I have to say that over the years, my brain/mouth filter has been refined. It has been, and still is a work in progress. The reason for the construction of such a strong and reliable filter?
Quite often as a blind person I encounter people on a regular basis who may deserve a stern talking to; and that's putting it mildly. (I suppose, everyone whether they are blind or not, encounters similar idiots). However, I've learned to ignore a lot of behaviour that would require such a talking to for many reasons. The main reason being that if I went on a rampage every time someone acted like an idiot just because I'm blind, I'd be an angry and nasty person. Also, I've come to realise that much of people's poor behaviour comes from ignorance and fear. Letting my tongue fly wouldn't help or fix the situation. So, I've learned to be more eloquent or just ignore it all together. Carrying on speaking at your normal speaking volume when someone is talking to you at top volume because they think your blindness means your ears don't work, is usually better than getting angry at them. However, there are times when my filter fails and this morning was an example of that.
As per my normal morning routine, I leashed Hermione and Otis up to go walk through the little park that is around the corner from our place. (Hermione is back to her normal self, by the way). Hermione wears an extenda leash for these walks because then she can go off and explore the park without getting into trouble. People tend to dump garbage and stuff and I'd hate for her to get into something dangerous.
As soon as we hit the paved walk way, Otis pulled over to pee. Hermione had gone on ahead, but hadn't reached the limits of her extenda leash. As Otis finished his business I heard bike tires spraying up gravel coming at me. It was hard to tell exactly where the bike was so instead of reeling Hermione in, I left her out. She was off to the side and I was worried that if I called her to me she could potentially get tangled up in the bike's tires. Otis and I were off to the side as well; my white cane in my hand, slightly extended. (This is a very important part of this story). That little park is so small that I could walk around it without my white cane, but I use it just in case the neighbourhood kids leave something on one of the paths and also because it identifies me as blind.
The tires kept coming at me. The gravel spraying continued as if the rider was hitting the brakes and then releasing.
Just as the rider got to me he says in a very sarcastic tone:
"You'd think you'd move out of the way eh? Wow!"
That was it. My shocked silence was ended. Filter failed.
"I'm blind you dumb a*s!" I shouted at his retreating back. I know he heard me. I was a cheerleader a long time ago. My voice carries.
I'll blame it on the early hour and my brain still waking up. Or perhaps he just got what I've been holding back from other dumb a**es. Whatever it was, I'm not going to lie: it felt good to voice my annoyance instead of just turning the other cheek.
No, I'm not going to make a habit of going around and calling people who squish themselves as far up against a building wall as they can when I walk by dumb a**es or the people who cut in front of me in line. As I said above, getting angry about every jerk that crosses your path just isn't worth it, but sometimes just sometimes, it's appropriate to set the record straight and call it the way it is.
So, although I will continue to fortify my brain/mouth filter, I know that there will be times when it will fail. Here's to hoping that when it does, I'm not the one looking like the dumb a*s.