Hello everyone and welcome back to My Blurred World.
I hope you’re all doing well.
Today I want to share a post that I’ve been contemplating on writing for a awhile now and it’s all about the realities of sight loss. Now if you are a new follower of mine then you might not know that I am in fact visually impaired and it is my aim to attempt to raise awareness of this particular subject here on my blog. I have written a few posts in the post about my visual impairment but I have never shared a post about the difficulties we face as visually impaired people therefore I thought I would do so today.
It is not my desire to write this post in a negative manner, I am writing this purely to raise awareness of sight loss but mainly focusing on the realities of living with this disability in the hope of informing you of the struggles we face on a daily basis.
If you have been following me for a while then you’ll know that I aspire to to spread positivity and I’d like to think that I aproach life in a happy and positive way but I want people to know that even though I express my happiness and positivity here on my blog it doesn’t neccessarily mean that this is how I constantly feel because this is certainly not the case.
I believe that it is important to address the realities of life as it’s important to be honest and open and that is one of reasons as to why I’m writing this post for you today. I hope it can make you realise how extremely difficult and daunting it can get sometimes for not only visually impaired people but for disabled people in general.
I hope this post will be of interest to you so without further ado let’s begin.
It has become apprent to me that more and more disabled people face misconceptions within society, this has become something I have seemed to have to deal with more so than ever before in the last few months, perhaps this is because people’s opinions become more perceptible as I become older. It’s astonishing that so many people are unaware of disability and how ignorant some individuals can be to the subject/matter. Ofcourse I don’t expect people to know what it feels like to live with a disability but I believe that it’s important for everyone to have some form of understanding. Folk seem to think that us disabled people are unable to complete certain tasks purely because of our disability, well I’ll assure you that this is not the case as we find ways to make life more accessible so we can do things for ourselves without having to depend on someone else.
I’ve learned a fair few things about people’s views on disability (sight loss in particular) over the course of the past year and it can get a little too much sometimes when people treat you differently within society or look at you in a different way just because of the fact that you’re disabled.
I’ve recieved comments on social media asking how I apply my makeup and how is it possible for me to be fashionable if I’m visually impaired, these forms of comments can become annoying sometimes as it’s shocking to think that I as a visually impaired teenage girl am going to ignore my appearance and that I’m not able to apply makeup or be fashionable due to the fact that I live with sight loss. I don’t mind the occassional innocent question about how I apply makeup or how I pick out an outfit but when people suggest to me that I am unable to be fashionable or that I am unable to care for my appearance as I’m visually impaired is purely ignorant and can be quite hurtful if this is the assumption made by many others within society. It has lead to some comments from people insiuating that I’m lying about my visual impairment, this is definitely not the case and it’s extremely heartbreaking that one would think that I would lie about something so utterly signficant. Living as a visually impaired girl in a sighted world is both difficult and dauting without people making assumptions and coming to a concusion about someone who they don’t even know.
I often experience mistreatment due to being visually impaired. I’ve dealt with bullying in the past and still do to some extent as people talk about me behind my back or laugh just because they believe I’m different to them. People speak to me as if I’m a child, as if I don’t understand what they’re trying to tell me, it’s extremely disturbing and uncomfortable when people feel the need to talk to me (an almost 18 year old) as they would to a three year old child. Why? Why do people feel the need to do so? Why do they feel the need to mistreat or discriminate against us disabled people? It’s awful that some members of society act this way, I honestly have no words to describe how upsetting it can be to know that people feel the need to treat us disabled people in this manner. I believe it’s lack of awareness and this is why I strongly believe in the fact that more needs to be done, it’s the reason I’m writing this post for you today, I just hope it reaches out to as many people as possible because some individuals need to be more aware of the situation and they need to realise that we as disabled people are not different to anyone else in this world therefore we shouldn’t be mistreated for it.
I wish people would understand
Sighted peers will never understand how life treats us visually impaired people and disabled people alike. Although I do wish that they would try to understand matters significantly better than they currentlydo. I’ve attempted to explain and educate people on my experience living with a visual impairment but no matter how many times I attempt to explain, some people still don’t seem to understand and as I said I don’t believe they ever will. There are some individuals out there who are extremely supportive and although they don’t completely understand, they do try their best to do so and I am eternally grateful to those people for treating me the same as they would any other human being. Although, I am sad to say that this is not the case for everyone. I can try and try to explain my experiences to some peers and no matter how I apporach the situation they never seem to understand and it really saddens me to say so. Some people don’t seem like they want to understand therefore my words go straight over their heads. It’s upsetting that people feel the need to ignore the situation and don’t feel the need to learn about disabled people’s experiences in this world. There is nothing that can be done to change some people’s percpetions and this is truly heartbreaking. I honestly just wish that we could change the perception of only just the smallest percentage of humanity as that would mean that just a few more people would at least try to understand.
Some of the struggles
Here’s just a few of the struggles I face on a daily basis as a visually impaired person :
- Recognizing faces – My vision is particularly blurry therefore when I walk into a room full of people I can’t recognise any of their faces which can be extremely difficult as I’m not to know if any of my friends are in that particular room and it is extremely difficult to identify if there are any places to sit etc.
- Social exclusion – Due to my disability (chronic fatiuge alongside visual impairment) I can often feel isolated and lonely. This proves to be one of the most difficult things about living with a disability as I often don’t feel like I can go out and about with friends as some of the activites they choose to do might not be accessible for myself and this can make me feel ‘down’ as it feels like i’m missing out on socializing with my friends, it feels like my disability is holding me back. Don’t get me wrong, when possible I don’t let my disability stop me from doing/achieving anything but it can be difficult and it’s impossible to have a constant positive mindset.
- Falling/crashing into things : I often crash into unexpected objects that might be in my path. I could tell you a few stories about occassions when I’ve tripped over something or just walked into something that I didn’t expect would be there. This can result in a few embarrassing moments especially if this particular situation arises in public and it might also result in me injuring myself (it has happened). But in most cases I attempt to ‘laugh it off’ and try to make light of the situation (unless it’s particularly serious ofcourse).
- Not being allowed to drive : Almost everyone at the sixth form I attend are now learning to drive or have passed their tests already, I wish I could do the same. It can sometimes feel like I’m trapped as I’m not able to get in a car and just drive like others my age can do. I have to depend on other people to go places as I am not yet comfortable using public transport due to an unfortunate situation a couple of years ago. It can make me feel ‘down’ when i hear everyone talking about how well their driving lessons are going or how happy they are that they successfully passed their tests, don’t get me wrong, I am happy for them but I can’t help but feel a sensation of sadness as I know that driving is probably something I will never be able to do.
- Meeting new people – Staying on the topic of social life I want to address the fact that meeting new people can also be very difficult for me as a visually imapired person. As I can’t see people’s faces it is evident that I can’t make eye contact with those people therefore I believe this can result in the peer i’m talking to feel uneasy or uncomfortable (this is not the case in every situation). I can occasionally sense one’s uneasiness and this can make the situation ‘awkward’ especially if the peer I’m communicating with doesn’t understand my disability. People often comment that I’m an extremely shy person when they first meet me but I can assure you that I’m not shy at all, once one gets to know me I can come accross as considerably confident. I might not be the loudest or the most outgoing person but I am in no way shy, even if I do seem so sometimes. Due to not being able to see people’s faces/see their expressions I can feel anxious when meeting new people and this is why I might come accross as being very quiet. It might seem like an excuse but I can assure you that it is my vision and anxiety that results in me seeming quiet and shy. I might write a post about confidence in the future so please do let me know if you’d be interested in that.
Sadness or depressesion can play a huge part in one’s life when they live with a disability. Although I haven’t experienced depression myself, I can say that I often feel isolated, unhappy, frustrated or just pure sadness due to living with disabilities. I’m not going to lie, I’ve cried in vexation countless amount of times due to feeling this way as everything can prove to get a little too much sometimes. I can often feel frustrated due to living with a visual impairment and I can occassionally feel a sensation of grief as my vision is slowly deteriorating which means that I’m losing one of the most important senses a human is gifted with and this to me is devestating, but living with this disability for about 12 years now I’ve learned to accept my disability and to accept who I am as a person because at the end of the day I can’t change the fact that I live with sight loss.
It’s important that every disabled person out there can accept their disability and become happy within themselves, it might not be the easiest of tasks but it is possible. I have written a post about embracing your disability which you can read here if you are interested. Although it is difficult to live with sight loss it is possible to live a positive life. Yes, I admit that this post has been quite negative in a sense but that doesn’t mean that I approach my life in a negative manner, I can assure you that I don’t. I’d like to think of this post a source of information that exists for people to learn of the struggles we go through as visually impaired people. You might be able to relate to this post if you are visually impaired yourself or if you live with any other form of disability. I mentioned above that I can often feel isolated but this is only occasionally, I have now learned that I am not alone, there are thousands of visually impaired people in this world and even though everyone’s vision is different, it’s possible for us to join forces as a community and support each other in any way possible. It has certainly helped myself to talk to fellow visually impaired people over the course of the past few months and whenever I feel lonely I turn to one of the amazing friends I’ve made here in this incredible place known as the internet and she will always make me feel better as our lives are very relatable to each others. It’s incredible that a simple thing as just talking to someone can make you feel so much better, you should try it if you ever feel lonely, it helps I promise you! Even though we live with these struggles I’ve mentioned in this post, we can still be happy and we can still live our lives to the full.
I hope you have all enjoyed this post. Do contact me with any feedback you may have as I would love to hear from you. I hope you can say that you learned something today and that you are able to take just one thing from this post. It’s incredibly important that we are able to raise awareness of visual impairment, both the positive and the negative side of it and I would be extremely happy if I were able to change at least one person’s perceptive of sight loss by writing this post and all my other disability related posts.
Thank you all so much for reading, I hope you enjoy the rest of your day. Be sure to join me next time in My Blurred World xox