I very often wonder about people…I wonder about the kind of life they live. I wonder if they have people they love and that love them. And sometimes I wonder what the hell happened to them to make them so damn awful.
Today, I wondered about the latter… It was earlier this afternoon. I was shopping with my–very hip–grandmother, when it hit me: A bathroom emergency (for all of my Crohns and Colitis friends, you know what I mean). I promptly left the store to find a restroom. Without going into too much detail, because let’s be honest no one wants details, I was accosted by a bathroom attendant who not only saw it fit to shame me in my current unfortunate circumstance, but also thought it was necessary to inform the rest of the bathroom patrons as to what was going on….
I’m not a violent person. Aside from very understandable road rage, I rarely raise my voice or yell at people. I’ve never cussed someone out (to their face), I’ve never hit anyone. I honestly just try to be kind, even to the assholes. I was that way today, even in the midst of her berating me, I tried my best to keep my peace and my composure, because, I wondered to myself, “Maybe something really bad happened to her to make her respond this way to me.”
I quickly left the bathroom thoroughly traumatized, and just ready to leave the mall entirely. When I recounted this interaction to my mother, she was obviously outraged (I’m just glad she wasn’t with me, pretty sure mall security would have been called…) but more than that she wanted me to understand something: I have nothing to be ashamed of, and moreover, I should stand up for myself more.
Not a novel idea, no, but one to me. I like to keep quiet. I don’t yell, I don’t scream, but I can speak. And I should’ve spoken to that women today. Hell I wish I had spoken to all the people who have shamed, embarrassed, and discriminated against me because of this illness I have. And there have been many.
I wish this woman was just a one off event, but she’s not. She’s quite honestly the norm. What people don’t understand they tend to be hateful towards (please do not turn this into a political post, it’s not). No this post is about me. And my illness. It’s not fun to talk about, it’s not sexy, and unlike what Hollywood would like you to believe, I do not have an Augustus Waters waiting for me at the end of the day. And yet I’m still sick.
I don’t want to be, I don’t want to think of myself as disabled, but according to the government, I am. I hate not being free to do everything people my age should be able to do. I’ve never liked the word no. And still, here I am.
Sure, it could be worse. I could have a potentially fatal, incurable disease that takes over my life at the most inopportune of times. Oh wait…
So, what should you take away from all of this, truthfully? I don’t know. Maybe I just wanted to rant. Maybe it’s for someone who should be kinder to the people they don’t understand. And maybe no one will even read this, but it’s here. And just like my disease, it’s real.