'I went blind on purpose': Woman says she had drain cleaner poured into eyes to fulfill 'lifelong dream'
Jewel Shuping, from North Carolina, asked a psychologist to pour drain cleaner into her eyes
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA: A woman has spoken out about her drastic decision to pour drain cleaner into her eyes after having dreamed of going blind since she was a child.
Jewel Shuping, from North Carolina, was born healthy but became obsessed with losing sight at age 21. During an interview, she claimed to have seen a psychologist and asked him to pour drain cleaner into her eyes so she could fulfill a lifelong dream.
Jewel Shuping felt 'comfortable' in being blind
Shuping told People that she had been thinking about becoming blind since she was a child and that her mother would find her walking in the halls at night when she was three or four years old. "By the time I was 6 I remember that thinking about being blind made me feel comfortable," she explained, as reported by Mirror.
Shuping bought a white cane as a teenager and learned to read Braille, becoming fluent by the age of 20. Then, in 2006, she claims to have found a psychologist who understood her condition and agreed to pour drain cleaner into her eyes after dripping numbing eyedrops in.
Jewel Shuping recalls the moment she went blind
She recalled the pain she felt when drain cleaner was poured into her eyes and said, "It hurt, let me tell you. My eyes were screaming and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin. All I could think was, 'I am going blind, it is going to be okay.'"
She claimed that she waited for 30 minutes before seeking medical attention, at which point, despite her objections, hospitals attempted to assist her. However, the damage had already been done, and over the course of the following six months, her eyesight gradually deteriorated. "I was so happy, I felt that this was who I was supposed to be." She added, "I went blind on purpose, but I don't feel it was a choice."
Jewel Shuping's decision irked her family
Shuping claimed that her choice to go blind damaged her relationship with her family. She said she initially told them she had lost her sight in an accident, but when her mother and sister discovered the truth, she claimed they decided to break off contact with her.
Even though she claimed not to regret her choice, she advised anyone with BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder) to refrain from acting similarly, even if they feel the need to. She also expressed her hope that the challenging condition will someday be treated.
She said, "Don't go blind the way I did. I know there is a need, but perhaps someday there will be treatment for it. 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."
'This is the way I was supposed to be born'
Shuping had the support of her former fiance Mike, 50, who is legally blind, according to Daily Mail Online. The woman, who was pursuing a degree in education, also expressed a desire to assist other blind people in living independently.
She said, "I really feel this is the way I was supposed to be born, that I should have been blind from birth. 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."
"I do understand why some people would be angry about a person giving themselves a disability. They think it's a ploy to get social security, or a waste of advocacy that would be better focused on people with an involuntary disability. But I feel that the way I became disabled doesn't really matter. If someone were to say that its fundamentally selfish to blind myself, I would say that it's selfish to refuse treatment to somebody with a disorder. This is not a choice, it's a need based on a disorder of the brain," she added.