The Beauty in My Bifocals
I get asked quite often why I wear glasses if I’m blind. I try to educate people that you can be blind and still have vision. Blind doesn’t always equate to total darkness.
I was declared legally blind as a teenager, and you can read about my eye disease and journey here- The Ups and Downs of Being a Blind Mom.
What I Can See
In my left eye, I have a visual field that’s maybe the size of a dime or just a tad smaller. My right eye works when it feels like it, I guess. Some days, I can’t even see silhouettes but others I can see colors and shapes. I usually describe my vision like looking through a fat straw but with dimmed colors and almost like a shattered glass appearance and added double vision at times. It’s a big ol’ mess trying to describe it, but you get it- I hope.
New Frames for a New Year
The point of this post is that I’m getting new bifocals soon. I always get nervous that the doctor will mess something up. I get so excited for new glasses, and I kind of need them to be perfect. My bifocals are just one of my handy-dandy tools to help me see a bit better. I use magnifiers and other low-vision aides, but glasses make me feel sighted. They help me blend.
I’m not saying that I’m not proud of who I am, but sometimes, it gets overwhelming answering questions or hearing remarks about my vision. My disability is like a chameleon. I could use my cane one day, or I could just hold my husband’s hand while walking down the street. No one would ever know, but that doesn’t mean invisible disabilities are any less important. I also spent a really long time training and working with a mobility specialist. It just means I’m lucky enough to have options, and I count my blessings for that.
People Fear What They Don’t Understand
I was picked on for wearing glasses the majority of elementary and middle school, but now, glasses must be cool because you can even get filters with them. It’s crazy how the tables have turned! I do appreciate how they have been added into the fashion and accessory world though. I’m pretty sure I have a millions of pins for glasses and makeup tips for glasses. Too bad glasses weren’t always seen as fashionable.
In high school, I wasn’t the only “blind girl.” I had a cane and the other girl had a dog. Kids were cruel. She even had to use a fake name for her guide dog, because people would call her and be disrespectful. I didn’t use my cane unless I had no vision days, which can happen if it’s overcast or dreary weather. I could sort of see the looks people gave her, and she could hear the mocking they did to me. We didn’t bond over it much or anything. We were both fairly strong about it and would occasionally joke that those people would be taking our orders some day.
College wasn’t any better. I used my cane more, because I walked a lot and had night classes. I was offered an escort, but I declined. Once, I was walking home from a night seminar for women and gender studies, and a guy stopped in front of me. I tried walking around him, but he put his foot up against my cane. He said, “you’re pretty cute for a blind girl.” Luckily, my fiction professor walked up behind me and scared the jerk off.
Getting a Voice
Two weeks later, I started sending emails. I found out the university wanted to put a disabilities minor in place. I did everything I could to help. Even though I graduated before the disabilities minor was fully set up, I spoke at numerous awareness panels and helped start a club that could support other students with disabilities. I even petitioned for better lighting along the university paths.
Confidence Paired with Lenses
I haven’t always had a love of glasses. They are like a safety blanket that make me feel confident now, but I used to break them when I was bullied. I still don’t always wear them, but they are like an extension of me. I wouldn’t be a blogger without glasses or my low vision aides. They help me fit into the sighted world a little better, I guess. Not that there is anything wrong with standing out, but I will say, it can be exhausting sometimes.
Even though my glasses don’t fix my vision, I still need them. They can’t cure my disease, but the tools that I can get, like glasses, make a major difference. They are like a cape, and they remind me that I have super powers if I just believe in myself enough. It may sound cheesy, but they make me feel empowered.
When I started my blog, I didn’t want to just write about my disability. Actually, I was a little nervous to open up about it at all. I’ve gotten some flack for choosing to be a SAHM. People either think I can’t be a good mother because of my vision, or they think I’m giving up because I don’t work outside the home. Both are wrong, but it still hurts. I choose to stay home. I’m fortunate enough to have the ability to stay home. I would never shame working moms, SAHM moms, or moms with disabilities. However, people still shame others, so I’ve learned to turn it into a positive.
Positivity is My New Vision
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone isn’t going to like us, so I’m going to stay positive. Who the hell cares what people think- and that’s what I continually remind myself when my positivity and confidence wanes.
When I go into the eye doctors this week, I’m sure they will ask to take pictures. I get my glasses from a regular eye place. I only see a specialist a few times a year, so the eye doctor I go to for my glasses sees me as a bit of an anomaly. They even asked to take pictures, free of charge, for learning purposes before. I like to help, but sometimes, I feel a bit like a circus act. I’m blind, I’m not a juggling monkey. I shake it off and laugh though. If I can help someone learn, I will always try my best.
Framed in Style
Since college, so basically the last 8 or 9 years, I’ve worn thick, plastic framed glasses. My bifocal isn’t able to be no-line, so you can see that I have them. I don’t mind. I love the way they look and feel. I’m looking forward to trying on similar styles. Part of me wants to mix it up with some color or a slightly different shape. Not sure if I’m brave enough for cat eye glasses or a bold color, but I’m excited for a change.
How do you feel about glasses? Any tips or recommendations?
You can follow my Pinterest and see what I’ve pinned if you’d like.
Have a lovely week!