I'd like to describe two incidents to you and then chat a bit about what happened. So let me take you on the journey of one day of being out while in a wheelchair.
First, we had gone into a grocery store to get something that we wanted to make for supper. They didn't have it, I pouted a bit because it's what I wanted, then suggested to Joe we go to the grocery store we usually go to, even though it's further away, because I knew they had it there. He was totally good with that because, well, he was pouting too. He took the cart back and I followed. I stopped on the way and found some chocolate covered, maple peanuts boxed as Canadian Bear Poo. What a find! We're giving the girls each a stuffed Paddington Bear and thought this a perfect accompanying gift. Joe said he'd take it through the checkout line. I said I'd go ahead over to the other store to get what we needed and he could meet me there.
I got to the store, hit the button for the doors to open. I like this mall because when you push the button both the large doors open and entry is really easy. I come in and a fellow, in his twenties, sees me and holds open both doors. The problem is that the only way to do that is to stand between them and hold them open with both arms. He had ear buds in he couldn't hear me saying, "Could you just push the button please." He's glaring at me because I'm not going through. I can't go through because, obviously, he's right in my way. I'd have to go through him to get through the door because he's standing right in the way. The doors are open but he's in the middle. Finally a woman, closer to my age, comes under his right arm, walks around the door and pushes the button, the doors open wider, freeing him, and he, gives me one more glare and stomps off. I go in the building. Frustration built up inside me to the point that I was almost drowning in it. But I was in, I distracted myself with doing what I was there for.
Advance about an hour.
I am crossing the street, at a light. As I approach the curb a woman begins the back and forth dance - the one that indicates she doesn't know where to stand that would be best for me and as a result she's stepping forward then back. I don't need to do anything because I'm turning and crossing the road, as she is set to do, therefore won't come anywhere near her. When I get close to her I say, rudely, "Settle yourself, I'm turning here too." She said, breathlessly, "I just wanted to make sure you had the room you needed."
We waited for the light.
I had this feeling that I'd just been an asshole. I was rude to her and didn't need to be. Just before the light changed I turned to her and said, "I think I was rude, I didn't mean to be, I just didn't need you to move for me, I should have spoken more kindly." She, again, smiled and said, "Really, I just wanted to ensure you had the space you needed." I said, "I know."
I don't want to turn rude. I don't want to turn into what others would think is a bitter cripple. It's just that I get frustrated, really frustrated with interacting with people helping me, particularly when help, as it often does, actually is a barrier to me getting where I want to go, getting done what I want to do. Sometimes the frustration with one situation will come out in the next situation. I have to try and ensure that I have more control, to make each interaction the first interaction, start fresh every time I approach a situation.
But, I'm finding that hard.
Does anyone else?