Secrecy versus Disclosure

Like others with invisible forms of chronic illness, I’m afforded the option of whether or not I choose to decide whether to disclose my medical problems. Even after so very many years of living with multiple forms of chronic illness, my deficits remain largely undetectable to others.

I’ve certainly decided that this is both a blessing, as well as a curse. Yes, it certainly has distinct advantages that others don’t immediately see my illness-induced limitations. I’ve never argued this fact. The ADA not withstanding, I possess distinct advantages for trying to be competitive in any given employment situation.

Nevertheless, there are multiple disadvantages to not having others see my limitations. Their expectations for my performance almost always exceed my actual capacity.

Consequently, others may erroneously conclude that I lack sufficient interest, or adequate motivation, to fulfill any given task. Having been a highly motivated woman throughout my entire life, this is indescribably frustrating.

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