RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina woman says she is happier than ever after fulfilling her lifelong wish of becoming blind.
Jewel Shuping, 30, has Body Integrity Identity Disorder, which is a condition where able-bodied people believe they are meant to be disabled, according to Barcroft TV.
Shuping said that her fascination with blindness began when she was about 6 years old.
“By the time I was 6 I remember that thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable,” she told Barcroft TV.
As a teen Shuping said she began wearing thick, black sunglasses and walking with a cane. By the age of 20, she was even 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,” Shuping told Barcroft TV.
In 2006, Shuping found a psychologist who was willing to help her become blind. The psychologist began putting numbing drops in her eyes, followed by 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 told Barcroft TV. “But all I could think was ‘I am going blind, it is going to be okay.'”
It took about half a year for the damage to take 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,” Shuping said.
Eventually, one of her eyes had to be removed and the other had glaucoma and cataracts.
At first, Shuping told her family that it was all an accident, but they eventually found out the truth.
Shuping’s mother and sister are no longer speaking to her.
She told Barcroft TV that she has no regrets and 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,” Shuping 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.”