This all started when my bestie and I decided to meet some friends and go to BINGO. Firstly, I've never actually formally played bingo. We thought this would be a fun little excursion. I had spent the first part of my day gardening, lifting, and doing some outdoor yard work. I was fairly sore by the time I was ready to go out-mainly my sternum, but it was manageable so away we went. When we got to the Casino I pulled into a handicap stall. Yes, I have a handicap sign because I feel that metastatic breast cancer is a decent disability to utilize a handicap stall for.
As we got out and started walking to the front doors I heard somebody yelling behind me. When I turned around I quickly, and quite shockingly, realized this man was yelling obscenities at ME!! To be honest this moment totally threw me off. Is this man seriously yelling at me or is there somebody behind me?? I looked at my bestie who had her mouth wide open in as much shock as me. Once I realized the words coming out of his mouth I honestly felt completely humiliated, disgusted, and simply sad. The words out of his mouth were, "It's people like you who abuse these handicap signs that ruin it for others...you little piece of shit." Wait...what?? Is this actually happening?? People like me?? What, the people in this society who have cancer? The people in this society who silently suffer, whilst still managing to maintain their physical appearance? The people in this society who are young but suffer every fucken day of their lives with debilitating pain, and have to accept uncertainties for their future?? Oh, so people in this society who I completely empathize with, feel their pain, and will stand up for like no other??!!! That's when I realized I am not holding back a single word to this uneducated, ignorant, piece of shit! If you want to be educated, don't you worry I will educate, BUT don't expect this to be some young, petite woman who will tell it kindly. You have passed the point of deserving a civilized response out of my mouth the moment you called me a "piece of shit."
I turned to him and yelled, "I have fucken incurable cancer YOU piece of shit and you know absolutely NOTHING about me and my disability!" He basically yelled at me, "you don't have cancer." Ok, this is a first for me because nobody has ever told me that I don't have cancer, and suddenly I think he felt an "oh shit" moment. He walked up to me only to progress to tell me that if I actually did have cancer then he apologized, BUT he hates every time he goes to Superstore and he sees "young people abusing the handicap parking permit." Ok, this simply pissed me off more because he was like that idiot who just can't figure out the moral of the story!!! An apology, followed by BUT is NOT an apology!! I proceeded to tell him that he still didn't fucken get it!!! I told him my disease is not visible and when you go to Superstore did you ever fucken think that many of those young people could have a disease that afflicts them internally??? Holy shit I was vibrating, and it took every ounce of my being to not punch him in the face!!!!!!
My bestie at this point felt that me trying to explain/educate him on what a disability entails was pointless and at that point I was sad. I started crying. I'm not typically someone who cries over little things, but this was so humiliatingly sickening to the core of my being. Why did I have to prove to a complete stranger that I have a terminal disease?? Should I carry my cancer pathology in my purse so I can prove to an ignorant individual how ill I actually am?? At one point I did yell at him, "do you want to see my cancer card." Seriously, why should I have to deal with this?? I shouldn't. And I won't. End of story.
Part of me cried because I felt extensively sad over the fact that there are many other young people who are dealing with chronic/terminal illness and this could happen to them. I know what it's like to live this life, and to even think someone else would need to deal with this type of scenario in their own lives infuriates me and breaks my heart. Why is it that we base a disability on a physical trait?? Since I have two legs and two arms with a steady gait then that must mean all my internal organs are just as healthy, right?? I will not apologize for taking pride in myself when I feel well enough to go out with my friends. Because my hair was washed and I dressed nicely? Yes, I take pride in how I look because it masks the public's perception of what I'm going through. However, in this scenario it obviously seemed to backfire, BUT I will never apologize for still trying to maintain normalacy to my identity while living with a disease that is killing me!!!!!
To add insult to injury the fact that you're verbally abusing a young woman with terminal cancer, and berating her in a public place made me beyond upset because it made me realize the reality of what this meant. This is a grown man, and this is the manner in which he speaks to a woman?? All I could think of is who else has he done this to??!!! THAT made me furious!! The thought of a young adult suffering every fucken day of their life, and then they have a day where they may actually feel "good," and decide to go out and actually enjoy a "good" day only to be belittled and verbally assaulted?? What type of person is this?? This is beyond discriminatory and I will never stand for this!!! I will argue my point until my face turns blue because I want this type of abusive, insulting, and pure arrogant behaviour to end. We live in an era of technology, of putting people on the moon, so why can't we change the way in which we view a disability???
I would just love everyone to envision what the definition of a disability is. Don't ever judge a book by its cover!! You don't know people and you definitely don't know their stories. Don't Ever assume. Just because somebody can walk in a straight line, smile, and have clean hair does not mean that they don't suffer with chronic pain, or aren't dying. Don't ever, ever assume because you will never truly know. This day disappointed me, but it only showed the idiocy and ignorance of a single individual. As a society I can only hope that people open their eyes and recognize that the majority of people who suffer in society do so silently with no physical traits that make them distinguishable from anybody else. I don't know what it will take, but I refuse to be belittled, humiliated, and called a "piece of shit," all because my disease is not physically visible. All I ask is for people to actually think, don't scrutinize, and be thankful you don't need a damn handicap sign because you are HEALTHY, but don't ever assume you're a damn mind reader who knows everything there is to know about a stranger. You aren't...so take your nasty, arrogant comments and shove it where the sun don't shine because I don't care to listen to it. Not today. Not ever.
We still ended up going to Bingo. As much as this man bothered me there was no chance he was going to ruin my evening. Absolutely NOT!! However, we didn't win...nothing. However, we had a fun evening with great friends:)