My name is Elin, I am a 19-year-old student and blogger from North Wales. I was diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) at the age of six and have since been diagnosed with another condition called Optic Disc Drusen shortly following my 19th birthday. I was registered blind/severely sight impaired when I was twelve years old and my vision has deteriorated drastically over the years meaning I have very little remaining vision to this day.
One of my main goals in life is to raise as much awareness as possible surrounding the topic of vision impairment. I hope by doing so I can tackle some of the stigmas surrounding sight loss. Since raising awareness has been what I’ve aspired to do for many years, I decided to create my own blog back in April 2015, my own little corner of the internet under the name My Blurred World. My blog is a space where I attempt to raise as much awareness as I possibly can by sharing my own personal story and experiences.
There is no doubt that living with sight loss can be difficult at times and I found comfort in writing, I still do. It makes things easier for me so by writing the posts that I do, I hope to help others who might be in a similar situation.
Although writing is how I express most of the things I’m feeling, my parents have always been the people who have been there for me and supported me the most. They always help me in any way they can no matter what the situation and I know that I’m extremely lucky for that. I thought I’d write this post and dedicate it to my parents by explaining how they support me and my vision impairment.
I am very lucky in the sense that my parents will always listen if I’m worried, upset or feeling any other way. I am not the best at telling people how I feel, I much prefer to write it down but I know that if I ever want to talk about anything, my parents will always be there. It takes a lot of the pressure away when I know that I can tell them if I’m struggling with the deterioration in my sight or if I’m struggling in any other aspect.
They let me do the things I want to do
I think one trait that most parents have is worrying about their child/children, I believe that this is even more true for the parents of children who live with a disability. My parents always worry about me, it’s just something that’s natural to them but they’ve never felt the need to wrap me up in cotton wool and prevent me from doing things. I’ve never been an outgoing person but they’ve always encouraged me to be, they prompt me to go places rather than tell me not to go. They’ve never told me not to go somewhere or that it’s best for me not to do something just because I’m visually impaired but they’ve also not pushed me to do something if it’s something that I don’t feel like I could do because of my disability.
They’ve always got my back
Those of us who live with a disability and those closest to us will know how hard it can be at times, there are constant battles especially when battling for support or for something to be made more accessible. I’m lucky and so grateful that my parents have always and will always make sure that I have the best and the right support. They will be there when the going gets tough, they will battle for my rights as a disabled person but at the same time they don’t take over, they encourage me to speak for myself and fight for what I believe in.
They make me feel normal
Apart from the fact that I’ve grown up with sight loss along with many other medical conditions over the years, I’d say that I’ve had quite a normal childhood, I know I’m extremely lucky for that and it’s something I’ve never taken for granted. My parents would evidently be the two people who would always treat me like a normal person, not the girl who is visually impaired. Since we’ve lived with the fact that I’m visually impaired for almost 17 years now, it’s normal to us. I face the misconceptions that surround vision impairment on a daily basis but being at home with my parents and my brother is one of the very few places where I can forget to some extent that I’m living with these eye conditions. Going out into the public can be difficult sometimes because there’s that constant reminder that some people see me as being different but I know that my family would never make me feel that way. I couldn’t be more grateful for the fact that when I’m at home or anywhere else with my family, I’m a daughter and a sister, not the girl who is blind/severely sight impaired.
They are strong
As I mentioned previously, living with a vision impairment can prove to be extremely difficult but not just for the person living with it. I know that it can be extremely tough for my parents also. After all, they’ve also had to sit through every hospital appointment, they’re the ones who have to watch when every eye test is being made, they’re the ones who have to see me when I’m feeling upset, I know it’s hard for them too, I always have and seem to realise it even more as I grow up. Even though I know it can be difficult for them, they’ve never shown it. Seeing them being so strong through everything definitely motivates me to be stronger myself.
Those are just a few of the ways my parents support me and my vision impairment. I am so incredibly grateful to them for everything they do for me and how they support me in any way they can. They, along with my brother are the people who keep me going and I will never take them for granted.