Ever wonder what it’s like for the sighted?

I recently found this incredible essay, ‘On His Blindness’ on Beth Fink’s blog.

The essay is written from a sighted woman’s point of view and discusses life with her husband who is blind. The brutal honesty of it is actually quite refreshing, at least for me. To see what it’s like for my sighted loved ones was something special. The author doesn’t gloss over anything. While she doesn’t portray blindness as a horrible inconvenience, she’s honest about what it hinders. I have to think she was brave enough to say what most sighties might be afraid to say, for fear of offending us.

I could also so relate to a lot of the experiences she writes about. Just trade Legos for Nylabones haha! An excellent read, in my opinion.


Filed under Adjustment to blindness, plugs

9 Responses to Ever wonder what it’s like for the sighted?

  1. That is an excellent article – thanks for sharing the link – and yes can relate to so much. Yes, have stepped on my share of nylabones!

  2. Anonymous

    I read this article from Beth’s blog a couple of days ago. I cried like a baby. I can’t imagine ever having someone love me enough to run the interference that the wife does. I hope the husband knows how fortunate he is to have that.

    In the meantime, as of last night, no more stepping on Nylabones for me. Doggie has two bruised teeth and has to have them removed. Pobrecito. He’s 6 now and his chewing on things as tough as nylabones days are officially over. I came home from the Vet last night and threw them all away.


  3. Ro

    Wow, that’s crazy. What can he chew now, goughnuts and stuff like that?

  4. Anonymous

    Hi Ro:

    Well, I haven’t got that far just yet. The extractions won’t even occur until August 19th.

    My vet suggested rectangle rawhide? that she sells but I forgot to look at them before I left the office.

    He’s definately got his goughnut and kongs for now.


  5. I read this, and let that simmer and boil around in my head before I responded. But my response is still the same! This woman is driving me insane.

    I know it would take some adjustment, but good merciful god, she makes herself out to be Mother friggin’ Theresa. We draw stares. Waaa. Get used to it, stop being embarrassed and stare back and make the toolchests who stare feel that red hot shame. If you get embarrassed, you make your husband feel embarrassed. Then you only make him feel worse about himself.

    The dog found the wrong counter. Boo friggin hoo. Do you know how many sighted folks approach the wrong gd counter?

    He stepped on the leggo castle. Yup, just like you would if the lights were out, woman.

    He eats oatmeal because he can’t manage to butter toast. Fella, get some friggin rehab lessons.

    I don’t want to read the wine list anymore. This comment made me so mad that last night, while out with Steve’s family, a family who raised two blind sons, I didn’t ask one single member of the family for help with the menu or finding the bathroom. I asked the waitress to help me find the bathroom and they did have a braille menu, but even if they didn’t, I had made up my mind. To hell if I was going to make them feel so goddamn burdened.

    I have never felt bad about my blindness and I’m 31. I have always felt that asking for a little help was ok, because everyone asks for help now and again. Much as we don’t want to admit it, society is built on interdependence. But after reading this essay, I wondered just how many times I made my family upset or weighed down etc. I even dread going to a hotel for my sister’s wedding because, god forbid, my family might have to orient me a wee bit. Maybe they’re telling me “It’s no trouble, no trouble,” but would read this essay and silently go “here here!”

    I can’t even imagine what kind of damage reading this would do to someone who had just gone blind.

    I appreciate that she didn’t paint him as all bad, but where she did, it made my blood boil. Am I alone in this?

    Ro, I hope you don’t see my comment as an attack on you. This essay just slowly burned away at me for the last few days, and I had to say what I said.

    When things settle down, I would kill to know what B would think reading this essay.

  6. Ro

    Maybe it’s different for those of us who go blind later in life. B is dealing with my blindness in therapy. Maybe for loved ones of people who have been around it their whole lives, it’s different, but for those of us who have it happen later, and the loved ones, it’s all new, it’s all an adjustment, not just for the blind person but for the loved ones. It’s probably just different. Some of the things made me go ick too, but I know it’s true, at least for those people around me who had to watch what I went through. I can see how it would be upsetting for those well adjusted to blindness. I’m well adjusted, but it’s still new for me and my loved ones. B still apologizes when I kick a Nylabone even though he didn’t leave it out. I think the essay spoke a lot of truth, but not everyone’s truth. Brian is fine with the stares. I had another blind woman, who lost her sight later, tell me to just think about others sometimes, and what they go through. I don’t shoulder a burden, but I try and empathize.

  7. Yeah I guess. It just feels like this happened years ago, and she’s still there. There’s adjustment, but then there’s staying planted, and I guess that’s what I see other people who go blind doing, and maybe that’s why it ticked me off. There comes a time where it has to move from gees this is a lot to deal with to second nature, and it just feels like she’s content to sit and winge.

    And the guide dog thing too. He has to take care of his guide dog too. Yup, that’s what happens when you take on a guide dog. You know this as well as I do. They have kids. Don’t they have to get them ready in the morning too? The kids have to be presentable after all. It’s the same! darn! thing!

    I try to empathize too. I guess I failed this time.

  8. Ro

    Yeah I don’t know. I’m in no condition to think about it right now.

  9. Yeah. I considered not even mentioning it, but I was wondering if I was the only one thinking this stuff. Never mind me, *grin*.

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