“Sick” feels like failure
“No one will marry you, you’re too expensive [because you are sickly].”
I was less than worth-less, I was costly. Through no fault of my own I was a “sickly” child. Prone to pneumonia, gastroenteritis, colds, & infectious diseases, I was a burden. In my family of origin, love & money were entangled, & not being a cost-effective child was just one of the many, many shames heaped upon my little body.
Stigma is shame. Our culture still shames illness & disability. We heap particularly unsympathetic shame on people with invisible, undiagnosed, & controversial diagnoses, syndromes, disorders, & diseases.
“You’re such a hypochondriac” (using the common misinterpretation of the term, when what they mean is “you’re TOO SICK & it makes us uncomfortable.”)
“You’re being over dramatic/hysterical (mostly reserved for girls/women).
“You just want attention, are faking, are crazy”
You get the point.
We do this judging all the time. We internalize your judgement. We question, we weigh, are we WORTHY of concern? We internalize it. We second-guess. We feel weak when we finally give in in agony & seek treatment, bracing ourselves for the inevitable judgement we will likely encounter.
We need empathy, compassion, & reassurance for our anxieties. We don’t need your judging & shaming, we have enough of our own.