Stand Up For Yourself

“Isn’t this one way?” A man shouted in my face as I go near the bottom of the stairs leading from the number one train into Penn Station.

“No, it’s not,” I responded angrily. “You didn’t ask that question to any of the people before me. This is a staircase and I’m holding on to the railing while using a cane.”

All of the people behind and to the side of me came to a stop but no one spoke up for me.

“You rush up as I come down and decide I should move. You can’t even wait until I’m at the bottom. It’s three steps. You think I should let go and fall so you can do what?” I snapped.

I stared at him as he looked dumbfounded. He said nothing.

“I’ll wait,” I said as his embarrassed girlfriend moved to the side. “I’m not moving.”

The man brushed by me, pushing his way through people coming down on the right side of the same staircase.

Since when do you not let disabled people or a woman use the stairs or go through a door before you or give them a seat, I wondered.

A woman walked up and stood in front of me on the yellow caution strip just to beat me into the train in the morning. Then, I stood all the way into New York on NJ transit because no one would move their bag or offer up their seat despite the huge crowds. I held the door for people leaving the cafeteria and didn’t get a thank you. And, I waited for the railing to walk safely only to have someone think I should get out of his way. No one else seems to know or care about basic courtesies or manners anymore, I thought. Well, I do and I won’t let the fact that I am not completely able bodied or a woman give other people license or a pass to treat me poorly.

#backpain #invisibleillness #chronicillness #chronicpain #disability #autoimmunedisease #spoonie #igg4 #manners #chivalryisdead #hometraining
#speakup #girlpower

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