OK so I flew off the handle.
I haven’t gotten so pissed off so quickly in such a long time.
I was asking someone about the disabled parking to see if we were in the right part of the parking lot, the part that belonged to their business, and if not, what did we miss. It turned out that the answer was that we were in the right spot and that yes, the disabled parking was furtherest from the business. I expressed surprise.
I got a look.
The a slight eye roll.
Then, “If I were you I would have just chosen a parking space closer to the door.”
“If I were you??? IF I WERE YOU???!!!” I didn’t say this, I chatting with you right now, I’ll get to the part about what I said later. But can you imagine that this non-disabled, young, man has any idea what it is to be a fat, 65ish, disabled man? Can you imagine what experience he has had with parking and accessibility and wheelchairs and space? What the hell gives him the gall to even attempt to get into my mindset and understand my issues? He’s not even old enough yet to understand that ’empathy’ is an action not an emotion. WTACTUALF?????
He knew he’d said something wrong, that or I’d just gone into cardiac arrest. It took me a second to get my breath back after having been verbally sucker punched. “How dare you. How DARE you tell me how to be disabled. How DARE you think you have any idea about what accessibility feels like, let alone what it is.”
I pushed forward.
He stepped back.
I had grown several sizes larger in those few moments.
I explained to him about space and asked him why he thought that disabled parking bays are wider than regular ones, you know like the one that he would have driven to had he been lucky enough to be me. By the time I finished, I was tired. Just tired. Tired.
Ablesplaining is something I simply can’t bear.
Don’t ask me to.
Because I just won’t.