My UPS guy may be the best man I’ve ever met
So, if you guys remember, I ripped my liner for my prosthetic leg a few months ago and had to get a new one. Well, I’m apparently really rough on hardware, because I did it again. I needed a new one as soon as possible. Without that liner, it really hurts to walk on my prosthetic.
I ordered it a while ago, but there was a mix up with the insurance, so it went to my prosthetic office instead of my house. So then it was overnight shipped to me.
Last night, the weather in East Tennessee was apparently apocalypse level. Literally every curve in the valley I live in is black ice. There has been so many wrecks and fire fighters declared a state of emergency and told everyone not to leave their houses. I came to terms with the fact that I would not be getting my liner.
Well, we just had a knock on the door. We opened it to see my sweet little UPS man in full snow gear holding the package my liner came in, but we didn’t see his truck. That precious man walked all the way to my house to give me my package. He told my mother “It looked really medical, and I saw your daughter’s name on it and saw that it was over night shipping so I figure it must have been important. I couldn’t just leave her waiting.”
Can I just say that I am delighted as fuck. That man saved me a lot of pain and blistering. Who knows when it would have shown up. The ice certainly isn’t going anywhere for a while.
I want to be everyone’s favorite amputee. That’s all.
Okay, let me teach you a little lesson in dealing with victims of traumatic injury or even someone who is born with a disability because I feel like it applies to them too.
We (most people of disability) have heard this sentence at least once:
“If that would have happened to me, I would have killed myself”
You MAY think this is a perfectly polite and kind thing to say. You MAY think you are paying this person a compliment by telling them how strong they are. But I feel the need to tell you that you are wrong.
This is offensive. You may not realize this, but this sentence implies that our lives as disabled people are no longer worth living. By saying this you are implying that our lives with disabilities are not enjoyable or fulfilling. You are saying that what happened to us/what we are born with is enough to make life unworthy of living.
Can you even imagine how fucking awkward that is to respond too?
“Hey, if I were you, I’d off myself because life would suck.”
“Oh. Well, thanks. Glad it wasn’t you.”
Look, I know what you are attempting to say, but just try to think about the weight of your words. You are implying that our situations are worth death and that isn’t true in the slightest.
Here are better alternatives;
“I don’t think I could handle that as well as you have.”
“You are doing a much better job than I could.”
“You are a stronger person than me.”
Really, just anything other than “I’d kill myself if that were me.” will do.