Friday, September 21, 2018

I walk with a long cane

My visual acuity tested at 20/10 the last time I was tested. My field of view surprises many people in how large it is. And I walk with a long cane.

I have never crossed streets by sight. Sure, I was taught to look both ways, but that was rote memorization of a movement they said to do, not anything that gave me information. Listening and hearing where the cars where and how they were moving was always how I knew when it was safe, and I didn't know this wasn't what everyone did.

Touch and sound and knowing my environment. I have grown up overwhelmed by too much and everyone assuming I knew what was going on, while I was working with other senses.

Assumptions say one thing, but I walk with a long cane.

In 2016, I got O&M after a too long of process of trying to manage the process of getting O&M as a sighted person.

And now, not feeling like I need to try so hard to do things in ways that increase pain, overload, confusion, and make it harder for me to actually complete what I'm trying to do, makes such a difference.

Not being just sighted so of course I need to use vision always when there are so many ways that vision doesn't make sense, and so many ways that if I tried to do that things would be dangerous for me, and so many ways that would mean I just can't do anything else because relying on vision costs so many spoons.

Instead being me, and using the tools that make sense at the times they make sense, and having people do sighted guide for me and recognize that is meaningful, and it being okay.

Not needing to try to be someone I'm not. Because I can't be anyone else. But what that means is recognizing how my brain works and supporting that. And as such, I memorize locations, I memorize routes to the point of being able to go miles on my bike (not to mention my feet) by the texture of the sidewalk, I listen, and when it makes sense to, I walk with a long cane.

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