2019,  advocacy,  CP related,  things people say

Picking my battles

Unfortunately I had to gently complain about an ableist comment that someone made about/to me last week. The comment had been shouted across to someone (it was about my access needs) and that had been my biggest issue with it. It’s one thing to say something inappropriate and ableist to me, it’s a whole nother ball game to shout it for hundreds of people to potentially hear. It was in one of my favourite places and the person I complained to I’ve known for a few years through there. She commented that I’m always patient with them.

And I thought “I’m not. “

I’m not. I’m picking my battles. If I go in screaming and shouting about what he said to me and how it was said I ruin the rest of the event for me. Or I get a reputation and that makes me uncomfortable. Or it becomes difficult to go back there because of what got said. And that’s somewhere I really enjoy and go to at least once a week.

And also, as I seem to tell CAB clients fairly regularly, taking the emotion out of it gets better results because yes it’s shit what happened to them but if you complain calmly people hear your point, not your anger.

But it’s about more than picking my battles. It’s about the fact things like this happen all the time and I’ve become a bit conditioned to it and ground down. Not to mention how exhausting being angry all the time can be.

There are many more moments like that where I either know it’s going to take more energy that I want to spend or I just can’t be bothered and let it go, than there are ones I complain about.

Later that weekend I posted to the CP group I sometimes use about it. I was trying to comment on the “you’re so patient” view vs the reality. And several people said what had been said wouldn’t have bothered them. One told me I needed to learn to pick my battles because it would be freeing and what had been said wasn’t a big deal. To be honest that pissed me off more than the original ableist comment. I replied that I do pick my battles but it was something that mattered to me. #

Then I decided to pick my battles and left the group.

One Comment

  • Fran Macilvey

    Hi Emma! Had to laugh – ironic laugh – at the comments on the CP website to your contribution. Oh I do so understand your frustration and yet, this endless desire to be really noticed as who we are, and accepted. But I’ve often thought we have to combine a saintly forebearance with a sense of humour and infinite wisdom…! A tall order for anyone!

    I’m glad I’ve looked you up again. (I lost all my feeder notifications recently…) and shall visit again. Meantime, thanks for sharing what is a common and vexing issue. Like the swan floating serenely across the water and pedalling like fury below the surface.

    Fran Xxx

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