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'you don't look disabled' uuurrrgggghhhhhhhhhh what can you say

(59 Posts)
chobbler Tue 01-Nov-11 23:25:24

New school (second day) new playground whisperings, parents not the kids.

There is one wheelchair bound grandparent being pushed around the playground, and me, shuffle crutch woman. There is only one disabled space...

Now I didn't say anything in the playground to anyone about my illness, it was however put on the application form for school so they know about DD's occasional carer role at home. I have a 'gimme space for my door' sticker on the car but nothing else.

I managed to take DD out trick or treating yesterday only because of the frequent stopping. I should have taken my crutches but took the, elderly walks dead slow, dog instead. There was one parent in the group whispering to her friends something while looking at me, then I heard 'doesn't look disabled.' At this point my heart sank.

We stayed with them but they kept walking faster, no way I could keep up, and I was in agony and exhausted after half an hour, so we came home. I went to bed early and spent most of the night unable to sleep, painkillers wouldn't touch the pain. I could barely stand/move today.

Today I got to school early to get a space close to the gates, couldn't get one so let DD walk herself in and watched from the car. When it came to collection I was able to get the disabled space by arriving very early, determined to use my crutches as little as possible, I shuffled into the playground sat and waited for DD to come out.

And again I hear mutterings about my car being in so and so's space and how I was just lazy. I was sitting on so and so's bench etc, the same parent as yesterday. I don't want a battle, questions or misplaced pity, I would just like the subject to be left alone. Is it really too much to ask?

And yes I will be tripping certain people with my crutches if I get half a chance wink

JustAnotherYellowBelly Sat 15-Mar-14 19:20:40

Luckily (? - some days I could do with one) I don't have a blue badge so don't have to go through that.
However, I have mobility problems that vary from quite minor (little limp) to pretty bad (legs giving way, drugged up). The amount of people who tut that I use the lift at work... I work on the 3rd floor ffs. I know I don't look as if I have any problems but if you'd like some of my pain you can seriously have it!
I'm going to use some of these comebacks though!

drivenfromdistraction Wed 12-Feb-14 09:47:30

I find it annoying when people use it as a compliment 'Oh, you manage so well that you don't look disabled!' It's only a compliment if you think that having a disability is shameful, and therefore it's admirable to not look like you have one.

I think people realise it's not a compliment to say 'Oh, you don't look black/gay/female'. So it's time for them to stop with the disability 'praise' too.

Matildathecat Tue 21-Jan-14 18:06:20

Say very sweetly, 'Oh thankyou.' Then much less sweetly 'or were you being unbelievably rude?'

My own bloody mother calls disabled spaces 'cripple parking'. Yes, even when she is with me.

Turn the other cheek.sad

RudolphtheRedknowsraindear Wed 08-Jan-14 23:46:30

I had an accident & now I need crutches or on a good day, a walking stick to walk. I used to run, ski, hike, cycle & swim, but I can't do any of those things now.
I cried buckets when I got my blue badge, it was acknowledging that I wasn't going to get better. This is despite being told by 2 people how lucky I was angry
FWIW, I hate not being able to run across a field, drive a geared car, take a step without it hurting, get a night's sleep because of the pain. The blue s#dding badge is not worth it.

mariellabinella Mon 18-Nov-13 13:38:42

Turn your illness/disability to your adanvantage

I'm a 53 year old and have fibromyalgia for 15 years. It ocurred during the pregnancy. My daughther is now 15. But it has been a big 'fight' to have anyone believing me. From doctors to husband nobody believed me. I suffered for about 10 years. Doctors said it was in my head. One even said I was mad. I struggled so much to look after my daught, trying to do a normal life and go back to work. After being dignosed I tried physiotherapy that was available, (none) it was only try this and that, I decided to go for swimming which worked for some time. I then decided to finish my music studies, mostly on my won and am now teaching piano at home. But have to be very careful, I'm not able to work full time, I work a coulpe of hours a day. It's not enough to have a job. I turned my illness/disability to my advantage. I have much pain every day but learnt how to manage my condition. Of course my illness is 'invisible' as it is called which is part of the problem.

Corrigan92 Tue 17-Sep-13 09:15:01

holiday mummy I feel for you! I get the same I have rulers Danlos syndrome and we'll as intestinal failure (both `invisible illnesses`) and I always get this! like you I use crutches all the time and wheelchair occasionally but sometimes better on my crutches than other days and I always get `do you even need those crutches really frustrates me that people that don't know your story ( and even ones that do) feel the need to make whispers about how you don't look I'll and that it can't be that bad! my answer is lucky you to actually think thatcause that clearly means they don't have many invisi illnesses in there family which is why they are so small minded. try to educate rather than get angry, though trust me, I know its hard! my partner cares for me and lg ask am not always well and sometimes can't even lift her yet he always gets the comment `when are you getting a job then?` he has a job! he's a carer! oOo you have set me off now ;)

LittleDragon Wed 04-Sep-13 00:48:15

I have AS, mobility problems, PTSD and severe Dyspraxia among my many problems. I can't drive but have a bus pass and the amount of times I've been told I should move out of the disabled seats on the bus just because an older person has got on and had to move further back the bus is horrendous. I usually point to the signs, which round here mainly say 'priority seats for disabled people' to which I have often got 'but you're not disabled' I pull out my pass and then say 'I may not look disabled but I am.' Depending on what I'm wearing and who is with me I have been known to add 'Just the same as you don't look stupid but you obviously are.' (I have to be careful as sometimes I wear a very recognisable uniform). And it's just as bad on the train even though I have a disabled rail card

PixieBach Mon 19-Aug-13 17:57:16

I have AS, I don't look disabled, have an IQ in the top 2% of the country but most shopping trips and meals out leave me in tears or a panic attack. Disability is not one size fits all!

HolidayMummy Fri 21-Jun-13 10:32:32

Ooh, this is so familiar to me. I am the only disabled mum at school & kindly the school have put a disabled space right outside the door for me which is great - sometimes, I can't get out of the car to get the kids so phone the office & they bring them to me. However...

Frequently a perfectly able body is parked in the space, so I block them in & they have to wait. Yesterday I was at my son's cricket match at school & this happened. I can't tell you how much the boxed in person freaks out every single time & how rude & upsetting they can be.

Plus, I also get the playground whispers - sometimes I look OK (for me) so barely using my crutches, other times I do the shuffle-crutch, other times I am in my wheelchair & others I can't leave the car. So, to avoid the playground gossips, whispering & looks, I ring the bell & collect me children from inside the school. I KNOW thats not the answer but I can't bear it - as my condition does change, often from hour to hour, you can just hear them going - well, she was alright the other day so why is she putting it on today - or, why does she get a space right outside school when she is not that disabled... etc. etc.

I honestly don't think we can win. If I say something, I am accused of being sensitive but I cannot tell you how many tears I have shed over picking up the children. Can't help but can empathise x

JessShep95 Tue 04-Jun-13 12:35:50

Your story sounds horrid that people do that instead of coming up to you. People are rude and you are a strong person, good on ya ! smile

BoffinMum Sun 02-Jun-13 12:30:59

Then I would tell them to fuck off in my head. wink

BoffinMum Sun 02-Jun-13 12:30:24

Funnily enough, I really really don't look disabled but nobody has ever been catty to me. I think if they were I would just try to be as thick skinned as possible. And my prepared retort to 'you don't look disabled' is 'what does disabled look like?' and if they come out with the white middle aged male wheelchair user stereotype I would just point out that's not accurate.

gallifrey Fri 05-Apr-13 12:30:35

I did some disability training at work the other day and it said that only 25% of disabled people use a wheelchair.

freddiesmybaby Wed 16-Jan-13 04:13:01

I pulled in to a disabled space about a week ago, and this oldish woman was huffing and puffing, looking for my blue badge. I pulled it out and set it on the dashboard. She wasn't happy though. However, I've argued with people who don't have a blue badge but happily park in a disabled space. They didn't seem sorry for what they did. It gets me 😡every time.

misterwife Fri 28-Dec-12 08:22:22

I'd quote Radiohead to people like that, who I've had to deal with more than once, twice, ten or twenty times: 'When I am king, you will be first against the wall, with your opinion which is of no consequence at all'.

I hate this kind of disablism and I call people out on it whenever I see it.

BadMissM Thu 29-Nov-12 15:13:33

I have e an invisible condition and I swear I'm going to bandage up one leg and buy a crutch. I have neurological problems which affect my walking, balnace, upper back, and am in pretty constant pain.

I live in a town full of elderly people, so if I dare take a seat on the bus because I'm not feeling good they feel free to sit and disapprove all the way into town, loudly.

LollipopViolet Mon 22-Oct-12 19:35:17

I'd LOVE to respond with "Well you don't look completely ignorant, but I guess looks can be deceptive" but a) I'm not brave enough, and b) fortunately, I've never been confronted (I am visually impaired but can get about without white stick/guide dog/companion so look completely fine).

Soditall Mon 15-Oct-12 11:20:38

I'm not the only one then and yes people over a certain age that want the space are amongst the worse so are the bloody do gooders who think they're stopping someone who doesn't deserve a disabled space from taking it.

I feel like I should ring a bell as I go along and have a huge sign round my bloody neck that says Disabled yes really I AM!

Yet I have to take nearly 9,500 tablets a year to keep me alive and that's about to go up by a lot.

My DH has to be my carer I have to spend some time every year in hospital,we have to move to an adjusted Bungalow because of my health and disability's.

And my health just keeps on detoriating and I'm only 37 and I have 5 young children.

I wasn't born this way this all started happening to me after I'd had all my children.

I have more than enough to cope with without the whispers and people swearing at me because I use a disabled space I even get the same on occasion when I'm in my wheelchair because I'm young(I look younger than I am)it really is unbelievable the way some people treat disabled people.

I think laws should be made to protect us all from other peoples hatred.

Like any of us chose to be disabled!

chobbler Fri 12-Oct-12 18:12:01

the back pain whiner was in the playground again last week, moaning about her high strength this and that.(all over counter crap smarties would have more of an effect)

So I leant over and said you want to ask your doctor for these ones passing her an almost empty strip from my pocket. with a 'they are the good day tablets I've got stronger ones in the car if you want to know the names'. strange thing is she hasn't whined at all this week it has only taken me a year to build up the courage to do it.

Georgina39 Sat 08-Sep-12 15:28:40

Yes Reenypip. I have this often. I use a variety of aids to help me as I have M.E . I can sometimes get away with just a walking stick- other times I need a wheelchair, and am hoping to finally be able to purchase a scooter.

I say well done for making them feel embarrassed about your partner getting your wheelchair out. Some people (elderly) who do not get a bb think it is their right to be able to use a disabled bay space, and they do not realise the implications of not being able to use one. On talking about BB's I think I have better reapply for mine before I forget.


MeanAndMeaslyMiddleAges Fri 07-Sep-12 01:50:04

I actually bought a walking stick so that i had something that was an indicator of my disability. don't often use it as have fibromyalgia and to be honest the stick just transfers the pain to my neck/shoulders. But it is useful on a very bad day I suppose. I don't drive but often get funny looks if I sit in the disabled chairs on a bus as I'm a young looking 32 and people just assume I'm fine.

Mrsjay Wed 22-Aug-12 17:33:50

oh i used to get this all the time what the hell do folk want us to do crawl along the prove our disability let them whisper and gossip , or do what I did years ago was go up to a group of people and say why dont you ask ME whats wrong I will tell you if you want and went into a RANT, I now try and tell people, not randoms but people I am getting to know like mums in the playground,

I have also lost count of the glares when I get out the car

zoeymlucas Wed 22-Aug-12 12:26:09

Yes Reeny I had this at ASda this week - I think old people think they are the only ones who are disabled and entitled to park in these spaces. It was worse when I had my new baby but what they dont understand is the daily injections, months of bed rest, 2 operations when pregnant just to get there.

To be honest I am blunt with them now and tend to look them in the eye and ask if they have a problem or somehting they would like to ask/ say as it drives me nuts and is so rude - its none of there business!! I have today being diagnosed with hyper mobility in the worst form which explains alot but also means despite major hips surgerys I wont ever get better only worse so wont be tolerating this reaction from perople any longer!!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Thu 09-Aug-12 05:34:40

Had an odd moment at Euston where as soon as am seated I look 'normal', so sat down in the assistance waiting room & my friend goes to the counter to organise a buggy cart to the platform.

Lady at reception asks who it's for. Friend points across room to me. She stares long & hard then says 'well what's wrong with her?!' everyone in room stops & stares at me.

I shout back 'I have a rare disease which means my muscles don't hold my joints in place, they dislocate as I walk'

'oh!' sorrow voice at my friend 'how does she cope everyday?' my friend says, 'well she doesn't, she needs help from carers & friends'

Rest of waiting room states interestedly at me waiting for me to spontaneously dislocate for them...

The man who drives the buggy also tried to refuse me, & was v rude about it. Then someone asked me to give up my seat on the train to them as she wanted it (she had reserbed the seat on the train before mine?!)

I said yes of course as long as you don't mind waiting as I can't move quickly, & if she could call the train manager to help me... She stopped asking pretty quickly after that!

So I only get help if I am comfortable telling everyone my medical history? Hummm. Glad I was having a confident day to rise to the challenge, normally v different.

I hate the look in people eyes as they get to judge me

kittyatmyfoot Wed 08-Aug-12 18:46:03

i would simply say "you dont think i look disabled?....thats so strange because you actually look stupid"

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