Hello world. Welcome to my new blog. This is a blog about me, and my life. I am a blind woman in her 30’s. I live in Ireland. I’m down to earth, just your average ordinary person, but I just happen to be blind. This blog will be a sort of diary for me, where I’ll talk about my life, my ups and downs, it will also include things like book reviews, techy stuff, recipes, basically, it will include all the things I am interested in. I really hope that whoever reads it will enjoy it.
A little more background on me…I have been blind since birth. I was born 13 weeks premature so the backs of my eyes weren’t developed. I have a guide dog whose name is Nitro. He’s four years old. He’s such a cute dog. And I love him to bits. I have one sister, she is a hairdresser. I have no brothers. I’m not married, in fact I am a lesbian. I do have a partner who lives in the USA. Some day I hope to move there.
I look forward to all of your comments and feedback on my posts! Happy reading!
This thing called abuse
It grips you tight
with all its might
It floods you with unwanted memories
as you fall
farther and farther down
your life is put on hold
as you struggle to set yourself free
free from the claws of abuse
it leaves its mark
everything in your life seems so stark
your thoughts are consumed with it
day in and day out
you try to heal
you push and you push
until finally a light shines through
and you start to become you
as you grow and gain strength
and set yourself free
you finally start to see
that you are strong
stronger than the abuse you endured
no more will it win
So as most of my readers know I was born blind. I was actually born 13 weeks premature. Back in 1980 not much was known about premature babies. I wasn’t expected to survive. I spent 13 weeks after I was born in the hospital, with many complications. I had underdeveloped lungs. I had no backs to my eyes. That is how I became blind. I don’t really have any eye condition persay. As a young child however, I was encouraged by my parents to be “normal”. Now I know all disabled kids are “Normal”, but well, some kids are very sheltered. They aren’t allowed to do certain things. They are wrapped in cotton wool and protected. I am glad my parents didn’t wrap me in cotton wool. It thought me to be self sufficient, and independent. Even before I was ever abused, I was self sufficient. I always wanted to do things by myself, it was like I was trying to prove that just because I was blind, didn’t mean I was stupid. My mom taught me how to talk by pressing her lips to mine and repeating words over and over again. And I learned to talk really early on. I was talking by 18 months, with lots of words. Another thing I was encouraged to do was socialise with my non disabled peers. I had many friends as a young child. I went to pre-school, and I exceled in class. I loved it there. I loved climbing, and running around like any normal 3 year old. Being blind never held me back. I learned to read braille in later years and once I did I started reading a lot. I was five years old when I left for the bording school. While I hated it there and was abused badly, and became very withdrawn, I did learn some good things there too. I got my education there for the most part. I don’t think I’d be where I am today if I didn’t get such a good education. I also don’t think I’d be where I am today if my parents didn’t think outside the box. If they didn’t push me to be like everyone else around me.
FOUR YEARS AGO, adventurer Mark Pollock, who was the first blind man to reach the South Pole, became paralysed from the waist down in a fall from a window.
The fall happened just three weeks before he was due to be married and he was in hospital for over a year. Since then, he has been through intensive rehabilitation at the Project Walk in San Diego and became the first person in the world to own a personal set of robotic legs made by Ekso Bionics.
This week, Pollock will tell his incredible story at the TEDx Hollywood event, hoping to raise awareness of needs to be done to help people in wheelchairs.
“Doing a TED Talk has been something I wanted to do for quite a while as it’s a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of spinal injury with influential people around the world,” Pollock said today. “There’s no money in it but that’s not the motivation – it’s to spread the word to the world that spinal injury needs attention.”
One of the main things I’m going to talk about is the dichotomy of acceptance and hope. When I broke my back, I was advised to accept my situation and move on but unless we have hope, how can we ever change things. Without acceptance there is no start line but without hope there is no finish line. Somewhere in the middle is making important progress.
The talk will be available to view online in July and will form part of the closing sequence of a feature documentary called ‘Unbreakable’ about Pollock’s journey, due to be released in October.