Monday, 2 February 2015

Curses on Carpark Vigilantes

Yesterday, I saw a rather disturbing news story about a "carpark vigilante" leaving a nasty note on the car of people who had a valid disabled parking perming.

I asked on the Sometimes, it is Lupus Facebook page if any lupies had similar experiences.

A disturbing number of people responded that they had been verbally abused, given strange looks, challenged about their right to use a disabled parking space, etc.

I realise "carpark vigilantes" think they are doing the right thing.  They think people are taking disabled parking spots without needing to.

The trouble is, they don't understand a simple, basic, truth.  You can't always tell if people have disabilities. Many are not obvious. Many are not even visible.

Lupus, like many other chronic illnesses, is not obvious to the casual observer, yet it can make mobility a painful, fatiguing nightmare.

To get permits, we need doctors to agree that we need them.  It's not automatic.  Despite the popular myth, they are not "too easy to get".

Permits are issued to people who genuinely need them, whether or not that need is obvious to a random stranger in a carpark.

So to all potential "carpark vigilantes" out there, on behalf of all people with invisible, disabling, conditions:

I curse you "carpark vigilante"
I curse you, 
and beg God to give you 
my symptoms
just for a few weeks.
May you feel like you are dragging
tonnes of weight with every step.
May being awake be enough
to make you feel you have run a marathon.
May every joint of your body
give you agony.
May you constantly need to urgently 
find the facilities,
May your stomach churn and
grumble ominously,
And may you meet someone like
yourself in the carpark.

I only want this for you for a few weeks,
because no-one,
not even you,
deserves it for a lifetime.



  1. Not obvious disabilities are always very hard to "show" and make understand to people.

  2. I agree that many diseases and illnesses are invisible. However, walking itself is a very visible function. It's virtually impossible to have severely limited physical walking while showing no visible sign that your severely struggling. If you can get from point A to point B just like any healthy person, in what way is that severely limiting?

    1. The person in the news story's problem was with their heart. With a lot of people with autoimmune conditions, the problem is fatigue. They can walk, but not far.

    2. And "not far" has been defined by most states to be 200 feet. So unless it's a quick in/out like a convenience store, there will be physical signs even for those with fatigue. Like at big box stores, malls, grocery stores, event centers, etc. At these places they will be walking slowly to reserve energy and/or stopping often to rest.

  3. Even if they are walking slowly they might be challenged, I know two people who were. In fact, I was with one of them and she was challenged practically as soon as she left the car, without time to observe her walking. From Katherine


Thanks for being part of the conversation.

Your comment will be visible after moderation.