Can you feel it too? Every time I leave my place and venture out in to big scary public, there’s always one thing that consistently happens – I get started at, and it happens a lot. It’s an overwhelming feeling, feeling like you’re being put on display just when you’re grabbing some milk, but when you’re rolling on four wheels it’s hard not to get noticed.
And even though I’ve been injured for many years, people staring is something that still bugs me. But in retrospect, I do go through phases and this is not something I expected. When I was first injured, anyone who stared at me made me incredibly embarrassed, almost so much that I didn’t want to go out in public anymore. And then after a few years passed, I found my self-esteem and started to not care anymore.
All these years later I’m still incredibly confident, and have come a long way since my 14 year old self who got red in the face whenever anybody stared at my wheels. But even though you get confident and become used to being stared at, it’s never something you become 100% used to. And in the last year or so, the staring from the public has been bugging me again, and I’m not quite sure why.
You know when you’re out and you can just feel people’s eyes on you? That creepy crawly feeling you just can’t shake? Lately, that feeling is more pronounced than ever when I go out in public. Perhaps I need to stop being so aware of my surroundings? I am just one who always looks at people when I’m out, and I always notice when I’m being stared at. Have I reached my limit?
I wish I could get hypnotized and not care anymore, but the feeling of being stared at is something I don’t think anything can eliminate. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve that help me shake the annoyance so I don’t let it bug me too much. Wearing sunglasses helps, even though it makes me look like a diva…
Also, staying focused and getting done with my errands as soon as possible really helps. I also like shopping when it’s not as busy, during the weekdays or late at night just so I’m not the free carnival show.
One of my longtime PCA’s admitted to me that whenever we go out in public, she likes to give the evil eye to those who stare when I’m not noticing. She usually does it after we’ve passed them. She’ll turn around and look at them, knowing they’re staring at us. It’s always good for a laugh because they never expect it. She will give the body language too that says, “What do you think you’re looking at?” making them blush and look away. Oh how I love my PCA.
My longtime goal is to truly not let this bug me anymore. But…is this even possible? I’m not quite sure, but I refuse to give up trying. I would love to be able to go shopping completely uncaring of how people look at me, but even after 23 years I’m still not quite there yet.
Have you figured out how not to let staring bother you?