What to expect?

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eclaire
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What to expect?

Postby eclaire » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:41 am

Hello everyone

I am a first time mum and a first time poster here - I had a perplexing experience today while on public transport and I’m looking for thoughts on whether my experience is typical, and how others might have handled it.

For context, I am currently receiving treatment for a pretty crippling and serious illness that has resulted in an extreme case of muscle atrophy in my hands and arms. I have a 5 month old baby, and as a consequence of this illness, I have a good deal of difficulty with ordinary chores and childcare, one of which is the safe manoeuvring of the buggy.

I boarded the bus today with the buggy - fortunately, I was the first person to get on the bus, and so there was space for me to park the buggy without disturbing anyone. I sat down in the seat next to the buggy, and proceeded on my journey, which would have been about 6 stops. At the stop before the one where I was due to alight, the bus filled up with people of all ages. Fortunately for me, there was no one getting on with wheelchairs or shopping bags, and so I left the buggy where it was (ie to one side, and out of everyone’s way). An elderly gentleman boarded the bus and a lady stood up to offer him her seat, which he took. As the bus moved off, I stood up to ready myself for getting off, and to give myself time to manoeuvre the buggy - this is something that I am a little slow about because of the state of my hands and arms. As I was getting off the bus, the woman who had given her seat to the older gentleman leant in to me and said “you should get up and give your seat to the disabled. Just because you are a mum, you’re not special”. I have to say I was quite taken aback - obviously she was not aware of the state of my hands and arms (which, incidentally means that I can’t stand up and hang onto a pole, and manage to stay upright!) but she had clearly made assumptions about my health (how on earth would she know what kind of health challenges a person is dealing with?), and also my attitude as an “entitled mum”. I am also perplexed that in a bus full of seated people, the only person she felt should have got up was me.

My question is whether anyone else has ever encountered similar? I know that this experience has rattled me more than it should, but it made an already extremely difficult undertaking (ie moving the buggy about with my stupid wasted hands and arms) all the more upsetting.

Thoughts and suggestions from the more experienced are most welcome! Thank you all!
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dudette
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Re: What to expect?

Postby dudette » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:09 am

She was just being a busybody and you should have smiled sweetly and told her about your disability. A lot of disabilities are invisible - you could have educated her and maybe made her think twice before poking her nose in again. Unfortunately because there are some entitled mums (and other people!) out there, you have been tarred with the same brush. You shouldn’t feel bad at all and if in future you need a seat then just ask. As long as you ask politely people are usually happy to oblige.
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mymyherewegoagain
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Re: What to expect?

Postby mymyherewegoagain » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:24 am

Hi. I’m sorry this happened to you. TFL is offering ‘I need a seat badges’ to those if us with invisible disabilities https://tfl.gov.uk/transport-accessibil ... -me-a-seat

Unfortunately you will find that once you are a mum you will receive a lot of unsolicited, annoying and sometimes upsetting advice and opinions.
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harriedmum
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Re: What to expect?

Postby harriedmum » Tue Aug 27, 2019 8:57 am

Hi eclaire,

This happens to me all the time when I use disabled loos, as I don’t “look” disabled at first view, but watch me on stairs and you will soon see my knees don’t work. I get constant comments about the “disabled loo being for disabled people” and how I respond really depends on my mood. Sometimes I explain quietly, sometimes I let it go as it is none of their business and one unfortunate person with a broken ankle or other, got told in no uncertain terms how lucky they were their leg would heal as mine never will - she was very rude and I decided she deserved the same treatment!

I did not know about the badges, that is an excellent idea - I have seen a couple but just assumed the people were pregnant - I would definitely get one of those.

Hopefully it won’t happen again, as a first time mum you are very vulnerable out and about - especially if you are unwell yourself. Like dudette said this is just the beginning of endless busybodies offering unsolicited advice and commentary on your mothering skills - stay strong, you did nothing wrong.
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sloaney donkey
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Re: What to expect?

Postby sloaney donkey » Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:00 pm

Don’t feel bad...you should be angry. Heaven knows I am.

I am not disabled, but know the pre-supposing type of old annoying person who does this (I am allowed to say “old” as I am 75 myself).

I would say (if I were working):-

- I pay for his bus pass

- I pay for his generous state pension out of my taxes

- I pay his healthcare

- He didn’t fight on the beaches of Normandie, just filled in forms as a grocery Klerk

He is just a guy who has has had a good easy life looking down on others less able than himself, taking a bus to the betting shop to splunk my hard-earned.

Shame on him

Shame on him
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K1999
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Re: What to expect?

Postby K1999 » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:37 pm

What a shame she felt she had to say something.  She may have given up her seat, which of course is her perocative, but she should not have tried to shame you.  I would have told her about your disability, with a smile.  I find whenever you respond to someone like this, politely and with a smile, they have absolutely no comeback and in fact they are the ones who will look rude and inappropriate.  Please don't let the likes of this woman upset you, life is just too short.  She may well have her own problems, but she should not be taking them out on you!
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