouldn’t do it kids here’s your lesson for the day on being a good person, but…why is this even a thing?

And the sad thing is this isn’t something limited to dumb tweens.  Because dumb tweens grow up, and sometimes they become dumb adults.  There have been so many instances of misinformation, judgment, and just plain rude behavior from high up newspaper writers (remember that lady a few months back who wrote CGMs were ‘unnecessary gadgets meant to just earn profits’ that made everyone so done with the media and JDRF had to release an official response that basically said ‘wow you’re stupid NYT?’) to TV execs who misrepresent T1D to my own 10th grade religion teacher who made rude jokes about me ‘eating too much sugar’ to his other class (Seriously, you taught religion).  I mean, this is a really common occurrence.  

And I know, I know, ‘love your enemies’ and kill them with kindness and whatnot, but let’s be honest; it is very hard to stop being angry.  I will be the first to admit I still hold a grudge against the teacher mentioned above.  The realization that 10-20 years down the line, one of my most prominent memories of high school will be my sophomore year where I almost transferred (ignore this rant) that guy, is terrifying.  And it makes me even angrier.  And that anger consumes us, and we try not to let it but it’s hard.  It’s hard because these people have been so insensitive towards us, caring so little for our feelings but expecting us to care about theirs in return.

So why are we ‘not allowed to hate’?

Well, it’s pretty obvious a good chunk of these guys aren’t going to take a kind ‘you should read up on this topic’ to heart and actually come back a few days later with apologies.  They only way they will ever know what we’re going through is if they experience it firsthand.  And that means they (or their spouses or their parents or their children) have to end up with T1D.  They have to sit up at 3AM with shaking hands as they pour a glass of orange juice, they have to feel that tingly nerve-jolting pain in their legs when their blood sugar gets over 400, and they have to have that emotional breakdown after countless hours of work have absolutely no impact on their A1C and scream ‘why did you do this to me’ at the sky while also wondering if anyone is even listening to them.

I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

I don’t care who you are.  I’ve seen this disease destroy families and break the strongest people I know.  No one deserves to go through what we have been though.  Friends or enemies, ignorant or well-educated.  When I begin to think that dreaded “I wish you had it for a day just to know…”, I do my best to stop myself.  Because, no, I really don’t wish.  I will never wish that on anyone.

But it’s still kind of funny.  You know they always say hate never really dies out.  Somewhere in the back of our minds that ‘I wish’ is a completed thought and we 100% mean it.  And all of us T1D’s have heard the statistics; 1 out of every 3 children born after the year 2000 will develop some form of diabetes.  For the final time in this blog post (and hopefully for a while afterwords) I think back to my 10th grade teacher.  I remember seeing pictures on his desk of his two adorable, blonde haired daughters.  And somewhere in his family there must be a niece or nephew or the child of a close cousin.  One day, one of those three people in his life will be able to personally relate to every instance I’ve just described above.  And that’s not on account of anger or even karma; it’s just a fact of the world.

Despite everything, I hope it won’t be one of them.

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