I found this video Blind Devotion | Jubilee Project Short Film and had to share it. I found this video on http://livingblindblog.com
How do you tell the person you love you’re going blind? How do you cook? Clean? Go to work? Dress yourself? Care for your spouse? Run your home? A recently released short video, produced by theJubilee Project, poses all of these questions about living with a disability, whether you’re the person who has the disability, or you’re a friend, family member, or colleague of someone with a disability. Several friends in the blind community drew my attention to this video recently. It tells of a married couple’s struggle with the realization that the wife (Cecilia) is going blind, and what that means for her identity as a woman, as a professional, and as a wife, as well as her husband’s(Louie) endeavors to support her despite her denial.Curious about the backlash the short provoked amongst many of my friends, I watched (several times) and still find myself sifting through mixed emotions. Intended as a short film about unconditional love and the challenges of marriage, Blind Devotion instead seems to misappropriate disability for a religious agenda and presents a troubling picture of the ways that fear and denial can damage healthy lives and relationships. However, it also offers us some startling realities about the challenges that people with disabilities face—realities that many of us live with day in and day out, but that we wish would go away.
Firstly, it bears pointing out that this video’s target audience isn’t the disabled, or people who are close to someone with a disability, but that’s all the more reason, in my opinion, that appropriating blindness symbolically to tell a story about marital and life challenges is all the more problematic, because if handled insensitively, such appropriation perpetuates the myths and stereotypes that people with disabilities spend every day of their lives trying to dispel. As for the portrayal of blindness itself, while I disagree with Cecilia’s attempts to hide her disability, I think her story should evoke compassion and concern from the blind community rather than the ridicule I’ve heard from some. To put it bluntly, going blind is scary. Anyone who has gone blind and doesn’t remember the fear has selective amnesia. While those of us who’ve dealt with it know in hindsight (pun intended) that denial isn’t just a river in Egypt, we often forget that we asked many of the questions and wrestled with many of the same fears that Cecilia has expressed. This is a woman who, having lived her entire life with fully functional sight, is now facing the prospect of adjusting to life without it. When she tells us that a disease she can barely pronounce is taking away her vision, many of us can relate to the figurative as well as the literal truth in that statement. The future she’s carefully mapped out for herself is being obliterated. We know, sadly, that despite the ADA, employers still discriminate against people with disabilities, and her career is likely in jeopardy.
As she admits, her domestic devotion to her husband might seem like a throwback to prefeminist domesticity, but let’s not devalue the work of running the household and caring for one’s family—tasks in which she obviously takes pride and which partially define her identity as woman and wife. Because of her denial, and her fear, she can’t recognize that blind people can, and do, live perfectly productive lives as professionals, parents, spouses, and even as single people. While her denial will ultimately make the road she has to travel much rougher and longer than it might be if she would face the truth, the process of acceptance, in a lot of ways, mirrors the five stages of grief. According to GoodTherapy.org,