NORTH CAROLINA – A North Carolina woman says she is happier than ever after she fulfilled her lifelong wish of becoming blind.
Jewel Shuping, 30, has Body Integrity Identity Disorder, according to Barcroft TV.
BIID is a condition in which able-bodied people believe they are meant to be disabled.
She told Barcroft TV that her fascination with blindness started when she was a child.
“By the time I was six I remember that thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable,” she said.
Shuping says that when she was a teenager, she started wearing thick black sunglasses, and even got her first cane when she was 18.
By the age of 20, Shuping says she was fluent in braille.
“I was ‘blind-simming’, which is pretending to be blind, but the idea kept coming up in my head and by the time I was 21 it was a non-stop alarm that was going off,” she told Barcroft TV.
Her need to lose her sight increased as she got older, and by 2006, she claims she found a psychologist who was willing to help her.
Shuping says the psychologist put numbing eye drops into her eyes, and then a couple of drops of drain cleaner.
“It hurt, let me tell you. My eyes were screaming and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin,” she said. “But all I could think was ‘I am going blind, it is going to be okay.”
The woman says it took about half a year for the damage to take full effect.
“When I woke up the following day I was joyful, until I turned on to my back and opened my eyes – I was so enraged when I saw the TV screen,” she told Barcroft TV.
One of her eyes eventually had to be removed, her other eye had glaucoma and cataracts, Barcroft TV reports.
Shuping says she originally told her family it was an accident, but they later found out the truth.
She says her mother and sister have since cut contact.
She told Barcroft TV that she has no regrets and that she hopes to help other blind people live an independent life.
“I really feel this is the way I was supposed to be born, that I should have been blind from birth,” she said. “When there’s nobody around you who feels the same way, you start to think that you’re crazy. But I don’t think I’m crazy, I just have a disorder.”
According to Barcroft TV, Shuping is hoping her story will help raise public awareness of BIID and encourage people with the condition to seek professional help.