When People Mock An Invisible Illness

Please Let Me Walk Down The Street Without Being Mocked, I Would Greatly Appreciate It

I chose to ignore them, but every time they turned around again, my stomach dropped.

Samara Ribbens

As someone who has seizures, I am not allowed to drive, nor do I want to risk the life of others. That's what has inspired this article — well, kind of. What really inspired it was people. People I do not know are the inspiration for this article.

I was walking home from class. I was about 200 feet into my neighborhood when a group of kids drove by. It was not a peaceful passing car, though. The first time they drove by, they laughed at me. The second time they drove by, they called out names. The third time they drove by, they yelled out, "Why are you walking? Haha! Can you not drive, loser?" No, I can't drive.

This has happened in different forms for the past ten years. Mockery over my invisible disability. What those kids in the car don't know about me is my health history. They don't know that I have seizures, making me unable to drive.

They don't know I've spent years hearing all sorts of belittling words.

I chose to ignore them, but every time they turned around again my stomach dropped. Why? I don't know. I try to not let people like this affect me, but it still does sometimes. Here they go again. Yelling out their window and making obscene gestures in the back window.

I start to repeat something I was told years ago. "I am enough. I am important. I have a purpose." The kids in that car do not know me. They do not my story. They do not know my fears I wake up to every day. I repeat it again. And again. And again. Deep down, I know the truth.

I no longer cry at this stuff. I simply shake it off and continue on my way. That's about as much as I can do. If I get too involved in these altercations, I am causing more trouble.

Sadly, this kind of stuff happens all the time. Thankfully, it is no longer a daily thing, but at one point it was. That's why I have gotten so used to it. Taunting from strangers and people I know has been going on for years now. It sucks. There's no easy way to put it.

I am lucky, though. I have incredible people in my life who remind me of my worth. They remind me that I am needed in this world. They remind me that my story is a beautiful story. I am more than lucky, in fact.

These kids saw an opportunity and they took it. They saw the chance to belittle someone. They didn't think twice about how it would make me feel. They had no idea I would end up writing this.

Those kids don't know what I am going through mentally. They don't know the constant thoughts in my head. No one likes me. I don't belong here. They don't know that stuff. I can only hope they never treat anyone else like that. It sucks to have those thoughts and then have someone drive by and mock you. It truly sucks. There's no easy way to put it.

I beg you to stop harassing people. I know how it feels. I've gone through this with different people for ten years now. I've heard a lot of painful words. No one deserves this kind of treatment. Be nice, people.

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