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comments due to negative press coverage

panther Member Posts: 251 Courageous
Has anyone else found that members of the public are being very negative towards them because of all the stories that keep being put in the papers of people playing the benefits system?

A lot of people on here know my problems with my bunion surgery and the on going foot surgery after that I've gone through in the last few years and I think you'll be as shocked as I was by the following story.

Last Thursday someone I know stopped me in the street and asked me if I'd seen the papers she was reffering to an article something about I think it was 4 million households don't work or something.

This person then went on to complain about that. But then turned round and said "Mind you I don't mean to be blunt but it like you isn't it if they stopped messing around with your feet and just amputated them, and gave you those bionic limbs you see people being given nowadays you'd be normal and be able to walk and get a job!!!"

What the hell are you supposed to respond when someone says something like that? I've been too angry and upset to post this on here until now but would be interested to hear what other people would of said or done.
At the moment it's really making me feel like I don't want to go out because nearly everyday someone stops me to make some remark on when am I going back to work or to ask me if I've seen the latest article in the papers about benefits



  • mafala
    mafala Member Posts: 71 Listener
    It's terrible how the propaganda from the government is making people turn against other people like this. It's a lot easier to cut benefits if you make out that those receiving them are scroungers and benefit cheats. Don't pay any notice to those people who make remarks, Helen. They are buying into the propaganda because it appeals to their pettiness. Shame on them.
  • panther
    panther Member Posts: 251 Courageous
    Hi Mafala, I know you're right but I was just really upset and shocked that someone could say what they said. I probably wouldn't of been too bad if the person hadn't known me because I could of dimissed it because they didn't know me.
    But this person has known me for a number of years I often bump in to her and she knows that I worked for a number of years, she's seen my health go downhill over the years and also knows all about the bunion surgery and the on going foot surgery I am going through since that.
    I guess it's just hard to take because I'd never say something like that to someone. I thought that kind of pettiness ended when I left school
  • mafala
    mafala Member Posts: 71 Listener
    I hear you. When it's someone you know and who knows you, a remark like that is even more hurtful. I hope you struck her off your Christmas card list.
  • acrossthepond
    acrossthepond Member Posts: 36
    Hi Helen,

    I am sorry that your "friend" said such horrible things to you. If it's any consolation, I have experienced a good deal of negativity in regard to my issues too. My latest experience was with a group of people that I would have sworn truly understood what I deal with each day. I was utterly shocked to discover that it had all been lip service. Even though it has been quite awhile since this happened, it is still a very painful issue. I hadn't realized how much resentment was below the surface, in the hearts of those I called friends.

    They seemed to feel that since I have a mild form of CP, I should just be grateful and move on and not let it affect me. They simply do not accept the fact that I cannot control how and when my body gives out or cannot keep up with a pace set by others. They will not accept the fact that some days I function better than others and some days I barely function. Spasticity and dystonia sometimes rule my day and, therefore, my activities.

    I worked until it was no longer possible. Toward the end of my working career, I actually had a family member drive me to work and pick me up because driving long distances caused my body to tense up so much that it drained the energy that I needed to do my job. Even then, by the time I returned home, I was barely able to function and I was in tremendous pain.

    Unfortunately, I think as the economy continues to decline and unemployment rises, I will face even more negativity. Since people judge me by what they see, I'm somewhat of an easy target, so I understand why you don't want to go out. I have those days too. Some days I don't even want to update my doctors because I get tired of having to list all the issues and conditions etc. I don't even want to talk about it but I know it's the only way to try to resolve some of it.

    As for those who make ignorant comments, I walk away. Stupidity should not be dignified with a response. Idiots don't deserve answers because they have already formed an opinion and nothing you say will register with them. Whatever you do, don't let them get you down. Joyce
  • panther
    panther Member Posts: 251 Courageous
    Yes this person is definately off my christmas card list though I don't think she was on it to start with she is just someone I see most days when I wheel down to the shops.
    The thing that annoys me is I'm sure there are going to be far more comments from people as all the talk of benefit cuts and getting people off benefits continues, but I don't hear people going up to people who are unemployed and saying to them isn't it about time you got a job so why should we as disabled people be considered to be such easy targets for these kind of remarks.
    If anyone else has had remarks made to them what has been said and how did you react to it.

  • Hymerkar
    Hymerkar Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    Hi Helen, sorry to hear this - its the last thing you need at the moment.

    I havent had anyone say anything directly to me, but I have had some comments, believe it or not from a fellow disabled person, about bubbling people up to the benefits agency if she thinks they are cheating the system, I must add that she 'goes out to work' as she always reminds me. I take no notice, I know I am entitled to what I get off the government and its nothing to do with anyone else.

    What has happened to me recently though, infact this weekend, is a noticeable change in attitudes towards my mobility scooter. The first instance was when I went into a local bakery to buy a pastie and ended up getting a very long lecture on my safety in the shop on my scooter. It seems that someone had been in the shop and run into the fridge pushing the fridge (A VERY LARGE GLASS DISPLAY FRIDGE) into the shopkeeper and squashing her against the wall. Apparently the lady on the mobility scooter didnt take her finger off the control and there was no stopping the fridge. A story I had to sit and listen to sympathetically, but I find hard to believe. It made me feel very unwelcome in the shop, but there is no way I could have got off and walked in to get my pastie, so I had to grin and bear it but wont go there again. Next, I was waiting for my other half at a very busy motorhome show, when a woman stopped and stared at me and eventually said "Why are you sat on that"? Before I could answer, she said "Like me are you? Had a knee transplant? I have got a big TGA Breeze 4, its a lovely machine". I looked at her in shock, at her asking why I was sat on my scooter, and before I could stop myself I replied "Oh, no. I was born with Cerebral Palsy, my disability is REAL." I felt awful but she had embarassed me, and belittled my little scooter! Further on in the Motorhome show, I found myslef in the middle of lots of motorhomes for sale which had been parked very close together. I drove along looking between each until I found a suitably wide gap. As I turned down it, I heard a voice very loudly behind me say "She wont get down there with that and if she scratches that motorhome I wont be very pleased with her". I was absoloutly livid, but as I got through - without leaving a mark (LOL) I turned to give her a piece of my mind but she was gone. Later that evening, I was out on my walker for a little excersise in a field designated to just the members of a camping club we belong to. My partner and I were the marshals for our club, and as such were responsible for this part of the site. A man was wandering around carrying a brief case, obviously a salesman looking for one of our club members. I approached him and asked if I could help him, he looked at me and ignored me. I followed him and asked again, he said he was ok. He obviously thought I was the villiage idiot. Eventually, he gave in and reluctantly said he was looking for the weekenders club. I said "You have found the weekenders club and I am the marshal, now can I help you? " Embarassed, he told me who he was looking for, I pointed him in the right direction and smugly walked away.

    Its hard to say what we would do and how we would react in the circumstances, as each situation is different, but after this weekend I am ready to stand up and speak up and not be walked over. Its not going to be easy as I find it hard to offend people - although its people offending me who have started to change my attitude.

    Whatever happens, please dont let them get you down and keep you from going out. Go out and hold your head up high and when people ask you about going to work, tell them you do work. You work 24/7 and dont get any time off, having CP is a full time job and you get no weekends off and no annual leave, in return you get a pittance off the goverment to survive on. See how they like that.

    Take care Helen and Joyce and anyone else struggling with these issues.


  • panther
    panther Member Posts: 251 Courageous
    Hi Karen Good to hear from you on this one sorry you've noticed a change in attitude from people too. And yes I know you're right about going out and holding your head up high etc but some days you just haven't got the energy to cope with it all along with everything else
    Maybe I should take the view as you said that cp is my full time job and like you say there's no time off even for special occasions!!
    Take care talk to you soon Helen
  • Hymerkar
    Hymerkar Member Posts: 63 Courageous
    I know what you are saying XX


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