Saturday, March 07, 2009

FRIENDS INDEED

I arrived at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) by 6 am and was at the benching next to the breed ring by 6.30. I parked myself and my dogs and stuff. In common with the others who had arrived early, I parked at the end of the benches, not in a bench. This is much easier for those of us who find movement more cumbersome.

At about 9am I came back from a visit to the loo, to find my bag and chair, and other belongings thrown out into the middle of the walkway and someone else's stuff put in it's place. I moved that out of the way, put my stuff back , sat down, and proceeded to knit.

Very shortly, an elderly woman was screaming abuse at me. She wanted to be where I was and thought I had no right to be there. Presumably this woman thought she owned the space. I was perplexed, really, because I was astounded that she was being so vicious. really, the venom from her had to be witnessed. This was not just a woman put out, you'd think she was confronting an object of extreme hatred to her. She was soon joined in this attack by another woman and her husband.. I assume one was her child and the other the child's spouse. This is when it really got frightening. They too laid into me with a great deal of venom. This is what I found so shocking, the force of this attack. Like I had at one time caused her family great pain. The man especially became crazily abusive, shouting that I was handbag thief and all sorts. They hemmed me in so I couldn't move, not that I was intending to, and he looked as if he was about to physically attack me. Then he noticed my sticks and thought better of it. Not I am sure because he wouldn't hit a handicapped person but because he was afraid I'd use the sticks on him.

Whilst this was going on, I was taking it in but not feeling a thing. I disassociated. I didn't move, another thing I do, freeze.

Those who know me could see something was wrong because of my face I presume. I was also mentally vague as I was feeling really not present at this point. Anyway, my friends and even those I had only a passing acquaintance with, rallied round and my dogs and stuff were not left alone for the rest of the day.

The dogs were my major concern. Something the woman said, which seemed not to fit her gripe, made me wonder later if all this transpired because of jealousy of my success with Whitney. A photograph of her and me stating her Top Puppy 2008 status and Junior Warrant had appeared in the dog press that day and two weeks previously.

As much as I tried to not let his affect my day, it did. Even now the scene keeps flashing back into my consciousness. You'd think with my experience in life I would not be shocked by people's behaviour. I am. This caused feelings in me that I had felt in childhood. I felt very unsafe and threatened.

However, I am in no doubt that:

1. I did not cause this truly abusive behaviour

2. I did nothing wrong.


By 1.30 pm I was in a great deal of pain and so I went along to the Kennel Club office to ask for an early removal pass. I got that with no trouble. The man who dealt with me, seemed to know me, or at least recognize me and he asked what was wrong other than the pain. How he knew that I don't know. I told him what had happened. He persuaded me to make an official statement about the people who had abused me. He spent some time persuading me because I was loathe do so. As child complaining just meant being ignored, blamed, and more abuse. well I am not a child and these people behaved appallingly. So the KC man wrote out the complaint for me, (I can't write anymore) and I signed it.

Fortunately for me, these people live in Aberdeen, Scotland, so are not going to be at the shows very often.

On the down side, I had not thought to eat at all as when I am stressed like that my appetite goes. It wasn't that I thought to eat and decided against it. I just didn't think to eat. When I got home at 5pm it had been 24 hours since I last ate. Suddenly I was ravenous and I ate the nearest and most available and quickest thing-a sandwich. My gut knows this today.

As for Micah and Whitney both going unplaced, well that's the dog show game. You win and you lose. This does not affect my day at show. I enjoy the day, the company of friends and seeing other dogs. Yesterday I did not enjoy at all but for the reasons already written about.

The NEC does have disabled parking but it is still such a long way from the showing area so by the time one gets there, one is done in. The LKA dog show is also held there. To be frank, I am going to have to give serious thought to showing at this place again.
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