I wanted to share my story with everyone, as it might give some comfort to a lot of other women like me. So, I am a 28-year-old blind woman living in the UK. I work in Banking, and I love my job! Everything was going pretty well until something happened which changed my life forever.
I spent six years being in a relationship with a man who was also blind. I thought that he was the one for me because he knew how it felt to be blind and overcome the obstacles that come with being visually impaired. Diljeet was a proud Punjabi man with a very proud Punjabi family. After spending lots of time with him and his family, trying to prove that despite being blind, I could cook, clean and be a wonderful wife, the family decided that they didn’t want me to be with their son.
However, they waited to tell me this. They let Diljeet ask my father for my hand, and even propose to me. We even went shopping for engagement rings. But the minute my then boyfriend’s father found a fully sighted woman in India, they told him to end our relationship. And he did, which left me heartbroken, to say the least. At 26, I felt that my world came crashing down. Soon enough, I was lonely and sick because of the extreme stress.
After a few months of sulking, I decided to take control over myself and my life. I started working out to make myself feel healthier, wore clothes that made me feel good. Basically, I started finding myself. When I felt more like ‘me’ again, I tried online dating which was quite okay. I would speak to new people but somewhere, I knew it wasn’t for me.
This experience made me realise that what I was looking for in a relationship and what others were looking for in me was quite different. I realised that most people will just dismiss girls with a disability. It was difficult to digest this fact, but it made me stronger and it also taught me how to converse with different kind of people and gave me a lot of confidence. I noticed that many Indian guys not only dislike women with disabilities but a lot of them even disliked dogs. This made it a very difficult choice for me as I have a guide dog who helps me be independent.
Eighteen months after my breakup, when I’d almost given up on Internet dating, there came a breath of fresh air. One day, I went to the eye hospital to have my annual check up where my guide dog and I were in the waiting room. My dog Sienna, saw a guy she quite liked and was trying to get his attention. So, he came over and said hello to me and told me how beautiful my dog was. His name was Rajeev. We got talking, for hours on end, sat in a cafe and had coffee together... and the rest is history.
I found true love around the time I’d given up on love. The best part is, I met someone who would love me for who I am.
We spend our days together and my parents love him. I like his family as well and now we are planning our wedding! Since I was really sceptical of this entire situation, I asked him if he had any issues with me being blind and about my guide dog whom I love very much. When I asked him if he was sure about starting a life together with a blind woman he said, ‘You have a heart and a soul don’t you? So, what difference does it make if you are blind?’
That one sentence made me love him even more. In just a day, I not only found a boyfriend but a best friend who is ever so supportive. He made me believe that a disability is nothing more than a word when you find the right person to share your life with.
*Names changed to protect privacy.
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