My Heart, Your Home: What has happened to our village of support?   

Saturday, 9 March 2013

What has happened to our village of support?

I have always been the type of person who gets out of my seat for an elderly man or woman, and a pregnant lady. I am the type of person who see's a Mother struggling and offer my help. I help the elderly to their cars with their groceries. These were just a few life lessons that I was taught growing up, to always help those who are less capable than yourself. Mostly people respond warmly and appreciate every offered hand and arm of support.

I dont expect special treatment in return, but I guess, to an extent, I respect the same general compassion extended to myself and other patrons of the community. I believe that it is just the right thing to do. It is social etiquette. It is humanity. It is manners and it is just common sense. Nobody likes to be the person struggling on their own and everybody loves the feeling of a good deed, given and received. 

Since I have been pregnant I actually feel like people have gone out of their way to make life harder for me. Almost as though people are punishing me, like they don't approve perhaps? I have tried, mostly, to ignore these moments and to brush it off. I try and remind myself that people are busy in their own lives and that they are perhaps having their own bad days. But today, incident after incident, has just put me in a state of disbelief. How can people be so very unsupportive?

Throughout this pregnancy there have been multiple incidents where I have left the situation in tears and shock. Here are just a few of my experiences, these will forever be moments that I remember and lessons that I will learn from. Treatment of people, I never want to give.

:: In the middle of a week of torrential down pour raining I had to go to Woolworths to pick up some necessities. I was past 30 weeks pregnant so was carry a very noticeable bump. As I walked out of woolworths through the rain began my 300 metre walk to my car, carefully placing each foot so as not to fall over and carrying my 5 bags of heavy shopping. A woman decided to cross over the carpark and walk directly at me. Making me have to walk out into the line of traffic for her to get by other wise we would have collided. 

:: Sitting in a chemist at 38 weeks pregnant with my sick Daughter who was very hot and miserable waiting for our prescription to be filled. Evelyn had laid herself on the ground. There was no one around so I wasn't in too great a hurry to get her up but began trying to encourage her to move calmly so as not to cause a complete meltdown. A woman walked to the end of the aisle where Evelyn was laying and had on of those trolley baskets trailing behind her. She paused momentarily but did not acknowledge Evelyn or myself. I could see what was about to happen so I said to Evelyn, "Honey we need to move out of the way or this woman will run over you with her trolley". Before I had even finished the sentence the woman began to walk again and as predicted, ran her basket trolley over the top of Evelyn's legs. When I said how very rude it was she still did not acknowledge me but just walked away.

:: On the same day, in the same chemist as I was waiting to be served at the counter, I was holding Evelyn in my arms. I was holding her medication, my purse, my keys, my phone and the tweezers. Evelyn took the tweezers and not long after dropped them on the ground. I stood there for just a while wondering what on earth I do here. I decided to slip my thong off and pick them up with my toes as that was far easier than the idea of having to bend down. Turns out that there was a man watching my every move. Instead of offering a hand, he simply laughed at my talented toe picking up and made a passing comment. 

:: At 36 weeks pregnant I was sitting in the RTA with Evelyn in the pram. She was irritable and tired of waiting. As was I. She had taken my passport and then dropped it on the ground. I was getting quite tired of bending over and picking these things up so I left it there, to be picked up when our number was called. A man came over and says to me "Ahhhh you have dropped something in the pathway". I say "Yes my Daughter keeps throwing things on the ground and its becoming too hard to pick them up all the time, thank you for letting me know". He grunts and walks away. No offer to pick it up for me, just judgement that I could leave it there.

:: Young girls in shopping malls who walk four abroad and see you coming and seem to bind together and walk at you like a wall, forcing you to flush up against the side of the shop to allow them past

:: People with trolleys

:: Woman passing through the doors of public toilets, expecting that the door be held open for them but not willing to do the same in return.

:: Lets not forget about the man at the petrol station who forced me to crawl beneath his car

There have been so many moments where I have suddenly felt cheated. I don't expect special treatment because I am pregnant. But I do expect some general consideration and compassion and when these situations occur it makes me a little bit sad. Each time I have left feeling teary and wondering where our village and community has gone?

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