I hate society's "healthy appearances." The idea is to keep everything together, maintain "professional distance," etc. Lately I've been working on some boundaries. It's really hard because boundaries are like pendulums too, and they need to be made for so many different situations. One thing I am trying to learn is that it is ok to have what seem to me to be superficial relationships and still have others that are deeper. What I need to learn to do is to maintain good boundaries with the people I do attract, and I think that is where I am starting. I do not have the personality type to attract people with high energy levels who need lots of stimulation. But I can relate to them on a superficial level, and that is what is appropriate to them in relationship to me. I am working on realizing that everyone doesn't need or care to know everything about me, and that is fine. Some people do care, and I can spread some of my neediness around to various supportive, strong friends.
The disability issue is a major concern of mine lately. I always thought it was stupid whenever people said that people with disabilities should get counseling. There is nothing overtly upsetting or wrong about the disability itself that would merit counseling, but there is so much baggage emotionally that goes along with it. Of course, time is everyone's teacher, and probably the fact that I was being pushed about counseling and also being told I did not accept my blindness were factors in my attitude. Now ... I feel like my eyes have opened to a new perspective on this.
It isn't the blindness I don't accept, and it isn't the blindness I need counseling for. It is the pain that comes when people treat my blindness as a barrier between me & them. It is the total isolation I feel when someone speaks to the guide dog and not to me. It is the way I feel weird when someone asks my husband, friend, etc what I want in a restaurant, as if I was not there. It is the way I am ignored at social gatherings or carted around like a bag. It is the way no one minds if I am present, but no one really seems to want me to be present. It is the way I feel so humiliated when I try to talk to someone who has left without my knowledge, and I am in a public place talking to the air. It is the way I cannot fill out any paperwork independently, and the world knows every personal detail about me there is to know. It is the way I cannot make a friend without depending on him/her to transport me to whatever activity is going on. It is the way there is always something to change, to learn how to do correctly, so that I will be socially acceptable--learn to hold silverware correctly, change hair style, wear more makeup, wear more trendy clothes, learn conversation skills. It is the way I feel like I am the only one who has to change everything, and it is the way I feel like this makes me "bad" and totally useless and unacceptable to society.
What hurts most, I think, is that most therapists are not very familiar with this kind of pain. It is not common, and it is not familiar to them. It is not something learned about in psychology classes. That chapter is skipped most of the time. Where do I go to talk? My minister tried to send me and someone to whom I was engaged at one time (not my husband) to "someone who knows how to deal with blindness" for marriage counseling. Dump me off once again. The rehab counselors don't do much counseling and may or may not have any training as counselors. They are called counselors, but they are in reality caseworkers, locators of all the adaptive things we need just to live the life the rest of the world lives. They don't know how we feel or think any more than the average person off the street knows.