Hi everyone. Some of you know me on here. Some of you have started reading my ‘The Weird and The Wonderful’ Posts. Well, this isn’t one of them. This is something I just wanted to talk about.
I count as blind. If you are looking at the screen thinking ‘If she is blind, how is she typing?’ it’s because I have amazing glasses. And doctors. I have something wrong with both my eyes that mean the nerves that connect eyes to the brain never developed properly.
Basically, most people have nerves that go all around your eyes. In my left eye, I have…none. As in, completely unusable. In my right eye, I have about half of them, but they are not every good, so my eyesight just keeps deteriorating.
I’m not saying this for pity. I have never know anything else. It’s a part of me.
Although…it does stop me doing a lot of things. I cannot judge distances. I cannot play contact sports. I cannot aim. I can’t even walk in a straight line! There are career options that I cannot go into. For years, I wanted to join the navy…but I can’t. I’m not meant to have a job on a computer because staring at a screen would be bad for me. I was going to be a staff member on a Tall Ship, to teach other teens how to sail around the world. But I can’t.
But in my eyes (pun not intended) these things will not stop me, and have never stopped me doing anything I put my mind to. I have qualifications in sailing, kayaking and rowing. I teach kids how to do these things- I just have to change a few things so I can do them. I am about to start an Archery course so I can teach that as well.
It is hard. every day, I get comments about my eyes that are hurtful, because people never think about what they are saying. They think I make it up because I have learnt to use my hearing instead of trusting my eyes. I have been called an attention seeker, a freak. Someone once told my mum that if they had a child like me, they would have given it away.
Thank you for that.
I have had 4 operations since I was born, just to make my eyes look normal. They will never work properly, people help me as much as they can.
But you know something?
I would not change myself. Not for anything.
My eyes do not define who I am. I have a disability, but I am not disabled. It has taught me compassion and understanding, and not to take anything for granted. It has given me determination and a strong will. It has given me a way to try and do things by myself, not asking people for the help I don’t want (yeah, it gave me stubbornness, as a downside)
See, in a strange way, I love my eyes. They make me different. They give me the excuse to find fun glasses every six months. They have helped me become who I am today.
Soi don’t live with a disability. Not really. I live with different abilities.
Originally published on June 28, 2013.