Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

Hysterical Blindness and other anomalies February 23, 2010

Filed under: Single Sisters On... — cuzzo @ 8:58 am

I’ve experienced what I guess is called “hysterical blindness” one vivid time in my life…possibly twice but I can’t really remember the other time. I was in my school’s cafeteria getting something to eat (a wrap I think) and after receiving the container from the sandwich maker, everything went black. I hadn’t passed out…I was very aware, just blind. I didn’t freak out or anything. I thought if I blinked my eyes really hard my sight would come back. So, I continued walking away and dropping the container on the floor. No one knew what was going on with me. How could they? I didn’t yell out…help, I’m blind. I just kept it moving. It must have lasted less than a minute. I didn’t really think about it nor did I afterward tell my friends who were with me, thinking I was being super clumsy, that I indeed was incapable of seeing for a brief moment.

Then this movie came out:

About the Movie “Hysterical Blindness from IMDB :

In this bittersweet slice of working class single New Jersey life, best friends Debby and Beth (both pushing thirty) go looking for love in the wrong place – namely their favorite bar, Oliver’s. Rugged contractor Rick eyes Beth but ends up going home with the more assertive Debby. Beth’s style is further cramped by the responsibilities of single motherhood. As Debby tries to parlay what was essentially a casual fling into possible marriage with an indifferent Rick, her mother Virginia wonders if her affair with widower Nick is the real thing. Rounding out the romantic possibilities is Bobby, the bartender who flirts with Beth. The women clash as plans go awry, tragedy strikes, and hearts get broken. In the end, Debby, Beth, and Virginia find, if not the relationships of their dreams, peace with each other and within themselves.

I don’t remember much about it. One of the characters was in total denial about the man she was “dating” and also experienced the same thing I did…that brief moment of actual blindness.

One definition of hysterical blindness I found online reads as follows: Loss of vision or blurring of vision following a highly traumatic event (www.mondofacto.com) <—makes sense but I can’t for the life of me recall what I was going through…and buying a sandwich is far from traumatic…I LOVE food. I’m really searching the memory banks here…if this movie came out in 2002, this must have happened to me around 2001-2002. I’ll revisit this post once I recall what stress I could have possibly been going through.

And, wikipedia goes more in depth with the definition:

Conversion disorder (formerly known as hysterical blindness) is a condition where a patient displays neurological symptoms such as numbness, paralysis, or fits, even though no neurological explanation is found and it is determined that the symptoms are due to the patient’s psychological response to stress…The term “conversion” has its origins in Freud’s doctrine that anxiety is “converted” into physical symptoms. Though previously thought to have vanished from the west in the 20th century, some research has suggested it is as common as ever.

Wiki also says this used to be called “hysteria” in the time Freud et al were studying it. I don’t like this definition because it makes me sound crazy, lol. And because the episodes happened a long time ago…and only twice, I don’t think the definition of this “disorder” (from wiki) fits me.

But, all in all, the movie let me know I wasn’t alone…I wasn’t crazy…things like this DO occur. And, though the movie has a double definition as seen by the caption “sometimes the hardest thing to see is yourself”…I really wanted to touch on the physical event.

So, I will pose these questions to my lovely brothers and sisters:

As far as the psychological aspect of the movie (which I would recommend seeing by the way), have you ever or maybe now, not been able to see your situation for what it was? Reflect on “sometimes the hardest thing to see is yourself”.

As far as the physical, have you ever experienced something that made you feel “not normal” and come across a movie, talk show, TV show or article, that put you at ease and let you know you were not alone? (maybe this post perhaps 🙂  )

– “Never On Time” Cuzzo

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2 Responses to “Hysterical Blindness and other anomalies”

  1. Peyso Says:

    There are many movies that discuss the feelings that I have or at least I havent seen them. To be honest, I have a very very vivid imagination and I have crazy day dreams. Sort of like Robert Townsend in that show “Parent’hood”. The stuff that I envision is sometime hilarious and sometime very disturbing. However, I feel like these feelings make me feel prepared for any situation that may arise because I’ve pretty much planned out my response

  2. Cuzzo, I think you are safe about that conversion disorder dip b/c you haven’t been diagnosed. I’m pretty sure you need some months of to be able to qualify.

    Like Peyso said, I sometimes feel like I can play out my actions before I do them. It’s just a split second, and then I either decide to do it or not. I think ppl would be suprised how the normal the “not normal” things they do are.


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