Two people, same seat

I want to talk about something I experienced on the bus the other day. And the differences I noticed between two complete strangers. I feel this is pretty self explanatory but you will understand why I have went into detail shortly. I always try to be a considerate passenger; I only use one seat and give as much room to the person sitting next to me as possible. I do have to sit at the front of the bus in the disabled area; as I’m not very good at walking on a moving bus.

Recently, I’ve found a convenient way to spend my bus journey. Usually I’ll be writing blog posts or editing them on my phone, most likely keeping myself to myself. The reason I point this out is because the only reason I noticed that someone had sat down beside me, was because they actually sat ON me. She also managed to pin my arm under hers – to the point where my arm/elbow was pushed into my side and I was no longer able to move. Not only would this have been completely obvious to the person but she also made no attempt to re-adjust herself.

The thing is I suffer with a trapped nerve in neck, nerve pain in arms and I am unable to have anything touch my outer thighs due to sensitivity and pain. So in most cases, I would try to move or ask them to move due to the pain. Don’t worry I know what you are thinking! Try to move or ask her to move….

I initially tried to move my arm gently hoping she would get the hint and move, she didn’t budge. Secondly, I said ‘Excuse me..’ but she ignored me. Within 5 minutes, my right arm was completely numb and the pain was increasing. It got to the point, where I just couldn’t take the pain any more and had tried all possible options. Therefore, I used all my strength to pull my arm up from under hers and in doing so I ended up elbowing her, ever so slightly.

Within seconds of my elbow touching her body, she spun round, told me I was rude and accused me assaulting her, I pointed out that I had asked her to move and she didn’t. It was then, that she punched my arm, 3 times. I honestly didn’t know how to react – I advised her that this was not okay! She said it was justifiable because I had elbowed her, and advised me that she was going to move seats – which I said ‘I thought that would be for the best!’

In reality, I was concerned if she didn’t move that this could progress into something more. The only thing I could put it down to was that she clearly woke up on the wrong side of the bed that morning. When she vacated the bus she put up the middle finger. I tried to keep my cool and just smiled back – this allowed me to be the bigger person in the situation. I’m amazed that not one person said anything or asked if I was okay. I know that this isn’t the worst thing that happens in public but it has certainly made me rethink my safety on buses.

On my way home, I sat in the same seat and my journey was okay besides me feeling a little anxious. Nearing my home town, a lovely gentleman sat down besides me and I noticed it straight away, pain. Maybe I should explain – throughout the day, the sensitivity on my outer thigh gradually gets worse and I realised that I shouldn’t have sat in the same seat, as it meant that someone may brush against my leg. (Trust me I was cursing myself in my head, for being so stupid!) I inched myself away from the gentleman but still couldn’t get a lot of relief. I felt sick having to ask if he could move a little, in fear of being punched or worse.

I apologised to the man and explained that my right leg is quite sensitive right now and he was so understanding. He moved a little and checked to see if he was still touching my leg. He was also very considerate, putting his arm out, to hold on to the bar in front when we neared a corner or roundabout just to ensure that he didn’t slide in to me. He made more than enough effort and I was grateful. He said he hoped my leg got better and was just a genuinely, loving, gentle, giant. Who didn’t make me feel silly for my request.

The reason I wanted to write this post is because I want us all to think about our actions. I want to be looked upon in a positive light, like the gentleman on my journey home. I recently had a conversation with a friend about what we say and how other people may perceive it. For example; If someone said that they were tired of arguing with their mum and you were to reply back that ‘they should be grateful because of x, y or z’.

In that moment, you may be coming across in a ‘judging manner’ rather than being supportive. Your comment could make that person feel that they are unable to vent, or made to feel like they are being ungrateful. I’m sure most of us have been in this exact same situation and I want everyone who reads this post to try and think before they speak or type. So next time you go to post something, don’t just hit the enter button, consider how your words might be interpreted from another point of view.

Until next time.

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