The Light

April 4, 2016 at 10:28 PM | Posted in Center training, My brain, my enemy. | Leave a comment
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I may be losing my sight slowly now but I think I have been blind my whole life.

For so long I have lived in the darkness, shrouded in my fear of the world and how it saw me. How it would treat me. How it could treat me. How I thought it was going to treat me.

We base our view of the world on our interactions with it.

I have been around of a lot of negative people and experienced many negative things. These things build up over the years and can cover your sight. Causing you to be blind against anything that could be a good thing.

Every once in a while you try to put on some rose colored glasses and hope to see something beautiful in the world around you. You try. You try so hard.

But at the same time you’re too afraid to look at something beautiful. It doesn’t feel real.

That familiar darkness that has been building up along your spine and encircling you with negativity is safe.

It is always with you so it is a comfort to be covered in it. It’s like a sticky tar you can’t get rid of. But it knows you. It knows everything that has ever happened to you.

It knows of the boy who made fun of you because of how you danced that one time…. So it tells you not to do that ever again….

It knows the time a boy from class who lived up your street told everyone he felt an earthquake every time you walked around the house… So it reminds you that you are fat an unlovable….

It knows every. single. time. you were turned down, rejected or dropped to the side and remembers it all in detail so it brings it up out of the blue to remind you that no one thinks you’re worth anything.

And you believe it.

There’s too much evidence not to.

It makes you suspect everyone. It makes you wait for the terrible things. It makes you expect the terrible things. It makes you embrace the terrible things. It makes you see terrible things in every little thing that happens every single day.

Yet, you still return to it.

I am my own abuser. I am my one bully. No one hates me like I do.

DID.

Layer after layer of horrible sticky tar has been slowly removed over the years thanks to counseling and thanks to being here at the center.

I’m some place where no one cares that I have pink hair, that I have a face full of piercings, that I’m overweight, that I’m tall. No one cares if I’m attractive to look at or not.

It is beyond freeing.

I’m in a place where they are talking just to me. Seeking out my opinions. Sharing jokes. Checking on me. Offering an ear, a shoulder.

Just me. The actual me.

At first the slimy, clingy tar of darkness did it’s normal work of making me react poorly to knocks on the door, calls on the phone. All I saw was annoyances… people are annoyances waiting to cause pain to you… is what my comforting tar beasty tells me. It builds walls as tall as the sky.

I had written for my counselor a chat with the tar beasty and then I tried to write a conversation with the positive side of me.

She was extremely hard to talk to. But what I got mostly was that she actually was there. I do have a positive side to me. A side that actually wanted me to be happy. And also believed I deserved to be.

Sometimes a single moment can change everything. A ray of light that is too bright can suddenly appear from nowhere. Maybe it was a beam that consisted of multiple small rays that converged at the right time to be magnified and obliterate the tar from my eyes.

A suggestion that change can be made.

A romantic scene from a tv show.

A constant stream of creative release.

A promising word about your future career.

It can be anything that suddenly makes you so happy that nothing else matters.

Now I get it.

I am allowed to be happy and I am. I am allowed to be loved and I am by not only others but also by me.

I fully have been enjoying my friends without any fears that I was just kept around because I was another warm body.

I realized that for so long I have been so worried and focused about how I was being perceived and seen that I wasn’t showing my love and appreciation to my partner. I was too caught up in the labels of “husband” and “wife” that I forgot what really mattered.

I can be happy.

I deserve to be happy.

You deserve to be happy.

Love what you love. Don’t worry about what others are thinking. Love what you love.

I’m not saying it will be easy. I’m currently worrying about how cheesy this post may seem. But I’m happy I’m doing it.

Mistakes happen. You will get hurt. But it’s not the end of everything good. There is so much good and beauty in this world but tar is so very hard to see through. But you can do it. If I can find a calm center of happiness, then you can.

You deserve it.

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Life in the Shade

January 15, 2016 at 12:01 AM | Posted in 9-5, Braille Wail, Center training, EYE believe | 2 Comments
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Tomorrow will be the end of my first two weeks of being at the center for the blind in Lincoln, Ne and it has most certainly been an interesting trip. I thought I would dread putting the sleep shades (blind fold type device) every day and after lunch but it hasn’t been as bad.

The first day or two were the worst. I didn’t want to spend that much time in the sleep shades and I was hating the social aspect of meeting new people and having to spend the majority of the day with them. I was just plain miserable.

But I am surprised that I feel better about it for the most part. There are definite things I am not looking forward to, such as how long it will take before I can be considered for graduation. I also am having a terrible time with sleep. New/different bed, no cats, no husband, different sounds, and lack of a pattern are all to blame.

I have homework some nights, I have various meetings throughout the week and I also once a month have to take part in the cleaning of the common areas at our apartment location. Also, I have to consider the fact that there is a movie theater on the same block as me and my massive addiction to the new Star Wars movie. (6 times as of writing this!) Not to mention cooking my own meals for lunches and dinners and keeping the apartment clean for weekly walk-throughs. I don’t have a lot of time to de-stress and gather my energies for the next day.

It should be ok once I figure out a workable sleep/work schedule. Just a matter of getting it done…….. I just jerked up from falling asleep for a sec there; it seems to be my new move now. Head banging to the sleep metal music playing in my head.

I have been working hard and I’ve done a bunch of things so far and I’ve been told I’m doing well so I’ll take their words for it. Here is a list of sorts for what I have done under sleep shades so far: navigate the center’s building, walk outside to the two bus stops we use, walk over to a nearby footpath bridge, navigate and use escalators and bus,  fried eggs, made brownies from a mix, washed dishes, thread a needle, sewed on a button, learned a new way to measure pieces of wood, practice on the new UEB standard of braille, brailled notes, start to learn a screen reader program called JAWS, there may be more but I can’t remember right now.

Still nodding off and fighting sleep. I really should go to sleep now…..

If you think this stuff is not at all difficult, I challenge you to try some of these things blindfolded (safely) and then tell me how you did.

This is incredibly mentally and physically and emotionally challenging.

I have only cried twice so far. (4 if you count my hearing of both David Bowie’s and Alan Rickman’s deaths.) Once when I was after navigating to a different part of the building, and I cried to myself without anyone really realizing. The other was this evening because my braille homework was just not clicking for me so I became extremely flustered and upset.

I know I will cry at other times but that’s ok. This is tough.

But I have become mostly accustomed to the people around me. Either they’re going through the same things as I am or they’re teaching it and have gone through this training as well. So they know what they’re talking about when giving people reasons to attend the center and how to empathize with what we are going through. Pretty much everyone is nice and understanding so that helps a lot.

 

I am going home for the weekend and will take some breaths and enjoy the three days at home before trying out a new week at the center.

Gotta keep on keeping on.

If you’d like to see how I’m learning to measure things in shop class here is a video I found about the tool we use. the video is a bit long and it is not the best filming but if you watch for a bit you will see a pretty cool device.

Watch this video on Youtube (link should open in a new tab/window)

P.S. I have a piece of valuable advice to give to sighted people everywhere. Please, if you see a blind person and they ask where a place/thing/person is please, for the love of whatever you believe in, do not immediately take their arm and lead/drag them to the location/thing/person. Use your words, cardinal directions, amazing eyesight, and creative minds to help. Or if you have a problem with that, ask if that blind person would like your physical help. We are not helpless babies that don’t understand. We are human beings trying to make it in a sighted world. We have our own skills and ways of getting around. Even if you are embarrassed for yourself or that person while they are seeming to be lost in a room do not assume that that person is dumb or lost. We have to take longer to see what a room is like, and where we need to be.

I am not a UPS package needing to be delivered.

I am a human being trying to make do as independently as I can, just like you.

I deserve that respect as much as you do.

 

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