Can You Make Me A Promise? Please?

177523980

Pretty please?

Can you promise me that you will stop yourself from judging and confronting a person who is parked in a handicap spot with an official handicap placard, because they do NOT look handicapped?  Please?

Yes, there are some people who may be taking advantage of the ‘system’ and they should be reprimanded.  But, don’t take on that role.  You are not the handicap police.  Step away from the situation because the majority of the time that person IS legitimately authorized to have that placard.

You just don’t know.  You have no idea what the situation is.  You have no idea what lays underneath that healthy looking façade.  They look fine to you, but maybe they are not.  Pain is invisible.  You just don’t know.  Don’t assume they are faking it.  Let it be. Let them be.

I have been stared down, laughed at, chased, verbally assaulted and judged too many times.  More often than I care to remember.  I have a handicap placard yet, I look fine.  I dress nicely. I wear bright lipstick.  My hair is neat.  I don’t use a cane –  at the moment and I am not limping – today.  So, I MUST be faking it, right?  I just want that parking spot right in the front. 

What the idiot staring me down last night and ready to pounce and yell at me didn’t see, is the pain I am in.  That my cervical stenosis is causing pain radiating from my head to my lower spine.  That my feet are deformed and it hurts to walk.  That my wrists are swollen.  That I am desperately fighting the debilitating fatigue in order to go out and live.  He assumed I was faking it.  He checked the placard.  He gave me nasty looks.  He judged.  Without knowing a thing about me.  Nothing.

So please promise me my friends, that you will stop and think.  That you will not rush to your own unfounded conclusions that this person parking in a handicap spot is abusing the system.  Don’t try to be a hero and save the world by “getting” them.  Although your vigilance is appreciated, 99% of the time, your assumptions will be wrong.  

You just don’t know.

Thank you.

Enhanced by Zemanta

49 thoughts on “Can You Make Me A Promise? Please?

  1. What a great point. Thank you for sharing this with me. I’m sorry it took me a week to get here. I’ve heard people say things and I often tell that they don’t know what’s going on. People are so quick to assume the worst because of the one bad apple. It’s sad but true when they say one bad apple spoils the bunch. I’m so sorry people actually yell at you and chase you down. People need to mind their own business. I think swearing at them in Spanish is perfect. 🙂 Make sure you do it all scary so they think you’re crazy. 😉

    Like

  2. I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with such douchebags! While it would probably help to educate each one of them with a stern talking to, that has to be the last thing you want to do when you’re trying to get out there and just live your life.

    Like

  3. Thank you for the reminder. This is so true- I can’t know, can’t even begin to know what burdens other people are carrying around. My father-in-law was a lung cancer survivor and, although he LOOKED healthy, it was very difficult to walk very far.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is awful.
    That guy is just ticked off that he can’t get a placard for his cardiac condition… his heart of stone.
    Seriously – so sorry you had to endure this. I have been giving some serious thought to helping you craft a comeback.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are so right… I’m so sorry you have to go through that! 😦 It really isn’t fair to be judged. I will definitely always keep this in mind, because you’re so right, there are things that we CAN’T see. We are not that person, and therefore don’t know what they are going through. Hugs, amiga!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lilianita! Always great to see you here. It’s so easy to assume and come to a conclusion even when we don’t have all the information. This experience will help me think twice as well. 🙂

      Like

  6. I can honestly say when I was younger and wiser (we are all so smart as soon as we are labeled adult) I made the same mistake. Judging, but never confronting. It wasn’t until I got a little older that I realized you can’t see all disabilities. Now I am on the fence about asking for one but don’t just for this reason.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are all guilty of judging, even when we don’t mean to. Sometimes we just need a reminder. 🙂 If you need one, go for it. We’ve got to come up with a great comeback that we can just whip out automatically. Thanks for visiting.

      Like

      1. I wad taking to a friend and my comeback may be “I would love to flip you off or even kick you in the ass for your stupidity but lucky for you my disability prevents me from doing that”

        Like

  7. My mother raised me to be blind, to use my imagination to try and understand why people do certain things. For example, I can’t help but wonder if the person who stared at you had a handicapped family member who couldn’t use the parking spot because someone who didn’t appear handicapped had already taken it. It’s that kind of thing that makes me feel sad for the both of you. You had a real handicap and were just trying to get through the day with something like a smile on your face. Meanwhile, this other person, unable to see this, jumped to conclusions and assumed you were just the same as those people who don’t need that special spot and take it anyway or don’t underdtand how important that spot is to disabled people. I don’t judge, Maria. I tell stories. PS. Jak sent me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! Glad Jack sent you. He speaks so highly of you. 🙂 If the person who approaches me or stares at me seems confused but generally kind then I just smile at them and go on my way. This man the other night had fury in his eyes and was determined to let me have it. There were plenty of available handicap spots available and he was leaving the restaurant as we were going in. The fact that he kept staring and even made a point of following me to my table with his glare through the window, was crazy. Even after we had sat down, we could see him looking in through the window to continue with his threatening scowl. He was relentless and if it wasn’t for my husband stopping me, I would gone out to confront him. Very disturbing. I shouldn’t let those things bother me but I could not help myself. So glad you tell stories and don’t judge. 🙂

      Like

  8. No need to extract a promise– I already vowed not to judge, a long time ago.

    I don’t have a placard, but as I said earlier, my dad does. I don’t think I’ve told him that part of the reason why I ask him to give me a ride some days is because he can use that spot if he thinks he needs to (as he won’t if he doesn’t).

    I admit I’m proud. I used a walking stick instead of a cane, because I wanted to be less obvious. Then I found some days I needed to use an electric cart at the store. I was so embarrassed, and just did it on Wal-Mart runs in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. Took me a while to be brave enough to use one during the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve used the carts as well! At Target and the grocery store. I just get in one of them, hold my head up high and speed through the aisles (everyone get out of my way). 🙂 I love backing up and hearing the loud beeps that make EVERYONE turn to look at me. HA!

      Like

      1. 🙂 The hours that I go in, I can’t speed too much– they are stocking the aisles. Actually, like Wal-Mart very early this morning. It can be like navigating a maze!

        Like

  9. Ooh, I hate this. After my heart surgeries I had to use a wheelchair if I was out somewhere like a park or the mall. People said all kinds of nasty things to me because I looked like I was having too much fun and was therefore obviously faking. But you know what? I was forcing myself to have a good time and trying to laugh because I was scared out of my mind and wheelchairs give me motion sickness. Laughing helps. I am so sorry you have to deal with this able-ism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, like the guy who got out of his car to chase me into the store to tell me that, “it’s people like me who should be stopped”. I’ve got to come up with some good comebacks. Swearing in Spanish might work.

      Like

  10. Sing it sister! This has always been a pet peeve of mine – along with people who park there because “they are only going to be a minute and there isn’t any other space close.” I’m very vocal for those without handicapped plates or tags.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I try never to judge other people. I know too many that look healthy on the outside and are not on the inside. If anything I try to get the door for them or anything else that makes it just a bit easier. I am in constant pain because of arthritis in the hands, knees, hips and ankles. I know what it’s like. Hugs and stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jackie! And, so sorry you have to deal with pain. If people would just stop and think before having a knee-jerk reaction to a situation they know very little about, we could avoid a lot of unwarranted judgement.

      Like

  12. Oh, Maria, it breaks my heart to hear you had to endure such a situation. I think we need special parking for the ignorant people in the world; that a-hole would be first in line. That just burns me up! Ignore the fools, one day they may walk in your shoes. xo

    Like

    1. It hadn’t happened in a while so I forgot how horrible it feels. This man was relentless and even stared through the window into the restaurant where Mr. Brickhouse and I had gone into. My P.R blood was boiling to the max! 🙂 He’s not the worst though, there have been others that have stopped me and called me names.

      Like

  13. Bravo!

    If you saw me standing in line at the grocery store, you’d simply think, “there’s a handsome guy if I ever saw one!”. 🙂 In reality, I am eat up with arthritis from head to toe. To compliment the rheumatiz, I have fibromyalgia.

    Neither of these ailments are visible (except for the limp when I walk), but they are ever-present and not a helluva lot of fun.

    To Non-Handicapped People: Don’t judge me when I use the handicap parking space and I won’t have to judge you for being an asshole.

    Like

    1. Seriously? Are you sure you aren’t me? I have fibro in addition to RA. WOW! So sorry you deal with this caca too! My husband had to hold me back from punching the idiot who stared me down last night! Don’t mess with brickhouse! 🙂 Thanks for retweeting. It’s so important to spread the word. 🙂

      Like

      1. De nada, Chica! The first time I read “Swimming…” the post mentioned that you had RA, so I was immediately a kindred Spirit. When I saw that you spoke Spanish, there was no turning back!

        Siempre amigos, tu y yo.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Easy promise to make. I feel guilty every time I have to use the handicap restaurant because I know there may be someone in there that needs to use it for real reasons. Of course, sometimes the choice between waiting and exploding is a real reason.

    Like

      1. Or the other way around. I dread having to use restrooms out in public because… well, it’s impolite to explain, except… I wish the U.S. would be okay with bidets. A handicap-accessible restroom means Cimmorene can assist me and I don’t have a mess when I get home.

        Have you seen this post by Mark Armstrong, by the way? (He’s an illustrator.) http://markarmstrongillustration.com/2013/10/01/keeping-a-promise-to-love-in-sickness-and-in-health/ It’s hard even now to re-read it without tears. It’s that personal.

        Like

Let it all hang out...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s