Dealing with Prejudice

So here is what happened- I use a wheelchair part time. I am taking a lab course at college and i use ti because i cannot stand up the whole time or if I go on outings with people to places like the mall, or on trips because otherwise the pain would be too much (i couldn't keep up and it would hurt)

People see me in and out of the chair and I don't think anything of it because its just a daily routine for me. Today however someone in my apartment complex stopped me and asked whether or not I was one of those people running a scam. Pretending to be injured and begging for money. I shrugged if off and told him absolutly not. It wasn't until I was in my car that his comment really hit me- is that what people think of me? Do they think that I am doing this out of sympathy.

I have never been more hurt offended and confused in my life. Is this common? How have any of you dealt with this type of judgement?

The last thing i want to do is become bitter and angry but I would be lying if I said that his comments didn't get to me


I feel very sad that anybody would feel like this but I know that it's a cruel world out there and there will alsways be some people who judge. I would just stop, write on a piece of paper 'Google Erythromelalgia' then come back to me... I think they will be so embarrassed they wouldn't ever mention it again... Lots of my work colleagues know I have 'sometinhg wrong' with me, but only a few have asked me what exactly it is. I have had to make some adjustments to my job and some days I can do things that on other days I cant, I have a great team around me who would step in straight away but I hate having to ask which has led to me ending up in tears doing something that leaves me in horrendous pain rather than relying on others. I need to learn to stop before it gets bad. i also need to stop worrying what others think of me.