"He just doesn't ... doesn't ..." pauses to search for words, "know his place."
That's not where I thought this was going to go. It was the standard situation familiar to many of us with disabilities, someone had offered unneeded help which I had politely declined.
Even though I had cheerfully said, "No, I'm good, I've got it." Even though there was no hostility or impatience in my voice, I say this acknowledging that I'm not always good at handling these things, but this time, I was.
"I was just trying to be helpful."
God, spare me from another of these conversations. I really don't want to ever have to talk about the emotions of those who assume that their help is a gift and my rejection is rude. I really don't want to have to rebuilt the egos of those who, wishing to gain from my perceived need. Please not another.
I explained to her, and the woman with her, annoyance had made them twins, that it's important for me to do what I can for myself.
My need didn't matter.
Resulting was the comment one to the other: He just doesn't know his place.
And what place would that be?
Disabled people don't exist for the general public to get warm fuzzies from our gratitude for their time and attention and assistance.
I don't exist to meet the needs of anyone but my family and myself.
My place isn't segregated into the barren wards that exist in the minds of those illiterate in the nature of disability.
My place isn't to be a man-child lifted into worthiness by the time and attention of those who cuddle at night with disphobic hierarchies.
My place is here.
This space is mine.
And, for fuck sakes, no means no.