Posts Tagged ‘handicap’

Having an invisible disability is difficult. Of course, having a visible disability is difficult too, but for entirely different reasons. The problem with the invisible one is that as long as you look well everyone assumes you are.

This is not a new issue with me, as the pain of Fibromyalgia is also invisible. Post-coma has actually been easier for me because lots of people know about my illness and don’t expect as much out of me now. In fact, I’ve heard from a number of people – both directly and indirectly – that they hadn’t believed there was really anything wrong with me before and now feel badly, as I was clearly sick with this for a while. This doesn’t make me feel any better – worse, actually, as it confirms my fears that people think I’m just a big fat slacker.  Of course, why anyone would behave in such a manner as they obviously think I did  – faking pain – is beyond me utterly. You’d have to be seriously fucked up to restrict yourself like that just for kicks. Ironically, what I did do a lot was fake not being in pain, because I didn’t want to look like a whiner.

Anyway, this issue has long been a thing with me.

Today. I am weary. I have much I want to do and have accomplished little. Three plants got planted, but only one watered. I sat in the sun and got some light weeding done. I put a load of washing in the machine, where it still sits all wet.

I did want to pop to the grocery store and garden center (same place), so J came with me to be the heavy lifter. When it was almost time for us to pay, I suggested I start walking, as I am particularly slow today. I figured he could pay and walk out with the groceries and still be at the car the same time as me but this way I wouldn’t slow him down.

As I got across the road, a woman turned fast beside me and I caught, through her open window, what sounded like remarks disparaging the speed at which I made it across the road. Not fast enough for her, sadly. I watched her park only two cars away from our spot, so I ambled right past my car and up to hers, catching her as she got out.

I politely said hello, then told her that when she passed me, it sounded as though she was commented on how fast I was walking. Was this the case? She said yes, that she just wondered if I could maybe speed it up a bit. So I got to say, “Well, the truth is, the answer to your question is ‘no.’ You see I recently woke up from a coma and my muscles are still recovering, so I actually couldn’t speed up a bit.”

The woman looked a bit shocked and said, “In that case, I apologize.” I didn’t care about that. I told her, “What I’d really like is for you to not make assumptions based on what you see and make disparaging comments to people when you have no idea what their situation is.” She apologized again and ran for the hills.

I feel great, I have to tell you. I was polite and stood up for myself. I used to be the sort of person who would just ignore the woman and grumble about the unfairness the rest of the day, but no more! Now she gets to be all grumbly and I get to be pleased with myself.

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