Am I different? I know, a stupid question, because we are all different right? On one hand, I have thoughts and feelings just like everyone else, and I go about my daily life just like any other “normal” (love that word, because what is normal?) person. On the other hand, I am a non-sighted person living in a sighted world, and unfortunately that’s what a lot of the public seems to see-my blindness first, putting it bluntly.
I never really knew I was different, until it hit me at about the age of nine, that hey I’m blind and nothing was going to change that. I just thought I was like all the other kids. High school made it very clear to me that I was different, on no uncertain terms. I used my school work as a shield for how I was really feeling about myself and how some of my classmates treated me, until 7th form when I couldn’t handle it any more and I needed help.
Fast forward 12 years and I am in a much better place mentally and emotionally. I still get reminders that I’m “different” from everyone else, and I’ve noticed it much more since becoming a Mum. A couple of incidents last year were when I got stared at when walking through the mall with Ella in the front pack, or when someone thought she wasn’t my baby-that really hurt. I wonder, do sighted or able bodied parents get stared at, apart from when their kid is throwing a tantrum or misbehaving? I bet they don’t.
So what is the whole point of this post you might be asking, as it probably doesn’t make much sense. Please try to look at the person first, rather than their disability, and please try not to make assumptions based on what you think you know about them.