Most of the time I am able to handle stupid or insensitive comments but what about when one wrong comment sends you over the edge?
Let’s face it, when you are disabled you are no stranger to insensitive comments or questions or even memes that people send you thinking it is funny.
I always wear a body worn camera when out and about for this exact reason and it has actually served as a deterrent!
Go back just a few years and I couldn’t handle these sorts of things, it would really upset me and throw me for days, but I have now learnt to deal with it by ignoring and sometimes even blocking.
However, even if we have learnt to cope with it, there will always be a time where even the smallest stupid or thoughtless comment or post sends you spiralling.
That is okay!
It happened to me recently and it got to me because of several reasons.
- It is winter
- The Pandemic
- I am mentally low at the moment
- Pain levels are high
- I am not sleeping very well
This is when one wrong comment sends you over the edge!
And it really wasn’t the worst (by far) comment that I have ever had, normally I would have muttered my thoughts and carried on.
I posted on a Facebook group for Top Bar Beekeepers “I am hoping to wheel down to the hive next week. So many reporting lost colonies and so I need to try, the ground is very very soft and so not sure I will make it”.
My phone pings and I see a comment “Try walking” (with a laughing face emoji)
As I said it really wasn’t the worst (by far) comment that I have ever had!
I used my usual take a deep breath, count to 10 and then respond and it is something that serves me well, it stops me posting in a way that will escalate the issue!
I replied “Seriously!” and then a few minutes later I replied asking if it was a serious comment or a bad joke and even included a photo of me in the garden sat in my wheelchair.
I have posted regularly on the group and even posted videos and shared my beekeeping blog posts, so it is not a secret that I am disabled.
I left it and carried on but it was there in the back of my head and this is because I am running mentally low at the moment.
24 hours later and the comment is still there and so I decided to protect myself from brooding on it, I deleted my post and left the group.
Yes possibly, but one stupid bloody comment isn’t just one comment, it is every comment you have ever had and it is just the last drop of water that sends the damn holding back the floods crashing.
I saw today that I had a message request (not FB friends so went unseen) and basically said it was a light hearted comment & they didn’t realise I was ‘in’ a wheelchair”
But what gets me is the fact that they didn’t think they should reply on post and remove the comment!
Yes your comment, post, video or meme might seem funny to you but to someone with a disability it is just the latest insult in a list that is far too long to count and it hurts.
It could be that they are in a lot of pain, that their mental or physical health is bad that day, week or month and this minor issue crashes in on them like a wrecking ball!
I have often been very tempted to create a page for the website and post every ill thought and disgusting ableist comment.