So-called hidden disabilities and degenerative conditions are often misunderstood. Friends and family see the person “looks fine” to them, so they don’t give the person the same level of empathy that they would if their disability was clearly visible at all times.
But the fact they can’t see it all the time doesn’t make it any less real. One Redditor found themselves dealing with a best friend who didn’t understand their limitations.
This lead to a rift in the friendship.
The Redditor turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to see if they were at fault.
Redditor Dee_Smithxoxo asked:
“AITA for pulling out of my ‘best friends’ wedding?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“I’m a 23 year old female with a progressive disability. Like MS but slower. Bride is 23 year old female too.”
“We’ve been friends for 7 years. When she got engaged, she asked another woman who’s she works with for less than a year to be maid of honour. I was hurt but I brushed it off.”
“Then when it came to asking me to be a bridesmaid, she commented that I had to wear heels and walk down the aisle and stand for pictures unaided. I was hurt because she knew about my condition and my needs and completely overlooked them.”
“We argued but made up.”
“Until now. Her wedding is in February 2021. And I told her I was going to be using a wheelchair by then. I’ve been going back and forth with it for a while. I want my independence back.”
“No pain, no anxiety over walking with my condition. My team at the hospital stated it would be a good idea. I decided it would be for the best.”
“So I told her. She was instantly off to me. Stating how would I go in the car to the wedding, carry a bouquet, get into the building? etc… I gave solutions to those things.”
“She then ignored my wheelchair. Saying I will walk down the aisle and stand for pictures right?. When I said no, I don’t feel comfortable or fully able to do so; I got back a message saying ‘So your rolling down the aisle on MY wedding day’.”
“Patronizing me and making me feel like crap. ‘It’s a curveball she has to make work for her and her groom. And she loves me’.” The bride to be clearly wasn’t happy, so I asked if it was a problem?”
“She told me that she wasn’t happy. And she doesn’t get it because ‘I can use my legs and can manage fine’ and ‘I want to be independent but yet I’m not using it. All she wants is for me to walk down the aisle and stand for pictures on HER wedding day. After that I could do whatever I want’.”
“Like it’s that easy. Like my disability is able to turn off and on.”
“I finally got upset and said ‘if that’s how she feels, I’m not coming.’ Treating me like a thing to stand in their and smile for her day. Putting everything else aside. My health and well-being.”
“‘This is the one wedding day she’ll ever have. And she tried to fit my disability to work for the both of us. But it always has to be my way! disability doesn’t make a person who they are…Their attitude does.’ Ripping apart my acceptance of my condition. Because I’m doing what’s right for me, I have a bad attitude.”
“I can’t believe after seven years of friendship, she’s put her one special day over a supposed ‘friend’ and her health. Like she’s ashamed of anyone to see me in a wheelchair. It will ruin her memories of the day.”
“I will ruin it just by being disabled. Ashamed of me, which obviously made me feel ashamed for wanting a wheelchair. Unlovable. Unworthy. Ugly. Someone that has no business being at a beautiful event because I’m disabled.”
“She removed me off everything basically saying I’m selfish to do this on her wedding day.”
“Am I the asshole for dropping out of my best friend of seven years wedding?”
It was time for Redditors to weigh in and tell the OP if she was:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors were pretty universal in their assessment.NTA.
“I’m sorry you thought this woman was your friend because she’s clearly not. Unless you redefine friend.” ~ judge1492
“NTA. My husband’s mother has cancer on/around her brainstem. Effectively, she can walk but it’s so hard for her.”
“She was in a wheelchair at our wedding, and she apologized for not getting far enough in her PT to be able to walk. I was brokenhearted for her that she felt lesser because of her chair.”
“I’m hurting for you that someone who was thought to be a friend has acted this way and hurt you. If it were me, I’d move on from that friendship.”
“Take the money you would have spent on a wedding gift and and a dress etc and buy yourself something lovely to give yourself a boost.” ~ imfamousoz
“Wow, NTA at all!!! Don’t ever think that you are. She’s prioritizing one day over your health and well-being.
“‘How dare you not be able to walk due to your degenerative disease, and refuse to wear high heels on MY DAY!!'” ~ Dammit_Janet5
In the end, she came back to give an update of her decision and answer a few questions.
“I decided to not bother with this woman anymore. My disability was never thought of even before I’ve decided to use a wheelchair. No accessible room or thoughts on my behalf even before it was booked.”
“When I told her about my diagnosis 3 years ago, the only thing she asked me ‘is it going to make me a vegetable?’ And when I couldn’t physically get to her home, told me I had to make the effort to meet her half way. It’s not fair her doing all the time.”
“My disability is a part of me now. No matter how much I wish it wasn’t.”
“I have Friedreichs Ataxia not like it’s anyone else’s business. Disability is not a straight line. Can walk or can’t walk doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface.”
“Thank you for most of the beautiful messages of love and support. It’s really gave me the advice and courage to do what’s best for me. I love her deeply, but it’s no longer worth it when I’m constantly excusing who I am. I just want to be me. I appreciate you ALL.”
“And as far as her perfect Instagram pictures are involved, I’m actually a disabled model with over 5k on my profile.”
In the end, they wished their former friend well without them.
“I don’t honestly know what she wants from her wedding. But I really hope she gets it.”