“What’s wrong with your voice?”
Since I lost my voice to Lyme Disease and was left speaking in a whisper, random people at stores or restaurants ask me what’s “wrong” with my voice. Without missing a beat, they tell me to stop smoking (which I have never done), to try seeing a doctor or drinking tea, or offer other unsolicited advice which suggests I am a complete idiot who brought this “defect” on myself, by neglecting my own health. When people learn that I used to sing, they tell me I must have been singing wrong. In some cases they say it’s karma or a punishment. No matter what I tell them about my diligence and my top notch doctor, they come up with alternative options, paranoia about medication and suggestions… as if I have not tried everything in my power to cure myself.
The reason they do this is they want to believe they have control over their own lives. The thought that, like me, disaster could strike and leave them crippled or stripped of their greatest passion through no fault of their own, is too harrowing to face. So they have to project their fear on me, by convincing themselves that I deserved my cruel fate, and as long as they do things more correctly than I did, they will fare better.
After 20 years of being asked this question any time I dare to shop in a new store or call a company, it doesn’t hurt me emotionally anymore, but it never fails to remind me how fragile the human mind is, and how lucky I am to have been forced to face major losses and struggles in my early life, so that I could grow stronger.