The Silent Kind of Ableism

Today was the first time during lockdown exercise I decided to wear my chest, only the fourth time out beyond the house, so of course I was nervous as hell. S and myself went to the park to fly his small kite he got gifted recently. Something we could do with our allowed one hour of exercise.

Kiting was the first sport I picked up after my parents took me out of the family. I used to fly them on the beaches in Auckland and got quite good at it. Half a lifetime later, i’m trying to get my housemates to get into it so they have more to do than sulk around lockdown.   

Of course, they don’t realise why their kites are not flying and spinning in circles. I dont have my own still, and I don’t want to outshow them and have them bored of it, so I went into “dotting help mode” so I can help and be part of the activity. I would come up to their kites they’re dragging along and untangle strings and streamers so its balanced properly as would flying buddies would back in the day when I was doing it. But of course my ex being his usual “supportive but not considerate” mode would just blurt out and snap at me with.

     “stop trying to help, you keep getting in the way”

Suddenly stunned into silence, taking a few moments to process how i’m not being allowed to do more than just a spectator and feeling already super nervous being out wearing my chest, went home pretty quick and cried on my bed for a good few hours.

Sometimes it’s considerate to do something to let the person in the wheelchair be involved in something social people, you wouldn’t believe how much the everyday consideration a wheelchair user has towards able bodied people around them isn’t reciprocated and just plainly left out of things…. 

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