Sometimes things happen and I am reminded all over again that I’m disabled.
I was at a local grocery store. I was getting a few items for our neighborhood party tonight before going to get E from preschool. I wasn’t even really thinking about much other than when I might get feeling back in my jaw from having some dental work done. An older woman approached me. I get this sometimes. Most of the time it’s for them to remark on how I’m an inspiration.
“You’re too young to park there.”
Let me remind you that I’m standing outside my car. I’m clearly disabled.
“Well, I’m disabled, I have a car tag. I can park here.”
“You are too young. You should save this for people who are elderly.”
I didn’t say anything. Just sort of looked at her. I wanted to point out that anyone of any age can be disabled.
“You know, when Tr*mp is president he’s going to lock useless people like you up.”
“I voted. I’m with her.” Was all I said. Like I said, my jaw was numb and frankly I was very uncomfortable with life in that moment. I got in my car and waited for her to leave. And I let her words sink in. “Useless people like you.”
No one who ACTUALLY knows me would ever say I was useless. I work hard. I take care of my family. I am a disabled person living in a world with people who see me as less. See me as wasted space. And it’s worse somehow because I’m young(ish). I wonder what they would have thought when I was seventeen or in my mid-twenties. Was I less useful then?
I am not useless.
None of us are.