The measure of a person is in their actions. I’ve often found it difficult, in my impatience, to give those around me a chance to act. By denying them this chance, I’ve been able to judge them by chance encounters, and judge them quite harshly at that.
When I was first diagnosed, I used that label as a way to distance myself from others. I chose one of two distinct paths with this:
a) I would not tell them at all, deciding without data that they would treat me differently and with disgust.
b) I would throw the diagnosis in their face as an excuse for my bad behavior.
As you can imagine, neither was particularly effective, though I know I am not the only one to ever use these methods.
It is difficult to give people time to act, because there is a sense of vulnerability (there’s that word again) to the unknown. When we can’t control how a person acts, we cannot fully and truly protect ourselves from them.
But–and this was a hard one for me to get–we also can’t love or be loved fully and truly as we could if we just quit judging others based on how we think they are going to react to something like a diagnosis.
We have to give them that chance with an open heart.