I just got back from going to a funeral out of town. I had to drive over an hour each way and spent the night with my friend whose son in law had died. It was very hard on me, but it was one of my best friends and goodness knows, I don't have too many of those left. I didn't go to the visitation the night I came in, I just slept while my friends went. The next morning I dressed and went to the memorial service, but did not go to the grave site service, and then just drove straight home. I saw a lot of old friends there and many asked what I was doing. Very frustrating to have to answer. I used to be so vibrant and led meetings and was over women's groups there. Now I just mumbled something about living in another city. One person asked me "Do you still have that fatigue thing?" I answered "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, yes" and she just blurted out "So you're really faking it, huh?" I was caught off guard. I suppose I could take it as a complement, that I didn't look that tired, and I did manage to drive up to the funeral. But it's so close to what people really think that I was at a loss for words. Of course, being so tired that I could hardly see and focus didn't help. I just mumbled some more about it being a very frustrating disease. I said goodbye to a few friends on the way out, and tears were stinging my eyes as I got in my car. I have found that being in crowds is very hard for me. I'm not sure if it's stimulus overload, embarrassment that I can't keep up mentally as I used to, the feeling of inadequacy as I feel stigmatized with a weird disease. I know everyone has had to encounter remarks like this. It will be a wonderful day when CFS will be called by another name and there is some understanding what it is.