Being a disabled person that looks completely normal on the outside I know the pain and frustration of people judging something they know nothing about, being the brunt of snide remarks, and callous rude behavior. If it was only strangers that did these things it would be easier to ignore, however that is almost never the case. It is more than hurtful when it comes from family and friends and feels very much like betrayal because if family and friends are not willing to believe you and the medical proof you have proving everything. However because our disabilities are not visible they are not believed.
Just from family and friends I have been mocked I have been made fun of and I have been told “Oh it can’t be that bad” this because I insist on standing straight no matter how much it hurts. I do this because I know walking all stooped over will only make my pain that much worse and my back could end up locked in that position. Last year I was living with a friend and I had gone to get injections in my right hip and then all the way down the outside of my right thigh to my knee. When I got back I was in a lot of pain which happens sometimes right after injections in a sensitive spot and lasts about 24 hours. So that evening the pain was so bad my pain meds were barely working and several times I was in tears and believe that doesn’t usually happen because of the fact I am always in pain. I had asked my friend to get me something which she did but then she stood holding it at the end of the sofa mocking and laughing at me telling me I could get up and get it from her if I really wanted it. Not only did it really hurt coming from a friend (one that actually saw me just days after having a stroke) it was humiliating as if I were an animal and she dangling food in front of me to get me to perform a trick for her. Although I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised since she confessed that before I had the stroke that she and her now ex husband had discussed that they both thought I was just lazy. When in fact I had been really sick because I was diabetic and didn’t know it and so on the night my blood sugar went up to 800 I had a moderate stroke in my cerebellum. She confesses this to me while I am laying in a bed fighting for my life.
Stop and think I am sure if you are at least 18 years old you have probably had something that caused you a lot of pain maybe a broken bone, a migraine, ulcers, etc. Now think about it can headache pain of any kind be seen on the outside of the body, most broken bones cannot be seen on the outside of the body, and ulcer pain can’t either. The fact is pain cannot be seen period you can sometimes see result of pain like crying, withdrawing from friends and events, bruising, etc. None of that tells you though how much pain another is in and it doesn’t tell others how much pain you are in. I am sure you would appreciate them taking your word for it even though they cannot see your pain. You might even look as normal as I do or another disabled person like me does. Try putting yourself in the place of a person that lives with severe chronic pain and knowing they do suffer everyday because no pain killer takes away all of the pain. Then they have to deal with those closest to them and supposedly loves them are mocking them, making fun of them, and thinks they are lying so is it any wonder we also suffer from depression and anxiety?
So the next time you see a person that is suppose to be disabled but looks normal just remember pain cannot be seen. Be kind and treat them as you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes and it doesn’t matter if they are a stranger, a friend, or a family member be kind to them.