I do wonder sometimes why people get off on making others feel bad about their disabilities and problems. I'm no stranger to the prejudice that comes with health problems, but today really made me wonder about the mentality of people these days. The weird thing is, I am not talking about those in my own peer group, I am actually talking about a handful of very rude older people in the area. Not all old people however are rude, but it is the select few that really get my back up.
Since getting my mobility scooter, I have been able to get myself out of the house more and I have been ecstatic about this. Before, even the smallest and seemingly most insignificant jobs would leave me struggling for breath because of my asthma or in a lot of pain because of my arthritic joints and back. A lot of my health problems are invisible, yet I can't actually put it in to words just how painful and inhibitive they can be. Its taken a lot for me to actually realise and ask for help in a lot of this and have been frankly quite miserable in being stuck indoors most of the day and I should have spoken out and gotten this sorted over 18 months ago when the prospect of a wheelchair or mobility scooter was first mentioned by my GP, it was actually because I didn't want to LOOK disabled and have people judging me that was one of the reasons that I held off for as long as I could.
For the most part it has been wonderful. Learning how to use the scooter (which is actually been one of the most fun things I have done in a while, and the more I do it, the more confident I become) and popping up to the shops and back and even some journeys a little further afield. I did a trip to Sainsburys yesterday and it was like a completely different experience, even spoke to some lovely people and even had some people helping me through things like checking out and packing everything up in to my basket.
Today was a very different experience. It started out when I went to meet Becky in town. There is a rather unpleasant man who lives over the road from us. Whenever we see him, he is always shouting rather unpleasant things at people. Today I think he decided that he thought it was my turn for his spite, so as I was walking (which is a slower pace than most and with a very pronounced limp due to my back and joint problems, I only really walk when I take the bus somewhere, sometimes I even have to use crutches because my back is so bad), he decided to shout up the road at me that "You CAN walk can't you?!" I decided to ignore this rather rude man, he is the only one in the area that hasn't been supportive of me getting something to help my walking (I bumped in to my neighbors yesterday and they were pleased that I was finally able to get around properly once again). Later, I went with Becky on another little wander to Sainsburys and back and for some reason about 4-5 people in the supermarket were the most rude I had ever experienced. First off, I was with Becky at the Bakery area and this older man decided that he was going to force his way in front of me and nearly knock me in the face with his basket! Instead of saying "sorry about that" he just glared at Becky and myself! How rude! Then I had a group of old ladies watching me, and the remarks they were coming out with "whys she got that?" "she doesn't look disabled" "I wish I didn't have to walk", well it took a lot of self control to not turn around to those women and say "I'm sorry that I have several rather serious and invisible illnesses. It's not like I asked for this, so how dare you pass judgement on me on face value!"
I think that anyone who can judge another person on face value, whether they be young, old, sickly or well, ought to take a look at themselves. Who are they to justify how they behave towards other people? Just think, maybe people feel bad enough about themselves without being made to feel worse because they actually ASKED to be helped and decided to improve their quality of life! I'm not going to let this experience put me off using my scooter, because frankly, why should I feel bad that I am getting around better and able to live a more independent life. And if there are people who have a problem with me or the way I have to live my life, well frankly you can write it down, place it in an envelope and insert it in to whatever oraphis you choose.
4 years ago