I went to the Walmart yesterday in the morning to do some unnecessary shopping. I got into one of the self-service cashier stations. As I gathered my things and the machine spits out my change I drop a dime. I guess the cashier manning the self-service machines saw and proceeded to help me. Without warning she goes underneath my wheelchair just for a dime. I could feel my body and jaw start to tense, my throat start to close and I quickly tell her ” I got it, thanks” and then she says under her breath ” OK I thought I would help.” and this is not the only time something like this has happened to me. On another occasion I was paying my bills at a grocery store, and was trapped between two people. One of them grabbed on to my chair and without warning started to back me out of the space. I quickly put on my breaks and once again say I GOT IT! he was a little nicer than the Walmart girl. And finally, This one also takes place at a grocery store. I was paying my bills and doing a little grocery shopping. As I was maneuvering with my left hand and shoving receipts and wallet in my back pack with my right hand somebody from behind takes them out of my hand and then I hear this voice say to me “Here, honey let me help you with that.” That launched me into a full blown panic attack because she came to me from behind. I have a system, maneuver with the left, shove the right, I ended up calling my sister because she knows how to calm me down and I had temporarily forgotten why I was there in the first place. As I was regaining my composure and with the help of my sister on the phone I successfully finished my shopping.
I don’t mind help every once in a while but I have experienced “help” that either someone has knocked me down or has done some type of damage to my wheelchair. All of my life people are constantly wanting to help me because they are under the notion that because I’m physically disable I must need a lot of help which is not entirely true. I always appreciate excellent help especially when reaching stuff off the top shelves. What I don’t like is people helping me without asking if I actually need it.