Please Don't Stare.

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.


21 thoughts on “Please Don't Stare.

  1. My husband gets the same. He has a blue badge and people stare at us all the time, presumably trying to work out which one is the disabled one!

    It really gets my goat.

    The worst though, is that he walks oddly as his joints are fused, and we were almost refused entry into a pub. The bouncer said “he can’t come in” and I was like “what? why?” and he said “he’s legless look at the way he’s walking”. I riled up and said “he has arthrogryposis multiplex congenita you gormless fool” and we were let in! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Ignorance!

    • That’s awful, i’m sorry your husband faces the same problems. In regards to the comment the bouncer made, thats discrimination. I have also been asked for ‘proof’ that I am disabled before. drives me nuts.

  2. I know exactly how you feel, a friend of my has Lupus, which limits her mobility and has caused her to have a series of strokes, but doesn’t affect her physical appearance. To all intents and purposes she looks “normal”, but I’ve seen people give her actual verbal abuse over parking in a disabled bay. She had to fight extra hard to be issued a blue badge as at the time, her condition was not listed as one of the ‘standard’ conditions to entitle her to disabled parking, but she more than deserves it and it’s given her the ability to do more things.

    About 7 years ago, she was in a nightclub and collapsed on the stairs, only to be roughly removed and barred from the venue. Turns out, she’d suffered a stroke, but was still just treated like a common drunk, despite her friends trying to tell the bouncers that she doesn’t even drink (due to taking a cocktail of drugs every day, including the blood-thinner, Warfarin).

    Appearances can be very deceiving, but don’t let it get you down babe, the people who are pre-judging you are ignoramuses and they’ll get their comeuppance xx

    • It’s making me really sad to hear how people are being treated. Your poor friend 😦 but like i said in the last comment, thats discrimination. I take heavy painkillers and when i was working at my last place people thought I was on drugs!! it was just because i started taking cocodamol and wasnt used to its strong effects. i hope Karma is true. xx

  3. My dad has the same; his disability is mental health and short-term memory loss. This is the man who after he left hospital 20 years ago (once recovered from the head injuries that he’d been inflicted) parked his car in the town centre and then had to walk home. He couldn’t remember what car he had let alone where he had parked it.

    People are ignorant.

  4. I know exactly how you feel. Some days I need a wheel chair, other days I can get by with my zimmer frame. Others I can walk without an aid. So as you say it becomes in invisible.
    People can be insensitive and spiteful. I also have a skin condition and one day someone asked me how I got the burns on my face and wasnt there anything I could do to cover it up. I have heard many insults over the years.
    I have also had some woman shout at me to get out of a disabled seat on the bus. To which I pointed out I may not look it but I am. Its fustrating and wearing, but you have to hold you head high and ignore the dirty looks and the stares, which I know is easier said than done. x

    • Thankyou for commenting and sharing your experience and im sorry that you have had to put up with some cruel comments. Its awful how some people cant accept that every human is different. I hope you told the person who commented so rudely on your skin to (in kinder words) piss off!! I am following your blog now lovely xx

  5. My husband gets this he has missing discs in his back and the rest are bulging he is in constant pain there is nothing that can be done cos of the situation of his injury. To most people he looks fine, his disability is invisible the amount of dirty looks he gets are unbelievable I have even caught people jotting down our car reg.

    I think it is mainly as we have a convertable it is easy to get in and out of and has really good back support.

    One person once told him he was too young to be disabled. Another oh it’ll get better in time (erm NO it won’t), another but you have a child (he damaged his back not his cock you idiot).

    Another thing I get angry at is the expectation is that I should be driving, that spaces are usually geared up for the passenger or you are expected to be able to drop the disabled person off. I am the one who can’t drive due to my own condition.

  6. I have had the same in the past , for 11 years ive had severe Psoriatic arthritis, and at first as i was 22 i was stubborn and didnt want to use a stick as i felt too young lol people are so judgemental and i even heard one woman once say …’oh they must give blue badges for broken fingers now too’ which really annoyed me , as i was going through the process of having my deformed fingers straightened . I have the arthritis in almost all my bones and if i didnt have my blue badge going to places would be impossible for me ! keep your chin up … ps i also have a friend of similar age to me who has a really bad heart condition and is waiting for heart and lung transplant , she gets the same looks as she looks like she is well and can walk but after a few minutes turns blue!! x

    • i can only imagine that alot of people get into verbal fights with people staring at them, I know if my husband is with me he gets quite protective and I know if someone was to say something to me they would regret it lol. I just wished that no one was made to feel bad for who they are. people that dont have chronic pain will never understand those that do xx

  7. very well put hun! Sometimes we do take appearances for granted and end up making uninformed decisions and rulings in our head…. that goes for many different aspects of our life… But you are right… we should try not to judge things or people by what they appear to be… or not judge at all really…. lol

  8. The issue we have in my area is a lot of blue badges are very good fakes or stolen and thus used by people who aren’t disabled. Trouble is if I see someone that doesn’t look disabled doesn’t mean they aren’t so being a member of public you can’t tell, only doctors and police can sort that out.

    Anyway my gran had Alzheimer’s and my mom had to do everything for her and had power of attorney. She could have gotten a blue badge for her car to use when my gran was out with her but she felt bad and thought people would look at her and her mom in a bad way, so didn’t bother getting one.

    It’s a shame that people look down at those who don’t have a visible disability and moreso that people use stolen ones when they don’t need them.

    • I didn’t realise that fake ones were used! thats really bad! i know mine has a hologram on it but i guess you couldnt tell the difference unless you were trained to spot it. how awful that peoplewould do that and reduce the chance of someone who really needed it to get that space. Thankyou for commenting x

  9. Wow, it beggars belief how some people feel they have the right to talk to people they don’t know. All of the stories in these comments, and of course your experience at Sainsburies are dreadful. I like to think, well, I KNOW I wouldnt behave in that rude manner, but it is still good to be reminded that people are not always as well as they seem and we have no business judging. xX

  10. I have Hyper Mobility Syndrome, but I cannot get a blue badge for love nor money because the powers that be have decided I’m not disabled enough, simply because I have days when I appear to walk quite well. These days are rare and only happen because I take an absolute mountain of pills. I know full well that any holder of a blue badge has fought hard to get it, and like me, may have days when they appear to be fine. But that doesn’t mean that they are.
    I do put my hand up to staring in Sainsburys carparks though. But not at blue badge holders. I stare evil daggers and Mr and Mrs Old Couple that do no have a blue badge, a walking frame, a stick, a mild limp or most importantly, a small child in their car, yet something seems to have led them to believe they are allowed to park in the kids spaces. I only use these when I have my kids with me, but the difference it makes to my injuries just to be able to open the doors properly… Mr and Mrs Old Couple need a slapping. As do the Blue Badge issuing people.

  11. I can empathise with this situation. As a nation we seem to expect disabled to mean paraplegic, however there are a myriad of other physical & mental conditions that meet the criteria too. Having an invisible disability is just as frustrating to live with as a visible one – fact. Hxx

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