When Bev became disabled, she struggled to find the support she needed. Below, she talks about the challenges she’s faced and how differently she is treated as a disabled person. She also explains how Scope’s online community has made an enormous difference, opening up a world of support for her.
"I wonder – have you been stared at today? I mean, really stared at so you feel uncomfortable and judged? Have you been ignored in a shop? Has someone refused to talk to you and spoken to your partner instead? All of these thing have happened to me countless times in the last 2 years and they could happen again today. It’s made me feel very low and very lonely."
A traumatic time
"I went through a traumatic time, starting when my hearing went. I had to cope with other worrying symptoms too like problems walking, slurring my words and blurred vision. Dealing with just one of these difficulties was a challenge, never mind all of them – especially when I didn’t know what the cause was."
"Worse still, people started to treat me in ways I just wasn’t prepared for."
"I started using a wheelchair when I went out and I couldn’t believe how many people stared at me. I felt like I was being judged and it made me feel angry and upset."
"One day, when I was with my husband, he politely asked a woman in a shop to let us pass by with me in my wheelchair. She reacted badly, giving my husband a nasty look – he found himself apologising even though we hadn’t done anything wrong."
"What made it worse was I couldn’t hear what the woman was saying. All I could see was everyone in the shop just standing still and watching. I felt so degraded – I told my husband I wanted to go home."
"It happened again and again – people ignoring me and talking to my husband instead. I went out less, and I became very lonely. On top of everything else, I was facing financial difficulties. At my lowest point, I felt I couldn’t go on."
"It was a question about the benefits I was entitled to that drove me to seek support, and that’s when I discovered Scope’s online community. Scope gave me the answer to my question, and so much more."
A community of support
"Thanks to Scope, I went from feeling alone to finding a whole community of people to listen to me and support me. They were so helpful especially those who had been through the same things as me."
"They made useful suggestions, like asking my doctor to refer me to a hearing therapist. I never would have done that because I didn’t know they existed. Sometimes it was just amazing to talk about my feelings with people who understood."
"Now the long wait is over. I have a diagnosis and medication. Together with my family, I’m dealing with it. I’ve finally won my fight to get a carer’s allowance – it’s such a relief. I’ve even started to find time to focus on arts and crafts, which I love."
"I know that, whatever happens, Scope’s online community will be there for me."
Thank you for your support
"It’s thanks to donations like yours that Scope’s online community is there for me, so I know the difference you make. If I didn’t have support from the community, I don’t think I’d be here today."
"It’s been a very hard journey, and I still struggle some days. But having Scope, it’s my lifeline and I’m so grateful to supporters like you for giving me this lifeline."
3 million disabled people say they always or often feel lonely. Our online community gives people like Bev somewhere to turn for advice and support. Thank you for helping us grow our online community so we can reach more people with vital support.