I am at a juncture.   I’ve just gone through a few weeks of enhanced self awareness.   I took some advocate training a couple of weeks ago.  I’d never had any formal training and thought that it might help.   What the training has done is take away my naivety about the my blindness.

I didn’t appreciate that just by existing I am a “threat” I am an “issue” I make people uncomfortable.   Looking back when I was younger it was apparent that any success I was going to have in my life was up to me.    I was constantly being told by the professionals, my teachers etc, that I would amount to nothing.   I shouldn’t think about or plan for college or university and a professional career is out.    As an aside its appalling to me that this messaging is still prevalent today throughout our education system and our society as a whole.

I have some theories that I will likely write about at some point but in the end it makes
me wonder if we as people or “able bodied” people are that threatened by their own precariousness their own self realization that their capability is short lived and transient and with age illness or injury will one day go away.

I didn’t appreciate that by talking about blindness and disability issues that I am a “treat” and I am “political”.   I have actually been told by and employer that a blog post of mine was a career limiting move.  I haven’t decided how to react to a potential muzzling.   The blog could be called “Mad Dog Blind Man Who Thought He Could”.    Sorry my humor is somewhat sarcastic.   I always knew that my blog could keep me from being employed.  The thought never crossed my mind that I might lose employment because of it.

I didn’t appreciate how “dangerous” it is to talk about something out of the “norm”.   You not only can be ostracized but now fired.    The whole point of this blog is to share my experiences with blindness.  My family of origin doesn’t talk about it at all.  That muzzling alone has been negatively life impacting.

I didn’t appreciate how not talking about something ‘marginalizes” you.  Makes you small and irrelevant.   Makes you have to keep a dirty little secret.   Then the damage to your person that being marginalized causes.  Your bad your dirty your different you’ve sinned your immoral.  I originally started writing this blog so I could reach out to others in my family who are marginalized muzzled and not supported in their own experience in blindness.   What I have done is reach  “many” others who are muzzled In fact I’m shocked.

I didn’t appreciate at how much I’d impact others by writing this blog.  I have given many back hope.    What can I say.  Thank you.   It makes me cry, yes I’m an emotional sap.

I have had feedback that some of my readers don’t like the analogies I use about being “Out” as a blind person.  Or in this case hiding a dirty little secret..   In the end for me.  The literature on the process of a person who is homosexual or a person who has been abused abandoned or raped has helped me to heal and come to terms with my disability.    Remember I’m talking about me.   I for most of my life have been marginalized, muzzled.    Not allowed to be blind and not allowed to talk about it.   I’m sure that if you were allowed to be blind and supported in your blindness that your experience was / is different.

I didn’t appreciate how little I know about being openly blind and dealing with the world in that context.  I know there are many experiences I’ve had since I’ve stopped pretending being sighted that I would have handled differently or that would have gone better.   I know that I would not have been unemployed for over eight months in this current economic climate.

I don\’t know what to do now.   I have a risk management problem.  Do I stop writing this blog.  No I don’t think so.   Do I get fired or lose job opportunities because of my presence and advocacy on the internet, yes likely.    My choices are not what I intended.

When I moved to the US I thumbed my nose at the “Americans” for being so litigious.    Now I am in a place where likely I need to retain counsel to ensure that I have published guidelines etc. on my advocacy.   So I am not radical and unemployable.   I like you love to eat.   Then what do I do if I am fired for writing about blindness?   What do I do if when advocating at work I am marginalized?  When I wanted to advocate for those who had to voice or no access to someone with experience with blindness.  Or someone who had lost or had no hope.  I never thought I’d be “political”.

I am considering starting a “fund” so when I am fired or marginalized I can afford to be marginalized and eat.     The alternative being muzzled isn’t at all appealing.    I think I’m learning why politicians are so well funding or independently wealthy.    It’s nice to be able to eat if someone doesn’t like your opinion.    Or your persecuted because of your opinion.

I feel a lot like Dorothy the situation I am being thrust into.   Again perhaps it is my own naivety.  A friend of my taught me to understand how to deal when it is yours to give and when it is someone’s else’s to give.   Another friend used to tell me “what the “*#(@(“ did you expect!!??”.    Another analogy from meet the Robinson’s comes to mind “master I don’t think this plan was thought through”.    Perhaps I am naïve.    Or stupid.   But I can tell you this isn’t Kansas.

Posted in: Employment

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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