Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Refusing To Give Ground

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.

11 comments:

Tamara said...

Bravo! Maybe you could consider cheerfully greeting security guards as well. Might make that bad taste that bad apple left in your mouth go away ...

Happy trails -

Brenda said...

I'm grinning ear to ear. If I could reach you, I'd pat you on the back and shake your hand. Way to take your power back!! It's incredible to me how an incident that maybe only took 10 minutes, can so completely change how we view ourselves and our world. It's happened to me, too. Only it took me a little longer to get to the "so there", but I did. I'm curious...does your comment, "That guy has discovered that I have a bit of power myself, by the by." mean that Mr. Luggage Thief has been made to realize what a bone-head he was? I was thinking that you'll probably update us when the time is right, but then thinking back on the sh*t-storm of recent days, maybe you won't. I wouldn't blame you. And knowing how splendidly you've taken care of other unpleasant situations, I have no doubt that an attitude adjustment is inevitable for this guy. GO DAVE!!!

lisa said...

:)

Lisa

Lush said...

As Eleanor Roosevelt said, "no one can make you feel inferior without your consent".

theknapper said...

One of my favourite sayings is "It's the small decisions we make that change our lives".....good or bad.
Glad you were able to find some perspective.

liz said...

You are totally my hero.

Ssejors said...

WOOHOOO!!

/cheer!
/applaud!

I love how you recognized your fear, your anxiety and stomped on it. So often we carry on without realizing why we are doing something. Losing more and more of our selves to other people who steal our power. And you Stomped on that black hole and said HELLS NO! I WILL NOT BE AFRAID! I WILL NOT BE A VICTIM! I WILL BE DAVE!!!

JudiElise said...

How would so many lives be lived differently, if others would do what you just did.

Bravo! Push the bag another inch away.

Ladyfox7oaks said...

I was just wondering how that had finally finished out, and while I still don't know what happened there, I am VERY glad to hear that you recognized the effect/change and killed it before it could succeed in making you live smaller.

Ettina said...

That reminds me of when my mother and I were doing a presentation for a bunch of feminist mothers about my mother's perspective on raising an autistic child. She was quoting the very offensive way that various 'autism experts' like to refer to stimming, and meanwhile I was sitting there beside her twirling my hair around my finger, and suddenly I was very aware that while these people were hearing these very negative portrayals of stimming, there I was stimming in full view of them all, and for a moment I felt ashamed and wanted to stop stimming. But then I thought about how they'd see me stop, and know that I felt ashamed, and I made myself keep on stimming. (According to a friend of ours who was watching our presentation, I actually sped up my hair-twirling at that point.)
I think that kind of deliberate resistance is a great thing.

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