You may or may not know this, but I suffer from Crohn's Disease. I have done (officially) for around 2 years now.
My mum is aware of this too, in sometimes more detail than she would probably like, and therefore tells her friends and customers about me and how I am doing.
Whilst at her work recently, my mum was chatting to a client who happened to enquire as to how I was keeping. She filled her in on my situation, thanking her for asking, and explained that she, herself had had a stressful time over the past few months in worrying about me. Rather than merely sympathise with my mum and offer her a friendly ear (like any NORMAL person would), this woman preceded to say; "You must wonder what you've done wrong".
When she relayed this story to me I was livid! My mum had been quite taken aback by this little nugget and was upset. It got her pondering on whether or not my health issues were somehow of her or my dad's doing. Crohn's is not hereditary. Neither my mum nor my dad have it, and as far as we are aware no one in our dysfunctional family tree has ever suffered from it either. So it's definitely no one's 'fault' I have Crohn's - in fact as it stands no one even knows what causes people to have the disease in the first place.
Now if I could turn back time, I'd go with my mum to her work that day and explain calmly and concisely to that 'lady' that she needs to take some time to consider the words that come out of her mouth before opening her geriatric lips, completely mortifying my mum in the process no doubt. But as I am not Cher, I have to silently seethe and try to shake the image of me smacking the old dear across the face with her own Werther's Originals. Not at all constructive and a terrible waste of Werther's Originals.
Now I don't wish to repeat myself, as i've blogged before about the ignorance of some people when it comes to my condition, but it still never ceases to amaze me that some just do not know when to zip it.
If you are completely unknowledgeable about Crohn's and all it entails, then ask me. I'll be more than happy to regale you with tales of intimate encounters with the porcelain, or how every time I eat or drink my stomach rumbles like there's an oncoming avalanche.
However if you think YOU are going to tell ME what I am suffering from, or in some way belittle my illness or how it affects my family and friends, then you better watch your back cos your face will soon be bruised by oncoming toffees.
I'm really sick of making excuses for myself, or trying to spare everyone else's feelings when it comes to my Crohn's. It seems there are a lot of people out there who are completely unwilling to discuss anything relating to the disease but are happy to share their misguided opinions and judgements with anyone willing to listen!
Other's dont want to think about the fact that I have a scar as it offends their delicate sensibilities. I have a big beast of a scar from where I had life-saving surgery - Heaven forbid these people should catch a glimpse of it! They would surely turn to dust?!
The thing is, I'm not apologising anymore, I'm not prepared to apologise for something I have zero control over. Something myself and my loved one's have to deal with day in day out. If that offends you then you know where you can stick your Werther's Originals.
Preferably in my handbag, I'm partial to a toffee, thanks x