From the Other Side

Please share:

The majority of the poetry that I write talks about the experiences so many of us share living with blindness and low vision. It’s speaks of the challenges we face in fighting for our independence, the misconceptions surrounding blindness and how people still don’t understand how it’s a spectrum with many different shades and most importantly the strength and resilience we have within ourselves to overcome our obstacles.

One thing I’ve come to realize is that we need to talk more about how the things we experience affect those around us. Our loved ones, our friends and family. Our wife’s or husband, sons, and daughters. It’s not just us living with the challenges of disability, they feel everything we do and in the case of those closest to us, they often feel it more.

When I go out to a busy place that makes me feel anxious due to my lack of useful vision, I see my wife not only watching my every move to make sure I’m safe but also watching the reactions of people around me. She gets upset at the way some people stare like they’ve never seen a person with a cane or a guide dog. She gets annoyed at the way some people look at me yet still proceed to walk straight into me. I even had someone jump over my cane a couple of days ago. Because she worries about me so much when I’m out with her this adds to my anxiety too.

It’s something so many people experience yet rarely talk about, but it’s important to share and discuss these things so others know it’s perfectly normal, that they aren’t alone and to share tips on how we deal with these situations. My wife has written poetry about a partners perspective watching a loved one going blind and every time she shares piece the response has always been amazing.  But we need more. More conversations around how things feel from the other side.

How do your loved ones feel?

 

It’s not just me affected by the way my eyes decline 

The ones I love my family all walk this path of mine 

And every time I’m struggling, I know that they are too

They truly are affected by the things that we go through 

My wife gets so frustrated that she just can’t take away 

My anxious chest and stress as I see less and less each day

She tries her best to help or understand when I need space

To fight for independence or be safe in her embrace 

But knowing which is best is something she finds hard to see

I know that it hurts her and that makes me feel guilty 

So sometimes I just keep it in and try to spare her fears

But hiding these things from her is the cause of just more tears 

My son has told me many times how my sight makes him sad 

I wish that I could do the things his friends do with their dads 

There are places I just don’t feel safe to go if we’re alone

I hope in years to come these things I fear won’t be his own 

But there is more to life than just sadness blindness brings

there are far more happy times than sad our love outweighs these things

My wife would never change the person vision loss has made

The love we have has grown despite the sight that ebbs and fades

My son still tells me every day I’m the greatest dad alive

I know when useful visions gone our love will still survive 

It’s not just me affected by the way my eyes decline 

The ones I love my family all walk this path of mine

We share the good and bad eye days but wouldn’t change a thing

We understand the beauty in the times that blindness brings

 
#TheBlindPoet