Why does she walk around like that?

Posted on: July 22, 2011

The R Wines 2007 Bitch Grenache

Image via Wikipedia

Okay. Today wasn’t too bad, relatively speaking. I mean it’s not over yet, still waiting on class to start for this evening, but beside some RLS symptoms, aches in my hips, knees and ankles, I didn’t have any breakdowns.

People at my job tend to get on my nerves a lot lately, but I have been empowering myself to not think about their negativity, off-beat comments and overall drama and to just think about positive things. And ya know what? It has been working. I don’t stress about it, I let things go and move on. Due to the RA and many other chronic illnesses and symptoms I have throughout my days and life, I have noticed that I end up being a doormat for most people’s’ harsh and just down-right mean antics. I have had to fight through people thinking I am a snotty brat because I happen to walk around with what appears to be a stick up my behind. However, I learned a few years ago that I do in fact walk around like that BUT it’s not because I do have that stick lodged up there it’s because I have constant joint stiffness, RA symptoms, scoliosis and chronic pain and fatigue. Frankly, I’m lucky that I’m walking around any which way (since my parents were told that I would be in a wheelchair by age 6).

I’ve recently learned (mostly the hard way) that I can’t hold normal friendships. I mean, this has been true my whole life but I convinced myself that it was just “them” and not me. unfortunately, like most people with chronic INVISIBLE illnesses I look normal upon the first meeting and because in my head I passed that initial meeting, I feel the need to continue trying to act normal. It’s not that I don’t tell me I have RA, it’s just not something that needs to be stated upon initial (usually painful) handshake.

Anyway, point! I have been working at my current job for 4 1/2 years (ugh) and the place really does have excellent employee retention, therefore these people I share my 40 hours a week with have known me for that long. You’d think they’d all know about the RA, I mean I do talk about, it has been of conflict at one point (that’s another story), I do take time off for Dr’s appts and infusions…but yet of the 18 other individuals I see daily (and some after work to hang out) not all of them know or even seem to understand and care that I am in constant pain and exhausted 99.9% of the time.

Doormat. Sure, I do what I can to stay up on office gossip and take time for chit-chat and regular banter, but lately I just can’t do it and my exhaustion and symptomatic body comes across as me being a snotty, stick-up her bum, b-i-t-c-h. I don’t have the energy to defend myself anymore so I let it fly. I just let people talk behind my back, say how socially awkward I can be at times or how royally bitchy I am because I know the truth and hope one day they understand.

Believe me, I am not using RA as a “free pass” to act a fool and actually be a snot but that seems to be what is thought. And here, again is where forcing myself to think positively works. I smile (usually on the inside because my jaw hurts) and think that things can change in the future and for right now, I have a man who loves me, understanding and empowering family members and some good friends that do accept me…stick up the booty and all. Really? Can you ask for much more…well beside a cure for these crappy chronic illnesses?


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