Cry Purple

One woman's journey through homelessness, crack addiction, and prison, to blindness, motherhood, and happiness

Living with Blindness

Posted by crypurple on February 7, 2013

Hi,

Today, I wanted to take some time to talk about what it is like to live day to day with a disability and be a parent.

I was triggered to write this as this week I was asked a question, “How does having no eyes change your daily activities?”

I chuckled and thought to myself, really?  What area of my life did it not effect might be a much shorter answer!

Living in total darkness, sheer blackness, endless nothingness, can have its down moments. I dream when sleeping in vivid color, so often that, when feeling down I like to sleep to capture those   colorful things – things that are not black.

I have a team of people that assist me. That is the only way I can live alone and care for myself and my little guy.

So I get 4 hours a day of assistance.  They help clean where I miss, they help match our clothes so we are ready to face each day, they assist in mail reading, finding things in the store for me, and even putting together toys when Ricky and I cannot  figure out the directions ourselves!

You see, although there are many things I can do without help, like type up a blog post, there are many things I cannot complete without some assistance.

I mean, I cannot walk in to a store and find my items without asking for help.

I have to admit, it is humbling over and over again.  If I visit a new place I have not learned my way around, then I have to ask for assistance to the restroom.

After all the years on the streets, all the things I have survived and experienced, I cannot find my way to the potty in a new place.

Often this inhibits me from going to places or visiting friends or family.  It is very stressful to be where I can’t even find my way to my own drink of water.

But in my home, where I know where things are that  I can cook, get a drink, or make coffee for my company, I can function without stress,  I can tend to my needs  and my son’s own needs,  and most  importantly find my own way to the potty!

I long to see the sunlight’s bright gleam, the green of the grass, the endless blue skies, or the floating of a cloud.

My heart longs to see the face behind my son’s laugh that I hear so often.

I, however, know I did abuse my sighted life, and I learn each day to see in other ways, I have learned to have vision without sight.

I am learning to become interdependent of those around me, in order to live as normal of a life as I can.

I love giving back to my community and my voice and experiences are tools that I am mastering to be able to do just that.

I struggle sometimes as to where I fit in as a person with a disability.  Having lived in the abled world so long, that is indeed where I feel more comfortable, but often the abled world does not know how to receive me past the disability.

Just as if someone’s eyes are blue or hair is blond, my blindness is a characteristic of me; it is not my identity. However, the world around me often identifies me by my limitations, not by my strengths.

In seeking employment, I find employers puzzled as I enter for interviews, questioning my abilities to do the job.

I am confident that God has a wonderful job for me in line where I can use my life experiences, as well as my learned talents, to help others and continue to attempt to make a difference.

Stay tuned for my next blog post.  It will be about my attempting to date now that I am blind! I will share some of the experiences I have had trying to meet new folks and hopefully those stories will make you laugh!

Christine

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One Response to “Living with Blindness”

  1. John F. Kough said

    From John Kough
    It was good seeing you last monday and hopefully the next time I get through St Louis, we can get one of those fabulous steaks at the local bar again. I loved the book and will anxiously wait for the continuing sequal. God Bless

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