I'm sitting alone on a train. You approach, but you have no interest in me. Instead, you're intrigued by my disability, and you lack the necessary filters to keep your interest in check. So, we chat. Well, it's not really a chat. It's more like an interrogation, or, at the very least, an extremely intense game of twenty questions. It never occurs to you that I'm a person with feelings. You have no idea that I might be offended by the liberties you take. The things you see as compliments are things I find insulting, but this idea is out of your reach.
I am not a Q&A session. I'm a person with a life to live. I do not know every other blind person to walk the earth. The fact that I have a dog at my side doesn't mean he's there to give you your daily doggy fix. My existence isn't an excuse for you to blurt out all the things you've ever wondered about blindness, and, honestly, I don't care that you can't imagine what life would be like for you if you couldn't see.
Am I harsh? Maybe so, but I'm also tired of being viewed as "the blind woman", the person who symbolizes that which so many fear. It's true. People have an irrational fear of blindness. I've heard about it for years, and, recently, I was unfortunate enough to read a book about it. So, you're scared to lose your sight? Well, hopefully, that won't be your reality, but, even if it could be, don't look at me as the thing you fear. We both lose out on so much if you do.
Try not to feel too badly about your behavior. You're not the first person to subject me to such things, and I doubt you'll be the last. People look at me and "BLIND" jumps out at them. It happens to strangers all the time, but the really sad thing is that it happens when I'm among my family too. So, your lack of consideration really shouldn't surprise me all that much. I suppose I should be used to it, no matter how distasteful I might find it. Still, it's hard being the symbol of something that induces pity and fear in equal doses. It's disheartening and dehumanizing, but you don't stop and think about that. Of course you don't! To you, I'm not human. To you, I'm only blind! And yet, there are so many things you cannot, will not see, but it's my blindness you fear? Look in the mirror and face the fear that looks back at you. Then, the next time we meet on this train, maybe you can view us more as equals. I'll keep waiting for that next meeting
This has been my contribution for
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by and read. If you're so inclined, please remember me when the polls open tomorrow evening.