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Joe90
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14 Dec 2021, 2:12 pm

Today I was in a small store and there was a man in there with either severe learning difficulties or maybe have had a stroke some time in his life, I don't know. He had a walking frame (but wasn't elderly) and he was talking to the cashier but hardly using words clearly, just babbling really loudly, but I could tell he was just communicating and wasn't a threat at all. But as the poor guy was walking out, two people who were queuing (they looked older than him, in their 60s or even 70s) deliberately stared at the guy with flabbergasted looks on their faces, then they muttered to each other something about him being "potty", in a critical way, like they could not cope with seeing anything out of the ordinary.

I felt quite disgusted at them, because you could clearly see he was disabled and it wasn't like he was staggering around like an unpredictable criminal or some mental patient who's just escaped from a mental institute or something. Even I didn't see him as a threat. There is no need to go around staring angrily at him. I looked discreetly but as soon as I saw that he was obviously disabled and was just out doing his shopping, I immediately tolerated and accepted him. I even felt sorry for him. But I didn't stare. Poor guy.

I'd understand it if he was some thug running out with unpaid items, because I don't like criminals and they are a threat and they deserve to be stared at and judged. But not some harmless disabled individual. They deserve dignity.


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kraftiekortie
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15 Dec 2021, 6:21 am

Yep. They certainly do.

People are just so stupid sometimes.



Erjoy29
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15 Dec 2021, 11:55 am

I 100% agree.

One of my clients was in the lobby waiting for her appointment. This client is both physically and mentally disabled. She is a very sweet and kindhearted girl. 20-something years old. She is thin, physically frail, and her walk is somewhat off balance. She has a very high tone of voice. She’s actually my favorite client. Another client in the lobby gave her this disturbed look like “What are you doing here? I am really uncomfortable by you. Go away.” That other client appeared really stuck up. Wealthy. Dressed really well. But This client looked threatened by her. It hurt me to see that. One time this client said to me “I really don’t like teenagers. Especially teenage boys. They make fun of my disabilities a lot. I try to stay away from teenagers”.

People need to wake up.



Joe90
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15 Dec 2021, 1:57 pm

This is why I'm more self-conscious around strangers than I am around friends, family and colleagues. Strangers will stare and judge even if you have a visible disability that makes it obvious you're not a threat. They stare because they don't understand. Strangers staring isn't always to intently intimidate. They stare because they don't have as much empathy for people they don't know as many autistics here make out they do. I can read facial expressions and body language easily so I can tell the difference between someone being sympathetic or curious and someone being offended or judgemental.


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AprilR
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15 Dec 2021, 2:10 pm

^This. I have always been careful of hiding anything about me that is out of the ordinary. I was even self conscious of the way i walk and where to put my hands and such. I copied people's behavior and voice tones from the movies i watched so i can blend in.

It's because i know that people have zero empathy for the visibly mentally disabled. They don't even bother to hide their ugliness.