We are home from our quick trip to British Columbia, we arrived home on time at the gate, personelle were there to help me get to baggage. All was accomplished without problem or fanfare. I was waiting for Joe to bring the car around top pick me up and I was carefully attending my luggage. In fact, on each part of the journey, outbound and inbound, I've had the luggage in the luggage cart right beside me wheelchair with may arm resting on the back of the cart.
I didn't realize until yesterday that the 'incident' of a few days ago had actually affected me more deeply than I had thought. Now there is anxiety while I wait for Joe's return with the car, before there was a quiet waiting. Now there is a watchful concern as I scan for problems, before I either read or simply watched people go by.
About five minutes into waiting a fellow from security came by, as he approached I felt fear in anticipation of a problem, as he passed me by without noticing me I felt myself relax quickly. Then I knew I was brewing a new fear, that I was getting ready to bake up a prejudice, that I had to stop this right now.
Years ago, when I was a boy, I knew a woman who was a very large woman. She could be bright and lively when she wasn't self-loathing about her weight. She, one day, simply stopped going out. She couldn't bear the ways that people looked at her, the way that people treated her. She had once, she assured me, been pretty. The change from envy to pity ... or worse, disgust, in people's eyes simply tortured her. She let it, in the end, jail her.
I never really understood this until now. I sat there trying to figure out how we could do this differently so I wasn't left alone with the luggage. That's freaking silly. I've travelled in a wheelchair for over three years now and I've only once had a problem. Now I'm going to give up even more independance? Now I'm going to approach situations with expecations of problems? Now I'm going to see people who formally gave me comfort by their presence as my natural enemies? That's giving a lot of power to one jerk. I'm not going to do it. (That guy has discovered that I have a bit of power myself, by the by.)
After a couple minutes of realization I pushed the cart about four inches from me and took my hand off it. SO THERE.