Some things are better left unsaid?

I’ve lost count in the last couple of years, since I started using a crutch, that people have asked outright, just blurting it out ‘what’s wrong with you?’

So I’d like to address those people:

Hi (good place to start)

My name is Rebecca 

I’m 23

I’m a student studying history and sociology at a decent university 

I have a cat called George

I have 1 sibling- a sister

I am single 

I am also dyspraxic, but you can’t see that

As you can see I have a walking aid- 1 bog standard, NHS crutch

Aren’t you observant?

No-

  1. I haven’t broken anything
  2. I haven’t been fighting
  3. This isn’t a football injury
  4. I don’t know ‘what the other one looks like’

Today, I was asked the same thing in a very different way- and it made all the difference.

I sat down next to a Middle Aged Asian man on the bus.

He helped me sit down (bus had set off as I reached my seat, and it was me, with a backpack on, my crutch, and a suitcase with a very wonky wheel)

I thanked him (I’m polite)

He paused and I waited for the same sentence I was so tired of hearing…

Just the day before, I was discussing potential responses with a friend ranging from:

“I’ve been fighting dragons”

To “My boyfriend forgot the safe word” (90% of suggestions were sexual tbh)

And then he said 

“What happened?”

Now, it might not sound like much, but he asked in a very gentle way, that didn’t immediately label that there was something wrong with me, announcing to the whole bus that they’d asked me by how loud their voice was like the usual crowd

I explained I had dodgy joints

And again I was taken aback by the response

“Oh” he paused “My best wishes to you”

Normally, in situation A with the ‘what’s wrong?’ Crowd I get ‘oh is there not any treatment?’

And when I explain more about my condition than an NHS choices page, the next thing on the crowd’s agenda is some spiel about how I’m inspirational, and it’s good that I keep going (dunno what I’m supposed to do otherwise, I’m travelling home)

But this man on the bus gave me his best wishes, smiled on me thanking him, and did not continue to interrogate me into yet another depressing reminder that I will be this way forever, and that I should somehow automatically qualify as being ‘inspirational’ ?

I’m a single 20-something with a cat too 🐱

And that man on the bus gave me his best wishes, regardless of – most importantly- my condition, it’s affects, time span or manifestations

My best wishes to you too, man on the bus ❤️

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