A Woman Says No to Traveling With a Disabled Friend, and Gets Praised Instead of Shamed

10 months ago

Traveling with friends can be a fun and rewarding experience, but sometimes, it can also be a source of stress and conflict. That’s what happened to a woman who decided to say no to traveling with a disabled friend, and shared her story on Reddit. Instead of getting shamed for her choice, she received a lot of praise and support from other users who understood her situation.

Here is how it all started: I (30 y.o.) have a friend “Ashley” (also 30 y.o). Ashley and I have been friends since we were 13. We drifted apart after high school but stayed in touch. Ashley is disabled. She has fibromyalgia.

We planned to go on a short vacation together to the city which was Ashley’s idea, we planned this over a year in advance to stay for 3 nights.

The actual vacation was okay, but I found being around Ashley stressful. She was extremely overpacked (she brought 7 outfits, different types of hair dryers, and a bunch of other stuff that just wasn’t needed) and was always complaining about how heavy her bags were. She insisted on going for long walks through the city but then would get tired and say we needed to get a taxi home as she couldn’t walk back.

The last straw for me was that Ashley had a full-on meltdown at the station. I walked her to the station (I wasn’t getting the train back, we live in completely different areas).

We got to the desk and she asked the staff if there was a wheelchair available she could use as she was struggling to walk any further to get to her platform. They said they were all being used and asked if she booked assistance and she hadn’t, and they told her a chair should be available in around an hour. Ashley lost her cool and yelled at them and said that she was going to miss her train, and she sat on the floor. I tried to calm her down but there was just no use. She was very insulting and called them names, it was so embarrassing.

I stayed with Ashley and eventually, the manager arrived with the chair. He helped Ashley and she went home.

2 days after we got home, Ashley asked me if I’d be down for a similar vacation next year. I told her no, thanks. I tried to explain to her that I think after our experience it’s better if we don’t vacation together. Ashley is now angry with me and said I’m being ableist, but I struggle to put up with how disorganized she is in regard to her own needs.

Here are some of the comments the author received:

  • Like, her behavior has nothing to do with a disability so that shouldn’t even be mentioned, except where she tried to make it an excuse (gross). Fairmount1955 / Reddit
  • I have fibromyalgia too. I know my limitations or when, as sometimes happens, a limitation surprises me; I know it’s not anybody else’s fault. soyeah_87 / Reddit
  • This is actually a useful post for me in general. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia a few years ago and try to be mindful of my limitations, though it’s not always easy (I live alone). But I’m going to a convention with a friend next month and this is reminding me to be extra mindful, so I don’t overdo it and end up making the trip unpleasant for anyone. Thess514 / Reddit

Traveling with a disabled friend can be a challenging and rewarding experience, but it’s not for everyone, just like traveling with kids, especially for fathers. Sometimes, you have to do what’s best for yourself and your friend, and respect each other’s choices.


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