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To be fed up of feeling like I'm a second-class member of society

(764 Posts)
Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 02:11:02

I had a serious car accident a few years ago, and have various medical complications too. I use a wheelchair. I'm fed up with this feeling that because I have mobility and medical problems, I'm not a full member of society. I overheard a now non friend imply that I was a drain on society because I don't work. Lately I've had issues with people talking over me, at a checkout I'm ignored and even though my hand is out for the change it's given to my husband. Little things like people moving my wheelchair so I'm facing the wall. Even moving me so I bash my toes. And then there is the parking issues, comments about being too young to have mobility problems, like being young stops car accidents. I've put on weight since the accident, so i get a lot of too fat to walk comments. Why do people do this? My family are fab, we have other disabilities in the family, and at home I don't feel this way. Im now finding I don't enjoy leave the house unless I have too. Im fed up with other people's attitudes. When I have talked to these people about the attitude, they always try to lay it at my feet with the dont be so sensitive, maybe you are depressed (I'm not), I'm actually really happy, I just am fed up with your attitude! Im not even sure why i am writing this but it has boiled ever today.

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 02:15:10

I've lost count of the times someone has assumed I have some mental disability or deafness because I'm in a wheelchair. I just don't get why in this day and age people don't get that you can be a good mum (I am) and a good wife and a member of society.

SeriousSteve Sun 29-May-16 03:04:47

I know exactly what you mean. I have a disability and use a wheelchair, have put weight on due to medication and sedentary lifestyle. I'm also young (30's), and often have people questioning me when I park in a disabled spot despite having a blue badge.

It gets quite tiresome dealing with people like this, have also had people moving my wheelchair or blatantly ignoring my existence, had a guy hit me with a trolley last year. He "didn't see me" and implied it was my fault not carefully looking for trolleys.

Chin up smile cakechocolateflowers

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 03:14:15

Do you also find people won't look you in the face? Or talk directly to you? I wasn't given the chance to order from a menu, they look directly at my companion and ask about orders. And what would she like? As if I'm deaf too! I have to speak up and they just look embarrased.

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 03:18:45

It would be more reassuring if it was just me, but I fear it's a far reaching thing.

Lynnm63 Sun 29-May-16 03:25:44

I have had to use a wheelchair on occasion due to disability. I hate it when people talk to my dh not me. pisses me off a lot.

SeriousSteve Sun 29-May-16 03:28:49

Oh yes, people talk over me and rarely look me in the eye as though it's embarrassing for them to recognise me as a person.

On the very rare occasions I go for something to eat after a hospital appointment I've had some dire experiences - being huffed at to make room for the wheelchair, tapping of feet as I take my time reading menus due to brain fog, I just want to be utterly obnoxious but can't bring myself to do it.

My worst restaurant experience was at a pub where the manager labelled me a "fucking inconvenience" to her staff purely because I was in a chair and we needed a few chairs rearranging (pub had steps, no ramps anywhere) and needed to be near toilet facilities. We promptly left, unsure if she'd meant for us to hear.

So you're definitely not alone, and it's extremely annoying to deal with. It's 2016, not 1916..

Baconyum Sun 29-May-16 03:30:09


A good friend of mine has CP and has a snazzy electric wheelchair, she also works quite high up in marketing for a telecoms company yet when she's dealing with people who don't know her they seem to think

Wheelchair = brain and hearing function not there! angry she is far more patient and articulate in dealing with such idiots than me.

I dont have the same but occasionally need to use a stick/crutches and get the slow monosyllabic speech directed at me! It's my back and legs that have the problem not my ears and definitely not my brain!

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 03:41:51

And don't get me started on the London Underground!

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 03:44:14

The other problem people seem to have is that they seem to think wheelchair = paralysed. Lots of people use them for distance or because of pain.

e1y1 Sun 29-May-16 03:51:38

Other half is in the exact same position, so I feel your pain. Can't really offer any helpful advice other than if anything like what you have said is mentioned (which it always is unfortunately). They are immediately set straight. OH and I have ALWAYS worked. However, now that's not a possibility.

One friend even implied that OH was putting it on, again, he was immediately set straight. Then a few years later, his daughter (adult daughter btw) was on a coach in Turkey when it was involved in an accident, she ended up in an almost exact same position. He actually turned round and said he had no idea this is what OH was going through, and he in a way, apologised for his comment years before.

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 10:34:59

I try not to make a fuss and 80% of the time people are great. Just that last 20%. I sometimes feel like I should have a badge that says, yes I can talk, no please don't touch my wheelchair, yes i am married, yes I was like this then, no he's my husband not just a carer, yes we have sex (why people are hung up on this one I have no idea), yes I have read "me before you" and no I haven't considered doing the same.

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 10:36:36

Missed one! And no it's not just old people who can be disabled!

BethanKate Sun 29-May-16 10:58:49

Totally know where you're coming from & it's horrid isn't it? flowers

Worst for me was when DH pushed me in wheelchair into Italian restaurant in London for family get-together & manager said "You're bringing that in here?"

Technically when staff in restaurants or shops treat us badly because we're disabled they're discriminating against us under the terms of the Equality Act. I'm beginning to wonder if a polite email/letter afterwards is in order just to increase awareness.

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 11:02:51

I can't even get into most of my local restaurants, or chippys. Old buildings. Won't or don't care. Local prezzos or McDonald's it is then! No one cares about the equality act as its not easy to enforce.

Haggisfish Sun 29-May-16 11:04:04

I am appalled on all your behalfs. I would not dream of moving someone in a wheelchair without asking.

I sympathise OP. I had to use a wheelchair temporarily last year (I fractured my knee and elbow at the same time so couldn't use crutches) and it really horrified me how people reacted to it - or didn't, in many cases. Friend took me out shopping and we were in Debenhams trying to buy some make up - the staff at several make up counters completely and utterly ignored me, but when friend wandered over they immediately spoke to her. Staff serving in shops talking to DH even though I'm the one handing over the bank card. People just didn't see me, walked straight in front, it was awful.

Worst was when we went to a show (we'd already booked the tickets and thankfully had front row and totally accessible seats) - we were a couple of minutes late because we couldn't get parked, then people kept barging in front for the lifts. Anyway, got in and someone was in our seats, usher eventually got them to move but they were really difficult, trying to pretend they were meant to be there (sorry but no, you know if you've booked front row seats) and then they sat behind bitching about the fucking cripple blocking their view. It was my legs that didn't work, not my ears [grr]

Mind, I went for a hospital appointment and was going out for lunch after with a friend so had nice make up on, 50s style dress... The nurse helping with the xrays came out with "you're awfully glamorous to be in a wheelchair"

It really horrified me to see just how much discrimination there still is.

TheWordOfBagheera Sun 29-May-16 11:37:36

You're not being sensitive, it's a real problem and YANBU to be fed up of it.

I'm not a wheelchair user but used to work for a man that was. Whenever we went anywhere outside work the default seemed to be that he was ignored. He became very loud and assertive (more than was his natural state I think) to counteract the weird attitudes of others and it still happened.

I couldn't really make sense of it, but it was almost as if some people were so worried about potentially embarrassing themselves/causing offence by saying the wrong thing that they avoid a wheelchair user entirely (thus causing offence!). Exactly why it's hard to look someone in the eye and speak to them in exactly the same the way as if they standing up I have no idea!

The moving you to face the wall and similar things are outrageous.

Imissmy0ldusername Sun 29-May-16 11:38:00

Dear god! That's horrible! My mate is in a wheelchair, and none of our friends would dream of touching it without being asked. I'm horrified at the thought that people would treat her any different to us. That having been said, I've seen some photos of the "accessible" hotel rooms she's stayed in when she's been doing her thing on the continent. Shameful doesn't even cover it.

whoopthereitis Sun 29-May-16 11:42:13

I had a really bad panic attack, last year (also heart problems). When I came to hospital, ambulance man put me in wheelchair & wheeled me to reception. Someone shouted, `not another bloody cripple`. Cue, the hospital waiting room all looking in my direction.

That was the first & last time I ever needed to be in a wheelchair & in that short space of time, I was made the subject of vitriol. So, how people put up with this negativity, 24/7, is beyond me. So, not only do I sympathise, but after that short, awful experience, I can, somewhat, emphasise.

ohtheholidays Sun 29-May-16 11:44:47

I get exactly the same OP and I want to tell them all TO FUCK OFF TO THE OTHER SIDE OF FUCKITTYYY! grin

I've had people actually fall over the top of me whilst I was in my wheelchair we were at legoland and the man was over 6ft and a big guy,I could have ended up in hospital seriously ill because of that bloody twat my DH was ready to knock him out!His reason he was looking at his phone,my God if he'd fell on a pram with a tiny baby in he would have crushed them to death he really would!

People stand in front of me so instead of seeing what I was looking at I get to look at strangers arses,great day out that is!Honestly it's like some people see someone in a wheelchair as a meeting point for a fire drill,there will be loads of space everywhere else but not they have to stand right infront of me literally on top of me,I've had people nearly fall onto my laps doing that before,other's have strode on my feet.

I'm already in a wheelchair and fighting to live as long as possible for my 5DC and my DH for fuck sake I don't need ignorant idiots trying to help bump me off any sooner thank you very much!

I get the same with the parking spaces,I'm in a wheelchair and seriously ill and in constant pain as well as being disabled and so far it has always been the older generation that kick off,even those that aren't disabled themselves it's like they're jealous that I have a disability badge.For people like that my DDad and DH tell them it's a bloody disability badge not an OAPS badge haha and my Dad's 80 and disabled.

People that infront of me praising my DH for how well he copes now them I would consider doing time for.It really pisses my DH of as well.

Cheeky fuckers,I became disabled a year after having our 5th DC but I still manage to function and do loads more than I'm supposed to.I'm the one who sorts holidays,days out,celebrations for our 5DC,my family and DH's family,the laundry,bathroom and kitchen,the gardening and I was always the one that did the DIY.

I have never ever treated people the way I get treated,I had friends that had disabilitys when I was growing up,as a child it wouldn't have occured to me to be an arse because someone was disabled why would it?! So God only knows what's wrong with some of these so called adults that so many of us have to deal with!

I've talked about fitting a small camera to my wheelchair to film just what I have to face every time I have to go out of the house,I think maybe now I should and stick it online so people have a bloody clue just how it feels it might just change some attitudes towards those of us that are disabled for the better!

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 11:53:02

Thank you everyone for the replies. It's shit that in 2016 you can't be treated the same. I'm a person first, a wheelchair user second. The real comments come when we take my dd3 out who also has disabilities. Cripples day out etc. I look them straight in the eye and say loudly, looks like someone put 50p in the ignorant arsehole again.

SaturdaySurprise Sun 29-May-16 11:57:04

Ohthehilidays - a camera and YouTube channel is a good idea. Different situation , but my husband is a cyclist and films things that happens and posts them on YouTube. Lots of people do that now and it also means he has evidence when he needs to report incidents.

Mummyme1987 Sun 29-May-16 12:05:20

I'm really liking the camera idea too, ohtheholidays. Would be illuminating for people. Might even change a few attitudes, hopefully.

BadDoGooder Sun 29-May-16 12:06:11

Fucking hell, thats shit, I'm so sorry for everyone experiencing this.

I blame the demonization of benefits claimants, and the line constantly pushed by the media that if you claim disablility you must be faking it.

My sister has severe MH problems, you can't see them.
She constantly gets accused of being a benefits scrounger etc.

The irony being, if you asked the same people if they wanted a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic working with them, they'd probably say "no" angry

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