Teenager with T1D (Bullied and Self Harm)


(kiya) #1

Hi, my name is Kiya, I have been diagnosed for 8 years now, but diabetes still seems to be hard for me. For example, I get bullied for having diabetes, people would say you’re going to die from having diabetes or at lunch people behind me would say I have diabetes I have to eat all this and that makes me feel uncomfortable cause they don’t have diabetes. When I would go to my mom about how I would feel she would just say you had it for 8 years you should be used to having it by now, but some reason I just can’t get used to having diabetes. I would go to self-harm, depression, cause nobody would feel how I feel. That’s when I started going to council but she didn’t even have diabetes. I just want to talk to someone who can relate to me. If you do relate to me and would like to email, please comment… Thank you


(Bill) #2

Hi, Kiya @Kijackson113,

I would encourage you to post your questions/comments/concerns right here on the forum. Everyone on this forum is, in some way, affected by T1D. They either have T1D, or have a child with T1D. So, if you “just let it all out” here, people will understand.

Now, you may get a variety of responses, from those who say, “Yeah, I’ve had that happen, too,” to those who respond, “Just ignore them.” But, the point is, you will receive a fair audience, and you may pick up a few comments/insights that will help you along the way. You’ll find some friends here.

Good luck to you!

Bill


(Hannah Strickland) #4

Hi Kiya. You note really hit a chord with me. I’ve only had type 1 for 1 year, but already I see that there are waves of acceptance and struggle. Some days I think, this is manageable and others I don’t even want to get out of bed to deal with it. I’m not sure that having it longer means that those hard days will completely go away. What I hope is that there will be fewer of them and that as I live my life, my coping skills will be better and eventually it will be something in the background. One way in which it is difficult to cope, however, is when something triggers your pain. For me, it is saying no to a favorite food that I used to enjoy with abandon. It may not even bother someone else, but I miss it and even though I may occasionally dose for a treat, it has lost its pleasure. For you, however, it seem that a trigger for struggle with your type 1 is the cruelty of your fellow students. It’s been awhile since I was there, but I do have 2 teenage daughters and I have seen how awful people can be about any perceived difference. The comments are often so ignorant and tear you down. It is difficult to ignore, in part because there may be a kernel of truth, or you may feel like there is truth in it. Either way, it probably brings feelings to the surface that you thought you had dealt with long ago. Unfortunately we have limited tools to deal with this type of bullying. Of course, we all say it is unacceptable, but I’m sure you find that it is nearly impossible to prevent. If you can, of course report it to the proper people, see if it can stop, but if not, I would encourage you to own it. Type 1 is not something you gave yourself. I’m still learning so much and I realize how little knowledge people have. Sometimes educating others on the condition helps you have control. Sometimes ignoring others comments, but most importantly is figuring out how you feel about it. Why does what they say hurt? Do you feel like it is true, do you feel isolated? Or does it make you angry? I’m sure there are lots of underlying responses, some which have to do with diabetes and some which do not. To help you determine how best to respond, I would encourage you to keep up the counseling even those the person does not have diabetes. But, as far as the diabetes goes…I’ll make a comment that reflects my religious beliefs… your worth has nothing to do with your disease. It has nothing to do with what others say about you or how they make you feel. You are important and worthwhile because you have been created in the image of God to glorify him and enjoy him and life forever. I’m happy to chat more if you would like.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #5

Hannah @hannahinaustin, you shared some wonderful insight and wisdom, most especially the words I’ve quoted. And Kiya @Kijackson113 as Hanna has said, it really doesn’t matter in the long run who accepts you, but rather that you accept yourself - and, I’ll add, make it your goal to live a long, active and prosperous life while overcoming any hardship such as diabetes. You CAN do it.

As for getting those around you to understand diabetes would be a difficult task, but you can offer bits of “education” from time to time and eventually those who are your true friends will come to appreciate the mountain you are conquering.

You will find that some days are more manageable than other days but over time, and you now have eight years experience, you will be able to “roll with it” and develop little tricks to make corrections that allow you to accomplish your goals. And Hannah, the “hard” or frustrating days never completely go away [I’ve lived with diabetes for about 22,500 days] but with time we develop what appears to be almost automatic strategy to allow us to do, and eat, whatever we desire.

recently there was some dialog on another site [a site exclusive to people who have lived with diabetes for at least 50 years] about “longevity”. It appears that having a positive attitude about life and about ourselves may be a contributing factor.