“Don’t be in such a hurry to condemn a person because he doesn’t do what you do, or think as your think. There was a time when you didn’t know what you know today.”
As a person who has struggled with chronic pain most of my life I have been judged for my actions more times than I can count. After my bike accident I was the seventh grader who ate lunch in the bathroom each day because I did not fit the “cool kid” profile: half a shaved head, half a swollen face, bruising, and definitely not the right wardrobe. Being teased for over a year helped make me into the person I was for the years to follow. I learned early to never make someone feel as awful as my peers made me feel during my middle school years. I have zero tolerance for bullying and will even to this day call kids out on the playground.
During my darkest years fighting a battle I never thought I could win I did many things I was not proud of. I partied too much, I lied, I was self absorbed, and put my friends and family through absolute hell. Of course I was disliked at times and many people judged me for my actions. I lost countless friends and people were very quick to judge me for any decision I made. No one understood what I was feeling on the inside because I looked perfectly fine on the outside. Being judged and made fun of only made my life worse and increased my pain and decreased any self worth I had had left. This went on for years on and off. Even once I was managing pain well I was judged for my actions. All of a sudden I wasn’t attending events I once had and was totally self absorbed because in the beginning stages of managing chronic pain naturally I had to be. I was learning how to live without medication or treatment for my chronic pain. My whole life had changed and many of the people close to me no longer knew who I was. People hated that I did not have time for them. I had to literally put 100 percent effort and focus on myself in order to survive. Of course, now things are different because I am in a much better place and know how to manage my pain but in my past I felt I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. My actions were questioned no matter what I did.
Everyone that knows me knows that I never judge anyone, ever. People trust me to tell me their deepest secrets not only because I will keep them to myself but because they know I will never judge them. I love the quote: “Do not judge someone because they sin differently then you do.” Many people find it odd that I have a pen pal (yes real letters with actual pens and paper) that is currently in prison because of a fatal drunk driving accident. I know way too many people who have driven under the influence including close friends and family who just got lucky and did not end up with a dui or worse killing someone. I write this woman because I know most people have no empathy for her and although her actions may not be forgivable, she is forgivable. Kindness is free and we all need love. I totally understand why people do not accept the fact that I have taken this woman as a pen pal/friend but everyone needs someone.
Everyone is fighting battles we know nothing about. My neighbors have no idea I have had brain surgery and live with chronic pain. They look at me and see a healthy, in shape, happy wife and mother who on the outside seems to “have it all.” If they only knew the battles I fight every day of my life. I see people do things every day that I do not agree with but I never judge the person. I have no idea what he or she is going through. Stop judging people. It has to end. We have no idea what path our higher being has asked someone to walk through. If you want people to love you and accept you for who you are: the good, the bad and the ugly, you need to do the same for them.