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Thread: Inappropriate questions and comments from able-bodied people.

  1. #1
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    Inappropriate questions and comments from able-bodied people.

    Why do able-bodied people think that its perfectly ok to walk up to a disabled person who is a complete stranger and ask them incredibly personal questions about their health and disability? It is something that really gets on my nerves. They wouldn't dare to ask another able-bodied person the same type of questions. My dad always taught me that it was extremely rude to ask a complete stranger personal questions like that.

    This morning a man who was standing behind me in the line at our local shop tapped me on the shoulder and asked me why I needed a crutch. I promptly turned round and told him to mind his own business. He then went into this long rant about how last year he was on crutches for 8 weeks and how it was so hard. I was having one of my really bad pain days so i said "Look you only had to use crutches for 8 weeks, I have to use this one for the rest of my life. You don't know anything about having to use them long term so shut up and keep your suggestions to yourself."

    Isn't it so annoying.


    Rant over.
    DSC
    Aspergers syndrome, Sotos syndrome and diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome three years ago at the age of 22.

  2. #2
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    Some people just like being nosey, some are trying to be friendly and start a conversation. Some may have a friend/relative who is disabled and they want to talk about them. Others maybe disabled themselves, not all disabilities are obvious by looking at someone.

    Personally, it depends on who is asking. You can usually tell if someone is just trying to be friendly as opposed to nosey.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

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    I'd rather people take an interest in such things than just jump to assumptions. Sounds like the man in question was just being curious - perhaps a little nosey yes however if he was polite in his manner of asking then I don't see the problem in answering.

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    Its probably just me. I am an aspie so I do sometimes get things like that the wrong way.

    I wasn't angry at him being curious, I was angry at the fact that he tried to compare his broken leg to my life long disability. There is no way that anyone can compare a short term injury to somebody's progressive life long disability. There is simply no comparison.

    I have HMS which starts off as a less visible condition (I prefer to say less visible condition cause I think it sounds better.) and gets worse over time. I didn't always need a crutch and there will come a time when I need a wheelchair.

  5. #5
    Senior Member flowerangelx's Avatar
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    I don't see a problem with people who ask.

    It's the people who stare, whisper and make assumptions that annoy me. I would rather somebody did ask.

  6. #6
    Senior Member flowerangelx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daringsupercaitriona View Post
    "This morning a man who was standing behind me in the line at our local shop tapped me on the shoulder and asked me why I needed a crutch. I promptly turned round and told him to mind his own business. He then went into this long rant about how last year he was on crutches for 8 weeks and how it was so hard."

    Its probably just me. I am an aspie so I do sometimes get things like that the wrong way.

    I wasn't angry at him being curious, I was angry at the fact that he tried to compare his broken leg to my life long disability. There is no way that anyone can compare a short term injury to somebody's progressive life long disability. There is simply no comparison.
    In my opinion..he didn't know you have a life-long condition as you told him to mind your own business, so he wasn't trying to compare it to your life-long condition? Without sounding horrible, and this is just my opinion: a life long condition..you have lived with it all of your life. Yes, it gets worse, I know that.

    The impact of a 'short term injury' can be so devastating if you have not had any injuries as such in the past - I'm talking from personal experience here. I lost my friends, my ability to work and my pride. It also triggered off a lot of mental health issues that I thought I had recovered from.

    I have just realised that this sounds very harsh and that it may be taken in the wrong way. That is not my intention at all - I'm just trying to explain from the other point of view.
    Last edited by flowerangelx; 22-01-14 at 15:47. Reason: Adding something to post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daringsupercaitriona View Post
    I wasn't angry at him being curious, I was angry at the fact that he tried to compare his broken leg to my life long disability. There is no way that anyone can compare a short term injury to somebody's progressive life long disability. There is simply no comparison.
    My take on this is that everyone's response to disability, be it a temporary or permanent, resolving or deteriorating, is personal. There are some who find a broken leg very difficult to cope with, whilst others cope very well with lifelong disability with a difficult prognosis. Moreover, coping changes over time, depending on circumstances and the stressors we are facing.


    It sounds like the man in the queue found his 8 weeks on crutches very hard to cope with, and gained some useful insights into the world of disability as a result. This experience likely did not equip him to understand permanent disability that well, but it could well be that he was nevertheless trying to be friendly and show some sort of solidarity.


    I'm neurotypical, but I know how my response to that kind of situation depends on pain and fatigue.

    Most of the time, I'm happy to enter into conversation about disability, believing anything that makes the subject of disability more accessible to others is worthwhile. After all, some of the disability we face is down to others failing to understand the effects of our impairments and the resulting needs - in particular, people being so scared of doing the wrong thing in trying to help that they do nothing instead.

    However, if I'm just about keeping it together because I'm falling apart inside from pain and exhaustion, I sometimes am just not interested.

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    As I said I was having one of my bad pain days. Even my dad says that he has to tread on eggshells because I'm grouchy on my bad days.

    I am usually ok with people asking about my disability but sometimes it does get a bit annoying when your just trying to get on with your daily life.

    I think what annoyed me the most was the fact that this man had stood and stared at me while I was getting something off a shelf. He gave me one of those 'she's faking it' looks. I've had a lot of those before.

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    I have bought myself a little card from a company called stickman communications to help explain my disability to others.

    Here's the link
    http://stickmancommunications.co.uk/...Products/CC006

  10. #10
    Senior Member flowerangelx's Avatar
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    I have card in my bag that explains my asthma, severe anxiety, social phobia and the fact I'm borderline on the autistic spectrum so may not be able to make myself clear.

    I've also in my purse and I keep one in my pocket as well as a note on my phone screen saver explaining who my emergancy number is and so on.

    People do read them if they need to

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