I’ve had severe plaque psoriasis since the age of 7. I’ve always been self-conscious about my disease, but back as a 20-something-year-old, I started to slowly break out my shell. During this time, I was working at a call center. One day while at work, I decided to take a 15-minute break. I went outside to get some fresh air and to steal a few rays from the sun. I was sitting on the trunk of my car when a co-worker approached me. The guy started off with routine questions like was I in college and what was my major. I wasn’t quite sure where the conversation was going, but I would have never guessed what had happened next.
About 3 minutes into the conversation, he asked what was on my hand. At the time my hands were covered with a few plaques of psoriasis. Uncomfortable, I nervously began to explain my psoriasis and how it affects the body. He then cuts me off, looks at me and says, “You know you’re a pretty girl, but your skin is really ugly.”
His words hit me like a big rig truck. I was angry, caught off guard, but mainly hurt and embarrassed. The nerve of him to walk up to me and to think that it was okay to make his comment. Honestly, thinking back on that moment, it wasn’t solely the fact that he told me my skin was ugly, I was hurt because he had told me something that internally I had already felt. I tried so hard to cover up my skin and to make it inconspicuous. He also made me aware that my efforts at trying to hid my disease with long sleeve shirts and pants were not working.
Has there ever been a time when someone said something rude to you about your condition? How did you handle it? What advice can you share with others?