Today I’m going to talk about why it’s not ok to pat a wheelchair user on the head. This has happened to me several times recently and although it may seem trivial to some – it has really bugged me, and I need to get it off my chest…
I pride myself on being a positive person and this blog is something I want to keep light-hearted and fun. However I also think it’s important for me to talk about social issues such as this, in order to influence change.
Hopefully I can make at least one person stop and think about the impact behind their actions.
This particular incident occurred after somebody said ‘goodbye’ to me in passing, and then continued by patting me on the head. This is something I just don’t understand. I mean….why? Was that really necessary? Am I a child?
Also, why you ruining my hair?
I personally took this as a real invasion. Just because I am sat down at a lower angle to you, it does not mean you have the right to approach me in such a degrading way.
I can 100% guarantee if I could walk or was stood up at the time, this would never have happened.
My instant reaction was: “Don’t ever do that again!” I think this person at first thought I was joking, until they turned around and realised I was being deadly serious.
It takes a lot for me to stand up for myself (no pun intended waheyy) – but when I feel passionate about something - there is no stopping me. I told this person that it was not cool, and that I don’t appreciate being patronised like that.
Being a wheelchair user in social situations is hard enough, let alone when you're surrounded by dickheads.
Personal space is so important. Another example of this was when I was out in town with my friends one night. A complete stranger came over to me on the dance floor and grabbed my arms, lifting them up into the air.
Again – not cool. In their eyes they thought they were just helping me to dance, but I had not asked or welcomed this in any way.
Luckily my friends are like a set of personal bodyguards and soon scared him off. Some people may see this as harmless, but for somebody with muscle weakness this can be extremely frightening.
I may not be able to pull away or fight you off – but just remember I’m the perfect height to smack you in the balls.
It’s really simple – just don’t be a twat. Keep your hands to yourself and we’ll be alright!