THE DAY I FELT LIKE AN OUTSIDER

Updated: Mar 27, 2020

Being made to feel inadequate compared to a pregnant lady.

Last week something happened to me on a train that really took me by surprise and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since. Seemed the perfect incident to pop on my blog and see what you guys think.

For my job I have to travel quite a bit around the UK. At least once a week I'm on a long train journey to somewhere and last week was no different with a trip to Portsmouth on the cards. This is around 2.5 hours one way from Bristol.

On my journey home I was sat alone in the carriage, literally nobody else there and I was on a shared seat for 4 people - one of those old fashioned ones without a table. Like any normal person I spread my shit out everywhere. Bag on the seat next to me, laptop out and everything plugged in so I was fully charged by the time I got back. Work is also crazy busy at the moment, one because it's Christmas and there's so much to finish before the new year and two because we're going on holiday for 3 weeks shortly so I'm trying to do as much as I can of what I would normally be doing in January. I was in my own little bubble you might say, smashing out the emails and generally getting shit done. The train also remained empty until we got to Trowbridge which is a stop or two before Bath, at which point 2 ladies got on my carriage and asked to sit with me. Of course! I moved all my bags and paraphernalia and kept within my one person seat zone as per train etiquette.

When we reached Bath (one stop before Bristol), it got very busy and a lady got on with a suitcase and asked to sit next to me. No problem, the seat is free. Then she said oh don't worry, there's a seat there and walked further into the carriage. Then one of the ladies opposite me shouted: "There's a pregnant lady there!" To which I looked up and hoped she was talking about me. Alas a heavily pregnant lady was stood up by the doors and made her way over. At this point I'm not sure why but the lady opposite scowled at me as though I was taking up too much room, despite having just put my laptop away ready to get off at the next stop. I just happened to have a couple of bags on my lap. I just said: "There's plenty of room for her to sit next to me." And she replied "Nobody cares about that, let her sit down." To which I was very confused and so was the pregnant lady who just sat down next to me anyway.

Then, the lady opposite proceeded to overdo it on the old "when are you due" questions even asking if she had a birthing plan. Ordinarily this sort of interrogation wouldn't bother me but since I was made to feel undeserving of my seat because I didn't have a bump I could feel a lump rising in my throat. I had to get out of there.

I politely asked the pregnant lady if I could slide out and she moved her legs to the side (remember there was no table so plenty of room) and I sat in another empty seat a bit further in facing them. As I left the lady who was opposite me made some sort of remark about me not having moved sooner which I didn't hear but they all laughed and carried on their conversation about baby names.

I was furious, upset, felt awful and all I wanted to do was cry and scream from the top of my lungs about the fact that I can't have children of my own, but I didn't, I just sat there and took it.

I can't think if it was because the whole situation took me by surprise or if I genuinely did something wrong that I'm missing but ever since I've been over analysing it all in my head.

The lady went bright red when we all stood to get off as I don't think she realised I was still in the same carriage as them. This gave me some sort of revenge but I was hugely upset.

I've spoken to Tom about it several times since because it plays on my mind. Why was I not deserving of a seat as well as the pregnant lady? There was plenty of room. Did I not move my stuff quick enough? Should I have given her both seats? Will I ever be worthy of a seat on the train if I never get pregnant or have children? It raised all sorts of deep emotions for me about maybe never being a mother.

I just wish people were more conscious with their comments, you really never know what might be going on with a person, let's all just be nice to each other, it's the festive season after all.

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