Feeling like a burden vs. Being made to feel like a burden
I have suffered with feeling like a burden to people ever since I was a teen. I remember, going out to eat with friends and starting to feel low and I’d be terrified of them needing to do something about it. I almost always acted prematurely so that no one would need to intervene. But my friends never made me feel like a burden, I felt like one. I did that to myself.
To this day, I have a bad habit of making things seem better than they truly are to people because I’m worried about worrying people. I’m scared of scaring people and the last thing I ever want to do is become a burden to someone.
I used to waitress at a popular chain restaurant that’s uniform requires short orange shorts and a tight white tank top. (you get three guesses and the first two don't count lol) The overall opinion to the public of this restaurant, was the waitresses’ appearances. That led to some hardships for me when my sugar was out of whack. I was on insulin pens at the time and was trying to move my injection sites, so I was bruising a lot. To anyone who knows, and knows the uniform, the restaurant I’m speaking of- there isn’t tooooooo much skin that isn’t showing. So, anytime I had bruises on my thighs, or arms - I needed to cover it up with makeup.
In addition, in those days (my early 20s) my sugar was always running high. In part, because I was terrified of going low and the other part was: I was not taking proper care of myself. I did the bare minimum. I’d set an alarm in the morning for my Lantus, then Levemir, then back to Lantus, theeeennn Levemir, etc and shoot up and I’d do injections when I ate but because of my wacky work schedule and obsession with surf fishing- I was not testing like I should and was not taking time in the sun (I lived on the beach), protein to carb ratio or activity really into account.
I found myself making excuses for not telling those close to me what was really going on because I didn’t want to be a burden. I’d hide in the walk in freezer to cool off at work and fight the nausea when my sugar was high and I was sweating so bad I felt like I was going to pass out. After puking? I’d simply reapply my makeup, slap a smile on and walk back out on my crispy white sneaker. I was scared if my coworkers knew how deadly this disease could be... they’d look at me differently. I was scared to be a burden. But they never made me feel like a burden, I felt like one. I did that to myself.
My parents NEVER made me feel like a burden, however, I knew the stress (well, thought I knew. I don't think I can ever really understand since I haven't lived it) that it gave them. I remember my mom being a chaperone on every school trip with the big, bulky insulted case to keep my insulin in. I remember my mom painstakingly carb counting every single thing I ate, counting out precisely the right number of goldfish I needed for my snacks. (55) But she didn't make me feel like a burden, I felt like one. I did that to myself.
Too often, I see people posting about how their parents (yes. really.) or significant other make them feel like a burden. And I always want to look at this objectively because of my own issues with *making myself* feel like a burden. The fault was on me in those instances, not the other people. However, there are times when I go low in the middle of the night and my juice box supply is empty and I'll have to ask Moony to go get me one. Or wake him up to sit with me while my sugars come back up. Is he always nice and understanding? No. (He's human, not perfect) It's those times when I feel I am being made to feel like a burden; the sighs. the annoyed comments on how come I didn't stock back up my supply, the huffs and puffs. It hurts and it makes me wait longer (than I sometimes should) to ask for his help. In those cases, I feel like I am being made to feel like a burden.
However, these times aren't daily and so don't affect me for long so I keep it moving. But I often think about the people who aren't as lucky as I am, the people who are truly *made to feel like a burden* often.
And this all led me to the realization that there is a massive difference between being made to feel like a burden and simply feeling like one. I make myself check myself very often because of this. "Am I putting this guilt and pressure on myself or is someone making me feel this way?" Is this the end all question? Hell no. But I think it's helped me figure out my relationships and how to better navigate them with this disease.
In no way am I perfect about it. Nooooo way. But I've found, the more I check myself, the more willing I am to see the situations from a step back. Was that comment insensitive or am I just low and over reacting? Am I putting too much on someone else or am I asking for help when I need it? Am I taking advantage of a situation or am I actually in need of assistance?
My heart breaks for those who are truly MADE to feel like burdens in their lives and relationships. And to those of us who put too much on ourselves and worry too much? wooooooo-saaaaaaaaa, check on yourself. and if you need help with that - I'm right here. I'll help you stop spinning your wheels.