A woman from Melbourne has taken to TikTok to address her frustrations of constantly being criticised for ‘not looking disabled’ - despite living with chronic pain disorder.
This came to light when Rhiannon Stark parked her car in a disabled parking space and a man approached her and said ‘you don’t look disabled.’
In the video, titled ‘Things I’m not in the mood for today: this’, Rhiannon recalls the incident to her 32.7K followers.
“I’m legally disabled and as much as old people would like to square up with me about it, I’m legally disabled.”
“See this? Really, really hard to get”, she said while pointing at her disability badge.
Rhiannon’s experience is sadly common for those with ‘invisible disabilities’ @daddyrhi (TikTok)
“Tell me why, this old motherf****** comes up to me and thinks that it is their business to go, ‘you don’t look disabled”, she added.
Rhiannon continues to explain that just because she doesn’t fit someone else's idea of what being disabled is, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a disability.
With pent-up frustration, she said: “Do you want me to cut off my f****** legs, so I look more disabled for you?”
Rhiannon Stark (@DaddyRhi) suffers from fibromyalgia, a disorder ‘characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.’
She opens up about living with the chronic pain disorder on her social channels and has previously taken to Instagram to share an insight into her experience with the illness. In an IGTV post, she captioned:
“Feeling very vulnerable posting this, but people are so unaware of invisible illnesses. We don’t post the bad stuff on Instagram. Yes, I live an amazing life but there is a dark side to living with an incurable illness. So here’s a little insight into living with chronic pain.”
It is estimated that between 3 and 26 million Americans suffer from a hidden disability.