Sorry for using this thing again, guys, but I was wondering how your friends handled your diagnosis if you were old enough to have well established friends or how new people handle your condition.
I've got this friend. I used to consider her my best friend, but lately not so much. I guess when something tough happens, friends either rise to the occasion or disappear, but I've never heard of a friend being absolutely unsupportive. I don't know what to do. She acted interested and concerned when I first got diagnosed, but lately her ignorance or cruelty with regards to my diabetes is upsetting.
There are a few well-meaning ignorant remarks she made, such as pressuring me to drink because she got sugar-free margarita mix. I tried to explain it isn't the sugar that'll mess me up but the way alcohol will effect me, but she keeps telling me I'm just being a chicken and need to stop worrying. I don't how to communicate to her that it's scary not knowing what your body is doing. I'm not as nervous going to sleep now but in the first few months, I was scared I wouldn't wake up. She thinks I'm overreacting, but it's like she thinks diabetes is this formula that you just need to follow.
On that note, she gets made at me when I have a low or a high. We went out of town together and I overestimated the carbs in ice cream and ended up going down to 50. I was on top of it and not really afraid as I had someone with me who know my condition and had sugar to correct the low, but she kept bringing up that I shouldn't have been so "irresponsible". The same thing goes with highs. She'll tell me I shouldn't have eaten what I did and that it's really reckless and dangerous to be high even if I'm only at a high level (and by high I mean under 300) once every few days. It's like she thinks that if I know my I:C ratio it's a fixed thing and I can know for a fact what my blood sugar is doing.
The last ignorant thing that really hurt me feelings is that she gave blood and I said I wish I could go give blood right now, but she was like "Ew. Who would want your blood?" I just hate this idea of "ew". Really? Am I so gross? Plus I told her if my BG is controlled, I'm healthy enough to give blood. Then she followed that up with "but can't you transfuse diabetes?". I swear she thinks diabetes is the equivalent of HIV/AIDS.
As for the mean remarks. I'm really scared that people are going to perceive diabetes as a flaw and label me as "not worth it", but I've been trying to stay positive and treat it like a quirk. She doesn't let me, though. We went out together and she was drinking, but I wasn't. I needed to test so I asked if she could share the table we were standing by and she again responded with "Ew" and told me I should test in the bathroom. I tried to explain that I didn't want drunk people to gawk at me or to have to wait in line just to test, and she shrugged and was like "Well, that guy you've been talking to won't like you. I mean he seems to like you for some reason. You don't want him to find out you have... You know..." I almost cried. It didn't help that he did ask what I was doing and I told him point blank I was checking my blood sugar, because maybe if I act like it isn't a big deal, he wouldn't, but he ended up ditching out. Oh well. I don't want to be with him anyway.
There are so many other examples of her meanness, but I just need advice. Did any of you have any friends who were just ignorant and/or cruel? How did you deal with them? I just feel like I have to feel like a freak around her and don't want that kind of energy. It's hurtful and sad that I used to consider her my best friend. On a positive note, my roommate has been a gem. She keeps reminding me I shouldn't feel ashamed because I don't have to feel ashamed for something that's not even a big deal. I love her to death. I just wish my other friend was more supportive. Sorry for the rambling.
Wow! I am saddened to hear that your "friend" would behave this way. It's actually quite shocking. All of my closest friends have been nothing but supportive, and asked a lot of questions so that they could understand what I was/am going through. I was diagnosed about 1 1/2 years ago. I am grateful that my friends have my back, so that I didn't have to feel like a "freak". I do drink, responsibly, but my friends always make sure that I check my sugar regularly. I wondering if you have actually tried talking to your friend yet, about what you go through on a day to day basis? Maybe send her some helpful links, so that she can understand the disease. Be strong!
Wow. Thanks for all the feedback. Yeah, I think I just need to vent. I've confronted her about her selfishness before because the past few months she's only wanted to talk about her boy problems and whenever I tried to discuss my problems she wouldn't even listen. And as we were walking home after her cruel remark, I mentioned that I feel like I shouldn't be banished to the bathroom to test because it isn't like it's my fault I'm diabetic. I'm scared to confront her because no matter what I do I feel like she'll still think diabetes is gross. Even if I do manage to explain to her how difficult it is, she'll still think it's nasty and it upsets me because honestly I think it's pretty nasty too. The thing is, though, that I have to do all the nasty stuff to, you know, LIVE, so I want her to get over it. No one hates more than me the bruises and prick marks. I want a pump one day, but I'm really into fashion and don't know what I'll do with it. I don't feel pretty. I hope that will change one day soon.
Worse is that I was really depressed the past few months and she totally fell off the face of the Earth to hang out with her boyfriend. The reason we started talking again was because we ran into each other and she was like "I figured you were depressed, and I can't be there for you all the time, so I just wanted to let you deal with it." Thank God my roommate is a good friend, but I hate that she's really the only true friend I have right now. The rest of my friends took off when I got diagnosed or at least got awkward, but my roomie is still there. I just don't want to annoy her or burden her because she's my only person I can vent to. Hopefully being on here will take some of the weight off of her because now I have other people to talk to. Ahh, I don't know. All I know is that I feel mad and angry about my one friend, and I feel guilty and scared that my roommate will get frustrated with me and stop listening. At least I'm throwing her a birthday party. I feel like I owe her that much from being such a pain. :/
After your main post, I thought, Eh, well maybe the friend is really worried about you but doesn't know how to express it well and it comes out as criticism and meanness.
But after this update, it seems she is just rotten and selfish all around. You can do so much better than her. Drop her like, yesterday. Stick around on these boards and you'll find tons of supportive people that have been where you are. We all struggle every day and the world does not yet completely understand this disease. You have to stop thinking of yourself as "nasty." It's true diabetes can be a pain to manage constantly, but there are SO MANY worse diseases out there!
Your roommate sounds awesome. Do you live in a good sized city? Can you find out if there is a local JDRF chapter in your area and meet up with them sometime? I think they could help you a lot too. Overall, I think the more "normal" you act around your other friends, the more they will be normal around you. Don't be shy about your disease. Don't be afraid to speak up and educate the people around you. You'll be more comfortable in time, but if it helps you now to talk to a therapist, don't be afraid to do that either!
Best of luck with your friends and please be careful going out!
I was fortunate enough not to count any such people among my friends. I've met people with that kind of attitude, but not my friends. Somebody who pressures you to do dangerous things, and tries to make you ashamed of who you are, is not a friend.
Some of my friends took the time to learn about diabetes or have listened to me or paid attention in the years since I was diagnosed. A few of my friends still don't really understand that I do okay with sugar even when I'm not hypo. None of my friends would call me irresponsible. None of my friends who even hint that I had to hide something I was sensitive about (and I have stuff I'm sensitive about, although not diabetes) for other people to like me, because my friends are not interested in hurting me.
Your "friend" sounds like somebody who feels like she is in competition with you and needs to sabotage you in order to succeed.
she sounds kinda shallow, no offense. She doesnt build you up, but breaks you down. Not much of a friend. More like a snobby acquaintance.
I cannot watch my grandchildren because my daughter-in-law is afraid I will hurt them because I have 'diabetes.' Want to talk about pain!? Nuf said.
Ignorance is understandable and forgivable, as well as educable. It just takes someone willing to listen as you lay out the facts. If the person is determined to make herself feel better by making you feel worse, well, there's not a lot you can do about that aside from just ditching them.
The only real ignorance I got was, soon after being diagnosed at 11, while at the pool, hearing from a friend, "I thought you were a diabetic, how can you swim?" I responded by pantomiming a forward crawl stroke.
Yeah, maybe she's having a hard time with your diagnosis, but do you know who should be having a tougher time with it than she is? You. I'm not feeling particularly generous this evening, so I wouldn't concern myself with educating her if I were you. Just say, "Look, you don't seem to get that I'm a person with diabetes, rather than a disease that, for some reason, inconveniences you. I thought you were my friend, but a friend would treat someone better than you're treating me."