Jumping to conclusions

To the Editor:

I am a very private person but felt compelled to write this letter in my defense.

This year someone I thought was a friend asked me why my eyes were all red? I informed her that I have ocular rosacea ( red & swollen eyelids, blood-shot eyes, tearing, scratchy feeling, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and in some cases blindness).

Some weeks later, as I was in this "friend's" place of business, her boyfriend entered and after a cue from her, proceeded to get a few inches from my face, stared at my face, and then just walked out of the door without saying a word! At the time I was so shocked and taken back by the incident, I had no response.

As time went on, I noticed this same "friend" was not very respectful of my feelings or how she treated me. Let's say "the light bulb went off" in my head and I realized that she assumed my eye redness was a drug problem.

I made an appointment with her to discuss her boyfriend's behavior etc. ... It was made very clear by me that I have never used drugs in the past, do not use them now, and never will in the future.

Unfortunately, some people have jumped on the "bandwagon" evidently believing these unfounded accusations. There have been vehicles driving by my property blasting their car and truck horns, "rapping" loudly on their Jake brakes, yelling comments out their windows at times, and glaring at me with looks of disdain. All of this is very upsetting and it's all due to one person's lack of judgment and integrity followed by, unfortunately, people who choose to believe and perpetuate these rumors.

Please think before you jeopardize someone's life and future by defaming their character. A person slurring his or her speech could have had a stroke -- and not be drunk or on any drugs. Someone stumbling while attempting to walk could be afflicted with cerebral palsy, MS, or Parkinson's disease. Someone with a red and "ruddy" face could have rosacea or lupus and not be a "drinker." If you don't know these people, or have never talked with them -- then don't make hasty assumptions.

For some people it can be a struggle to live with their illnesses, but most would like to live their lives without others passing judgment of any kind. So I am asking, why would anyone do this to another person?

Pearl Foster

Concord, Vt.

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