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Fri, Jun. 25th, 2010, 04:27 pm
The Pain of Patronizing

I broke my toe while visiting NYC. It's not a bad break and it is one of the little toes, so it isn't such a big deal. I have crutches and a boot for a little while, and I'm a little loopy from the painkillers. I can open doors, but it is a pain so I am happy when people open doors for me. I can hobble around short distances without the crutches without any problems if necessary.

So I went out with WB last night. I actually thought we would bond better as friends now that I'm injured (he is disabled and walks with a limp). I never concieved that he would be entirely patronizing to my injury. It was nice of him to open doors, but the door to the ladies restroom? I told him he was going to get into trouble doing things like that and I could manage just fine. And he kept putting a hand on my back or crutch for 'support' even though I told him it was actually hampering me getting around.

We were coming up to the exit to a parking lot, and a car was pulling out. I was going to stop at the curb. WB grabbed the back of my shirt and yanked me to a stop, yelling about how I needed to watch out for the car (we were still on the sidewalk). He'd also held onto my crutch so I couldn't start walking until the walk sign flashed at a previous intersection.

Well, I got really pissed off. He'd almost knocked me over trying to 'save' me.
"WB, it's my FOOT that is broken, not my EYES. I didn't go blind, I can see the fucking car."

Maybe a bit of an overreaction. That's what I get for assuming someone with a disability would know how to treat another person with a disability (even if mine is only temporary). I am still righteously pissed off. I never do that shit to him. Short of walking a little slower I don't give him any concessions at all. I figure if he needs help with something he will ask me (although, knowing him, he probably wouldn't even if he did need help).

The more I dwell on this, the more I realize that his whole personality is often patronizing. And then I thought about other 'friends' I've had who try to save me from myself. Thank you, I'm a fucking adult. I know when I'm doing something that may not be in my best interest. And now I'm wondering why I keep having friends who keep trying to 'fix' me when I'm not broken. I'm letting the wrong people be my friends. I realize that I often mess up and that my life is such a mess at times that it automatically attracts fixer-types, but I don't want help. If I did I would ASK for it. I would rather fix the problem myself.

And I don't want to be a bitch, but it is hard when people are patronizing. Putting a hand on my back does not stabilize me when I'm walking on crutches. It makes me wobbly and MORE likely to stumble. Grabbing at my crutches after I sit down, while I'm trying to put them up, doesn't help me. It just makes it more likely the crutches are going to whack me or I'm going to whack my foot while fighting to put up my own crutches and then I'm REALLY going to be pissed off (once I'm done seeing stars from the pain).

I just can't believe he kept treating me like I was blind, like I couldn't see cars or a walk signal or a curb or a step. Trust me, walking is enough effort that I am certain to see any curbs or steps in front of me. And holding on to my crutch so I couldn't move forward before it was 'safe' was just plain obnoxious.

I'm not sure I can be friends with half of my friends now. I'm not sure how to attract the kinds of people who won't be patronizing to me. And is there a nice way of telling people you don't need their help that actually works (because it seems like people railroad over a polite "I've got it, thanks")?

I'd like some advice if anyone has any. (See, I ASK when I want assistance!)

Sat, Jun. 26th, 2010 02:23 am (UTC)
jadxia: Re: Interesting ...

Sweet, SEO got nothing on me, lol