I’M 37 years old and I’m disabled.

There are days where it’s managed and days where it’s a physical struggle to get out of bed.

Should I choose to park in a disabled bay (which I have a blue badge for) I shouldn’t have to justify or quantify my disability to anyone.

I’m frustrated to be writing this but it needs to stop.

Four times in the past couple of weeks I’ve been the subject of prejudice – all because I’ve parked in a disabled parking bay.

While this isn’t the first time I’ve had looks or comments made as a result of my disability, as the world is reopening I seem to be experiencing it more often than not in the specific setting of the car park.

The instances have ranged from the not so subtle looks up and down of disapproval as I’ve parked up or got out of the car to the lady stood next to my window speaking loudly to her husband.

Going on about who did I think I was using that space when it’s for disabled people.

I wasn’t aware but apparently I’m too young to be disabled so I’m simply rude and inconsiderate of others parking there.

It’s worth nothing this was late in the evening so there were plenty of spaces left, disabled and otherwise.

The sad thing about the whole situation is that the people who’ve passed comment/given me a filthy look won’t even remember it now, but I do.

I still remember the hurt and upset that I felt as I sat in my car and waited for the lady to leave before getting out.

The point of my rant is this – please think about how words and actions can have an impact on others.

If your friend or family deems it appropriate to judge another based on something they know nothing about please educate them that it isn’t acceptable.

In the same way that sexism and racism aren’t – to judge another for something beyond their control is wrong.

It’s as simple as that.

Being disabled does not equate to being a wheelchair user.

People are eligible for a blue badge for a variety of reasons, some visible, some hidden and no-one should be made to feel they have to justify their disability due to the ignorance of others.