Dear Person Policing Handicapped Parking Spots:
Yes, YOU…you who is staring into my truck, trying to see if I’m legitimately parked in the handicapped parking spot, the one that you don’t even need, judging by your permit free window. You with your squinty eyed gaze when I climb out, you with your offhanded remarks to your friend about how “some people should realize the handicapped parking spots are intended to those who are actually disabled.” You who challenges me each time I try to go into Walmart, or to pick a kid up from school, because you want to know WHY I’m parking in the handicapped parking zone when “I clearly don’t look like I need to”.
Stop that. Stop that right now.
Don’t you know that there are thousands upon thousands of chronic pain disorders that you simply cannot see? That those people’s medical conditions are actually none of your business? I mean, sure – get all high and mighty when someone who doesn’t have a permit is parked in the handicapped parking zone, by all means. Those of us with permits can totally understand your anger there. But when someone has a clearly visible permit in their windshield, don’t think for one minute that you can continue with your policing and your intrusive questions. If there’s a permit there, it means a doctor has signed the government paperwork in order for that person to park there – and trust me, getting that bloody permit is no easy task. Doctor’s don’t just hand them out like stickers after a needle.
I know I “look” young and vital; but the fact is, I’m not. Not that that will stop me from going to Walmart, because gosh darnit there’s a sale and disabled people need to get groceries and household items too. Shocking, I know. Disabled people do venture from their homes, they do attempt to enjoy things like Wonderland and town festivals, and why the hell shouldn’t they? Those parking spots were created to make things a little easier on us when we attempt to live our lives the way anyone else would.
Now now, don’t get defensive. I know you were just “making sure“, but surely once you’ve peered in and looked at the permit, that’s enough for you to back off? Oh, you still want to know why I need it? Well, alright. I’ll tell you. I have Multiple Hereditary Exotoses. Certainly, if I showed you my bare arms and legs you would note the obvious differences between myself and a vital, healthy person.
But I shouldn’t have to do that. I shouldn’t have to prove my need to use the permit in my window, which I have and I need because my MHE is a lifelong chronic pain disorder. I need it because walking long distances is very, very hard for me. I need it because I have two small children with the same disorder as me – and carrying them from my truck to the doors to grab a cart is a fleet in itself. I need it because I actually still need to be able to get around said store or location without dropping (I’ve actually fainted before a few times, and no – that’s not fun. I’m really not the swooning type, so I’d rather keep the fainting to a minimal). I need it, and my doctor agrees with me, so I have it. And I’ll park there.
And frankly, dear person policing the handicapped parking spots, I’m tired of your shit. I’m tired of the attention you draw to me. I’m tired of having to justify my right to park there, and I’m tired of your snotty, shitty attitude that really isn’t going to do us any favors when you do happen to encounter an asshole parked in the handicapped parking zone without a permit or a legitimate reason. Frankly, the people who park there without a permit/legitimate reason or need are assholes and they’ll probably flip you off if you try it on them.
I sort of wish that I was an asshole too, or at least the confrontational type that can tell you exactly where to shove your demanding, inquisitive nature when you refuse to back down once seeing my permit. Frankly, it’s people like you that make it a struggle for me to even leave my house, because dealing with you is just…exhausting.
So, stop it. Stop being so exhausting.
The Girl in the Truck in the Handicapped Parking Space with the Permit CLEARLY Displayed.
Authors Note: This post is heavily loaded with sarcasm and spite, the perfect ingredients for a ranty post, if I do say so myself. Yes, I have encountered way too many people “policing” the handicapped parking spaces and demanding to know why I’m not “saving it for someone who actually needs it”, and I got tired of that tone so I decided to write a ranty post about it, because my disability isn’t the only “unseen” one out there. There are MANY of us living with “invisible” chronic pain disorders and I know all of them are just as sick of this bullshit as I am. So, ranty post.