the Social Aspect of Being Blind: What’s Good and Bad

Dear Readers,

For the last time in a while, I’m fresh with being fed up. I’m fed up with not legally being able to do things, including marry, own a home, and have any kind of assets. My hope is that people realize they have the wrong girl, and are messing with the very wrong person. There are ten things about being blind that are good, but here are also ten things bad about being blind, and I’ll tell you, the bad things aren’t my fault. It’s society’s fault for even placing these roadblocks in my way. For one, I’m blind, but have had instances if not more than one of comorbidity with mental illness due to past family abuse. Many people with BPD (border line personality disorder) have family abuse cases that range largely from their teen years and younger. They don’t get diagnosed enough or they’re overdiagnosed. This has to stop. Here is my ten good and bad things list.

Ten Things ABout Being Blind that are Positive:

  1. You don’t have to truly know what a naked guy looks like.
  2. 2. You don’t have to see the disgusting pile of meat you’re cooking, especially that of factory farms.
  3. 3. You can do anything with the lights off, and it helps your power bill. I pay close to $10 for electricity, and I owe it to the lights being off.
  4. 4. You can eat anything, not be so picky about the color of foods. My brothers and father hate green vegetables, so Mom used to make peas and greens for us girls only. I’m kind of appalled of my brothers and father’s food choices from the past, as if they would allow us to have nice dinners and such. They would not except have Italian food only. Ugh.
  5. 5. Your cane parts crowds. People can treat you with respect and dignity. Though I will say that a dog is sometimes sent the wrong message through unsolicited petting, etc. See the other ten things list I’m gonna write.
  6. 6. You don’t have vertigo as badly as you would when you go on roller coasters and simulator rides. I’ve been on an orbiter ten billion times to exaggerate, and I would not throw up. That’s the weird thing about being blind.
  7. 7. People are fascinated about Braille, though they don’t always spell the name correctly. And the navigation cane is also a wonder, and you take in more things with it than you would your eyes.
  8. 8. You can take in all the things that you want to experience with other senses, including touch, hearing, smell, and taste. Refering back to the food advantage I wrote about earlier, but you can also not be as scared of snakes either. Don’t even let my poor mom watch a TV clip with snakes in it. I’ve held gators and snakes, and both animals should at least be supervised, which they were. That’s my rule when dealing with wild animals. You also get more out of petting your dog or cat friends. That’s important, since sighted people sometimes don’t know how soft the fur feels against your palm.
  9. 9. You sometimes get discounts on phone bills like with Sprint if you wanted a blind/low vision plan. It can be patronizing for some companies, but I think T Mobile and Sprint will both be doing things like this in the future. I don’t think they should limit it to special interest groups like the National Federation of the Blind, but they should offer it to all people who are blind/low vision.
  10. 10. You can talk to most ordinary people with blind relatives and they’d know what the relative had gone through, but sometimes humor brings education where anything else would not. There are some outstanding families out there, like this one mom who educated her child about two blind women with sticks, and I had the opportunity to educate the mom further on the use of a long cane.

Ten Bad THings ABout Being Blind

  1. Blind people are 70-80% likely to be on benefits and unemployed, compromising their livelihood and relationship lives. There is plenty of this to go around with all disabled people.
  2. 2. Blind people in special interest groups tend to be paternalistic at times, electing to have a male in charge, trying to say you should be 100% healthy except your blindness to receive help from their groups. This is disparraging for me because it sends the wrong message about comorbidity. Mixed disabilities can also lead to stigmatizing treatment by doctors, service providers, and professionals who are supposed to help you, not hinder you.
  3. 3. Unsolicited petting or treating guide dogs can not only be annoying, but dangerous for the handler of said dog. There is also rampant discrimination against people with these wonderful animals, whose lives are dedicated to the service of Man, which is something to be said versus the dogs who spend their lives being groomed and played with and who think it okay to chew up the carpet. Example, my dad’s German shepherd from his teen years ate up a good lump of carpet, causing Grammy, his mother, and Grandpa, the father in this case, to have to repair the carpet and send the dog to the vet. Misty was probably in her puppy days at that point. However, let’s meet Mya, a friend of mine’s German shepherd who not only guides her owner around but alerts her to seizures that she could be getting. Mya is a sweet dog, a godsend above lots of other dogs and uses her intelligence and responsibility to guide her partner around and helps even judge her partner’s friends’ character. She knows people, but I don’t think Mya wants to be petted while working. Like I said, guide dogs should be respected, and the handlers as well. This means NO PETTING! Don’t pet guide dogs, and whether you’re allergic or not, take the dog owner in your cabs, Mr. Taxi and Uber and Lyft drivers. The same goes for restaurant owners, airlines, and a multitude of other establishments and services that have discriminated in the past. Without Mya, my friend would be stranded and probably more depressed and angriy at life itself. Dogs have a way of getting to their owners’ hearts. It’s amazing, but keep in mind what guide dogs and their handlers want, the freedom to use a dog in whatever setting they want.
  4. 4. Comorbidity is a huge problem in the blind community. Most of my blind friends have mental problems, or they have to take medication for some reason or other. Mya’s partner from the previous entry has a therapist who accepts Mya and her patient. There are many other blind people with other disabilities, most of which has to do with social problems as will be mentioned in the following things. Comorbidity is not lost on me, though. I was diagnosed unfairly with border line personality disorder, BPD, and it hurts me to see this diagnosis because they base it on collateral, not me at all. I can’t get a forensic test without it popping up, but the doctors are not educated in how to care for blind people, as I will elaborate on next.
  5. 5. Healthcare providers are unsure how to care for a blind person, can’t spell the terms correctly, and can’t identify the proper use of guide dog harness, cane, or Braille itself. This happened to me. This could have a huge impact on Trenton and I’s ability to find a practitioner of family medicine who won’t discriminate against me because of blindness. I want to be able to have children with Trenton but the doctors might think that I can’t take care of a child because I’m blind, let alone myself. My children and grandchildren should be also making eldercare decisions for me, not the Taurasi brothers or Mom or Dad because Mom and Dad might be six feet under, and the boys might also be unable to care for their sister. It will be absolutely essential to secure the next of kin, a someone who respects my love of life and freedom, to at least be making such decisions. Eldercare sucks in Florida, too, so the big thing is not to move me to a nursing facility in Miami, which could lead to abuse and wrongful death lawsuits by my family. Doctors should be realistic in their care of blind people, elder or not, and realize that blind women and their husbands can make the decision to have a baby, and they can go to a doctor and have the baby checkups done completely free of sighted invasiveness, except that the midwife or doctor should check the fundus, top of the uterus, just like with any woman. I don’t have the legal right to keep the baby information private, however, as I will elaborate in the next entry.
  6. 6. No privacy. Not even in my medical records, and an IEP full of stupid goals and stupid things that have nothing to do with preparedness for independence. My professional staff included a TVI and cane teacher, and because of the negligence of my family, a therapist. I personally could not learn food preparation and cooking with Mom hovering over the stove and demanding that I do the tasks faster. That isn’t what VR professionals do to blind cooks to be. Any blind man or woman should be trained in the art of cooking, chopping onions, etc. I hope we get an electric knife sharpener that I put in an Amazon wedding registry. I personally wish we had a knife sharpener or can opener like my bud Joey suggested as his mom sharpens a meat cleaver with a can opener and not a knife sharpener. I like Joey’s mom’s practical knowledge of the kitchen, heck it’s great, but I could not learn these practical tips and tricks without having known blind people such as Joey, Trenton, and others who’ve cooked and have been cooking for a long time. VR professionals who are blind and are role models are a plus, and at CCB, that’s what I found. However, the IEP goals in high school did not address the fact that CCB and BLIND Inc, and or LCB had loads better ratings than the Florida state rehabilitative facility in Daytona Beach. Only one person, a TVI/OMS in Tallahassee, addressed my need for intensive mobility, which I received at CCB, but after some recent events, my travel skills have been compromised. We had a student die, run over by a belligerent driver in a car who claimed to see the three blind mice, so to speak, waiting for the Mineral and Utica bus to arrive. She killed a blind man in her vehicle, thus she was charged with manslaughter. I don’t want to die so young, this guy was my friend. Then, there was all the discouraging from the NFBCO themselves, back to comorbidity. They want nothing to do with the guardianship case because I have a mental disability. Um, come on, comorbidity is a result of family abuse, period. I want my mental health stuff to be kept private and away from my parents because if my kids have to be involved, it takes away from a lot of things. I want to be able to do things on my own and this includes having the privacy and safety to give birth to children. I would never abuse a child, not in my wildest dreams, but my parents could assume so. No privacy in my sex life is a problem. My dad invaded Trenton’s privacy with me by asking him about safe sex, which is all well and good, but invasive and obtrusive. I don’t appreciate it.
  7. 7. Blind men sometimes take advantage of blind women, which becomes magnified because of the blindness. There was a man who took advantage of many women who were blind and sighted alike, having had a child who moved out of Colorado, failed to pay child support, and worse of all, he kept treating women like they were toys. This happens more than you think. Go to the conventions this summer, and I dare you, if you are blind, look around. When the party’s over, have you got a hangover? Did you once have a stranger in your bed? A pounding in your head? Thanks, Katy Perry. These are signs that you are lost, not morally guided or centered, and the worst thing about it, people in your community will hear about your sexual escapades through Facebook etc., and you don’t have the privacy to keep it safe. Trenton and I steer clear of conventions unless something great happens.
  8. 8. Blind people are treated as subhuman in the justice siystem. Society takes the antics of a blind man and states he needs guardianship. They cover up the abuse of a woman, again, she needs guardianship. Blind people don’t need guardians, period. It is absolutely stupid because I cannot fight what my family did, and this sends the wrong message to strangers, society, etc. If my father and mother die, that thing should be reevaluated, and I want nothing to do with Florida governing bodies who think I’m a test subject. Blind people should not ever be under guardianship, comorbidity aside. It sends the wrong message as much as placing DVR Colorado under the Office of Long Term Care sends the wrong message that blind people need care more than we need lives.
  9. 9. People think blindness equals baby or stupid. Talk to guys like Trenton and Joey, and you will get the picture. Trenton is treated with more respect from his family and I, and Joey’s family is great. But Joey admits that when he goes out, people sometimes get the wrong message about him because of blindness. No matter how much training we’ve all had, we sometimes need to educate society with limited force because in their eyes, we need nurses, should be put to bed, and are big freaking babies! This goes back to the guardianship examples. People think we don’t ever change either. I had to block someone on Facebook, someone I trusted from fourteen months onward in age, someone who practically raised me, sadly because she harkened back to high school and accused oe mf chasing boys when I was with Blake. I blocked this woman because she was talking to strangers–wrong and unjustly I might add–and she doesn’t want to admit that I’m a grown adult who will make decisions regardless of the racist, aableist parents I have to deal with.
  10. 10. One more thing about being blind, society thinks it’s okay to overprice our stuff! The Access Technology Affordability Act must be passed, and I hope the government will do something right for a change because JAWS, Braille displays, and other things, they’re all way too pricey for the average blind person. Forgive me for saying this, but the Orbit Reader 20 was meant for developing countries like in Africa and such, it’s a rugged and wonderful product, but which American blind people will buy it outright? Nobody, not without saving up and messing up benefits. The OR 20 also requires Windows, another expense I’m not gonna pay for yet. Technology is how we connect, how we learn, how we find friends. To have that door closed could mean no jobs, no lives, nothing for us, while sighted people and their progress marches on.
  11. I hope you guys opened your eyes, so to speak, about these problems about blindness. You can reach me at any time for comments, but please be respectful when writing comments. Trolling is not allowed.

Beth

Author: denverqueen

My name is Beth. I'm blind from birth and enjoy the blogging atmosphere. I am a creative person, a musician, a writer, etc. This is me. Take it or leave it.

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