Yesterday I was smoking a cigarette on the balcony of the second floor, as I was joined by two students of the Master in Financial Communication who are attending our course of argumentation as an elective. I started talking with the girl, a nice Greek woman who is here for one year. I know a few sentences in modern Greek, just greeting and asking how you are doing. I underlined that I must have a terrible accent for her, because at High School I had ancient Greek, so my pronunciation is not the modern one. She laughed and we spoke (in English) for a while. I mentioned that I studied Greek about 15 years ago. So the guy, who had been silent until that moment, asked me how it comes that I am attending University at my age. Stupid question, kid. I replied that I have been ill for ten years, and that this is the reason why. He looked at me with big astonished eyes and suddenly shut up. You know, in my opinion it is never too late to study, but I was not on holiday from my 20s to my 30s. It is up to me what I do with my life, nobody has the right to judge me. Illness is something that scares people, and I saw the terror in the eyes of the kid for a moment, because everyone of us could be the next one to get ill. Nobody is out of the game.
Just a couple of days before, I came across a shop where my mother had seen a shirt which could potentially fit to me. Since it is a rare thing that my mother thinks about me and suggest me trying clothes or things alike, I thought it would be nice to go by the shop and take a look at the shirt. I tried it, and it was a little too small (I am large). The salesgirl then took another shirt, with long sleeves (I was looking for a shirt to wear in the summer), which was totally horrible, and she said to me with an ironic smile that I should rather try that one, since it would cover my arms. Well, I do not want to cover my arms. I have scars, and they are and remain there where they are. I live with them, if you do not like them, look away. I replied that I do not have to cover my arms, and I also added that the shirt was ugly. Then, I took my bag, I smiled, I thanked the salesgirl and I left.
I live with these slight forms of discrimination, of stigma, but I found myself incredibly calm, quiet and determined in handling them. I live for a revenge and I am starting to think like an avenger, without losing my temper as I would have done in the past and keeping my energy for things that are really important.
Still, it hurts sometimes.