With everything going on in the world right now, one would think that more people would be sensitive to the needs of others. But no. We have Karens walking around like they own the place. Even though there is the most information out about illnesses and disabilities that there ever has been. No matter what though, there are still people who claim to know everything. I’ve run into plenty of them myself and I’m sure you have too. But what do you do when you come across them? When they assume to know everything about everyone else, never giving someone a chance to explain themselves. When they attack you, verbally or even physically as happened here, what do you do? Is there something to say about being a nice person? Or should there always be justice for when a Karen goes too far?
If you have ever encountered one of these people, maybe you can relate to “Leah’s” experience with this Entitled Mother. And if you have ever struggled with deafness, blindness, muscle/joint weakness, etc then you could have very well been in the same position as her. Or if you have ever been treated differently because of your looks or any other physical attributes. The whole ordeal was more than infuriating and in the end, Leah had to make a decision about how to handle things: with revenge or compassion.
Leah was in the station waiting for a severely delayed train. It was raining and everyone was getting impatient, including a woman and her kid. While everyone else was just annoyed and minding their own business, this child was running about. Leah “only had one hearing aid in, so [she] could listen to music with an earphone in the other ear,” and she was zoning out a little bit when suddenly her day went sour.
The child fell right in front of Leah and started wailing, something she definitely heard in her hearing aid. Then a woman was suddenly in Leah’s face shouting and Leah couldn’t quite understand her. She attempted to explain her condition to the screaming woman, but she was still hysterical. And when the woman finally pulled down her mask which allowed Leah to read her lips, I’m sure she wished she could have been anywhere else but that train station.
The Entitled Mother screamed, “You tripped my kid!”
Leah was shocked, “I did no such thing.”
The crazy mother gestured towards Leah’s walking stick, as if it had somehow fallen from against the wall, tripped the kid, and then put itself back up against the wall.
Leah said, “It's against the wall. No way your kid fell over it."
The mother probably turned a new shade of purple here when she fumed, "Are you calling me a liar? I just watched my kid run over there and trip over your stupid walking stick!"
Leah didn’t have a chance to get a word in because the woman began to rant about the entitlement of kids these days, lack of respect, and “how dare [she] pretend to be disabled.” Although Leah was 21 when this happened, the huge red flag is accusing a disabled person of faking their illness or condition. I would have been so angry. How did Leah stay so calm?
The little boy had already stopped crying and was entertaining himself again “chasing pigeons around the platform.” The mother did not care that her son was fine, she was on a warpath.
Finally, after the crazy mother stopped to take a breath, Leak asked, “Why is your child running around on the platform?"
This is a great question. Has she never seen those videos of kids getting trapped on the tracks? I would be terrified to let a child run around. It is the parent’s responsibility to make sure their child is safe and entertained.
The mother shouted, “Because he's BORED. We've been waiting for half an hour and he has nothing to do!"
That seems like a ‘you’ problem, Karen, am I right?
Leah stated matter-of-factly, “He shouldn't be running around on the platform. It's dangerous."
The entitled mother started throwing her tantrum once again, “Don't tell me how to parent my child!"
Leah thought they had both said their piece and could move on with their miserable day waiting for the train. But no. Things could never be that simple. Leah put her headphone in, but the raging mother was still angry.
“Give my son your earphones if you're so concerned about him running around," she demanded.
Leah told her, no, holding her tongue from saying what she really wanted to say to this insane woman. She could have said quite a few things and she would have been justified. Who does this woman think she is? She was demanding a stranger’s personal property?
Leah attempted to say goodbye and put her headphone in again, but the mother was determined to ruin Leah’s day. She went for her headphone, but she grabbed Leah’s hearing aid, thinking it was a headphone too. Ripping off a hearing aid is painful. And her ear and head were now throbbing. Leah could not believe what just happened. The entitled woman started speed walking away, her kid and Leah’s hearing aid in tow. How could she do that? Just rip out a person’s hearing aid? What could Leah even do at this point? Should she chase the woman? Was there anyone there to help her? She had to figure out how to get her hearing aid back.
Leah was yelling at the woman, but she couldn’t hear anything so she wasn’t sure if the woman said anything back. It was disorienting and confusing. What could she do? The woman had her hearing aid and took off! And she kept running, even when she got to the end of the platform, that didn’t stop her. She just went the other way. Leah’s mind was going wild with what she should do. She thought I could “just put my arm in front of her, grab her or honestly just push her down.”
She was running out of time and options when, for some reason, the crazy woman started running back to where this whole ordeal started. Could this all be over with? Was she coming back to apologize and return the stolen hearing aid? She didn’t do anything close to that. So what was the woman doing now? Why was she going back to where they had been sitting before?
Have you ever had your life flash before your eyes? Or how about when things start to go in slow motion? Leah watched as the entitled woman ran to Leah’s walking stick.
The panic was imminent. What was she thinking? She did the worst thing she could. The woman threw the walking stick onto the train track.
Leah stared in disbelief. The world was silent around her while she looked at her walking stick, which was not cheap by any means, laying across the rails. She looked at the insane woman’s face. It was obvious she was speaking, but there was no way for Leah to know what she was saying.
Leah was done being nice and quiet and began to “shout at her, swearing very loudly.” She tried to explain how much the walking stick and hearing aid cost and how serious this situation was. She didn’t even know if the woman cared or if she was really listening to her.
Then someone came to the rescue.
A man from the group on the platform spoke with the entitled mother. Although Leah had no clue what was said, she hoped he could get through to the crazy lady.
Then a train station employee appeared next to Leah. She sighed with relief that the worker spoke sign language. Finally, someone who she could understand and would understand her. Leah explained what had happened. There were no interruptions since the crazy mother had no idea what was being said and the worker made sure to hear out what Leah had to say.
After Leah was finished with the recap, the worker went to the crazy woman and made her give up the hearing aid. The worker even provided some cleaning wipes so Leah could clean the hearing aid before putting it back on.
Finally, Leah could hear again. Another worker went to get her walking stick. Although this delayed the train again, it was for good cause. And it was the entitled mother’s fault (Who was being dragged away by security at this point). She was throwing a tantrum of epic proportions. No adult should ever act this way. I am getting second-hand embarrassed for her actions. She went out kicking and screaming. “The woman claimed that she didn't know it was a hearing aid, which is beside the point.” She still stole personal property off a person. And she would have taken it even if it had just been a headphone and not the hearing aid. The woman refused to believe this and screamed that Leah was “probably lying about being deaf and disabled.”
Even while she was being brought out by security she still thought that she was in the right. But Leah had a decision to make when it came down to how to proceed. The woman had stolen her property after all.
Leah decided she would not press charges against the entitled mother. She assessed the situation and thought that was the best decision. On one hand, she felt like it was wrong and wanted some justice, but she also knew that being a college student and being disabled, she would have a disadvantage when it came to the legal side of things. She had both her hearing aid and walking stick back. And though she was a bit shaken up, nothing was damaged. Though she did admit to having some lasting pain from where the hearing aid was ripped off.
Fortunately, the train station felt that the crazy woman needed some sort of punishment. So “the entitled mother has received a lifetime ban from that station.” Even if she lived right next door, she would have to go to a different station for the rest of her life. She would never be able to get on or off the train at that stop ever again.
Leah knew that the woman shouldn't have done what she did, but after other experiences with police and authority, she was not willing to go through with pressing charges. Was that the right call? Should she have fought for justice? Would this woman do the same thing to someone else? What about her child? He might pick up a thing or two from his entitled mother and then do the same thing one day! But was it worth it to have to go through all the trouble, when she could just move on and try to forget what happened? It was unbelievable, but also hopefully so bizarre that it would never happen again.
If you were in Leah’s shoes, on the platform that day, what would you have done?