As a child, one of my biggest fears was of going blind. My parents are both legally blind and my parents had high hopes for me to be fully sighted, as both of my older brothers had perfect vision. However, when I was a few months old the doctors told my parents that I could only see very large objects and light and I would need to learn Braille as I got older. My vision did improve slightly by the time I was one, but I have always been very nearsighted.
As a very nearsighted child, I would try to imagine what it was like to be fully blind, by walking around my house with eyes closed and assessing how long I could manage– but I never lasted very long. And that always increased my panic: What if I really did become blind, how would I manage?
My fear continued into adulthood. Living in Gush Etzion, there are plenty of blackouts in the middle of the night. The only thing that keeps me calm is having to stay calm for my children, but my inner self is terrified. Several years ago that intense fear was lessened when I really felt blind for a short while ( at the Blackout restaurant in Yaffo as well as the blind exhibit in the Holon museum–both highly recommended to become more sensitive to what someone who is blind experiences daily). Having sight, albeit limited, cannot be compared to someone with much less sight or none at all. [Read more…]