Excuses for the cane

Wheelchair pretenders really have it easy. There are so many excuses that can be used when one unexpectedly crops up in a wheelchair, and again when they return a few days later back to their former walking self. One can explain “part-time” wheelchair use to people that see them every day. On reading archives of transabled.org, one finds such excuses ranging from “back pain” to a vague “neurological problem” and anything else which may in part be true or may be completely made-up or even a non-existent condition which sounds plausible enough that people believe it.

But there is no such luck for blind pretenders. We can’t say “sometimes I can see well enough to walk without a cane but sometimes I need to use the cane” like wheelchair pretenders can say “sometimes I can walk well enough but other times I need the chair”. Sure, we can claim “deteriorating vision”, but then it’s not going to be convincing to walk around with fully obscured vision, so the pretender would have to be willing to accept simulated partial/blurry vision in place of complete blindness for their pretending (something which does nothing to help with my BIID).

No, if you’re going to pretend to be blind you have to do it full-time. So you have to be practiced enough that people don’t wonder why you aren’t still in rehab. You have to have a story ready for when people ask the inevitable questions, and your story has to be able to explain how you could go straight from apparently fully-sighted to fully-blind overnight without any sign of shock or taking any time off studying/work for rehab. That’s a pretty tricky situation, and once you’ve taken that step you’re locked in; you can’t just say “my sight got better again” like wheelchair pretenders can say “my joint pain subsided”, even if your BIID has gone quiet and you don’t feel the need to pretend as much, or you find that really pretending isn’t working as a treatment option.

Maybe there’s something I’m missing, but it really seems like wheelchair pretenders have it easy. They can pretend right in front of regular acquaintances, no questions asked; while it might be easier to physically simulate blindness than it is to simulate paralysis, the logistics of pretending once you leave the house are considerably more difficult.

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