Flatmates and Psoriasis: Finding a New Home, Flakes and All
The time had come, I needed to find a new place to live, I had recently left a man I considered to be the love of my life, due to the pure toxicity of our relationship ( a tale for another day). It was now time to find my feet again, naturally, as my luck would have it I was in full flare, I am talking face, arms legs, and everything in between was bright red, angry, scaly. You know just psoriasis being, well psoriasis.
The great apartment hunt begins
Living on your own is one thing, learning to live with a flatmate while you have psoriasis is a whole new ball game, well it was for me in any case. First I had to find one. This proved to be an incredibly tough task. People are so blatantly rude without even realizing it. If I went to one flat to meet a prospective flatmate, I went to ten. Many of them staring at my skin and not even being able to meet my gaze. Let alone follow the conversation I was trying to make, about house rules, rent and who was allowed what.
The last place I went to see was merely a formality as I had decided in my head what the outcome was going to be. I had however made the appointment and I am a woman of my word, so I honored it. I mean seriously, how much worse could it get? Man oh man was I in for a surprise, the young lady I met at the door was plain with a color in her hair I could not quite place (I would later learn it was aubergine) She welcomed me in with a smile.
While we were talking about the rent, she stopped me and said “what is on your skin?”
Getting on the same page
Earth swallow me whole, right now. I would almost take the rude stares over this. How will I answer and what will I say. I stumbled over my words and eventually managed to explain to her that is was psoriasis. She surprised me with her next questions, was it contagious, did it hurt and would me living with her mean she would have to help me with anything. Every single question came from a genuine place of concern. I answered as best I could and she asked what she needed to. Never before had I been faced with such a direct response to my skin, I was floored to say the least. By the end of our meet, I had a new flatmate, a new home and surprisingly enough a new friend.
We lived successfully together for a few years till I had to relocate for work. She helped me where she could, and I tried to be the best flatmate and friend I could be, while I was finding my feet with my new single and very sick self. It worked out so well in the end and I am so blessed to say that we are still friends.
There were some valuable lessons for me to learn by living with her and I want to share some, hints if you are finding yourself in the same situation.
- Let them know when you having a bad day, they won’t actually be able to tell when some days are worse than others.
- Be upfront about what suffer with and how badly it does or does not affect your daily life.
- Ask for help when you need it, you will be surprised how willing some people are to help if you give them a chance and you are willing to guide them. Keep in mind they have no idea what to do and what not to do.
- Be considerate and sweep regularly, I mean a lot (for all those flaes), I swept 2-3 times a day when we lived together.
- Understand that they won’t always understand. Some people are so understanding however they will also fall short sometimes and we need to understand that too. Respect and understanding is two-way street.