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Unpleasant experience

I haven’t posted for a long while, but something very unpleasant happened to me today, and an unpleasant thing shared is (I hope) an unpleasant thing halved. I got out of my wheelchair briefly, and then got back in. Then I heard a woman muttering to her friend (it was at a bus stop) “There’s nothing wrong with his legs, I saw him walking”. I turned round and, with the vehemence of considerable anger, I said “Actually there’s quite a LOT wrong with my legs”. “I saw you walking” she said. “Yeah, and how far can I walk?” I replied. No answer, though she seems to think she knows all about me … “Well, I wonder if YOU’d like to have Multiple Sclerosis one day?” I added - again no answer. My anger came through loud and clear and I managed to convey my anger purely with a rock-solid voice, without ranting or shouting. After that she shut up.

This is a situation I have been fearing for some time. It’s the situation where ignorant people assume that walking is a binary thing: you can walk or you can’t walk. They don’t see that there can be grey areas, you can walk maybe 100 yards, or 10 yards, and so if they see the slightest hint that your legs are not totally paralysed, they assume you’re a fraud.

I’m very angry, but also very pleased at how calmly and firmly I handled the situation - I took no crap from her.

Chris

Hi Chris

Unfortunately you will come across this type of person, it is borne

out of sheer ignorance.

Glad you managed to get your reply to her in a calm way, I am sure

if it had been me I would have ended up in tears, well done.

Pam

Hi Chris,

I’m only new here but I read your post and just wanted to say - good on you for putting her straight! As you and Pam both said, it all stems from ignorance, and in her case I’d say poor manners! And unfortunately people make idiotic comments. Maybe we should try and learn to laugh at them and their stupidity…shall we try?! ; D Let’s hope she’s reconsidered her gobby comments now. People make comments and judgements on others for all kinds of reasons - even though I try not to I do it myself - being judgemental is part of human nature. None of us truly know the why and wherefores behind people circumstances and behaviours. It’s not nice being on the end of it or seeing others experiencing it.

Anyway, I’d have jumped into the debate to tell her a few home truths had I of been there as well - as you say, don’t take any crap!

Emma

Well done you Chris for speaking up!

This government and the media have really made it seem like we are all faking. A woman posted on EL a couple of months back a similar story. Husband helping her out of car and few steps into wheelchair and a woman stops and says ‘she doesn’t need that wheelchair… I just saw her walk’. Awful.

I think the MS Society and other organisations for disabled people could really help by a campaign to highlight this… like many of us and perhaps even most of us, can walk to a degree but need to use wheelchairs or mobility scooters for any distance at all.

I always feel self-conscious when I get off my mobility scooter and almost make a show of unfolding my walking-stick… but it’s terrible to feel so ‘watched’ and worried about what people think.

That’s why I was angry couple of months back when Kathy Burke made a joke on telly about mobility scooters and fat, lazy people using them to go to the chip shop. It’s not helpful and in fact plays into these ignorant attitudes.

You were really brave to handle ignorant woman like that… yes you must be angry but pat yourself on the back for speaking up!

Pat x

Ignorance/stupidity and down right selfish it doesn’t happen all the time BUT when it does ******! So lets have it halved take care, M and well done

You certainly did the right thing Chris but what impression the media give to the public? Less than 1% 'fraudulently claim benefits but it is news that some plonker claims DLA and runs a marathon or another plonker is a referee at a rugby match but he claims IB.

What impression does this give Joe public? We are all tarred with the same brush; now Grayling via Atossers are introducing more restrictions ostracising the genuine disabled it will unfortunately get worse.

Roll on the next General Election.

George