I was a third generation witness.
I was baptized in 1978. After serving for some years, I drifted away from the
organization for seven years. After my mother's death, and my daughter's, I
decided to start attending meetings again. I needed to brush up on the new
things learned, so I accepted a study.
The meetings were as I remembered.
Having my guide-dog at the meetings would make it easier, so I asked the
sisters if she could go. After a year of refusals, I suggested that they ask
He flatly refused to allow her
entry, so I called Seeing Eye, who wanted to take them to court, but I
refused; making them promise to send literature only.
I had just finished the article
about not taking your brother to court, so I was extremely tactful about
making waves. Weeks passed, and I wasn't thinking about it any more, When I
received a call from an elder.
He said, Did you send for this
information from seeing-eye?" Not feeling threatened, I replied in
the affirmative. He raged! Jezebel!" "You're making God's name to be
spoken of abusively." He couldn't hurt me more, if he had cursed me,
because I felt that I'd done everything possible to be respectful. He raged
on, but my mind was in a fog, and couldn't comprehend what was being said, but
I knew that I had to calm him do, or I'd be in hot water quick. Finally, he
told me that Seeing-eye had sent a paper along with the literature, which
mentioned how businesses and other public places could be taken to court, for
refusing the dogs. I reassured him that my intent was education, not
prosecutory, and that the school had acted against my advise. He began to calm
down saying, "well, we'll forget this thing then," abruptly
ending the call. He has never apologized, or mentioned that call.
months I managed without the dog, making others responsible for attending to
my basic needs, and trying to put up with feeling valueless, and stripped of
my dignity. It was mentioned that we sometimes have to sacrifice our wishes
for the cohesiveness of the group.
Sightless people fight for those things which
others take for granted, acceptance, dignity, independence, etc. This could
have been a learning experience for that congregation, but his behavior
allowed them to stay stuck in their prejudice, fear, and ignorance. Never will
I allow anyone to make me feel valueless and invisible again.
ready Tammy's Getting
Along as a Blind Person
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