Monday, May 17, 2010

I don't know what to do with this:

I have this seminar class for my MSW where we discuss our major research paper (kind of like a thesis). It's not a regular class; it happens maybe once a month. Today was one of those classes and something keeps happening that I don't know what to do about...

One of my friends in the class is doing hers on the narratives that people construct around their illness. My friend's thesis is particular to experiences of cancer, but we talk about illness more generally too... The weird thing is that everyone in the class talks about it like I'm not there or, at least, like I have no experience of living with an illness or condition. It makes me feel weird every time... Actually, it makes me feel sad (I maybe had a bit of cry when I got home and thought about it).

I don't know what to say though. I don't want to make other people feel weird or guilty or, worse, become the token sick person that everyone is worried to make a comment around.

Well, I just needed to spew that out somewhere... So, there it is.


thisiscaleb said...

I wonder why that is. It could be insensitivity - that they don't appreciate what it's like to live with type 1 diabetes. It could be that you do such a great job at managing yours, that it never occurred to them to consider you as the subject of the thesis.

I hope it's the latter. In any case, it could be an opportunity to educate them, make them more aware and sensitive to PWD.

Virtue said...

Yeah. Maybe a bit of both in some ways... I don't really talk about my diabetes much in 'real life'... So, then, I find people don't realize what having diabetes is like most of the time. Like, people are always shocked when I start explaining all the complexities of eating when you have diabetes... Anyway, I talked a bit to the friend I mentioned. She noticed a bit of what I was talking about in the class discussion. I think I'll try and talk things out with her more... Then, at least, I will have at least one other ally in the class that can help support and talk about things.

I find, sometimes, that I've been doing my own diabetes stuff for so long that I forget to include other people in helping deal with things. So, if nothing else, at least that was something good to learn out of an awkward experience.

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