Shuping suffers from Body Integrity Identity Disorder, where healthy people feel like they should be disabled. She became so obsessed with being blind that she would walk around with a white cane as a teen, and learned to read Braille fluently by age 20.
“I really feel this is the way I was supposed to be born,” she says. “When I was young, my mother would find me walking in the halls at night. When I was 3 of 4 years old. By the time I was 6, I remember thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable.”
She claims a psychologist helped her go blind in 2006. “It hurt, let me tell you. My eyes were screaming and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin,” Shuping recalls. “All I could think was, ‘I am going blind, it is going to be okay.'”
Shuping and the “doctor” waited 30 minutes (to make sure the damage was done?) before calling for emergency help. She woke up the next day enraged because she could still see stuff. It took her about six months to go blind.
Things have sense become tense between Shuping and her family. She claims that they’re no longer on speaking terms. Despite the family issues, Shuping said she’s never been happier, but she discourages others from following in her footsteps.
“Don’t go blind the way I did. I know there is a need, but perhaps someday there will be treatment for it,” she said. “People with BIID get trains to run over their legs, freeze dry their legs or fall off cliffs to try to paralyze themselves. It’s very dangerous. And they need professional help.”
Since Shuping suffers from a mental disorder, there’s a possibility that her story isn’t completely true (for example, she won’t name the alleged “doctor” who helped).
“The way I became disabled doesn’t really matter,” she notes. “I went blind on purpose, but I don’t feel it was a choice.”