Do you know why blindness is scary?

Do you know why blindness is scary? I do and it is not what you think.

It is not traffic, or bustling crowds, or subway platforms, or steep stairs: all those things are intimidating,  challenging, and difficult – but they aren’t scary. What scares me most is dependence. 

I don’t like depending on anyone. I crave independence like oxygen. It’s vital to me. And losing my independence is the scariest part of blindness to me.

 Not seeing my kids is hard – not seeing myself in a mirror is hard, too. But what’s worse are the things I can’t do anymore.  For example, using a bank machine.

I went blind after my kids were born. Going blind as an adult is hard for lots of reasons, and one of them is braille. Braille is a whole new language. So, if you’ve tried to learn a language as an adult then you probably understand why I have not learned to read it.

Besides, even if I could,  that does not help me with the on-screen cues telling me what to key in.

So, withdrawing cash is not possible for me without help; I lean on my husband to give me money. Of course, he is happy to help – but that’s not the point. 

The point is earning money and managing money are fundamental features of membership in our society. Losing that ability – and yes, the new tap features and the shift toward a cashless society are interesting – but losing that chance to simply be in charge of myself: my independence – that’s the scary part.