Friday, June 22, 2018

I Don't Care ...

"I don't care what you think," I said.

I felt the power of those words, when spoken. The annoyance and even maybe anger was nearly overwhelming - I hadn't liked being told what I should do with my body and what the wheelchair was supposed to represent. I hadn't liked being followed in the parking lot as I pushed myself towards a park. I hadn't liked any of it.

I hadn't liked the gentle tone that he put into his voice as he gave me his advice. I hadn't liked the feel of his hand on my shoulder. I hadn't liked the look of concern he had on his face as he spoke to me. I hadn't liked his intrusion into what had been a lovely morning. I hadn't liked being diagnosed by someone who didn't even know my name.

"I don't care what you think," I said.

I had wanted to stop him. I wanted to stop the flow of words over me. I wanted to have him understand that what he was doing and saying was both meaningless and full of meaning all at the same time. I had wanted to go back to a place of peace on a beautiful day. I had wanted to resume my push through the lot, feel my strength and the roll of the chair. I had wanted him to stop. Just stop.

"I don't care what you think," I said.

But.

I did.

I'm a human being. I'm a pack animal. I am influenced by those about me, even those who aren't part of my circle, not part of my group. I react when people give me advice about my body and my disability and my wheelchair. I know they know nothing about me, but it doesn't matter. I can't talk myself out of caring, even if it's just a little bit, about what someone says to me.

Words have power.

Too much power.

But they do.

I cared. That's why it matters what we say to each other because I believe very few of us say, "I don't care what you think!" and really deep, down. actually don't.

2 comments:

Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

"Stop. You are harrassing me. I will call the police." And get out the phone.

I don't care what their concern. If they won't realize then, after these words, that they are not wanted and are being invasive, you need the police.

Safety first. Someone who won't stop when told is actively dangerous. Imagine what would be the reaction if you had done the same things to him? Why are you not entitled to that reaction?

clairesmum said...

I remember being taught as a child to ignore taunts, to tell myself that "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." Such a canard, allowing adults to leave a child to suffer on her own, convinced that her hurts are her own fault, for failing to 'toughen up.'

Saying "I don't care" seems like a mild way of expressing what you might really want to say...
Maybe if the rude person doesn't 'get it' at the mild level of reproof, it is ok to increase the expression of your displeasure....

With all the words we have to choose from, it can be so hard to figure out the right combination!

Take care, Dave. Hope the next walk in the park doesn't have such bumps.