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AFBAmerican Foundation®
for the Blind

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is this completely selfish and unreasonable of me?

I've recently adopted the state of mind that makes me wish I was completely blind, rather than just slightly visually impaired. Since birth, I've been blind in my left eye, which deviates outward. I have nystagmus in my right eye, which significantly impairs my vision- which wouldn't be bad otherwise.

My vision in my right eye has always tested as fairly decent (usually 20/30-20/40) but I continue to feel that traditional vision tests don't accurately reflect the quality of my vision. I can see letters on a wall, while sitting down, giving it my full attention, a lot better than I can see things in my environment in daily life. When taking vision tests, I know I'm looking at letters and I'm also able to stare at it as long as necessary. In everyday life, I find it very difficult to visually take in my surroundings- unless I already have some idea what I'm looking at, I have to stare at things for a few seconds to evaluate what they may be (sometimes I won't ever figure out what it is). I also have a very hard time with facial recognition at small distances and reading road signs at any distance is impossible. I also have little to no depth perception. Needless to say, I can't drive.

I feel like my visual impairment significantly detracts from the quality of my life. I know it sounds foolish to say this, but I would almost rather have no vision whatsoever because I know people can adjust to total blindness and I have yet to adjust to my minor problems. I know people have much worse problems and I probably sound like a horrible person saying I want a burden when so many people would like to have even some vision. However, I feel that people with total blindness are so strong and they make the most out of their lives, despite having a disability. They develop and sharpen such amazing skills that fully sighted people could never accomplish. I feel helpless because since my vision is adequate for getting around from day to day, I have not developed any skills to offset my struggles.

Can anyone relate to my frustration?

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Re:is this completely selfish and unreasonable of me?

I don't think you wanna be blind all the way you miss out on a lot oh things and people talk a lot of shit so be thankful you have kuz I don't and I git in to a lot of fights andafter you beat some ass people wanna howla not sayin it's a good thing to beat someone ass just sayon stand up for your self

Re:is this completely selfish and unreasonable of me?

I know how you feel. I'm going through a lot right now and I too wish to be compleatly blind. I have 20/800 vission with no depth perseption and no preferial vission. when I'm in a filmilour place its almost like I can see. Yes, I use my hands for guidance and for finding objects, but...its been part of my life since I was born so I'm used to it. When I step outside however its a whole different story. I see fog. I don't understand where I am going or wlwhere I am. Even with my cane and guidance I'm so confused. All I hear from people is "You have some sight so use it." I'm tired of hearing that and I just want it to all go away. My life is a nightmare with school, family, and friends and most if it has to do with my vission. I know I should be greatful for the sight I do have, but in reality its almost nothing. I know what you mean about being selfish because I've talked to my parents about this all the time. i wish to be compleatly blind, and with whats going on I don't know if it will happen or not. If you want to talk you can e-mail me at

Re:is this completely selfish and unreasonable of me?

I feel this on a daily basis. There are moments when I forget I am legally blind. Because I'm a stay-at-home mom, and don't go out much, I manage just fine. I use my magnifier to help me read things likie food labels and such. I'm quite capable ot running my household. And yet, there are those moments when my kids forget to close a cupboard door and I walk into it and get a rude reminder exactly how cruddily I DO see. Or when I walk into a pole. Or when I trip over the curb. Or when I walk right past tsomeone I know and don't realize it until they call out to me. Or when I NEED to get shopping and can't because there is no public transportation where I live and I can't get a ride from a friend or family member. But then I shake my head, get over myself and remember to be thankful for what I've got for the joys it still allows me.

Re:is this completely selfish and unreasonable of me?

Hi Elissabeth; I'm partially sighted since birth and I can identify with your frustrations. I have my frustrating moments at times.I don't have depth perception either. There are things that I think and do to help my self cope. I would suggest you be gentle and more patient with yourself. Your vision is doing the best it can. So what if you take a few seconds to adjust to what your looking at. Is there someone rushing you? or is it just you? learning to cope with the sight you have is the key to your ftustration. Yes, it might be a good idea to talk to a professional who counsels the blind and visually impaired. There maybe a class you can take regarding coping with vision loss. I know it's hard, but treasure the vision you have. It was given to you for a reason.You have to find that reason in your heart. We with a little sight are just as idependent and strong as the totally blind. There are an army of us out here living independent and fulfilling lives with theire limited vision.
It takes practice, perseveracne, and strength to cope. I know you can do these things, because you took the strength in reaching out.
Let someone help you by finding an agency for the blind and visually impaired in your area. I hope you find a mentor or support group. You'll see others like you who lead fulfilling lives.
Good luck


Re:is this completely selfish and unreasonable of me?

Sight is special, please don't wish away the sight you have but maximise it. I think you need to seek help, even if its just talking to someone you trust. take care x

Re:is this completely selfish and unreasonable of me?

Hi, those skills you see totally blind people exhibit are just as common with partially blind poeple like me and my kids. Every bit of vision we have is precious but its up to each of us to use it -- along with O&M training, braille, etc. -- to maximize your abilities and to make the most out of our lives. I tried for years to get along with serious sight deficiencies, gewtting help made all the different.
My problems generic and I've passed it to two of my kids. We made sure that as soon as possible they started getting the training they need to function in life and both are doing well.
I would go to your local service agency; someone will evaluate for problems and get you into the program. It will mean changes in how you do some things but it will also change your life.
Best Wishes - Annie

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