An open letter to people who judge me…

You look at me now. You see somebody who is in a wheelchair. You see somebody who is visibly upset and trying to hide their face. You hear my tears. You see that I’m overweight. What do you do? Instead of doing the right thing which is to just ignore me, and go on with your day, what is it that you choose to do?

You point. You laugh. Yes, you actually have the gall to laugh at me and to encourage your knuckledragging fuckwit friends to laugh at me too. The fact that this causes me even more pain means nothing to you. It just provides you with more fuel for your sadistic fire. How can you be so cruel? You are happy to watch my tears flow and you glory in my pain.

You perpetuate every single prejudice about people in wheelchairs that rattles around in your tiny little pea brain.

Allow me to enlighten you, dear reader, about just two experiences out of the many. One day I had been to a hospital appointment. As a treat to myself on the way home, my friend took me to Hobbycraft. I was excited to go as I needed to top up my craft supplies. On our way around the aisles, we kept coming across two women. One of whom was pushing a pram. Every time, she would give an over exaggerated tut and begrudgingly move out of way. Then I overheard them talking a couple of aisles away. “People like that shouldn’t be allowed out at the same time as normal people!” To which the other replied, “Yeah, pain in the arse cripples!” I was so humiliated. I burst into tears and put my basket down on the floor and my friend just took me straight home. Yes, I know that I had just as much right as anyone to be there. But after that, I couldn’t bear to be there. It hurt too much.

The second example now. I was on my way to another hospital appointment. My friend was pushing me along. I noticed a little girl of around five or six years old staring at me. I smiled at her and gave her a friendly little wave. She took a step towards me, at which point her mother grabbed her arm and pulled her back. (Fair enough I thought. You don’t want your child talking to a stranger.) The woman then said to her daughter, “NO!!! Dont go near that! You don’t know what you might catch!” I just couldn’t believe the level of ignorance present there! I cried for the rest of the day.

How would you feel if this were you? Your sister/mother/auntie? Would you still be happy to perpetuate such hate and prejudice?

Think. Think before you open your mouth. You never know just how much damage your poisoned words can actually do.

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