We live in a world where information is readily at our fingertips. We type in any question, any concern, anything and we can find an “answer” or maybe the answer. On so many levels it is great. The DOC is very good about this. People link to each other, they create blogrolls (even is Kerri still has a link to my old blogs web address…), they share stories, they make videos, they do so many different things which are so great. This is all part of what it means to be a part of the DOC.
I will share stories sometimes. More often, I share random things that are diabetes related. My take on life is very unique. I try to find joy in it. I try to be my own unique person. That is who I am. My niche in the DOC is truly my quirkiness.
Everything about me, is just that me. I don’t hide what I do or who I am. I don’t talk about it often, more so because it doesn’t have a major impact on my role in the DOC. Yet there are things I do keep myself from sharing.
The DOC is a great place where we meet many people we like or think we like. Sometimes we make truly amazing friends who we have met and can call our friends both in real life and online.
(Some of my best friends are in this picture)
With them I talk about anything and everything. I have shared my life with them beyond the DOC. In this way, because I have met them I feel better about talking about stuff that is on my mind. What is bothering me. I will talk about stuff both d-related and non-d-related. That is one of the great joys in having them as friends. In knowing this and having met them I feel that I can be more open with them.
Yet sometimes, there are things we don’t and shouldn’t share with the world. Tina, Meri, Kerri (obviously not a d-mom), and so many other d-mom’s when they talk about their children do not list their names. We know them as something else. Jacquie and Kim have introduced us to Magpie and Rabbit. Why? To protect that little corner of the world that that belongs to themselves and their families. Plus privacy is something that is so important.
I have a work email address, I use it for work related purposes. I have no problem giving it to people, since it is the best way to reach me. However, I do not have it everywhere. Why? Because there is this thing called SPAM, which is a pain in the ass. Not just real junk mail, but those who start sending out anti-church related propaganda or hate mail. It’s bad enough with some of the letters I have gotten. More so, my phone extension for my office. I give out to some people, but it is not listed anywhere. You can’t dial by name or anything to find me, you need to go through the receptionist. Why? Same thing, the calls we get while most of them are normal, others are calling hoping to pull a fast one on myself or another charitable organization, expecting something by painting lie after lie after lie. So I get those calls sorted out and know how to best approach them before I speak with the person or call them back.
My cell phone number is maybe known by 15 people in the parish. 6 of them work for me. The rest are either volunteers who do things for the parish, such as tech work, youth work, or something else. My staff WILL NOT give my cell phone to anyone unless I give them the okay. Why? So there is balance in my life and while I do and will work 24/7 to serve those who are in need. I have at least some semblance of privacy, when it comes to my ministry.
For this I am ever so grateful. And that’s the thing. Sometimes we establish our boundaries, whether it’s in the DOC or in our real lives. Sometimes we need that space, that illusion of security, that protection so to speak. There is nothing wrong with that. My life in the DOC hardly ever crosses into my real life. Only a few non-d people know I have twitter or know my handle. My blog will never show up in my FB newsfeed or hardly ever unless I don’t realize I posted something to it. I don’t cross worlds. I don’t need the stress or the drama at times.
Personal space is key for all of us. Never take offense of someone who establishes their own boundaries or tries to draw that line between their lives. There is a reason why they may do that and with all things we should respect the established boundaries and try not to skip around or circumvent them. It’s not cool. Truly. You know how to find me if you really need to. It’s the same with others. We can find them, we can talk with them, yet we also try our hardest to establish the line between the two.
While conversations like this don’t happen often or even close to often, normally before a topic is broached fully we give a heads up, instead of diving into the conversation. More so, because of the established friendship my friends and I have, we know boundaries and try not to cross them. I do sometimes, and end up paying for that crossing. Yet we have that established friendship and bond so we can do this. I wouldn’t just randomly take a picture of a wonky infusion set and send it to just anyone in the DOC, I would ask advice of those who I know and have that bond with. So if you were hoping from random pictures from me, sadly you won’t get them.
The same applies for advice or anything else. If I know you I might feel more comfortable talking to you about something on a deeper scale than what infusion set, meter, pump, cgm, etc is the best. Yet most likely that is as far as things will go for me. I might listen to your issues or concerns, I might offer vague guidance if I can. Yet without knowing you in anyway shape or form other than twitter conversations or email messages, I can’t really help you. Just as each of our diabetes may vary. So too is it the same with our lives both personal and diabetes relations wise. Yet if you send me something that may concern me. I am going to take that concern seriously and act on those concerns. Even if what was said was just a passing thought. I will follow through on my concerns reaching out to those who can help me, help you.
The DOC is a great place to be in because of the friends we make and the relationships we form. Yet at the same time it is still a place I am wary about and wary in. I have my own established boundaries, just as others do as well. We do it for a reason. Please do not take offense when you run into one of those barriers. It’s not that we don’t like you or think you are strange or creepy (well maybe we do), it’s that we need our own little world that is separate from everything else. We need OUR space so to speak and with the lack of boundaries things go weird at times. Please respect them.
Thanks Brian for sharing this. Boundaries are important. Providing personal contact information like phone numbers, private emails and home addresses can make us more vulnerable. Obviously i do all I can to protect my kids and their privacy especially since so much of what I share delves deep into their private lives. Well said indeed.
They are so important. But so are healthy mental choices as well.
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