Some disabilities are invisible. That doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
Sarah Metcalfe, 35, is a PhD student at the University of York. She also has Fibromyalgia, an invisible disability that causes pain, chronic fatigue and muscle stiffness.
After parking her car in a disabled space at a Tesco store, the mum returned to a hand written note left by a judgmental passerby.
The note, attached to her car and found by her son before they left Tesco, read:
Sarah was deeply hurt by the unnecessary and untrue taunt made by a stranger. So she posted the note to Facebook with her own reply, hoping it would raise awareness about invisible illnesses.
It’s since been shared thousands of times, and started discussions around the globe about the issue.
Sarah’s response note read:
Dear shopper in Clifton Moor Tescos York car park at approx 6pm today the 30th of April 2015 who decided to leave this hurtful note on my car.
I know I may not look ill, in fact I choose to smile rather than cry, but I do suffer from a long term condition that causes pain and fatigue all over my body and these symptoms are:
* increased sensitivity to pain
* fatigue (extreme tiredness)
* muscle stiffness
* difficulty sleeping
* problems with mental processes (known as “fibro-fog”) – such as problems with memory and concentration headaches
* irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – a digestive condition that causes * stomach pain and bloating
* feeling too hot or too cold – this is because you’re not able to regulate your body temperature properly
* restless legs syndrome (an overwhelming urge to move your legs)
* tingling, numbness, prickling or burning sensations in your hands and feet (paraesthesia)
* anxiety and depression
Despite the fact that I work hard (I never take sick time), don’t claim disability benefits (not that it’s wrong for people that do) and I juggle work and family life I was really just having a BAD and very painful day.
Please don’t be so quick to judge people by appearances. I fear one day you may say the same to someone and it could really push them over the edge. Luckily I am open minded and know that appearances can be deceptive and that some people don’t know these things. But I would just like to say to you if your reading this now that it’s better to be kind than hateful- quite frankly you never know what kind of day a person is having and what the consequences of your actions will be.
I would be grateful if you are reading this if you could SHARE so that there’s a chance this person reads it.
The #MoreThanMeetsTheEye campaign, which was started by UK blogger Sam Cleasby after she was admonished for using the disabled toilet, takes a stand for millions around the world who live with an illness or disability that affects their lives but is unseen by others:
Have you faced judgement or abuse because of your invisible disability?