This morning there was a buzz at the castle door. My support worker was in the other room so I crawled through to answer it.
It was a delivery driver with a package for one of my neighbours, and I said I was happy to sign for it. He looked at me kneeling on the ground and we had the following exchange:
Delivery driver: “What happened?”
Me: “I’m a wheelchair user so I crawl on my knees when I’m at home.”
Turning to leave, he smiled strangely and said, “You’re being punished!”
Me: “I’m not being punished, what do you mean?”
He didn’t answer but just waved his hand at me and walked away.
This exchange left me feeling strange and confused. Completely out of the blue in the middle of doing a favour for my neighbour, my body, identity and character had been challenged in a very surreal way.
I’ve contacted the delivery company so they can look into it further. It’s very important that if you’re doing a job that involves going to people’s homes and talking to them, you should be prepared to encounter and respect anyone who moves or communicates in different ways without judgement.