The Blind leading the blind


It was twelve years ago and I was working for Space/Bravo!, I had suffered severe migraines for weeks and over the weekend I was seeing pretty sparkles.  Monday morning I went to work and as I covered my right eye out of fatigue I could see nothing.  All I could see out of my left eye was a dark grey blur.  After seeing upteen specialists it was determined that a nerve was severed in my eye and the damage was permanent from a Stroke. 

six years ago after changing jobs I suffered more damage to the same eye from a virus called Toxoplasmosis and after a few other incidents of bizarre occurences it was determined I had an auto-immune disorder called APS without primary illness.  When this all happened I just survived,  everytime I fell down, bumped into something, didn’t see someone, made a mistake I blamed it on clumsiness and human error not my visual impairment.

The problem is when you deny your limitations they have a way of catching up to you and that happened recently when I realized doing my current job was becoming more and more difficult.  The program I work on which was changed a few years ago cannot be manipulated ie…increase font, change colours etc…As I wait for a job transfer to another area I am left with many feelings.

I went through Denial, Anger, Bargainning, Depression and finally Acceptance. 

The ironic twist is that this situation has opened my eyes to some values I’ve held that were a bit distorted.  I did not want to be perceived as weak so I found ways around my limitations and really did not want to accept my disability.

When I was a child I watched as my mother stayed in a marriage built on verbal abuse.  In my teens I came to the conclusion that she was weak and I made a decision I would never let anyone or anything control as she had let my father control her.

I was wrong about it all.  My mother stayed because her children meant the world to her and her Catholic upbringing dictated that she exhaust every means to keep the family intact.  She was strong to put up with this abuse, stick to her convictions and keep a smile on her face,  no one knew what she was going through.

Today she is remarried to a wonderful man and was recently diagnosed with tunnel vision caused by a Stroke.  Her husband brings her to CNIB every week and supports her every step of the way.
The funny thing is that now we share a common impairment and seeing how brave and willing she is to work through it has brought me some strength as well.  It’s also allowed me to let go of the control.

I’m not by any means saying that someone should stay in an abusive relationship.  I simply feel that those who do should not be looked at as weak.  It takes alot of guts to walk away and sometimes a person might feel it’s not the time.

Turning a blind eye to abuse is weakness,  degrading or berating a person who is abused is a weakness.  They need to know they are strong and that through the darkness there is a hand reaching out to help them.

I dedicate this blog to my Mother the strongest woman I know.