Wednesday, March 08, 2017

those, here

Just after picking up a ready meal at the grocery store, I left Joe to go and use the loo. I was pleased because it was a very long push from where we had finished shopping and, because the store wasn't really busy, I got up a real head of steam. It felt good to have a bit of a run. I got to when I had to make a sharp turn and I spun round with precision. It was perfect and I felt great.

I went down down the much narrower hallway to the toilets and turned to the accessible loo. I'd been there before so moved with confidence to the exact doorway. The door was open and I began to roll in. A woman, walking with her husband, said, "I'll close the door for you."

I didn't want her help, I found it an intrusion, I'm an adult man going into a toilet, there is a degree of privacy that I expect in regards to certain bodily functions. And, of course, I didn't need help. I said, "It's okay," and before I could say more she stated, "I don't mind."

And that's supposed to be it, she doesn't mind, the idea that I might doesn't enter the equation. I said, then firmly, "No, I don't need help."

Her face hardened and she turned from me saying to her husband, "He's one of those kind."

"Those kind?"

I get it, I'm one of those kind of disabled people who want to determine when, where and by whom I receive help.

I want to say to those of 'my kind' here in Great Britain, "I'm proud to join your number, and there must be a lot of you. You who demand respect, who say 'no' when you don't want help, who operate in the word with the expectation of equal treatment and a degree of dignity. You've entered the consciousness of some of your non-disabled peers ... that is a victory because it is, in my mind, the beginning of real change.


Nightengale said...

I'm one of "those kind" too (across the pond in the US.)

One of those who doesn't find unneeded help at all helpful. One of those who believes the helpee, not the helper, is the one best suited to know if help is needed at all, and if so, what sort. One of those who doesn't mind being offered help (although I'd generally rather not even have to deal with the offer) but will never take help that is insisted rather than offered.

And apparently there's something wrong with us for refusing unneeded help, rather than with them for foisting it upon us.

Us "those" need to get a better lobby.

Unknown said...

"those kind"...sounds like the phrase 'you people' in 'you people are too....." or "you people always want......"
none of us is the stereotype, all of us are individuals who share some characteristics with others but are not the same as anyone else...

does she realize that in your mind and those of 'your people' she is one of "'those kind' of intrusive people who think we exist so they can feel superior to us" said in the most polite but enraged tone of voice????

do you ever want to just run over the toes or bang the legs of 'those kind' of people? can't do it, i know...

bdqbdq said...

I love your blog but I do feel sad that we are often so insensitive. Good intentions often result in stupidity.

Unknown said...

How dare you be one of "those kind"...the kind that expects to be treated with basic respect and who expects that you have the right to decide when and if you need or want help? I mean, really... *shakes head* Sadly, she's never likely to "get it", because it's about her, not about you. She feels superior and you are just the guy in a wheelchair, who desperately needs her assistance and her ableism.