Not all illnesses and disabilities look the same
There are so many misunderstandings and inaccuracies about what constitutes disability and illness. Just because someone’s disability or illness isn’t blatantly visible doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Nothing proves this more than Lexi Baskin, a college student battling cancer, who’s car was recently vandalized for being parked in an accessible space.
Baskin shared the photos of her car and shared the upsetting experience on her Facebook page.
“Just a gentle reminder that you have no idea what is going on in other people’s lives,” she wrote. “Just because you can’t physically observe something does not mean that a person is not feeling it.”
One of the signs on her car was a cruelly written note: “Your tag must be borrowed or fake. Not handicapped, just lazy.” Jeez. Not exactly the words of a Good Samaritan, huh?
“Just because I look fine in the two minutes I walk from my car to the building does not mean I am not battling cancer and undergoing radiation treatment,” Baskin responded in her post.
She makes it clear she’s not asking for sympathy, but wishes to educate people about invisible illnesses and to share a reminder that we’re all fighting our own battles. Baskin is legally allowed to park in accessible spaces due to the effects of her cancer treatment, which leave her completely exhausted.
Baskin tells Scary Mommy she has no idea who vandalized her car this way, and she isn’t sure if she ever will. Her post quickly went viral, with many people sharing similar experiences. “The response has been mostly people saying they’ve had the same type of judgement happen to them and that makes me so sad,” she says.
Consider the amount of negative energy it must take to motivate someone to take notice of Baskin on multiple occasions, create these “flyers” and plan to tape them all over her car for no other reason than to shame and humiliate. Who are these people who took it upon themselves to deem who lives with an illness or disability and who doesn’t?
They most likely have a stereotypical view, which just adds to the stigma and many misconceptions surrounding disabilities.
If only people were as eager to put positive energy out into the world.
“Be kind to people. Make people cry tears of joy, and not frustration or sadness. Love one another,” she writes. “I will choose to love this person and pray for them. I hope that the darkness in their heart is replaced with unconditional love and happiness.”