A woman has had drain cleaner purposely poured into her eyes so that she can fulfill a lifelong dream of being blind. 30-year-old Jewel Shuping had always been fascinated with blindness since a young age and had learned to read braille and walk with a cane by the time she was 18.
“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.“
Eventually, she decided that she would take matters into her own hands. With the help of a sympathetic psychologist, she managed to acquire eye drops to numb pain and then had small amounts of drain cleaner put into her eyes, an experience that was incredibly painful. “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.“
Medical staff tried to save her vision, but the damage to her eyes was so great that one of them later had to be surgically removed while the other stopped working completely. Experts have since diagnosed her with Body Integrity Identity Disorder.
Body Integrity Identity Disorder is a rare psychological condition that arises when the brain has an incomplete map of the body. This leads to sufferers believing that parts of their body don’t actually belong to them. Many will attempt to remove limbs or damage them so they have to be amputated, although others learn to live with the condition through therapy and counselling.