"Going" blind or deaf, becoming "crippled" or "disabled" or "incapacitated" in any way: there's a frequent sense of shame to this, a frequent need to fit in with social standards of normativity. One wants to blend in, to pass, to be something besides freakish or Other. Maybe the desire to be "normal," or at least to cover up one's disability and appear to be so, derives from social pressure and the ideal of the "normate." Maybe it derives from the reluctance to view one's body as changing from what it once was, or becoming divergent, or failing in some way. Maybe it's pride. Maybe it's embarrassment. Whatever it is, social or individual, this sort of experience is very common, painful, and real.
I applaud Will Butler for writing about his experiences of "passing" as sighted here. It's something we don't talk about nearly enough. How do we make it okay for people who are disabled or somehow different to accept that about themselves, and how can we -- meaning society at large -- go about meeting them halfway, accepting the fact of their difference?
They say you “go” blind — the way you’d “go” AWOL or “go” crazy, as if consigned to a place apart, dark, ringing of solitude and isolation. But it’s much more an arrival than a departure.