Turn My Lips Blue (cocacola_sorrow) wrote in bad_service,
Turn My Lips Blue

A small suck, but hurtful and potentially abelist

Background: I have psychotic schizophrenia, which was recently diagnosed after three hospitalisations and several years of symptoms. Whilst I don't present as the stereotypical schizophrenic suffer, I receive the Disability Support Pension, which entitles me to $2.50 transport all day on public transport. </background>

About a year ago, when I was 24, I caught a CDC 610 bus from the Sydney CBD to my home in Castle Hill. The following is the exchange I had with the bus driver:

Me: (Shows pensioner card) Could I get a pensioner excursion ticket?
Bus Driver: Sure, that's $2.50
Me: (Gives him money)
Bus Driver: (Gives me change and ticket and says in a friendly tone) Wow,you're lucky! You get to travel so cheap!
Me: Um, I actually have a mental illness and it sucks
Bus Driver: (Face falls)

I know I didn't handle myself very well and I probably should have just smiled and taken my seat, but his comment really hurt me and felt incredibly insensitive. He didn't mean it hurtfully and he was really friendly, but it just got to me. FWIW, I don't think I'm lucky. Before I got sick, I was a full time uni student, had a part time job and was more or less independent. Since I've been sick, I've had to give all of that up, although I'm slowly getting my independence back and going back to school to finish out my degree.

I'm probably over-reacting, but like I said, at the time the comment really hurt, even if it was just meant to be a friendly comment. It reminds me of the comment made by one of the nurses in hospital who, when I came back for my third hospitalisation in as many months, told me that "he should say welcome home, since this is like your home now".
Tags: public transit
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