|Eleven Kinds of Loneliness (album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Today in a Chinese restaurant which I often visited, I casually said to the boss when I sneezed: "Spring came with pollen." The boss knew me since years ago so we often chatted a little. A little differently, she answered to me with a decisive tone: "you SHOULD take medicine. " I said: "medicine would trigger my heart problem."
"So what? You heart would stop beating?"
The way she said seemed half serious and half joking. I brushed off with a laugh. Just at the moment an employee joined our conversation, said that one should be careful with medicines. Since this opinion fit mine very well so I jumped into conversation with her, talked a little more about how I thought of modern medicine. Then when I walked out of the restaurant, the boss suddenly said to me:"you have mental problem." (or "worrying problem" 你有心病） I turned around, surprised, but thought she was still joking, so I gave her a laugh and left.
I thought I would not give it a second thought, but my mind didn't follow my order, and I didn't feel very good. Problem is, based on my personally experience, I knew she was not joking, at least not entirely. I also recalled that there were at least over 3 times that they made my orders spicy when I cleared told them not to. Once I went to pick up foods and asked them to double check my orders, they didn't seem to be comfortable with my request.
Of course, all of these could not be a problem if I just never reveal my personal life, especially if I never mentioned that I had health problem.
Since I entered the journey of my chronic illness years ago, I've been facing too much judgment, both from acquaintances and friends. I realized, had I never mention my health problem, things might be different. But how? Isn't talking about our daily life a way to make friends? Of course if I were healthy, had a family, kids, I would have so much more in common to share with others, but being a sick person, not being able to do this and that was my daily routine for years. And what's wrong with mentioning it? The fact is there's nothing wrong with it, but people just don't like "difference". I found that the "significant" difference between my life and a "normal" life seems to make lots of people uncomfortable, so they try very hard to imply, sometime to openly state, that what I said was not true, and I was not who I thought I was.
It seems that in this world, being different is a sin, and having an unknown illness is even a worse sin.
Worth to mention, that I did meet many kind people, who showed me true compassion. But the negative communication is much more overwhelming.
I may not go to that restaurant again. A little inconvenience to me, because I do like a few dishes there. And yes, I may change my social strategy a little bit, instead of being unnecessarily honest, I may just conceal myself little, at least in the social places like restaurants, stay mysterious and let people guess that I might be a serial killer.