Tuesday, July 17, 2007

It's Weird How People See Me.

The way I see myself is so different from how others see me. I think that my perception of me is sandwiched between these very two extremes of who I really am.

When I enter the community and come in contact with people, I realize that I'm being stared at, watched, noticed, analyzed. Most people have never seen a blind person in the flesh before. Yeah, they've seen Charles and Wonder, the two most famous blind folks. But most have never seen a blind person, especially a blind woman, in the living flesh. So, people watch me in amazement. Sometimes not knowing what to think or say... Sometimes making their amazement with me known to me and the rest of the world.

"You are absolutely brilliant."
"You do so well."
"You're so smart."
"You're such a pretty lady to be blind."
"You get around so good."
"You don't look blind at all."
"You must can see a little. You don't look totally blind."
"You are so brave."

Maybe all of the above is true. I don't know. Typically, I don't give myself that much credit. And some members of my family certainly don't.

There are some in my family that think the exact opposite. They think my blindness is like a headache: something to get over. They think that I use my blindness as a crutch, an attention getter, a reason to demand certain levels of respect. They are not impressed by my degrees, my style, my confidence, or my good sense. They just see me as Angela, their blind cousin, niece, and sister.

They often tell me, I don't see you as blind. I think they think that should be a compliment. But it's not. Because I am blind. It's like a white person saying to their black counterpart, "I don't see you as black." Why not? The person is black. News Flash: It is what it is.

Well, when I look at me, I see myself as a blind woman, who has indeed done well inspite of the obvious circumstances. But I don't take credit for my various degrees of success. I give God credit. If it had not been for Him, I really would not have made it. That's no lie or a fairy tale. Again, it is what it is. I know the truth about me and God. And the fact is that He is the reason why I am and why I've done what I have. God gives me the courage to live, to set goals, to work towards my goals, to integrate with the sighted world, to demand independence, to speak boldly about what I need to make my life better, to demand respect, to smile in the face of adversity, and to familiarize myself with achievement.

The truth is that I'm completely cool with people thinking I'm a brilliant, beautiful, blind woman. I just need that thought to translate into dollar signs. LOL I'm not kidding either. (wink)

**To all my readers: Have a fabulous day! Thanks for giving me some of your time. I do not take your visits here for granted.


Ms. Braden
Brilliant, Beautiful, and Blind**

(It's taken me nearly two decades to finally start feeling comfortable referring to myself as blind. It's still kind of hard to say. But it's a little easier when I added brilliant and beautiful in front of my other description. LOL Don't worry... I'm not vain. I'm just learning to love what has always deserved to be loved-ME...)


Forgiven said...

Thank you, Angela

You continue to inspire me, keep up the good work. I know what a struggle this can be with or without sight. There are many who have sight, but are still blind to the truth...

Tafari said...

"You're such a pretty lady to be blind." Hell nall, that like saying you are pretty to be so black. Igonrant people just say anything.


Anonymous said...


One thing that I have realized from reading your blog is that we are all handicapped in our own way. Yes, you are blind, and you are probably doing so much better than people that have no physical disabilities. Continue being who you are. You inspire me.


Angela L. Braden, Writer, Speaker, Professor said...

Thank you Forgiven, Byg, and Tae'. Each of you inspire me in your own beautiful way to keep this blog going.

God bless you.

Angela Braden

Eddie G. Griffin said...

Just stop by to give you my love and blessings. Thanks for your support in the DL Hughley fight.

Angela L. Braden, Writer, Speaker, Professor said...

I feel so honored that Mr. Griffin visited my blog.

Thanks, my brotha, for stopping by to give me some love. God bless you.