Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Get out of my way or I will pee on you...

Story time (since I have no new videos)! Let me preface this by saying that although there is some religion involved in the story, I am in no way suggesting that it was the religion that bothered me. Just the annoying people.

So I was at the Abilities Expo, which for those of you who don't know is an annual conference showcasing the latest technology for disabled people. There is everything from wheelchairs to beds to communication devices, and lots and lots of disabled people.  Its held in a conference hall where a few conferences can be held at once. I spent the morning cruising the exhibits, talking to the vendors, and enjoying the company of other people with disabilities. When noon rolled around I had to use the bathroom, so me and my aide took off to find them. There was a long line of women in purple robes gathering in front of the women's bathroom. I thought that was a bit odd but I knew other people were holding conferences of their own. I just thought this must have been some sort of  purple robe conference, so I took my place in line.  Then it started.

It quickly became apparent that all of these women were involved in a Jehovah's Witness conference and they all began talking to me, telling me how they can heal me, patting my head, and causing a general hubbub. I was used to this but I really had to pee and they were all crowded around me. Even when I went in the stall (which was not handicapped so I couldn't close the door all the way) they were still talking.

I guarantee if I wasn't visibly disabled, they wouldn't have been nearly as intereted in me.  And because I can't talk I couldn't tell them "If you don't move I will pee on you". My aide could have, but she didn't want to seem rude. It was even tricker because I knew they were coming from a place of good intention, so I didn't want to be snippy.  But let this be a lesson. Even if you mean well, you can still be annoying, especially when there is pee involved.


  1. I had a similar experience a little over a year ago. Not a bathroom situation, but I went to the neighborhood park with my husband, my mom and my two nephews in Atlanta. We were sitting there watching the kids play. My mom was over in another area of the park, and my husband went over to help one of our nephews. I was sitting at a picnic table by myself.

    This Hispanic woman comes over to me, and asks if she can pray with me. Uh, OK. She sits down and takes my hands and starts saying a prayer, in Spanish. Why she did this, I don't know. Why she waited until I was alone, well, I can only guess, she didn't expect me to object, because I was disabled.

    I guess she saw me walking and noticed my limp and awkward gait, and felt the need to pray for me. I can't remember now all she said, but something like, "you're special, I pray for you". Kinda creepy. She said something that really creeped me out, but I can't remember it now.

  2. I wonder what would cure them of their stupidity...

  3. Hi, Eva, my daughter and I just watched your videos and read your stories together. We have some odd public experiences too, so we're smiling in recognition of very similar situations--even from this evening. I look forward to more of your posts!

  4. ah omg thats ridiculous. How could they not realize that you're in the line for the *bathroom* for a reason?? Ugh.

    I love the blog, definitely adding you to my reader! (I got here via the Bitch Blogs post)

  5. Hey, it's natural for people to want to help. It's just, in a lot of people's natures. Especially females.

    If you saw someone crying, wouldn't you offer them some words of comfort? A hug if you physically could? Even if they were a stranger?

    But, uuh, they were jehova witness. >.> Even if you weren't disabled, they'd be trying to save your soul from everlast burning too. But I guess your physical discomfort trumped the soul bit. Which is totally weird.

  6. Hello there!

    I came across your blog through a link in someone's message on Twitter. Anyway, I just wanted to tell you that the Purple People aren't Jehovah's Witnesses. They are an entirely different group.

    Don't get me wrong, Jehovah's Witnesses can be equally irritating. It's just that they aren't the same folks.

  7. By the way, I LOVE your blog. I'm looking forward to seeing more of your videos documenting ableist behavior.

  8. Someone really had issues - planning a crip tech event in a venue with no accessible toilets.

  9. Eva, you have a wicked sense of humour (I like you already) ! KP

  10. We do it, too!

    There is no pee involved in this story, but a disabled man came into the coffee shop where I was trying to write one day.

    He sat next to me and started talking. I told him I was trying to write; he kept talking. I figured if he was going to be rude, I would be, too, and proceeded to ignore him and continue writing as he blathered on.

    Finally, he said: "Are you mad at God for making you disabled?"

    And I said, briefly: "No."

    And he started going on and on about all the lessons he's learned since his motorcycle accident, and I saw he was holding a bible.

    I ran away. Well, crutched away briskly.

  11. My school has this program for Year 9's, it involves excursions of different sorts, to help us grow as people. We went to meet a guy who (I honestly don't know the term, no offence intended) hadn't arms or much of his legs left. My year level coordinator proceeded to tell him I was disabled (and what it involved.) His response: "Would you like me to pray for you?" Before I could answer, he put his hand on my head, (CREEPY) and started praying, in front of my year level. It was so embarrassing. The worst thing was, the year level coordinator *knew* I was an atheist. Then on my mid-year report, she criticised me for being "withdrawn" and "close-minded" at this excursion.

    I don't mind if people pray for me in their own time, at a different place, but with me there, it just weirds me out. And I don't like people putting their hand on my head, then hugging me, like that's going to "heal" me. Especially if you're 15, and spent the past year bedridded or in hospital, it'll weird you out more. Some people at the school had it in for me because I was an atheist, gifted, terrible at sport, or all of the above. But after my diagnosis, everyone (teachers) became lovely - the sports teacher apologised for screaming at me weekly. She realised it wasn't that I wasn't trying, it was that I was disabled. So when a teacher hates me now, they have to hide it as much as possible!

    I'm 18 now, and I'd love to start a blog of my own, but I honestly don't have the energy, plus, I'm in Year 12, so I need to concentrate on my marks.

  12. My fav is lets haul our arses five states away for a job interview where our resume clearly shows "X" years out of work and then go through 4 hours of interviews only to be told, once I called to ask the status, that while I was educationally/experience and personality a fit for the company that I did not have enough recent experience! WTF! One cannot have recent experience having spent 1+ years on one's back post op, and 1+ years doing pt and 1+ year weaning oneself off the pain meds. JFC, what the hell is wrong with these f's?