Handicapped Prejudice

@2bepink (126)
United States
December 14, 2006 9:49pm CST
I have been ill with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia for the past 16 years. I also have a very painful bladder disease called Interstitial Cystitis. I am only in my late 30's, but due to all of my health problems, and the severity of them, my doctor issued me a handicapped placard for in my car. I only use it on the days where I can't get around very good and I do not take advantage of having one. What is very frustrating for me is that even though I do need one, I have received dirty comments, stares, and been ridiculed by complete strangers because I park in handicapped areas. People assume that if you are not in a wheelchair, you are not disabled. People also assume that because you are younger that you are not handicapped. A lot of the remarks that I get are from elderly people. I guess these elderly people feel that if they don't have to park in the handicapped zones, then why should a young person have to. What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you felt someone was not deserving to park in a handicapped zone because of their age or because they were not in a wheelchair?
10 people like this
25 responses
• United States
15 Dec 06
Most of the time it's not really prejudice is more like curiosity. They stare because they are scared to ask what happen.
1 person likes this
@harsh1985 (595)
• India
15 Dec 06
i think you ignore these dirty minds. they doing this just for fun or by prejudice opinion.. call the police they creates the problem
@2bepink (126)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Here is the response I have given when someone says "You don't look handicapped" to me. I just say, "Well, looks can be deceiving. After all, you don't look ignorant but apparently you are!"
• United States
15 Dec 06
2bepink, great response and they certainly deserve it!
@luckyabu (337)
• India
16 Dec 06
Handicapped Parking Zone - Handicapped Parking Zone
Hello. I would pray to the Almighty that you recover soon and become normal as everyone. As far as the people who stare and feel strange about you just ignore them. You are not doing it wantedly. Atlast what we need is to be good in the Eyes of God and not humans. Takecare. Will remember you in my prayers.
@patootie (3593)
18 Dec 06
Just wanted to add a small comment ... I have had my disabilities since birth ... so having disabilities is 'normal' for me ... :o)
@claudia413 (4284)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Since I have handicapped relatives and friends, I would never, ever, make a comment to someone who parked in a handicapped space. The placards are not easy to come by and there was a reason for them to be issued. As my mom used to say, "You can't judge a book by the cover." In fact, the last year my mom was living, we took her shopping in a wheelchair because she had congestive heart failure and had a hard time breathing at times. She just didn't want to give up on getting out and about, so we used a wheelchair. We never did get a placard and had a heck of a time using a regular space, but we did it anyway. You just use your placard and pay no attention to those ignorant people who stare or comment and always give them the response you listed above. I love it!
• United States
15 Dec 06
I, too, am disabled. I am in a wheelchair and I can tell you it doesn't really make a difference. I'm only 48 but I look younger and I get dirty looks as if it's a crime that whoever I'm with has parked in a handicap spot. It used to bother me. But now I say screw them. What I hate iis when I see lazy people parking in a hanpicap spot. How do I know they're lazy? They don't have a handicap placard or license plate. It just pisses me off.
@Island_Geko (3760)
• Canada
15 Dec 06
Handicapped - Handicapped
I am in my late 20 I have been using a handicap placard for 6 years and a wheel chair/scooter for just as long...I have already been banded for 4 stores because they have suspected me as a shoplifter and since they could not prove it the told me I was not welcome to return and just because of my age. I also get stares when I get out of my chair because they feel once I am in it I should be in it permanently...Also don't get me started on the city and how they treat us, no disability doors, doors the wrong way, no ramps, stairs to steep, 4 story appartments with no elavators and most of all sales reps who do not deal with people in wheel chairs.
@2bepink (126)
• United States
15 Dec 06
Thanks everyone for responding. I try to educate as many people as I can on the illnesses that I have because people just do not know. It doesn't excuse the fact that they can be so rude, but I feel as though I do my part. I have a blog that discusses the illnesses I have at http://fightingfatigue.typepad.com to offer support and information to others.
@bkwiatv1 (606)
• United States
16 Dec 06
people that are in ur position is cool cuz you got an actual reason like me (cerbral palsy)the only thing that [isses me off is the overwieght people that use its like dude ur fat u need the extra steps to lose the wieght.
• United States
16 Dec 06
I say if you need it use it. Don't worry what someone else says or how they act! Those that judge others will find themselves judged wrongly at some point in their life. You have the sticker for a reason, you should use it. I've gotten the same stares when I would take my ex father-in-law anywhere. Someone even started snickering and he let them have it! He told them...I'll trade you legs any time you want...I would love to be able to walk across the parking lot like you. It would be nice if people weren't so rude in this world.
@nirali78 (307)
• India
16 Dec 06
Most of the time it's not really prejudice is more like curiosity. They stare because they are scared to ask what happen.
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
15 Dec 06
I just got my handicap placard...yaay! I have chronic pain syndrome with spinal(cervical)stenosis and ankylosing sponidylitis. No one can see my problem so I know that I get some strange looks when I zip into that little old gimp parking spot with pride. I can't wait for someone to fly into a rant, to my face, about my not deserving the spot and the placard. My response will go from my mouth, through my cell phone and right to the nearest cop. People who make such assumptions and then are stupid enough to actually speak them lack some basic self control, IMHO. You should use that placard EVERY time you have to. Don't hold back. We who have endured whatever we have to get that placard should hold our head high. Those who are able bodied and judgmental obviously have no challenges in their lives. ROCK ON!
• United States
15 Dec 06
Handicapped - not always visible
Welcome to the world of judgemental people. I have MS, suffer from chronic back pain and degenerative disc disorder as a result of intense radiation for cancer. I have no wheelchair, although at times I may limp a bit. I have no outter signs of 'disability'. I find everyone, not just strangers, will often just 'forget' your disability and get upset when you ask for help. It seems to most human 'out of sight means out of mind' for them. I wish there was a big sticker sometimes that says "YES I AM HONESTLY DISABLED EVEN WITHOUT A WHEELCHAIR"! I've heard that comment often at MS meetings. We don't always 'look sick' so how can we be? My heart goes out to you. You are not alone.
@GardenGerty (72702)
• Marion, Kansas
15 Dec 06
No, I haven't, but I work with people who are handicapped, and have worked with the elderly. I am not around people who express these prejudices, lucky me. I do have sympathy for you. My attitude is if a car is displaying a handicapped placard, there is a reason, even if I do not see it. For instance, I am not blessed with x-ray vision, to determine if someone has heart disease, or a liver condition. Keep your chin up, ignore the judgemental jerks.
@remaster74 (4067)
• Greece
15 Dec 06
I'm so happy for you dear. All these problems and you still cope with them in joy. Let people say whatever they like. You are "clean" yourself and don't worry about it. You don't have to apologize to no one. I think the evil that men do can hurt us all. I hope you will be ok. Merry Christmas
@Jshean20 (14376)
• Canada
15 Dec 06
I will admit that sometimes I wonder if the person parking in the handicapped space is really handicapped or not, it just crosses my mind though. I don't rule out the fact that they could be handicapped (just because they are not in a wheelchair) and I most certainly don't say anything to them, that would be rude!
@yupitsme (62)
• United States
15 Dec 06
i never judge people who park in handicapped spaces unless they do not have a tag or if thbey are running inside or something. But I think that a lot of people do look at people who are not in wheelchairs but have an accesible space differently.
@patootie (3593)
15 Dec 06
I have Fibromyalgia too ... dratted illness ... plagues everything you do .. if you aren't tired and exhausted you are in too much pain. I get similar problems when I park in the disability bays .. it used to worry me .. but then I decided I had enough worries of my own .. to worry about what other folks thought of me ... so I now just get out the car and hobble off ... If I am challenged I just say politely .. if you had to live my life for just one day you wouldn't query my need for this little bit of extra parking help ... So lift your chin up ... and hold your head high .. you deserve the parking help ... only you know how quickly you can become exhausted ... so don't waste anymore energy worrying what other folks think of you ...
• United States
15 Dec 06
my mom has been diagnosed with diabetes and diabetic neropathy..shes only 51 and she has a handicapp sticker..older men and women often give her a hard time about it, or give her dirty looks. it really is ridiculous how people think that just because your not old, you cant be handicapped
@SplitZip (1490)
• Portugal
15 Dec 06
I can relate to the part about being younger. One time, I was feeling very ill, I could barely stand up and had to take the bus home. I sat and doozed off, when these older ladies got on the bus and started to complain that I should've given up my seat. First of all, there were more seats at the back of the bus, second, I was feeling so tired that I could barely make out what they were saying. One of them did say something like "Young people these days are born tired". I felt that was very unfair, so I basically ignored them and slept all the way to my stop. They're just strangers after all. Don't even bother...
@abg1988 (340)
• India
15 Dec 06
have self confidence and trust in god........ dont bother about what others say
@rainbow (6763)
15 Dec 06
People are not given Disabled cards for parking for no reason so if you have one it is because you need it, don't feel you are not deserving of more convenient parking, it is there to help you so use it! My 7 year old has Autism and ADHD and we don't have a disabled card even tho' often he gets tired and cannot walk far. I have a younger son so I can still park in mother and baby. What annoys me is when people park in the mother and baby spaces bacause they feel they deserve them more than mums do. I often need the extra space for my son. If I cannot park in disabled why should they be allowed to overspill? I do not judge whether someone needs the space more than I do, but if I have to struggle around someone with no kids in the car taking a space where a mum of several young children would be nearer the path and safe then I tend to write a note and pop it on their windscreen, maybe they'll think it is from the shop and not be selfish and lazy another time.
@vkbllm (474)
• India
15 Dec 06
YES dude, You r right. I am a handicap right from the age 1. Currently I am of 21. So I have a long experience of 20 years for such situations.