I use to be a chat room junkie right after I had split with my ex-husband. It was in a chat room that I came across a fellow who was using an application which enlarged the print on his screen. The application was called Zoom-text. I knew about it and private messaged him asking him how difficult it was to follow the conversation. He was a nice enough fellow and asked me why I was so interested. I responded back because I am working as a teacher’s aide/driver for the itinerant low vision teacher in the parish where I lived. From there our friendship blossomed and we would chat in the chat room or through some sort of instant messenger. I won’t name this fellow but he revealed quite a few things to me in our discussions which I still can’t believe he did. The one thing that he did share with me was that he had been in a previous relationship with a girl who was also low vision or blind. He vowed that he was never going to put himself in that situation again. What he wanted in a relationship was a sighted girl who could drive him here, there, and where ever he wanted to go. He was not going to get in a relationship with another girl who was blind or vision impaired because he didn’t want to have to do things for them both. He had enough trouble getting things done on his own so why should he have to help someone else.
I was flabbergasted when I read that. I just couldn’t believe how narrow-minded he could be. I tried not to judge him but in the back of my mind I was just reeling. I can’t remember if I had confronted him about what he had revealed to me but I know I was thinking, how would you like it if a girl you really cared about thought that way about you because of your low vision. I would have thought that if you had some one who understood where you were or your own sort of disability you would be able to help each other cope.
I don’t recall what exactly happened between us but we drifted apart. I am not sure if he ever found that certain lady who would be his perfect match. I am glad that it was not me. I couldn’t be with some one who was so selfish.
Another person that I have come across was in Australia with a similar sort of outlook. She was a friend of my present husband. We had travelled to Melbourne which is the place his friend lives. She invited us over to get together for dinner. She wanted to show off her cooking skills and he wanted to show off me! During our visit, conversation turned to relationships. She had broken up with her boyfriend who was vision impaired. She revealed to us that being involved in a relationship with some one who is blind or vision impaired may make it hard to plan vacations due to logistics. She expressed she wanted to be in relationship with a sighted person and didn’t think it was very likely for her to be with a fellow blind person or vision impaired person.
I know of many couples that are either both blind or one is partially sighted and the other is blind but they make it work. I admire them and think that’s it wonderful that they have found strength in each other and if they encounter problems because of logistics they solve the problem and don’t dwell on it.
I know that discrimination is rampant. It comes in many forms. I hadn’t expected it though to be blind person against another blind person. I guess I was being my optimistic self thinking that it wasn’t like that but I know now that it can be even between blind people. I guess it’s human nature. There is nothing wrong with wanting better for oneself.
I have had discussions with a few of the students that I worked with about relationships. For the most part, they too sort of ran the spectrum of the two people I gave example of earlier. They would like to have sighted partners but if they came across someone with a disability they felt they were compatible with I think they would give them a chance. Luckily blindness is in a minority and so in all likelihood they will find a partner who is sighted.
They say love is blind but I guess that sometimes even the blind can be blind to love.