How Her Love Changed

Published by: Jansen Mangubat

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“She was scared to get near me and thought that my psoriasis is something contagious…”

What’s worse than being rejected by the person you love the most?
Rejection is something we all are scared of because the truth is, we survive the pangs of life that this world brings because of the love and acceptance of the people around us.

Many experience rejections in a way or another. But for people with conditions, rejections become an everyday occurrence that we have become accustomed to. Majority have been rejected from having decent jobs or from their social communities. And to some extent, rejected by the people they love the most.

Before the world turned upside down, I was a career woman having the time of my life. I had a nice high paying job in a big animal feed company. I knew deep within me that my life wanted more. My promising future was just within reach and it’s only a few inches farther from where I was. On top of it all, I was in a stable relationship with my boyfriend with whom I was planning a life with.
Then 2015 happened and the world came crashing right at my face. A series of unfortunate events had to break me. My father died, I lost my job and I ended my relationship with my fiancé all too suddenly. I was not prepared for these to happen because I thought my future was bright and clear but it turned out differently. And the worse thing was, I lost my closest ally—my dad. Emotional stress consumed me and eventually triggered my psoriasis.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes the cells to build up rapidly on the skin forming scales and red patches which are painful and itchy all at the same time.
At first look, I am immediately mistaken to have a contagious skin disease. People scornfully stare at me as if I have committed an unforgivable crime. One time I tried applying for an accounting-related job in a nearby town to help me get by with all my medical expenses. But just before I could show them my work competence, I was already discriminated because of my unusual scaly skin. Somehow, I got to take that in because people have that human inclination. That did not shackle my spirit because I have somehow kept a pocket of positivity even after all my mishaps happened in a flash.
The only thing that crushed my spirit was when my favorite niece whom I took good care since she was three months old began to keep her distance from me. She was scared to get near me and thought that my psoriasis is something contagious and she did not want to get what I have. The look of disgust and contempt in her eyes tore me apart. I was hurt, and the pain became unbearable than it already was. The last time we saw each other she would run into my arms and excitedly give me kisses, but it’s different now.
I love my niece as if she is my own. The way she looked at me was something I did not expect. Tears just kept flowing from my eyes. I could understand if others would be abhorred with my disease but not the people I love the most. I drowned in my tears. How could the person I expected to love and comfort added to my pain? How could her love for me change overtime? Questions upon questions of “whys” and “why-nots” filled me.
This was the hardest part among the struggles I had to go through especially in the early years of my psoriasis. But things are better now. My niece is young and her understanding of what I have is still something beyond her cognition so my family reoriented her with the nature of my illness. Everyday is a process and everyday she is learning back the love she has for me.
The presence and support of my family, especially my mom and my sister, are what made me strive and hope for better things ahead.
Every minute is a gratitude of life even in the midst of all my struggles because God whose love has never changed is still to be praised because I know that through my condition I have an experience to share and I can be an inspiration to those who, like me, experience rejections.

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The Strand of Hope

People got scared of them even their own family members because there were not enough scientific and medical explanations about the condition

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