Vulnerable? Be ready to defend
Unfortunately some people see mental illness as weakness. You appear to them as submissive, a target. Even your quietness can be interpreted as someone to dominate. Add to that confidence issues and you could be prey.
That situation is not reserved just for narcissistic people for a frustrated partner or friend can come across as narcissistic while they are merely trying to express their thoughts.
So what are your rights? Your rights are where you draw the line (no one else) as to what you can withstand. However there are some basic rights all persons with issues should feel they have a need to defend.
Eg. This week on another thread (tolerant partners) a member told how all her life, she has said things without knowing those words were hurtful to others. This raises questions.
Intent is a great word. If your disability includes saying things that come out incorrectly that offend who's fault is that? If a person with a back injury cant run a marathon is it their fault?
We dont often enough compare our emotional restrictions with physical restrictions. Why not? In both cases it isnt our choice, they are unwelcomed issues that erode any confidence you have. So, do we allow others to walk over us? What can we do to counter aggression from them taking advantage of us?
Getting upset is counter productive. Your anger or emotion proves to them "gee her problems are worse than I thought".
One thread covers this (google) Topic: wit, the only answer to torment- beyondblue
Yes, you'll need to develop strategies including witty answers to put to these people your right as a person with issues no fault of yours.
There is a benefit of the doubt however. People without mental illness can say the wrong thing and make mistakes to. Are they not entitled to your empathy/equal rights?
The other way is to surround yourself with the type of friends without the nasty streak. But do try to seek out the kind heart inside the rough sometimes inconsiderate exterior.
See, as a sensitive type caused by dysthymia, bipolar 2 etc I get told, even at 61yo "you've got to toughen up". If being a prison officer, security guard or dog ranger didnt toughen me up then nothing would.
My sensitivity is me, your poorly chosen words are you, the lame man? We are not defined by our disability. We are who we are, no need for self proclaimed experts.
Tell them in a calm, firm manner your concerns. If that doesnt work use...wit! If all else fails move on. Its not your fault.