I had a dream a few nights ago. In the dream I was still in high school, and I was getting off the bus at school. There was another girl getting off another bus, and she was also visually impaired. I thought since we walked the same way to get to class I'd offer to walk with her and talk. So I did and we were heading off down the hall. Then a teacher came up and said to me, "She has to walk by herself." I tried to protest that I was only trying to talk, but she wouldn't hear of it. And that was the end of that.
It was an upsetting dream to begin with, but it was also one of those dreams that was as real as yesterday. I've actually had to remind myself over the days since that it was a dream. I can see the girl standing there, just as close as if I could touch her. And I know that she is inside of me; for this was done to me. I also know that it's bigger than me. I had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with a couple of girls who were at the ACB convention this year, and we talked about this. It's like overkill on the independence thing. When you're in school--and even college for me--if you choose to go sighted guide for any reason, you're too dependent, even if the reason is just that you feel like having a conversation instead of putting all your energy into figuring out where you are and where your friends are. I guess this has been brewing for a while. One of the girls I was talking to the other day is 16, and hearing her talk about what she's going through kind of set off a reaction inside me. I was ok with it at that level. I reacted as an adult and it was ok. I can't react that way right now.
I remember when I was a freshman at AU I found a group of girls who lived in my dorm and had a class with me. Lots of people walked to class with one or more friends, so I didn't think about it. There were other classes I went to by myself, and that was just how it was. But something happened in the middle of the semester that I will never forget. I was looking for a new roommate, and I was given a few names and told that I would have to find someone who wanted to room with me. One of the girls told me, "I don't have time to escort you around." I remember calling my mom and crying a hysterical fit. I also remember that I stopped walking to class with people after that. I sacrificed potential friendships because I apparently looked so dependent.
Loneliness is the one thing I never feel like it's ok for me to talk about. My parents couldn't handle it. Counselors told me it was my own fault. People kept promising me it would get better when I was in high school or college or ... blah blah blah. And it hasn't. I've had some enjoyable moments in life, and I won't forget them. But I also feel like I've spent a lot of my life wishing I was part of something and feeling like the harder I tried the more I was pushed away. So most of the time it's easier not to try. It's been a long time since it's hurt this much, but yesterday when Mom brought me over here she also had my cousin in the car. My cousin is a sophomore at AU, and she is everything I always wished I could be in many ways. When she goes home she can tell her parents about good things. I always had some sort of stupid crisis going on. And all I ever wanted was to be a normal kid with a few friends.