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Woman suspects friend is mimicking her disability to gain followers on social media.

Woman suspects friend is mimicking her disability to gain followers on social media.


When this woman feels weird about her friend, she asks Reddit:

'AITA for telling my friend to stop mimicking my symptoms as her own for her followers?'

I (26F) have been friends for a decade with “Janet,” (24F). We had never been super close up until 2020. Janet has always had some sort of disability, the most prominent being an autoimmune disorder that causes chronic pain. Janet is also very prominent on social media, and often discusses her disabilities very openly. I am not, and haven’t really discussed mine in length.

Recently, I have been afflicted by really bad pains in my hands due to my job. I expressed how badly things had gotten when I found myself physically incapable of using my left hand for the most basic of tasks, such as picking up a pencil, or waving. I told Janet about it, as she is a friend, and she was sympathetic.

But then, less than 24 hours later, I went onto her social media and I found her crying to her followers about her own “chronic hand pain.” I was kind of dumbfounded, since she had just been with me the day before opening jars and carrying around things with no pain or complaints.

I decided to let this go and believe that she may in fact be suffering like I am because, how do I know if she hasn’t been dealing with this? But then it started getting weird.

Janet started asking me more and more questions. What the pain feels like, how frequently, does it shoot to other places or was it localized, etc. At first, I didn’t think anything of it and answered her… only for her to have the same type of pain less than 24 hours later! I was shocked that she would say that she had the same level and type of pain as me, even using the same terminology I did. I decided to stop answering her questions, and for a couple months, she stuck with what she had already told her following. Until last night.

After a few visits with my doctor, my pain is gone, thankfully. The only thing that is gone for good is the grip strength I once had, but I just have to cope with it and manage. Janet called me last night and I, stupidly, told her that my pain is gone and explained my grip strength issues. Can you guess what happened next?

This morning, less than 12 hours later, Janet posted a 20 minute sob fest on social media regarding her “grip strength,” and how she is going to have to cope with it leaving her. I watched as she dramatically let tears fall down her face while discussing how she can’t do basic tasks anymore.

Frustrated, I texted Janet and told her to stop mimicking my very painful condition and using my symptoms as her own for her following and for attention. She wrote back that I was an asshole for suggesting she was doing that, and then ran to her social media to state that a friend thinks she’s faking and how hurt she is. At first, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, but after her symptoms mirrored mine so quickly, it was suspicious. Am I the asshole?

Let's find out.

logicalblock8 writes:

NTA. Dump the friend. Mocking/mirroring/minimalizing your very real disabilities is ableist as hell and she should be ashamed of herself. But she won't be, so get rid of her.

silentfocus8 writes:

NTA - but consider this. You now know who Janet truly is. What's next is up to you. You could be petty and make up symptoms just to watch her mimic them or you can just ignore her. She is not going to change. Your power is to change if and how you react or don't react to her. Hope maybe someday you can get your grip strength back but am glad to hear that the pain is gone.

cursedangel writes:

NTA as someone who actually has a DIAGNOSED autoimmune disorder (rheumatoid arthritis) it annoys me to no end that this person is going around saying they have an autoimmune disorder because they just 'feel' like they do. I have pain to some degree every single day and the meds I have to use to try and control my immune system cause very real side effects.

Autoimmune disorders are already misunderstood by most people (RA particularly often get confused with osteoarthritis because both have arthritis in their name, they are actually quite different) and we don't need people going around copying other people's symptoms claiming to have something they likely don't.

I'm sorry they did that to you OP ( i know i would hate someone using my medical info like that) but I'm glad that at least the pain has cleared up for you. Is the grip strength something you can work on with physio or the like?

Looks like OP is NTA. Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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