Tags: disability, eyesight, white cane
I now don’t go anywhere from the house without my white cane. I realized I really needed it while walking up a hill with it. I had looked straight ahead and couldn’t see the tip of the cane, not even up a hill. That was quite a large area that could be filled with hazards at any given moment. I clearly needed the assistance.
If my pink hair didn’t make me stand out before, the white cane sure does.
I can still see all of the stares.
I can see the curiousity, the shock, the judging.
I constantly feel like an imposter. I feel like I should act more blind out in public becuase I have the white cane. I find mysef not wanting to read on the bus, like I’m not allowed. As if everyone would stand up and point at me shouting “LIAR!” I find myself holding my phone closer to my face if I know people can see me. If I’m walking along a busy street I will keep walking until my cane finds the trash bins in the way even though I saw them further out.
I try to catch myself doing those things and correct them. I owe no one an explanation. If someone cares enough to ask then I will happily explain.
It’s difficult to act as myself while holding the white cane. I’m certain it’s because I have the same view of blind people that the rest of the world has. Either you are sighted and can see everything or you are blind and can’t see anything. It’s the same with how any disability is perceived. It has to be completely visable (excuse the pun) or it is not a true hinderance.
I’m lucky enough to have a white cane to tell the world of my disability but even then my glasses take away some of its power. I’ve seen the glances back and forth between them.
I think an empathy class is needed in school. Spend some time teaching kids how to handle themselves around those with a disability and how to handle it if they ever became disabled.
Maybe grown adults won’t become dear in headlights when they see me coming towards them making me navigate around them. Maybe those with wonderfully normal peripheral vision will use this ability to be more aware of their surroundings and be more mindful to those around them.
Watching as people jump out of the way of the cane as if it were a poisonous snake is both satisfying to my anti-social heart and sad for the lack of awreness of others.
So how should I carry myself? Do I try and represent the blind community by pretending to be more blind than I am? Or would I be doing a disservice to both myself and the community by not just being myself and educate those around me on the varying levels of blindness?
The answer may be obvious but that doesn’t mean that it is easy. I can see a lot more than anyone really knows or understands. Yet while I start training to deal with the vision loss I have to act as if I have no sight at all.
I feel pulled between two worlds. Too sighted to be blind, too blind to be sighted. It’s a rather lonely plave.
I don’t want to talk about it with friends and family as I can’t do it clinically and I don’t want to be in tears every time I talk to them. I don’t want to be perceived as always a downer. I’m supposed to be funny, I’m supposed to point out the silver linings. That was my goal afer being a hateful, judgemental bitch for far too many years of my life.
I just don’t have the energy to always be happy. I can’t be a cheerleader for blindness. I can’t be cheerleaded at. It’s like when your friends tell you how amazing being single is right when you are going through a terrible break-up. It’s not what you want or need to hear at that time. For me I am in that constant break-up stage, year after year I am continuously mourning the loss of my eyesight. It’s not like I woke up one day from an accident or sickness and am suddenly blind. That might be easier to deal with, I don’t know. But this slow degredation is torturous.
I had wanted the cane and now I have it. Now I just get to figure out what it means to be me again.