Single/Diabetes/No Children. Married/Diabetes/No Children

I should have titled this post: Single/Diabetes/ No children. Married/Diabetes/No Children.
Sometimes It's A Choice, Sometimes It Isn't - either way, don't be a jerk.

Recently, I attended a friend's work function and was having a good time, meeting interesting people and enjoying my night out. 
Midway through the evening I was introduced to a friend's work acquaintance, who informed me (after quizzing me on my lack of children/single status,) and one too many drinks: Well... it�s your own fault you don�t have kids - you should have made it a priority in your early 20�s and gotten married - even if you got divorced, you'd still have a kid.
I wanted to tell her to fuck-off. 
Instead, I turned around and walked away.
Walking away doesn�t mean I wasn�t hurt or angry by what she said, because I most certainly was.
I could feel my face turning red and my eyes were starting to sting.
I walked away when all I wanted to do was rip her a new one,  because I refused to argue with someone who was at least two martinis in.
More import, I was attending a friend's work function where I was a guest  and I needed to be considerate of my friend and her employers. 

And I'm better than that - at least I'm better than the MartiniHarpy. 

And FTR, I always wanted kids - and I still do. 
And every day I struggle with the reality that it most likely isn't going to happen.
Outside of the DOC, I am a single woman without children - to many I don�t count - or at least that�s how it feels.

And inside the DOC there are times when I still don�t count. 

I�ve gone to events where they have support groups for young people with diabetes, married people with diabetes, parents who have diabetes, parents whose kids have diabetes, grandparents whose grandkids have diabetes, pregnancy with diabetes, change of life with diabetes, seniors with diabetes - just to name a few. 
ALL, GREAT & MUCH NEEDED Diabetes SUPPORT GROUPS - And I'm so incredibly glad they exist.
 But when you�re single without children/married without children and not sure it�s ever going to happen/or it�s your choice for it to not happen, you don�t fit into any acknowledged or considered groups - things get awkward quick and feelings get hurt.

Bottom line: Everybody needs support. 

I don�t want society or my community to overlook us - I don�t want you to feel sorry for us either - but I do want you to consider us and remember us.

When a woman or a man is struggling with accepting not having children (because of life, diabetes, infertility issues, because it�s their choice,) it�s a very emotional issue that is always there - even when you think you�re �OK with it.� 

It only takes one insensitive remark to realize that �it� still hurts. 

Remarks like: 

What�s wrong with you? 

Is it because of your diabetes? 

Is it because you have diabetes complications? 

Who will take care of you when you�re old? 

Well... it�s your own fault you don�t have kids - you should have made it a priority in your early 20�s and gotten married - even if you'd divorced, you'd still have a kid.

Here�s the thing: Like living with diabetes, people will say whatever they want to you if you don�t have children. They feel it is their right and that they are doing you a favor - never once considering your feelings or circumstances. 

Or they ignore you. 
Or they brush you off by saying: You wouldn�t understand, you don�t have children.
And true or not, that statement cuts many of us like a knife - so don�t say it.

Personally, I always wanted children, I always thought I would have children - biologically, through adoption, or both. But I don�t have children, and I mightn't ever - and it's hard to to accept. 

And sometimes it makes me really sad. 

But not being a parent doesn't make me any less of a person.

That doesn�t mean I�m not maternal or a "kid person"( I am both,) and if I was neither, that doesn�t mean that it�s OK to overlook others like me, because it�s not.

Not being a parent doesn�t mean I�m stone hearted or invisible - though invisibility would be an awesome super power to have. 

Being "childless," doesn�t mean I haven�t loved, mentored, and been there for my nieces and nephews, my friends children, and children/teens I�ve become friends/mentors with because of diabetes. 
Now more than ever - I make it a point to be there for all of the above - to be an aunt for other peoples children - and to be there for others who struggle with the same issues I do - and many issues I don�t. My world isn't childless. 

If you're my friend, I'm there for you. 
If you have diabetes or someone you love has diabetes - I'm there for you, no matter the type. 

So why am I writing this? 
  1. I�ve struggled with these feelings for a long time
  2. I get emails on this subject from women in the DOC who don�t have children 
  3. I�m friends with many women and men in the DOC and outside the DOC who struggle with this issue
  4. **See above paragraph in blue. Then use it as a reminder that kindness, empathy, and compassion count. That what you say/how you say it matters, that opinions are like other parts of our anatomy, and that in the world and in the DOC, it does indeed take a village. 
And our village is made up of all types, each with a story to tell - and every member in our village needs support.

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