A lot of people ask me. “What is like to be blind?” Well…the answer to that is probably just as complicated if I were ask someone what it was like see? Its just my life. It is all I have ever known. There are many ways to “see” other than your eyes, but when you have sight, well… you tend to rely too heavily on what you can see. This is also why sighted peoples tend to see us “vision impaired” as a handicap. They think about what it would be like if they were blind and automatically assume this is how it is. Well I can assure you it is not.
We are more than capable of taking care of ourselves. Dressing ourselves, feeding ourselves and so on. This is not to say it is easy, and does not take lots of practice, but I am a firm believer that anything you can do, I can do too.
This is why it is so frustrating to have such loving parents that feel they need to smother me. I know they just worry, but what they don’t understand is I am more than ready to learn to take care of myself.
At some point you have to take matters into your own hands. My parents and our balcony is a perfect example of this. From the time we moved in, it was locked and no one was ever allowed to step foot onto it. Mother and father included. It may seem like a small restriction, but when you live your life in basically 4 small rooms, things can get a little…boring.
I don’t know if it was my stubborn streak, or my desire to push myself to become stronger and more self sufficient…well what ever it was, it didn’t take me long to learn how to get out there. This was not an easy task let me tell you.
First you have to make sure that the parentals are asleep. This step is crucial! If they were to ever find out, you would be deader than you would be if ya accidentally slipped off the side of the building. Listen through the door see if you can hear them snoring. Mom and Dad both have a distinct breathing pattern which in a case like this comes in really handy.
Sounds good. Onto step two.
Carefully and quietly go down the stairs. Counting each step until you hit twelve. Knowing your steps is also very important. I couldn’t even tell you how many times I had gone up and down those stairs, just to get the feel of them. I could actually get to the bottom faster than my mom. Oh yes I have mad Skills!
But for the sake of her heart, I always take them nice and slow when she would be watching. She worries way too much about me. Even to this day!
Ah the next step is probably the most tricky. Finding the key. The reason this part is so tricky, is the key seems to change places from time to time. Unfortunately for them, they are not very good at hiding things. If you can’t hide something effectively from a blind girl, you…are really not good at hiding things! 😄 Again an advantage in my court.
Once you locate the key make your way to the door.
Carefully and quietly unlock it. Leave the key on the table nearest the door, its way too risky to take it outside.
Once the door is open, that is when the fun begins.
The cool air rushed across my feet and it felt like freedom! It was Liberating and exhilarating. A feeling like I had never felt before. I found the cool metal fencing and followed it out all the way out. The air whizzed through my hair and I could feel my heart beating wildly with excitement.
So many amazing sounds. Cars rushing by, horns blaring, car stereos pounding. It was intoxicating. Everything felt alive! I wanted nothing more than to be a part of the world, like a normal teenager was. I wanted to make friends, meet a boy, maybe have my first kiss. None of this was ever gonna happen in the sheltered life I led.
But how do you make someone believe that you are ready to do things on your own, when they still view you as a helpless child? This was my dilemma. I had to find a way, to get through to them. I had tried once before when I was younger, maybe this time it would stick.
I was officially on a mission. I was going to go to a public high school.
And this time I would not give in so easily.