What would life have been like if I had not been blind? This topic came up on an email list recently.
My family and I never spoke of what might have been. You just didn't do it. It was pointless. It wasn't, so why discuss it? I did have an opportunity to discuss it abstractly with some of my friends, but I always felt obligated to say the right things: that I was grateful to be alive and that God would be glorified through me and my disability. And while these things are very true, in recent years I've felt a rising anger about little things I can't control--for instance, being able to decide on the spur of the moment that I want to go shopping. Unless I have money for a cab (and usually I don't), I have to plan these things in advance; and then if I don't feel well I have to keep the plans anyway because someone else has set aside their precious time for me. I rent from my parents, and generally this is a good arrangement. They live below me in the other half of the duplex. But when these transportation things come up--especially little things like I'd like to run out and get a burger from a specific place and they either don't want to or it's out of the way--the tension is incredible. If I give voice to my anger, they feel guilty; and if there's one thing I've been taught it's never to make people feel guilty. Yes, that's taking responsibility for another person's feelings, and I shouldn't. This is one of those things I've been working on lately. Unfortunately, giving the reigns back to the other person means she has to face her own feelings and internal conflict, and it's painful for her; and that starts the whole process over with me feeling responsible for that pain, giving that up too, etc. It can become a very viscious cycle!
So I buried my anger and frustration. Strangely, no one seems to want to take responsibility for that the way they want me to take responsibility for "making them feel guilty".