Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Confessions on Blindness, Clefting

Naturally it would have behooved me to write this earlier when I was ACTUALLY thinking about it!!!
Now the title isn't so grand and what's more, I'll probably write something herein that I've already written before! Imagine that!!
At any rate. . .
A possible loose thread has been brought to my attention that I ought to be dealing with SOONISH, as in before I attempt college or maybe even before I attempt to raise money to attend the National Publicity Summit and get my book edited and published!
My body image coach believes I have a problem with my blindness. She admits she doesn't see me interacting with people every day, but nonetheless she believes I have an issue with it.
Now. . . I carry my cane I didn't used to do this. . . I tell people I'm blind or visually impaired ALOT, I didn't used to do this either.
I've been leaping out of my comfort zones lately, riding in cars with strangers to go door to door campaigning for President Obama. I've been asking for help more often, something I detested doing! And yes, while it's still not my favorite thing to do, for fear that people will think I'm super impaired if I ask them for help, I do it anyway.
However. . . there's still issues.
I don't act blind. I look people in the eye, I don't keep my head down or look up at the ceiling. I don't rock back and forth or side to side.
Nevertheless, I announce myself as visually impaired or blind and as I said, I carry a cane. This leads me to wonder. . . if she's right, what exactly am I supposed to do to remedy this problem?
Get more blind friends? Invest money in blind organizations? Where a sign written in neon lettering that screams I'M BLIND!! while standing in the middle of the busiest street in downtown Flint or Saginaw? She says no. . . but I want answers on how I'm supposed to resolve this.
I get it. If it weren't an issue I wouldn't be pissed off. So she's right and it's an issue. Or so self help logic holds. It's an issue if I protest too much! It's an issue if I deny it! It's an issue no matter what I do or don't do. If I call her up and tell her I did walk in traffic with a sign like that just to prove it's not an issue then it's an issue because I took drastic measures to prove it wasn't!
So what's a Woman to do? Besides stew about it, which I've already been doing off and on since last night when we discussed it.

Secondly, and definitely linked. . . We discussed how I define myself. I am Michelle. I am also blind and I have a Tessier Cleft. She says these are facts. Yeah. Their facts like having prosthetic eyes or bbrown hair so dark some say it's actually black.
I don't see it this way though.
I agree that they are facts.
I also KNOW without question that they have shaped and defined WHO I AM and they always will. My Mexican heritage has also shaped and defined me and IT always will.
Plain and simple, these do define me. I have a choice in HOW they define me. Do I view them in a good light? Or do I view them in a bad light? But even this becomes subjective if you believe that everything is as it is and is only "GOOD" or "BAD" once YOU project a feeling onto it. A thing can be neutral and not be GOOD or BAD unless or until YOU project feelings onto it.
I tell her that tearing that out of my identity makes me less. I don't use those exact words, but that's how I see it. Without these things I am less because they have made me who I am. She says it's irrelevant and I see this NOT!
If I were a banker with eyesight and a face that Goddess built as opposed to the one that Jack or The Doctor *if you prefer* built then I would be different. This isn't a question, It is also a FACT in my opinion. You can't be anyone other than WHO YOU ARE and how do you become WHO YOU ARE? You become WHO YOU ARE based on the experiences and events that shape your life!
Can you or I change our positions? Our beliefs? our thoughts? YES! No matter how much changes though, these facts, these building blocks and foundations of our existences will always remain THE SAME!
Even if I gain my sight I will always be the Woman who WAS BORN BLIND and then GAINED her sight. Not the Woman who always had it.
And I will always be the Woman born with a Tessier Cleft who wrote the first half of her autobiography based around that very Cleft and the blindness that came with it.
Is that a bad thing? I think not.
I'm okay with that.
Are others okay with it? Maybe maybe not.
Do I need to care about how they feel about it? No, I don't.
As an aside, I will say this.
She is right that there are a boat load of emotions around my blindness, perhaps lingering there on my Cleft as well.
Any one would have those emotions if their parents raised them in guilt and anguish over how they were born and if they knew right from the beginning that they had to PROVE their worthiness.
Those I believe are only worked out through time.
If it took me 26 years to get here it may very well take me another 26 to get THERE.
And I'm okay with that to.

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