This Young Woman Was Accused Of Making A Man Look "Look Dumb And Feel Uncomfortable" After She Took Her Prosthetic Leg Off To Prove A Point

It's that time again — we are here with another "Am I The Asshole (AITA)" Reddit thread and lookin' for your opinions!


Our dilemma today comes from a 21-year-old woman who has a prosthetic leg, and the story of why she has one is heartbreaking:

"I was in a very bad car accident about three years ago. A drunk driver ran a stoplight, cut off a semi-truck, which then crashed into me, sending me crashing into two different cars and then ultimately into an embankment. My car was mangled and my leg was crushed — completely destroyed — and it had to be amputated. I also lost a couple of fingers (the tip of one and all of another). I'm also left with some gnarly scars that used to bother me but I'm learning to deal with them. I got a couple of different insurance payouts and some pain and suffering money in addition to my medical bills being paid, and with my money, I purchased a custom-made leg to take the place of the one I lost. When I have pants and shoes on, you can hardly tell unless you're really looking. I still limp, but some days I don't have as pronounced a limp," she said in the thread.

The woman recently drove her boyfriend, her sister, her sister's girlfriend, and their mother to the store. "I had to learn how to drive with my left foot, but I'm really good at it now... because of my injuries (in addition to my leg I also have chronic hip, neck, and back pain, and some issues with my lungs from the time spent intubated in a medically induced coma that led to pneumonia) I have a handicap placard for my car. I have trouble walking without getting tired, so it really helps to park close to the door," she explained.

  Imaginestock / Getty Images
Imaginestock / Getty Images

So, on this day, she pulled into her rightful handicap spot to park. However, she didn't realize she took the space from someone who was circling around to get it. "Apparently the man had been looking for a close space and had missed the one I took and went down and around. He was still on the other aisle when I pulled in so I didn't cut him off or anything and had no way of knowing he wanted the spot."

  Simon Mcgill / Getty Images
Simon Mcgill / Getty Images

Here is where the drama comes in. "He parked in the yellow stripe zone and got out and immediately began confronting me about stealing a space from people who actually need it — how I'm just some kid who has no respect for those who are truly sick and suffering. He then ordered me to move. My group was urging me to walk away but this has happened before and once the police were even called. I'm sick of people thinking that just because I'm young that I don't have a legit need for a little extra consideration."

  David Tiberio / Getty Images/EyeEm
David Tiberio / Getty Images/EyeEm

However, she didn't say anything to the man except "OK" and calmly got into her car. "I was wearing a skirt and leggings so it wasn't quite obvious at first but when I sat down, I took my leg off and showed it to the man, including my stump. I then asked him if it was OK if I still parked there. He walked away calling me disgusting and rude and said I could have just told him and I made him look stupid."

Someone with one leg sits and holds their prosthetic leg

(This is just a stock image and is not the actual poster.)

Franck Metois / Getty Images

Her whole group then told her they were embarrassed and said that she made things awkward because there was a crowd. Now she is asking people if she was an asshole for how she handled the situation.

  Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61
Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61

First of all, Reddit users pointed out that SHE didn't make the guy look dumb...the guy made HIMSELF look dumb:

"Not the asshole! That guy made himself look stupid. All you did was provide the visual aid."


"I think you answered the call perfectly. And the man wasn’t embarrassed about his behavior — he was embarrassed that he got caught and looked stupid. The exact thing he was trying to do to you."


They also praised her courage to stand up to bullies like this man:

"No, you are a rock star. You are someone not willing to take crap from a bully. You keep being you. The rest of your group could learn about courage from looking in your direction."


"By embarrassing him you've probably saved the next disabled parker he was due to harass."


Some also took the opportunity to remind people that not every disabled person has a wheelchair:

"I think part of it is the whole 'picture of a wheelchair' thing. I'm guessing 95 percent of folks with a disability permit are NOT in a wheelchair. But you get the wheelchair police out there judging anyone not rolling out of their specially decked-out van. If someone has a disability placard it means they've proved to some medical professional that they have a need for the placard. End of story. If you think someone is gaming the system, get the fuck over yourself. On the off chance someone IS gaming things, just move the fuck on. Spend your life worrying about other shit. You come across as an asshole."


You can also read this article about a woman who shared a similar experience last year.

And others highlighted the difficulties young people with disabilities face in today's society:

"Being young with a disability is literally the worst thing when it comes to dealing with people — especially older people. I've had chronic pain since I was 14, along with many other 'invisible' issues. The number of times I've had to deal with someone saying shit like, 'You're too young to have a disability' is way too high."


It was apparent no one thought she was an asshole for what she did...

"I've learned that when assholes feel appropriate amounts of guilt, they lash out because they can't handle it. She has the placard on her car, that's all she needs to 'deserve' the spot. It's no one else's business exactly why she needs it and people who get all confrontational in public like the jerk in this story deserve to be publicly shamed."


However, even though the consensus on Reddit is that this woman is NOT an asshole, she has posted an update, explaining why she still feels a little guilty about the situation:

"Honestly, I could have just walked away. I realize that I owe no one an explanation and if police had been called my placard and the paperwork stating why I have it are enough. I was just so mad. There were other handicapped spaces, albeit this one was right at the end of the aisle so there was a little more room. It wouldn't have hurt me to move and I did see the man take out a Rascal scooter for his handicapped companion, so they could have used the extra room."

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It's time to open the floor to you — let us know your feelings if you've unfortunately experienced a similar situation.