… on the tolerance, compassion and understanding spectrum:
This reflects my own experiences in Britain rather closely too.
I am not in a wheelchair and I am not autistic.
But I was/am a foreigner, self-employed, a woman, over 35 (= “senile” and useless, no longer good for making babies), and oh, shock, not married and not docile enough for a woman.
That’s enough to make you targeted and to make many people in Britain, including police officers, believe that you deserve it.
I get targeted because I don’t behave like a lemming.
But I am sure that there are other locations in the world where this kind of stuff happens.
I have learned that the simple fact of being a self-employed single woman – or a single woman working shifts in, for example, tourism or at a law firm – can be enough to raise eyebrows in many locations in the world.
If the way you live is not exactly the same as the living patterns of those around you, it can make you targeted. More so in Britain, though, which thrives on (pub) gossip.
I find that hard to believe, hard to understand, but it also makes me feel very sorry for the people who do this kind of thing.
I mean, don’t these people have anything better to do? What kind of life are you living if it revolves around the fact that there is someone in your neighbourhood who is not living the exact same way as you are?
Having to focus on that to give your own life meaning, that’s a form of poverty…
In Britain, the main issue, however, appears to be that you’re not supposed to stand up for yourself, that you’re supposed to take this crap lying down and let people walk all over you.
As soon as you stand up for yourself, things tend to get a lot worse as many people are likely to gang up on you.
Not everyone! There will also be people who’ll stand up for you, although you may never find out.
But if you don’t back off, don’t let them bully you into a corner – police, city council, what have you – then in the long run, you may gain some ground.
It forces you to focus on other people, though, people you don’t even know, and it takes attention away from things that are more important than other people’s pettiness.