Blind Perceptions

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Blind Perceptions

Ive come to realise that often it’s not the physical aspects of blindness that are the hardest things to come to terms with in life but more often it’s the perceptions of others surrounding blindness and disability. The times when I feel truly isolated aren’t led by how little I see but how the world views me when I’m out. If you aren’t affected by blindness, low vision or disability I want you to imagine how you’d feel going out and knowing that people are staring at you when you’re using a mobility aid or in some cases making judgements about you. It can feel draining at times and quite often it’s the reason those like me sometimes go out without their canes or guide dogs trying to navigate safely because we want a break from being seen as blind.

I like many others I’ve spoken to living with low vision have been accused by people for faking my blindness because of lack of awareness. But I say that we spend more time faking that we can see. We go from day to day one minute pretending we can see more to avoid the stares to then bowing to the misconceptions by putting on sunglasses and avoiding making eye contact with people to avoid confusion. But if people understood the true spectrum of blindness more of us wouldn’t think twice about going out and living our lives without being worried about the opinions of others.

My poetry is my outlet for these feelings. A tool and resource for others to show the world how we may be able to see sometimes then other times not. How so many factors influence what we are able to see. With my condition Retinitis Pigmentosa the way I see can be affected by things like the weather, how my health is, whether I’m stressed or anxious and also by how much movement is in my view.

These things are challenging but every day I try to not let them stop me. Some days I succeed and others I don’t but I try to remind myself that I’m only human and that I’m not the only one out there experiencing these things.

Can you relate to these things?

Blind Perceptions

I know there’s strength inside of you

though all you feel is numb

Don’t be afraid as eye sight fades for what is still to come

You will adjust in these words trust we share these tunnelled eyes

A mix of strength with anxiousness the same in me applies

My shins are full of bruises

and my confidence misplaced

At time self isolated

felt the world too much to face

So I’m here to remind you

all the times we fail don’t matter

There’s lots of misconceptions still let’s remind them of the latter

It’s not that complicated

change how blindness is defined

Let’s educate

articulate

the many ways we’re blind

It’s never all or nothing

many shades and different views

Yet there’s a stereotype they keep on printing in the news

No wonder some of us have fears when out in crowded place

They see the cane

but can’tt explain why we look them in the face

There’s some of us who stay at home convinced of the excuse

that because we don’t look blind enough

there’s a need to be recluse

Don’t waste your life on people who’s opinions are way off

Just swipe your cane with courage

hold your head with pride aloft

So never doubt what we’re about despite what some believe

Come join me on my mission

change the way we are perceived

Won’t let the haze that fills my eyes consume the rest of me

There’s more to life

than edge of knife

despite what I can’t see

Try not to care as people stare

with looks of vague suspicion

But why should I explain to them the terms of my condition

Though it’s much simpler to stay home

won’t waste another day

Their pity’s just an obstacle that’s getting in my way

Though I am blind won’t be confined by others misconceptions

This poetry that spills from me

will change their blind perceptions

Though anxious chest and days depressed

have far from disappeared

I’ve learned to breathe while I still grieve

control these things I’ve feared

My kids look on

not on what’s gone

but all each day I teach

For if tomorrow their eyes pay

life’s dreams are still in reach

So I’ll not cry as vision dies

won’t focus on the blur

No point in holding on to how

those days and eyes once were

#TheBlindPoet