There are days when I can’t see. I literally lose my vision…whenever I’m Level 10/10 triggered.
The nightmares, memories and objects that have such blinding effects on me, are varied but apparently all too real and linked to great darkness. I’m ashamed by it. I’m afraid by it. I’m paralyzed by it.
Often times I write with a voice app, listen to audibles instead of read, and I depend on safe moments to pursue my new career as a writer. Unsurprisingly, when I’m able to, I overuse an extraordinary amount of happy emoticons relishing that I’m typing my own words.
But mostly, I hold this secret.
Mostly, I hope it’s not obvious to others. Mostly, I obsessively try to find new ways to live. Mostly, I feel deep guilt for incoherent sentences and typos. Then in desperate moments I seek out if there are any blind lawyers. I’ve met none.
Do I have support? – Yes, but I’ve not told anyone, least of all my family, the true extent of how bad it is…Honestly, several times I have gotten injured or I almost hurt myself. So I don’t drive and I will no longer live on my own.
Maybe it’s a brain tumor? – I’ve gone to many doctors; they’ve ran so many tests. No one ever finds a physical or physiological explanation. I even did a laser surgery consult, there was nothing they could correct.
Is there a fix? – An ophthalmologist prescribed glasses…they made no difference to my world. Once something causes an anxiety induced headache or things become blurry…in those moments I’m blind for what feels like a lifetime.
Do you know what’s wrong? – Yes, now I do. Back then, I held on to those glasses for dear life because they represented hope. Then, one day, that hope died a sudden and immediate death.
I was in downtown Washington, DC, on a surprisingly quiet day when my brain registered that I was close to my former workplace – the site of all this trauma. There it was before me in the distance. I experienced some kind of spasm, brain glitch. To halt my walk in the direction towards the place of torture, I was pushed by my fear-ridden mind to flee, right into oncoming traffic. The bus driver stopped just in time, I think because of the traffic light. I couldn’t see so I will never know. I just remember the wind on my coat and his kindness, and the fact that I was wearing my new glasses. I knew then the truth.
My response was to go full on avoidance to the extreme – to the point of immediately leaving the country.
My therapist and I continued our work with exposure therapy in a safe space – the land of my birth. Slowly, that’s how I was able to truly understand my triggers and manage when it’s getting so bad my vision might go. Once again…it’s getting that bad it’s blinding…but a different type of blinding:
Oxford languages and Google
- the process of covering a newly made road with grit to fill cracks”