I’ve just been to Sainsbury’s to grab a few things and once again I’m up against a familiar feeling – being stared at. This is a problem I have a lot as I pull my car into a Disabled space and go to display my Blue Badge.
Just because I don’t have a wheelchair/walking stick/crutches or some other walking aid people assume i’m not disabled and therefore am not supposed to be parking there.
I’d like to say that the majority of the people staring are not disabled but thats not true and that’s what hurts the most as you would expect someone with a disability themselves to feel some kind of compassion, I know i do for others.
I am fully aware that there are a lot of people using these spaces as they cannot be bothered to walk from a regular space but there are also people, like myself who have ‘invisible’ disabilities. I am in pain constantly and my condition fluctuates meaning just because I got out the car fine, doesn’t mean Ill be getting in the same way.
Blue Badges have become increasingly difficult to get issued and during the application process your doctor or specialist is consulted so if a person is issued one it is because they need it – they also only have a 3 year life span on them and when they come to run out you need to reapply all over again.
I feel bad enough as it is that I cannot walk far or do things id like to do, there’s a lot to me that people don’t see or understand. I spend alot of time indoors in bed because i’m so sore or clicky to move and I tend not to go out without the support of another person. I really don’t need people giving me looks or the security guard at Sainsbury’s burning a hole in my eyes as I get out of the car with my husband and son.
So next time you see a person parking in a disabled space who looks ‘fine’, give them the benefit of the doubt. It may be someone taking the mick or it may be a person suffering that you can’t see and that might be the only place they can get to for that day.
I didn’t chose to be disabled, it chose me.