My mom suffers from a disease called Vitiligo, as part of which the skin leaves its characteristic colours because it loses its melanin, and the cells which give the skin its colour. The exact reason of this disease is still unknown and hence there is no treatment available for this disease. Although, it affects 2% people of the world, it is very evident in people with dark skin.
In my mum’s case, there was just a small, white patch near her toe, until her late 20s when the disease suddenly began intensifying and spreading in other parts of her body. I was too young at that time but i believe that it would have impacted her emotionally and mentally much more than it ever did - physically.
The disease meant that she always found herself at the receiving end of people’s gazes, everywhere she went, to the extent that it would often become uncomfortable and as a grown up, I make sure that I retaliate or stare back at such people.
My father and family members have always supported her, but some other family members and far of relatives began considering her ominous due to this disease of hers. They began ignoring her on various celebrations and occasions in the family, which further shattered her self confidence. She almost had no friends and would at several occasions hold herself back from attending events or going out.
The thing that most people don’t realise is that an insensitive remark or action they do out of their sheer callousness and ignorance might scar a person forever. I am proud that my mom with time is regaining her confidence back. I think that the support of the family is of paramount importance, because people will always be callous and thoughtless.