Not all disabilities are visible, as a recent encounter between a woman and a Karen reminds us. The Mrs. W on TikTok shared her experience when she was just trying to run an errand to Walmart but was, instead, berated by another woman.
According to Mrs. W, she was babysitting a 6-month-old baby and going about her day. She pulled up to a vacant handicapped parking spot in the lot and headed inside to do her shopping. When she came back to put her groceries in the car, she was faced with an immediate confrontation by the woman parked next to her.
TikToker details how she was confronted over her handicap parking pass at Walmart.
"So, I came to the grocery store and I came early because it's empty and that's the way I like it," she started off her story.
The woman, Mrs. W claims, could very easily see her handicap placard hung from her rearview mirror. When the woman started on a tirade, she accused Mrs. W of taking the placard from someone else or buying it online. She told Mrs. W that she had "no business parking in a handicap spot."
Mrs. W was taken aback by the woman's nerve to scream at her in front of the baby and make such horrendous accusations, including the claim that Mrs. W was "clearly not disabled."
"I started to justify to her why I had it," Mrs. W continued. "And then I realized, 'No, we're not going to justify s--- to somebody that's clearly unhinged. So, I ignored her. Put my groceries in my car. I strapped the baby in and I pulled over here because it had me a little shaken."
As it turns out, Mrs. W has rheumatoid arthritis which gives her painful inflammation due to an issue with her immune system. While the disability can affect a variety of body parts, it typically shows up in someone's joints. As a result, Mrs. W had two knee replacements before she was 36 years old.
"I have really good days... [Like] today, where I'm hurting, but I'm functional and then I have days where I just can't leave the house, right? Because it hurts so bad," she elaborated. "But it is, what I guess you would call, an invisible illness. Although the eight-inch scars on both of my knees are not invisible."
Mrs. W's take away from the incident was that "people are nuts." She then sent a message out to her viewers. "You have no idea why someone is parking in a handicap parking space and, quite frankly, it's none of your business," she said.
Her comments were flooded with love and support. "I'm so sorry this happened. Invisible disabilities are hard to explain to people and it's hard for them to grasp sadly. Be strong! I'm there with ya!" wrote one viewer.
"If they see you walking, they think you don’t deserve it. People are jerks. I’m sorry this happened to you," wrote one sympathizer in her comment section.
Many other commenters shared their own stories and struggles with invisible disabilities. As it turns out, this particular Karen is not alone in a rude campaign against handicapped badge holders. "I'm dealing with CHF and I had a lady today ask me why I needed to park in a handicap spot and I said well if you need to know Miss Nosey..." said another person.
"My dad was parked in handicap, then pulled the car up to the store front. He was yelled at until my great grandma was pushed out in her [wheelchair] by staff," empathized another.