Why no one sees me anymore

I hate hate hate hate going in public.

I can not wait until the day I can go out in public without people staring at me. I was always a relatively confident person. Not anymore. I don’t understand why people are so rude.

I would never stare at people the way people stare at me.

I would never go up to a complete stranger and ask them “Hey, whats wrong with your knees?”

GGGGRRRRR! I just want to scream. I am already unbelievable self conscious about myself right now. I don’t need confirmation that I have turned into such a freak, that people can not help but ask me what the hell happened.

And it would be one thing if it was just once. But it has happened so many more times than I can count.

I am sure anyone who has had a physical handicap can understand.

And who knows, maybe some people get some sort of comfort out of talking about it with complete strangers. But I do not. I get embarrassed. And annoyed. The more it happens, the harder it is for me to even be civil. And maybe that says something about me. Maybe that is something I need to work on. But what it does to me at the moment, is confirm all my fears about my body image.

I has happened so often, that it is has become a running joke with my friends and family. I’ll walk into a public place….Target, the movies, the doctors office, etc. Someone will spot me. And I can recognize the look on someones face when they want to come up to me. ” Oh no. Ive been spotted” I will immediately look away, put my head down, and try to shuffle in the opposite direction. But alas, they always catch me. And they never get the hint. And some version of the phrase “Whats wrong with you?” always comes out of their mouths.

Don’t people realize how cruel they are? Whats wrong with me? Whats wrong with me is you. You are what is wrong with me. When I am away from people like you, I can function A lot better. But of course, I don’t say anything like that. I try to blow it off. Something along the lines of, “oh, you know. I have arthritis, blah blah blah.”

The majority of the time though, this isn’t enough for them. The majority of the time I get a detailed run down of every medical condition they have ever had. It’s like they are trying to compete.

” Oh, arthritis eh? Well Yea, I got me all sorts of arthritis. Know what else I got wrong with me?….etc.”

Complete strangers try to confide to me their most personal and intimate medical problems. I kid you not. I don’t know anyone else who has any physical limitations, so I don’t know if this is a common thing. People who haven’t been with me when I’m in public don’t believe me. They absolutely can not wrap their mind around the fact that people would act like that. I was telling my best friends mom about it. She just kept saying no way! No way! We stopped at an antique store a few days latter. I walked into the store in front of her. The first lady we came across stared me down. Just up and down, like I was some sort of side show attraction, I hobbled into the next room, and the first person I saw asked “What happened to you?”

We didn’t stay long. I made my point. So the result of all this is that I always have my head down, and am always trying to make a conscious effort to keep a scowl off my face.

And this is why I hate public places, and avoid them at all cost. It not just my physical limitations at the moment. It the mental ones. Plus, I pretty much always need a wheelchair if I have any amount of walking to do now days, and that doesn’t stop them either.

Now add an additional seventy pounds into the equation and maybe you will understand why I avoid everyone. I live in a pretty small town. You can not go to the grocery store without recognizing a few people.


2 Responses

  1. Aww! I completely understand your complaints! (And the fact that people turn them into some sort of competition…) : / – Tiffany Orkin

  2. I don’t know if you are going to read this, but i completely understand what you are going through. I have had rheumatoid arthritis for ten years, and if I understand what you’re saying, which I believe to be that you completely hate the way “civilized” people act toward you, even though you have no physical deformity but the way you walk, and you also hate having the disease, then I most completely understand. I sadly have no words of comfort, but if you are like me just knowing that somebody else is going through it makes it easier. It’s great that you are posting, and, even though you it didn’t make my body hurt one bit less, it is nice to know that there are people out there who really understand what it’s like, not those bumbling idiots who think that their trick knee that acts up when it rains is comparable to your pain.


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