As much as we would like others to really understand how we feel as diabetics, we must remember they can’t possibly understand what it’s like. At least I don’t think so.
I used to imagine what it was like to lose a loved one in order to try to relate to friends and relatives who had lost loved ones. I imagined it being really difficult and painful. But no. When I finally lost someone I knew well and cared for, I realized the experience was nothing compared to imagining it. I had imagined it being like a sorrowful pain creeping inside, making me cry for a while and then leaving me quiet for a few days and then voila, I’d be healed. In reality it was more like a being hit by a train that exploded and lit flames in my head that wouldn’t be put out with any number of tears for a very, very long time. And I didn’t even lose a spouse, a parent, or a child.
Years ago I was 100% positive I knew what it felt like to be a parent. I was 15 and present in the delivery room when my youngest brother was born. I was the first person he saw when he opened his eyes. I was his babysitter when my mom had to run an errand. Before he was born I didn’t know I wanted children. Our age difference helped me grow up feeling like I had an idea of what it was like to be a parent. Wrong, again. I had twins a year and a half ago and have realized there are things you experience and feel which can only come with being a parent. Which can only come with being left behind by a loved one. Which can only come from being a diabetic.
We can’t get others to ever really know what we go through. We can spend a lot of time and energy on it. I’ve done this before and in the end, only received disappointment.
Let’s not ask the impossible of each other. Instead, let’s listen and let’s face the person who is talking to us and look them in the eyes. They’ll appreciate it so much they may do it back. And getting that kind of attention back is the next best thing to them really knowing. Besides, if one must experience to know, do we really want everyone to know? I don’t.
I think pinpointing what we want is important. Only then can we ask for it and also do it as an example.
I get the sense that all most of us want is patience, forgiveness, and unconditional love. What about you? What do you want?