We’ve all heard the saying that we don’t know what exactly is going on in another person’s life unless we actually lived it ourselves.
This can be especially true for appearances, when a person appears to be perfectly healthy, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Supportiswelcome was confronted by a pregnant woman who felt she was more entitled to her seat on the bus, despite the teenager having a knee injury from an accident.
When the pregnant woman persisted, the Original Poster (OP) did the only thing she knew to do to try to convince her.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not giving up my seat on the bus to a pregnant woman and then showing her my scars to prove that I have an injury?”
The OP was still healing after being hit by a car.
“A couple of months ago, I (18 Female) got into an accident where I was walking across the road and got hit by a car that was way over the speed limit.”
“My right knee and leg basically took most of the impact.”
“(The car stopped and called an ambulance and left a phone number and we, later on, settled it and I got quite a big sum of money with help of my parents.)”
“A bone in my leg was broken and my knee cap was basically fractured.”
“Fast forward to now, my leg has been fine (as long as I am not walking for too long), but my knee still hurts quite a bit, which results in me walking with a cane at 18 years old.”
“(I am a bit embarrassed by it, but I can’t do much about it, so I just deal with it.)”
The OP recently took a seat on the bus to rest her knee.
“Yesterday after school, I got on the bus to go home, and my knee had been bothering me all day and I was happy to go home. Once I got on the bus, I took a seat as one does.”
“A couple of stops later, a pregnant woman entered, and she looked around to see if there was a spot for her to sit (which there wasn’t).”
“I was one of the younger people (probably not the youngest, though) on the bus and therefore, she decided that I was the perfect candidate to give up my seat.”
The pregnant demanded the OP’s seat.
“So she walked over and basically told me that I had to get up so she could sit down. She didn’t ask me, she told me.”
“So I tried to explain in a soft voice (to not attract too much attention, since I have social anxiety) that I have a knee injury and that it is hard for me to keep my balance on the bus while standing.”
“I also mentioned that it was hurting a lot.”
“Well, this woman started yelling at me, saying that I was just making excuses and that she didn’t believe me.”
The OP did the only thing she could think to do.
“So, I lifted up the dress I was wearing to my knee and showed her the scars.”
“I admit that my scars don’t exactly look pretty or are nicely healed or anything, but I had no interest in continuing this discussion.”
“(I made sure that there were no little kids watching when I lifted up the dress.)”
“The woman didn’t know what to say and she just kept on sulking and went to someone else to get them to give up their seat.”
The OP was called out for her behavior.
“I thought that was that, but suddenly a person sitting behind me found it necessary to weigh in on the situation.”
“They said that I was way out of line by showing her my scars and that I embarrassed the woman.”
“They also said that I could have easily stood up and just sucked it up for the remainder of my route.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some discerned that the pregnant woman shouldn’t have demanded a seat, though it’d be nice for her to have one.
“While I agree that a pregnant woman should get priority seating, I have to say that demanding a seat is not the way to go about it. Asking around when no seats are available is the right way to go about it.”
“If nothing, then sit on the step near the back door. That is a very last-ditch option, which I imagine nobody would want to do. But if you have no other options, then that’s possible. Not recommending it. Just a thought I had.”
“But on the main point of my comment. Pregnant women need a seat! But demanding is not the way to go.” – kidpowow
“Demanding a seat is uncalled for. Being pregnant is more often than not a choice the mother made, so she should be the one asking for a seat if no one stands up by himself. It should not be forced on anyone that they have to stand because someone else made a choice in their life.”
“I mean, I too would stand up if I noticed the pregnancy, but if someone would be angry at me for not doing it immediately, I’d be petty and never stand up.”
“Having an injury is more often than not nothing you had a choice in, and if you’re already sitting, people may ask you to stand up because they can’t see your injury. As soon as you say you can’t, it’s a ‘no,’ and that should be accepted without repercussions or questions asked.” – Blubbpaule
“The pregnant woman is TA because she still was demanding the seat when she was told the occupant was disabled.”
“Every other able-bodied person on the bus is also TA for not giving up their seat, especially the guy who tried to shame OP.” – doublediamondz
“OP was definitely not TA for showing her scars to someone yelling at them for not getting up.”
“That being said, while it wasn’t the situation in this post, there are instances where a pregnant woman can demand the seat (of someone who isn’t disabled, that is). Pregnant women can be disabled as well, some long-term and some temporarily, for reasons not even necessarily related to the pregnancy itself.”
“And those disabilities aren’t always visible and can be just as debilitating as those of non-pregnant people.” – Laurelinn
Others agreed and also pointed fingers at the passenger who criticized the OP.
“NTA. You’re legitimately disabled and in need of a seat.”
“If the person behind was so supportive of the pregnant woman’s need to sit down, then they should have offered their seat instead of trying to bully you into doing so.” – AnselaJonla
“Giving up seats for pregnant women is a voluntary courtesy, not something a pregnant woman simply gets to demand of whomever they choose.”
“Why the h**l didn’t the smug judgmental a**hole sitting directly behind you who told you you were out of line give up THEIR seat for this woman?”
“They clearly heard and saw the entire exchange and didn’t bother to volunteer.” – hbtfdrckbck
“NTA. I would have cursed her out once she started yelling at me, and the person behind me would have been swiftly told to mind his business. If he was so worried about it, he should give up his seat as a man.”
“And telling me I embarrassed her by showing my scars? She embarrassed me by yelling at me and making me look like an insensitive teen.” – celebritystar2011
“I love the ‘just suck it up’ comment. I have knee injuries. I’m in pain all the time. The pain I can suck up, but the knee not functioning can not be ‘sucked up’ in any way, shape, or form.”
“My knee can just barely support my weight, that’s what the damage actually does. Any extra force put on it, and it will not hold, it will twist and tear things apart by doing so. Asking me to stand on a bus is the same as asking an amputee to stand. Because the knee makes one leg completely useless.”
“Imagine walking on thin ice, where you have to pay extreme attention to every step so you don’t step too hard or it will crack. That’s how my knee works, my knee is the thin ice that’s barely holing and is ready to crack, aka twist, at any second. The extra force of pushing even an empty stroller or grocery cart will be too much, and the force of just normally stepping down from a 2-4 inch curb is too much.”
“Quickly moving the weight over to the other leg when walking fast or taking a long step is too much. The top of the knee will slide off and twist at 90°, and it’s not supposed to do that. There are ligaments and soft tissue in its way, but my ligaments are all damaged and stretched out except for the ACL that is completely torn off, and my muscles aren’t enough on their own to keep it in place.”
“They can’t be trained to be strong enough or big enough or tight enough to keep it in place. So any soft tissue in the way of 90° angle turn will be torn.”
“I have also been told that I’m young and healthy and can ‘suck it up’ many times. Including while being on bloody crutches. NTA, OP.” – GaiasDotter
While the OP knew that she needed to remain sitting because of her knee, she also felt conflicted after being criticized by a total stranger. The subReddit, however, believed she had done the right thing by defending herself.
While the pregnant woman probably needed a seat, that did not negate the fact that the OP needed one, too, which placed the responsibility of giving up a seat firmly in someone else’s hands.