These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

am i legally blind? yeah, i guess i am

living with my visual disability is a pain in the ass for a variety of reasons. sometimes i forget i have it and then something comes along that reminds me i can't quite do what others can. and at other times, i know i can't do something but try to keep up with the "normal" people. and, also, i guess i am in denial of the whole damn thing sometimes,

tonight dawn was pointing something out something she'd written on a sheet of paper. i made a comment about something pertaining to numbers and she told me there wasn't a 1 in front of the series of numbers. i immediatelty growled something about knowing that. well, my irartional comment and attitude ruined the end of the night.

so before she went to bed we discussed it and dawn said it's the part of me that is in denial of my disability that comes out and growls these stupids things when someone is helping me out.

i replied that i just don't want to look stupid. but it was a weak response. she's right. i've always had that problem with letting myself go and allowing a complete acceptance of my visual disability. i try like hell to act, do and work as others do. when it's time for me to be corrected because i don't get something quite right due to my vision, i get defensive. it's something i've done since i lost a good chunk of my vision in the summer of 1986.

back then, at least during my sophomore year in high school, which was the year i went back to school with most of my vision gone, i used crude humor to blend in with everyone else -- even thought i wasn't like everyone else. my eye sight really set me apart from pretty much everyone at school. i was probably the first legally blind student that ever went to San diego high school. the humor seemed to work. but looking back, it was stupid and "sophomoric" if you don't mind the pun. the things we do to fit in.

so my denial started off right after my eye sight started going in july 1986. i felt so helpless. i went from someone who could drive a car and read a book with lightning sped to someone who had to resign himself to being a passenger for the rest of his life and mostly listening to books on cassette for my readingpleasure. to put it in lyrical terms, "my independence vanished in the haze."

let me tell you, those things were very difficult to adjust to. i spent many days, nights and weekends at home in my room. i never really left the house because i felt i couldnt' see anything and didn't think it was worth it. i missed a lot then. but i was a stupid teenager.

i made it through that high school with what seemed like a miracle and eventually went on to a promising career in several fields, including archaeology and nano technology. there were also brief stints as a boxer and an amateur curling player in chile. but i gave all that up for journalistm.

anyway, yeah, i guess i recognize i am a bit of an ass when it comes to my vision and still attempting to have a go at it alone, even when i know help is good for a lad like me. so i'm sorry dawnie. i'll tame my growl.

for those of you who wish to hear my curling stories please read my curling blog. it's quite riveting and informative.


Blogger Leftylog said...

Hooray for curling!

9:24 AM


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