Do You Think I Asked to Be Blind?

In recent months, we’ve seen articles upon articles about the benefit cheats and scum scroungers defacing the welfare system and the need to reform it. I know the system needs reforming and I agree that the cheats should be sort out so the “real” sick and disabled can get help. But this government are not interested in helping, they’re only interested in cutting. As someone who was born with a disability, something by the way, I cannot “put on” or “make up”, I am saddened, hurt, and angered by some journalists and members of the public that are saying the disabled “get it easy”. Easy? Really? Do they want to walk in my shoes for a year and tell me it’s easy? Try having to depend on people to shop with you for clothes. I can’t just walk into a store and see a top I like or shoes. I have to have someone with me to spot things I might like. Try having to wait 20 minutes just to get someone to do your shopping at a supermarket? You can’t, as a blind person just walk around and put things into a trolley. Imagine pulling some bread out of the bread bin, making a nice sandwich of cheese and then after consuming it, discover both were mouldy and you’re now feeling mighty sick because no one is around to see the green mould. I have allergies so what if I eat something and no one is there to tell me it has something to which I’m allergic too? Uh-oh, asthma attack! Think about the weather? It snows hard, you’re effectively house bound because it’s too dangerous to go out with the dog or the cane can’t get through the snow and you’d never spot the ice until you’ve found it with your feet and are on the ground, now in pain. So you have to pay for taxis on necessary journeys to keep you safe! Even things like wind can blind you completely. A blind person would depend on their hearing to cross roads and if there’s a high wind, the wind can block sounds which makes things hard to judge correctly. And wet conditions can change the acoustics which makes things hard on a different level to get around. And what about washing? You accidentally put the new pink top in a wash with whites because the colour detector just said pink, not dark pink and the top just ran ruining all your white clothes. And you don’t know this, so where the white shirt and look like a real idiot. Imagine if the blind person is a lawyer and is in court that day or a school teacher? Wow! That doesn’t look good, does it? All because they didn’t have someone to see how their clothes were after the wash. Odd socks are not a problem until someone sees them and points it out to you. Do you know how some people’s confidence could lapse due to someone just saying, you’ve got odd socks on? It hurts when you think you’ve done something independently and then discover you did it all wrong. What happens if you have shampoo and conditioner in an exact same bottle? And you have to identify the shampoo to put on your hair ? And whoops, conditioner is put on first. Sure, might not seem like a big deal but keep doing that and the conditioner would go down fast, thus costing you more money. And medicine? Some pills have braille on, but not everyone who is blind reads braille and the instructions are never in braille so you may need to ask someone to remind you what they are. Ever get a letter that is hand written? Try reading that with a scanner and OCR software that costs a bundle to begin with so you’re lucky if you have it at all. Or, you have to fill a form in. Need eyes for that! The shopping comes home and you have to put things away. Sure try labelling some with braille, if someone is there to help but freezer stuff never retains its braille labels so you pulled the box of beef burgers out instead of the quern ones you were making for your friend. Big whoops! Your at a party or walking down the street and someone is speaking to you, but being blind, you have no way of knowing unless they address you by name and even then, if you don’t recognise the voice, you may come across rude and ignorant. Socialising can be hard if you’re on your own and many people, me included feel isolated in crowds unless we have someone we know with us. Getting around unfamiliar places is incredibly hard. Do you know how many times I’ve got lost? Even when I’ve done a route a few times? And if a route changes, I.E., road works, I don’t know about it until absolute last minute and am sooooooo stuck, especially if it’s noisy. I can’t look on maps in malls so shopping by myself is a “no, no”. Knowing if money is fake is a complete impossibility. Using cash machines right now is impossible although some blind people would argue that. Maybe I’m just a useless blind person. So think I should give a few positives. I am, a very fast learner. I might take a few goes to remember a route but I do remember eventually. I like to teach myself things, methods to do things. You have to be very adaptable when your blind and living in a sighted world. I’m academic! I love reading and write creatively as a hobby. I enjoy technology and can teach myself things on a computer if needs be. I enjoy interacting with people and can be very patient when I need to be. [dealing with discrimination and animals has taught me that]. I’ll stand up for myself and can be very diplomatic. I laugh a lot. I am a hard worker. Give me a task, I won’t stop until I’ve completed it. And I want to work! Oh, my goodness, you have no idea how much I want to work! I want to get up in the morning, travel to work, [purpose], work hard all day, come home feeling tired, but at the weekend, say, I’ve worked hard all week, now time to have fun! I want to spend my hard earned cash on things I love to do. I want to buy my own horse and compete and become good at something and make new friends. I want out of this bubble and I want out now! I never asked to be blind. Don’t you think I’d rather do all the things in my daily life without worrying and without help? Don’t you think I wanted to have a paper round when I was 13? And work in McDonalds or somewhere on a Saturday when I was 16? I wanted to work in a bar like my friends when I was at uni and gain experience! I wanted to be successful and I still might be able too but so far it’s not happened. I love my Guide dog but I wish he could be an assault course dog instead of having to guide me around everywhere! I wish I could drive and have my own car and independence! I don’t want to be blind so those who think it’s “fashionable” or “trendy” to be, I’d rather be a fashion outcast right now. My DLA helps me live a near to independent life. I may be a rubbish, useless blind person but without my DLA, I’d be a wreck! I hate depending on people and I wish I didn’t have to but my future looks bleaker than I ever thought it would and I don’t know what will happen to me but guess I’ll go on. I might not be a successful lawyer, or a teacher, or sell assistive tech products, I may never be any of those things. I just want a job, preferably helping people but if not, just any old job to start my life. I never asked to be blind but I do want to live and not just exist. [A ramble I know, just putting feelings out there.]

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