Sunday, June 03, 2007

A Life of Alone

The purpose of this particular blog entry is to simply shed light on an aspect of my life that is both private and public, simple and complex, and typical and unusual. I want to discuss my love life. Actually, I probably should say lack of a love life.

About ten years ago, I took a rehab class in undergrad that focused on the social aspects of disability. I can’t remember all of the details in the class, but I do remember the research suggesting how much disability impacts relationships, as it relates to meeting, interacting, relating, and recreating with others. Well, at that time, I had a pretty active social life. I had a ton of friends. No boyfriend… But a lot of friends… Since I was so dedicated to school and Jesus, I wasn’t too worried about the boyfriend. I figured that would come later. So, whatever the case, I didn’t really think that my disability had massively effected my ability to make friends and maintain friendships.

It was years later, almost a decade later, that I would better understand how much disability really does have an impact on a person’s ability to connect with others. Yes, I still have a few of those many friends that I aforementioned… But even still, I have taken note of how my disability really does impact how and if I develop friendships with others.

And by the way… I still don’t have that boyfriend. I still have Jesus and school… But I don’t have to tell you that Jesus and school don’t keep you that dog on consumed for all these years. LOL I ain’t no overly educated nun… At least, I don’t want to be. LOL

In the last three years, I’ve been attending graduate school at Texas Southern University. All in all, the classmates are really nice. So, what I’m getting ready to say is not a reflection of how courteous or nice they are. In fact, a couple of the girls I went to school with are some of the best people I have ever met in my life.

When my classmates first came in contact with me, many of them avoided contact with me all together. They would converse all around me, but would not include me in conversations. They would talk to me like I was a little girl. They would walk in the room and speak to everyone in the class and speak to me like I was their little, old granny. Typical behavior of people who first come in contact with me…

But after they discovered that I was human and just as cool as them, they loosened up and accepted me in their fold. But it took weeks, sometimes months, and even a couple of semesters for some people.

That brings me to the point that I wanted to make about how my disability has effected my ability to find love from a man. I think that most men have warped perceptions of me. I think when they look at me, they see a blind girl. Maybe a good looking blind girl… But nevertheless, a blind girl… And while they might enjoy looking at me, grinning in my face, conversing wit me, most of them don’t have whatever it is they need to actually date me.

I know this is a touchy subject. But let’s really deal with this… How many black men do you know that would date a blind woman? Just be honest… How many brothers do you know that have actually dated a woman with a serious disability?

A couple of guys that I know very well were actually honest with me and told me that they thought I was cool, but they didn’t want the responsibility of being with a woman with a disability. A couple of other guys that even know me in all of my independent glory are reported to have said behind my back, of course, that they didn’t want no “blind girlfriend.”

So, here I am… I haven’t given up on finding love or love finding me… And don’t think I’m sitting up here with my fingers crossed, daydreaming about a prince charming…. I’m way too busy for that… But with all that being said, every girl needs to be and should be loved by someone that’s worth loving back.

I really wonder if I’ll ever get that chance. I wonder is there a man out there that has whatever it is that he needs on the inside to love me in spite of my blindness, inspite of whatever his mama and his homeboys are going to think about him dating a blind girl, and inspite of whatever so called responsibility he will have when he dates a blind woman.

Note to the readers: This post was not to provoke anyone to feel sorry for me. I was just educating my readers about my life as a blind woman. Sometimes, I want to tackle subjects that are not so fun to tackle. And this subject is definitely not so fun. But it’s real.

Have a blessed week!

Angie Braden

1 comment:

Asabagna said...

WOW! Enlightening and deep!