Airports can be fraught places for everyone. I find them particularly stressful, unsure if I’ll be able to get into my seat, go to the toilet, be shushed, ignored or dropped. They are, though, part of being able to visit amazing places like Toronto where we’ve been for the last week or so.
I’m back at home now after an overnight flight, very tired, spaced-out, and more than a little sheepish after behaving in a way that I’m embarrassed about.
Ultimately it was a minor thing but it caught me at the wrong moment and I snapped at someone in a way they didn’t deserve.
After a hectic time checking in and going through security at Toronto airport, and struggling to find our way to the departure gate, we eventually made it to the elevator along with another wheelchair user and their airport assistant. I was with Leftwing Idiot and Jen when I heard a member of staff shouting to their colleague in the elevator “What about that one”, pointing at me.
I flashed with rage, turned to her and said aggressively ‘I have a fucking name; don’t call me ‘That one’. I then immediately wanted to curl up with shame at what I’d said.
Canada is a very friendly country and we have been treated so well during our stay, but after not much sleep and a lot of being shunted around in the airport this comment was one dehumanising moment too many.
The elevator was silent and then the doors closed so I didn’t have a chance to apologise or explain. It’s not ok to point and refer to someone as ‘This one’ or ‘That one’, but neither is it ok to be rude, and I deeply regret losing my temper.
I’m trying to be kind to myself, though, and let it go. I really hope that the person on the receiving end was able to do that too.