Neurosis: Damned If I Do, Damned If I Don’t

When I leave the house without my cane, I feel like a fraud. I feel like I’m pretending that I can see the ground in front of me and that crossing the street doesn’t terrify me.

When I leave the house with my cane, I feel like a fraud. I feel like I’m pretending that I can’t see shapes, colors, movement and (gasp!) print.

I’m neurotic about everything else, why should this be different?

What’s in a name?
I think I’m getting hung up on the label.

When darkness fell this summer (and I had no idea if my sight would return), I immediately thought of myself as blind and found the term “visually impaired” silly, overly-sensitive, and consisting of entirely too many syllables.

Now that I can read a book and (sort of) walk without a cane, it doesn’t seem so silly anymore.

This summer I was BLIND, but now I just have a big blind spot. Referring to myself as “blind” seems disingenuous. I think I’m more comfortable with calling myself “visually impaired” – but still get weirded out if someone else calls me that.

Why? Is my ego THAT fragile? Don’t answer that.

Dark Glasses: My New Love/Hate Relationship
I can see better at night with my dark glasses on. They aren’t tinted very dark, so they help reduce glare day and night. Unfortunately, I’m beginning to feel like a walking stereotype when I wear them at night… so I’ve been taking them off.

I’m willing to walk around with glare in my eyes and trip over every rise in the sidewalk just to prove how unblind I am to strangers who have no idea that I have a vision situation at all.

THAT’S healthy.

What is with the Ray Charles/Stevie Wonder head thing?
Ok, I’m doing it because my neck is sore and my eyes are tired – but if I catch myself I freeze and stand/sit up straight and tall. Then I scan the room to see if anyone saw me.

Why am I doing that? What is UP with that?

…and why don’t I feel stupid doing it without the dark glasses and white cane? It’s a pretty un-cool head gesture. Like Max Headroom or Wm. F. Buckley Jr. my head is just kinda bouncing around.

Infants have better neck control.

Sometimes I’ll wear my white iPhone headphones so people think I’m rockin’ out.

Yep. I’m foolin’ everyone. I’m so smart.

Thank You, Mr. Pryor
I had a chance to catch See No Evil Hear No Evil on YouTube the other day. It’s a silly/stupid comedy with a razor-thin plot but I love both Gene “Young Frankenstein” Wilder and Richard “Brewster’s Millions” Pryor* so it’s easy to forgive them.

The whole first ten minutes felt entirely too familiar. I am BOTH of these characters. Holy crap.

Luckily, it devolved into the over-the-top stereotyping and whacky totally-implausable situations I was hoping for. Then, halfway through the movie, I identified waaay too much with this scene:

When slapstick comedies are imitating life, you’re acting like a stooge.

* (OK, Blazing Saddles and Here and Now were funnier, but I was going PG rated)


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Melinda on June 11, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Hi there.. I read a short part of your blog discussing the cane, and found myself NEEDING to talk to you.. I know EXACTLY 10000000% how you feel. I am in the same exact boat.. am I blind, this cane helps, but this cane sucks.. I can see, but I am afraid I am going to fall off a cliff… what a horrible inner battle! I am sure I need to read more of your blog, and I bet I can relate on most of it!

    blind or not blind.. that is the question 🙂


  2. Posted by Melinda on June 11, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Btw .. you can contact me personally at , have a good one!


  3. Boy, can I relate to these days … Love your blog. Looks like it has been a while since an update so hope things are going well.


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