Sorry I have been quiet… two words that don’t usually go together – Kirsty and Quiet lol, have had lots going on, trying to sort various things that life seems to be throwing at me.
Today I had to take my eldest daughter to an appointment near Southampton, having been there before, I hoped I would park nearby as I had done previously my head (Idiopathic Intercranial Hypertension)has been playing up yesterday and again today, I won’t lie I’m shattered both physically and mentally.
Mum, Maisy and I get to the destination, pull up and park in the parking space which is on a road, with boxes provided so you know where to park, I put my blue badge in the window, get out of the car, walk a few steps and hear a voice shouting,
Is that a blue badge in the window?
All three of us turn around to see a man approximately in his 60s stood by the car,
I reply ‘yes it is’
He then looks at the three of us with disgust and says ‘ So which one of you exactly is the disabled one?’
Me like a startled schoolgirl – put my hand in the air and said ‘me’ he shakes his head at me with disbelief, in my head I act out the scenario of me screaming at him ‘sorry what is your problem is it because I appear to have all my limbs or is it because I’m not in a wheelchair, do tell me why you feel the need to question and shout at us like we are committing a crime’ but of course I don’t I stand there with my hand in the air humiliated, red faced, at this point though this is where my trusty side kick /lifetime protector steps in – Mum – she politely but firmly asks if he would like to see the badge and the photo, he just looks crossly at us and gestures to wave us on, she looks ready to explode.
Whilst this has been going on, another gentleman has witnessed all of this and kindly steps in, he shouts from across the road ‘excuse me sir, it’s a parking space anyone can park there, and it’s none of your business what is wrong with her, the rude man disappears and the kind gentleman shakes his head, apologising for the behaviour of the other man, ‘I can’t believe I just watched that, or that it happened!. Mum thanked him for his kindness and we went on to the appointment.
The sad thing is this does happen, for me that was the second time, the first time was in a supermarket car park, an elderly lady was really angry with me, I was on my own, had just pulled into the space and she banged on the window shouting at me to let her look at the photo on the back of the badge, telling me I looked perfectly normal and to move as she needed to get to an appointment.
I may be nearly 40, I may look ok bar the eye bags, but not all disabilities are what you look like, how you act, or how you walk , and anyone who knows me well knows that I wouldn’t use that badge unless I really really had too, but to the person who shouted at me/us today, you will never how much you offend me, how your words echo in my head, how you make me dread putting my badge on the dash board, If you knew what I actually went through to have the badge, how embarrassed I felt at the assessment I had to attend, you might of thought before you shouted and disbelieved me, I hope you may think again before you shout at someone else!
This happens to so many people all over the country, and it shouldn’t, our disabilities are all individual to us, and it’s so sad.
I feel let down by some of our society today , that my daughter who I teach to respect her elders, care for others had to witness that, but what I do know is she will grow up with the realisation that we are all different, disabilities come in all shapes and forms and she will hopefully never judge.
It wasn’t the first time it happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last – but let’s spread the word :-
Not all disabilities are visable ❤
Have a lovely week