“The Permit”

I might not look sick but I am.   I might not look disabled but I am.   I have an invisible disability.   I can’t carry more than 5 lbs in my hands… so I have a disability  permit.

Can you imagine the stares, and dirty looks I get from others?   I’m not even going say “don’t judge a book by its cover”.    We all  know that we shouldn’t judge but we do.  Its human nature.  Every time someone passes us, comes close to our space – in our head we’re judging, we’re thinking  “WTF are they wearing?”  “love that purse” “she’s pretty” “he’s ugly” etc..  That’s the truth…is it not?   The difference is we tend to use our filters and a great deal of this judging is in our heads.   Myself.. I happened to make a career out of it… I became a counsellor.   I get to judge people all day long and hear myself speak…What a wicked combination.

I am judged because of the permit on my windshield.   I get the nastiest looks.  People even walk extremely close to my car when I’m parked in a spot to make sure I have “the” permit.  When I first got it, I had this older couple walk past me and say “it’s probably for one of her parents, shame on her, they would be so disappointed”.   My reaction….I TOTALLY lost my shit… I grabbed my permit out of the window, walked very aggressively towards their car and yelled “THIS IS MY PERMIT!!! DO YOU WANT TO SEE MY ID? LOOK ITS RIGHT HERE!!!”  I scared the living shit out of them.  They didn’t even respond.  They got into their car and took off.   So not only did they think I was a bad person, they also thought I was crazy as shit.   I’ve been told that I’m intimidating… I don’t see it.   LOL.

My girls and I travel to the states every year (this tradition has been put on hold since Jan 20, 2017) and my permit can travel with me so we take it.  Even one of my girls feels awkward about “the” permit and pretends that she’s physically challenged by limping  as we walk to and from the car, even though the fucking permit isn’t even hers.   I just shake my head and laugh my ass off.  I’ve explained more than once my permit is legal and it’s my right but with me not appearing disabled it makes others uncomfortable.

I’ve been told that I’m “lucky” because I get prime parking.  With comments like that, in my head I hear a talk show host saying “because you have a dual autoimmune diagnosis, you get a permit! The ability to park in prime spots! For the rest of your life!”   It is convenient, don’t get me wrong.  I am thankful however in order to qualify for it, you have to be disabled in some form.  So it doesn’t seem like much of a prize.

I hate being disabled.  I hate not being able to use my hands.    I have adapted though.  I carry everything with my forearms now.   I grab a shopping cart every time I shop so I don’t have to carry my purse.   It weights a ton…. You know how some women are… they carry everything in their purse from make-up, sewing kit,  to Tide on the go.. Yup..that’s me …I’ll admit, I carry my house in my purse.  The permit does make errands easier.   At times, I am bothered by all the judging, so I joke about it.   I make light of it and wear high heels {I refuse to give up the heels} on purpose to really screw with people’s heads when I park in the disability spot.

I have even been stopped by the police… twice.   The first officer just wanted verification the permit was mine.  The second officer wanted to not only verify but also wanted to know why I have it.    I responded with  “Officer, we both know that your question goes against my Human Rights BUT I want to educate others.  I have severe RA and Lupus”.  I further explained my invisible disability and he was very receptive and thankful for the lesson.   Since then,  I have taken the approach… well,  it really depends on the day to be honest… I still give the people with the scrunch up faces  “the” finger, at times. {LOL}   On most occasions though, I try to engage others to educate them.

I come from the mindset that everyone has a story and not all stories are visible.  Most of our society has not recognized this as of yet.  So when I’m in a good mood and have the patience, I will answer questions and educate others.  However many a time, I am of the mindset of “ yes,  that’s my mother fucking permit.. soo back off”… using my inside voice… Of course.  😛

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