Teen Takes Seat in Waiting Area With Mom. Stranger Leans Over and Tells Disabled Teen to Get Up


It is or at least should be common knowledge that when there is limited seating, seats should be offered to the elderly, disabled, and pregnant women. Sadly, this common courtesy is not always extended to those who could really use a seat.

Miranda Tymoschuk looks like any other teen. If you did not see her jump to offer up her seat to an older woman, for example, you may think of her as impolite or unaware of this unwritten societal rule.

What you likely would not see is Tymoschuk’s disability. She was born with a leg condition that later required many surgeries including leg lengthening.

There are other aspects of Tymoschuk that are not visible by sight such as her challenging life experiences that have led to post-traumatic stress disorder with a borderline personality disorder.

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So, if you were a stranger to Tymoschuk, you might have made the same judgment as one person at a restaurant did about the fact that the teen was sitting.

Tymoschuk and her mother headed to brunch after shopping and a doctor appointment. They were excited to eat at this particular restaurant, so a 15-minute wait did not steer them away.

As they stood near the entrance with many other people waiting, the waiting area’s two chairs became empty. Many of those waiting alongside Tymoschuk and her mother were older, but none of them chose to sit down even after being offered the chairs.

The mother and daughter decided to sit down after being on their feet for quite some time even before the wait. It seemed like nobody else was interested in sitting down, but the sight of a teen in the chair when many older people were standing drew almost immediate judgment.

A woman leaned over to Tymoschuk and said, “You should let the older lady sit down.” This was not the first time somebody made assumptions about her sitting down though she appeared to be perfectly able to stand, she still found herself fighting back tears.

Tymoschuk got out of her seat right away after being confronted. She then watched the now empty seat being continuously declined as it was offered to others.

In an online post, she wrote, “This wasn’t the first time someone said this to me, and what made it worse was the lady seemed quite disgusted as she mumbled to her friend something along the lines of how when she was my age she wouldn’t have needed to be asked and just knew not to sit down… I know you can’t see it though — the scars, the pain, the difference in anatomy — so I forgive you.”

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Eventually, Tymoschuk sat back down. Standing for a long period of time hurts her leg, but it is important to remember that comments such as these can hurt worse no matter how good the stranger’s intentions were.

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Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College.
Carolyn Fultz is a former contributor for Liftable Media. She holds a B.A. in Communication from Hope College. Carolyn's writing has been featured in both online and print media, including Just Between Us magazine. She resides in Phoenix with her husband and children.
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