I’m 14 years old, and I use a walking stick every now and again. I suffer from Sticklers Syndrome, and a symptom of that is arthritis which has progressively got much worse over the last few years. I’m still capable of doing most things, just not as often and as much as I’d like to and every so often, I have to use a walking stick because I’m incapable of supporting myself properly. Obviously, it’s quite uncommon to see someone so young, using something that you’d normally relate with the elderly, and because of this, the response that I’ve had from people is just ridiculous. I know that being at school means that there are always going to be people that are cruel and unfair and ignorant, but sadly, it’s getting to a point where I’m debating not using my stick and having to suffer without it.
What could be so bad about it? Firstly, people treating me like I’ve offended them because of my stick. You know, giving me the evil eye and pushing me out of the way as if me being slightly less able than them is something that affects them, and that somehow it’s a bigger inconvenience to them than it is to me. I know that it usually makes me walk quite slow, and I could get in the way, but that’s a problem for me too and there’s nothing I can do about it. Another thing that happens quite a lot is people laughing, calling me a witch, and even worse than that, kicking the bottom of my stick in attempt to trip me up. Well, I use a walking stick, I’m in pain… what’s funny about that? However, the thing that annoys me the most is people telling me that I don’t need it, that it’s just for attention. Because arthritis isn’t something that’s consistent; some days I’m almost fine, other days I can barely walk, it means that people assume that I’m just using it for the sake of it and that I don’t really need it. Even after I try and explain that it’s arthritis, so the pain isn’t constant, they still act like they know more about my problems than I do.
Some of these things have made me break down into tears because this isn’t something that’s my choice. Whenever someone makes a comment about my appearance or something that I’ve done that they may disapprove of, my response to that is usually something along the lines of “Fuck you, this is my choice and it makes me happy.” however, my health issues aren’t my choice, so having someone be negative about it like it affects them, upsets me so much.
“Can’t you just get over it for one day? It is a birthday/christmas/ tuna season/yarn throwing festival, etc.”
“I sprained my ankle, I know how you feel.”
“Don’t be so depressed, you are making everyone else sad.”
“You’re just not trying hard enough.”
“You’ve just given up.”
Is it appropriate to reply; “Bitch, please?”.
stealtharchaeologist asked: I currently work at a place where every other employee is probably forty years older than me. All the time they talk about the aches and pains they have, then they look over at me and say, "You'll understand when you're older." I always have to stifle either laughter or a snippy retort, depending on how painful I am that day.
Any submissions or even just a story that’s happened to you would be great! Thanks :)
“Oh I bet you got that from cracking your knuckles, didn’t you?”
“Why do you need a cane?”