Like many many other people I also have an "invisible illness." It is very real, it is very disabling, but I can look like anyone else on a good day.
When some one is diagnosed with a disabling illness at a young age, we are so used to hearing, "why do bad things happen to good people?" It has almost become a strange acceptance now-a-days. However, sometimes, not-so-nice people get sick. Kindness or love-ability have nothing to do with being diagnosed with an invisible illness.
From what I gather, Ashlee may not have the greatest personality. It could be acting, editing, or the cold hard truth. How you feel about her is your opinion. How you feel about invisible illnesses speaks on your character, not hers.
Some of you don't believe her. You might not believe anyone who says they have Lupus. Or you might only believe likable people. Lying about having an illness is a terrible thing to do - people can just as easy lie about having cancer, miscarriages, the list goes on. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. It is a very small percent that lie, causing a great disservice to the majority. I'd rather feel foolish for giving sympathy then ashamed for causing pain.
For a moment forget about Ashlee. Think about yourself and the kind of person you want to be. Is that person compassionate? Compassion tests us.
I have come across every type of reaction I believe is possible over the years while I have tried to manage my chronic illness. If I could tell Ashlee anything, there will be times when you depend upon your reputation. Not everyone distinguishes personality from invisible illness. In dire moments; when you fully depend upon the kindness of others, your reputation could be the difference of that helping hand reaching out. I applaud you for explaining your story. On a separate note, I hope you can remend fences that apparently need to be mended. Now that you have raised some level of awareness of Lupus, I hope you can work towards becoming a voice and a positive role model for this often faintly heard illness.
There is something called The Spoon Theory, and I urge you to read it. If you look it up you will find it, plus a web site that explains chronic illness far better then I can.