Fear and Rage

I am not afraid of what blindness might do to my eyes.  I am afraid of what it might do to my soul.  Example:  Walking home from the bus stop, my guide dog, Randy, and I skirted a truck blocking the sidewalk. This took us into the street and into a maze of construction barricades.  There seemed no safe way to cross the street. I told Randy to sit, then barked at the man alongside the truck, “Are you going to help us or just stand there?”  With that, Randy and I forged across Clark Street.  We left that guy in the dust.  Even had he lain in the gutter and begged us to walk across his back, we wouldn’t have accepted his help.  Having channeled my fear into rage, I felt righteous.

My exultation quickly faded to regret.  For the pleasure of revenge, I had jeopardized safety.  I had proven that blind people can be hostile and shrill.  I had muffed the opportunity to educate the public by showing this one guy how to serve his fellows, and almost got my butt run over in the process.

For the record, for every Samaritan who misses his cue, ten step forward with, “How can I help?”  Under most circumstances I remain civil when stressed and I have become comfortable asking for directions.  Still, there are times I lose it; times when I lash out.  I am not always on my best behavior, yet I accept that anger is part of vision loss and I know there are times when anger prevails over calm, rational thinking.

I cannot control my vision loss.  I can control what I make of it, how I adjust, and what kind of person I am as a result.   I fear blame, self-pity and resentment will become my M. O.

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5 Responses to Fear and Rage

  1. Gina Falvo says:

    Glad you made it. I knew you could do it. Gina

  2. Fred says:

    These are things that all of us old hands at blindness have gone through at one time or another. You will in time learn to ignore these situations and just plow through on your own. Many are the times I ignored danger and people yelling at me to stop and just continued on. Now that I am older and I hope wiser, I take time to evaluate a situation before I jump in.

  3. bethfinke says:

    My favorite lines from this post are these:
    I cannot control my vision loss.  “I can control what I make of it, how I adjust, and what kind of person I am as a result.”  
    I’m getting to know the kind of person you are now, Jeff, and I trust you will remain the same smart, thoughtful and witty person you are no matter what happens.
    Keep writing, I enjoy your blog posts.

  4. deidreralph says:

    I have also got angry at times, who hasn’t been in that situation themselves, you let your fear get the best of you, it happens to us all, but not all was lost from that experience as you learnt a lesson when you reviewed the situation, there is going to be other times like this and now you can deal with it in a more positive way. I bet that truck driver would have also learnt a lesson if he was paying attention to the situation and may-be hopefully will be more considerate in the future. Fear is such a hard thing to control, it can manifest into angry, self pity and depression but it can also keep us safe. It is a good thing that you are a writer because you can express these feeling though the written word and that must be a great release. Have faith in yourself it’s ok to feel. we don’t have to be submissive all the time and pretend that life is fine because sometime it isn’t and grief accompanies all lost. Dei

  5. Annelore Chapin says:

    For the seeing person I am, reading your stories gives my life a totally new dimension. It also helps me to appreciate all those small daily activities one takes for granted.
    Thank you for your honest sharing,

    Annelore Chapin

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