The Book Quadrant: Relating to Molly Berk’s Book

Hello to all of you beautiful nerds and welcome back from traveling the vast nerd universe. I am back with a new post!

Thoughts on It’s Not What It Looks Like by. Molly Berk

Disclaimer: This post is based on thoughts and opinions of the lead writer of this blog. Please respect her thoughts and how she relates to the material being presented. Thank you!

So, I am holding off the post on adaptive controllers since I had questions but am doing this one instead. Recently, at the beginning of May I bought myself a Kindle. I was asked by a co-worker if I knew about accessibility with the Kindle readers since the closest thing I had at the time was the Amazon Fire Tablet. Even though the accessibility is pretty good on that but after getting the Kindle it was slightly different. I am knowing you’re wondering how so? Well, you don’t get Voice View right away you need a Bluetooth device in order to have it to work whether through an earphone set or a speaker it will work with those. I would rather use headphones because some of the stuff I read is 21+ due to most of the material on NetGalley is not safe for the little ears or maybe family or spouse doesn’t want to know what stuff you’re reading so I like the privacy of doing it with headphones. Anyways, one thing I decided to try was of course Audible due to how everyone on my YouTube subscription feed raves about it and wanted to read one book in particular for a while now and that is It’s Not What It Looks Like by Molly Berk.

As you know that I have Retinitis Pigmentosa myself and I can relate to her minus the guide dog bit since I am not a dog person. I’m glad that at work it can be a choice if it’s something the person who has pretty good mobility like I do wants or doesn’t want. I will go into detail with that with why I didn’t want one since Molly touches upon that. As a YouTuber and makeup lover and I do love buying my nerd shirts and music tees from Hot Topic, conventions, House of Blues shows from my favorite bands and so on I am just me like her. I do have to say that this book was a good read and it’s something I recommend and I will touch on some points and have experienced some of these like she has. Let’s get to it shall we?

Being Diagnosed At A Young Age: The first thing I relate to this is that I was diagnosed at age fifteen which was the start of my high school years. Even though I was older than Molly when she was diagnosed but it was still a wall that I hit and just stopped me from getting my driving permit. Here in Florida you would get your permit at fifteen and get your license a year later which is sixteen and I was hoping to get myself a VW Beetle in a nice shade of blue. As you can tell blue is my favorite color due to how my nails was always was painted in every shade of it. Still my favorite shade is Midnight Blue from Sinful. Anyways, when Molly had her vision changes noticed was through her grandpa and how her eyes shook in her head and was taken to a lot of doctors and she found out that she also had Nystagmus which you probably have seen my interview with Apl DeAp since he has that same condition too alongside Steve Saylor the Blind Gamer. Unlike me, doctors thought I was fine when my mom kept on telling that I was always running into walls, tapping for things that fell and reaching around things that are in front of me. One good instance was when we were visiting family in Puerto Rico she tried handing me a glass of water while we were at a hotel and I reached around it not for it. She knew something’s up and doctors ignored her until one specialist at one office near us yelled at his assistant in front of everyone in the waiting area, “What do you mean there’s nothing wrong her!? There is something wrong with her!” After that visit, despite his attitude earlier that morning he did refer us to Miami and that was when I found out I had RP. It was like the floor collapsed underneath me at that second because it was devastating since like Molly I didn’t know anyone in my family that may have had it. My mom thinks it was from my dad’s side since some of my cousins are disabled from other types of disabilities. I didn’t know even when we had some genetic testing where we had blood taken and had to pay for results and it was way out of our usual budget. We will never know.
The Bullying: During the book, Molly talked about hose she was bullied during her time in school and knowing with having been bullied myself and looking back on it is that kids are mean! Even mean towards kids that are disabled. I was surprised that even adults were bribing kids to be with her by helping her out. I know it’s sad to hear that but I remembered how years before being diagnosed I was seen as someone who wasn’t smart, I was special yes and yes I did weird things like talk to my dolls by having conversations with them but most of the time the next door neighbor kids were either out with their families or don’t want to hang with me. They even chased me off by doing extremely mean things. The most I was bullied was middle school, especially in band class since this one guy always stole my music stand and I took his one day and he tried to get it since I knew it was in my space and held onto it with all my life. I think karma got back at him when one this one kid heavier than him punched him in the nose for taking his seat on the bus. I know ouch but it happened. My mom and I got back at him during my Freshmen year when he was still bullying me and calling me, pardon my French, a bitch, we went to his home and told his dad what he was doing and he left me alone after that. There were many more moments but I did like how Molly said when she mentioned that some kids tried to put a tray of ketchup in front of her to see if she steps in it and this was when her mother was picking her up, which by the way I love her mom, she told her mom after being asked if she knows what they are doing to her, “I know what they’re doing but it’s life! I am going somewhere where they are not.” Which I will be talking about that with my own life since looking back on that I did go somewhere else and it is great to hear that when she read it in her book.
Guide Dogs: As I said above is that I am a cane user not a guide dog user. Reason being is that I am not really a dog person. Yes, they are great and nice and dogs sometimes do gravitate towards me but I prefer cats. I do work with guide dog users but understand that it can be hard. Molly talked about how they are expensive, which is true since I knew a user from a blind support group that he mentioned that he has to get his dog groomed and give him an expensive pill and so on, which I think I would stick with a cane and it’s my choice. I do admit I did like Molly’s stories with Gypsy and Gallop and don’t mind meeting Gallop and I understand her frustrations too. I was surprised that so many people are making it harder for her and others to bring their service animals onto airlines and into other places and being asked for paperwork and certificates which there is no certificate, which the tell is the vest but now anyone can buy those things for their animals. I understand emotional support animals, heck a peacock, which also makes the allowances hard. If I had a guide dog myself and going anywhere I would go through the same thing. I even saw the NFB fight one of the airlines against paperwork requirements two years ago due to how people are bringing their pets onto these planes with these vests. Still makes me face palm.
Mental Health: One thing she did point out throughout this book and is a big one and that is mental health. She has gone through depression and anxiety due to her own disability and yes it is painful and glad she got through it in order to be her positive self. I admit here I have had depression and still have anxiety myself but live through it. My depression really came around when I graduated from college and knew that my routine of going to class and seeing my friends and reading my books while I was at it was coming to an end. Also, I was having a bit of a tear down in partying and that kind of made me lonely and that was also when I realized I was an extroverted person. I didn’t go to MegaCon during the last year of college and felt major burn out by the end of my studying. Also didn’t help having family and my counselor at the time judging me. I had to go through therapy to help me get over things, heck when I had one therapist over the phone I had to end it with her because I saw how negative she sounded and felt she wasn’t helping. This was my choice since I felt like I wasn’t having my career choice supported and my ways of getting to it was being supported. She was surprised I wanted to read in Braille to kids and thought it was bad. Imagine the record scratch right here! Even though that didn’t happen but I felt like I would have had some fun like my volunteering in my home school district since the middle school students were great when I worked with them. Now that is done, yes I do have some anxiety but it doesn’t rule my life due to how much I have changed it after I started working and have that routine again and get to do it with adaptive tech which I use every day in my life. Also, getting to live in an apartment and taking on my own responsibilities and being more creative with this website and the channel, so now I just keep myself in check.
Job Searching Being Tough: One last thing I do relate and that is job searching. She had a hard time with it as much as I had except I lived in Orlando where competition was stiff especially at the theme parks! It took me three years before I got the job I have now and here is the thing and knew from first glance is that my blind cane was the reason for being turned down. I know it sounds bad but I can tell since some people wonder how can I do the job being blind and I remembered the final job interview I had since I was told to look for jobs if the one I have now falls through and how I was in the interview I felt a bit of discomfort. It was not from the HR Manager, it was from her assistant. There were times when I tend to have conversations with both but this one she just wrote things down not communicating with me, she just let her boss talk and when I left I thought, I am not getting the call back aren’t I? So, I just waited until I got the call saying I was hired from my job. What I did find that was a bit jerkish was that Molly did have one company contact her and told her the reason she wasn’t hired and that was due to being blind and apparently that was against ADA which is pretty bad and rude. I guess I’m glad to get the job I have now since I wanted to do adaptive technology for the longest time and finding a writing job is not easy. Heck, I even felt I wasn’t good for customer service after doing a basics class on it. I’m happy for Molly being able to have her own business since she did start doing public speaking and being that advocate for us and that’s what we need and of course it shows that we’re not afraid speaking our minds. I was even happy to start the Nerdy SHique Universe YouTube to put our convention stuff on it and even interviews with people since it felt good to have that conversation with them.

Final Thoughts: I enjoyed this book from beginning to end. It felt as though I got to see another person with my eye condition go through their own story and seeing that we go through similar things and different experiences. I love her personality and love how she shows her own ways of doing makeup and getting her hair dyed at salons, since she doesn’t see her hair dyed purple it doesn’t mean she can’t have it. Heck, I admit I had blue hair twice and I sometimes wear wigs for costumes and colored extensions, I even use a straightening iron sometimes. I am also about to get press on nails for my first time. Anyways, listening to her read it gave it a really amazing personal touch since I got to hear her tell it rather than someone else reading it.

Do I recommend? Yes! Yes! Yes! Do I need to say more? This was a great first Audible read for me since it gave me a new book to read and getting to hear her read this was even greater. She did mention in the video while recording it that she had to accommodate to have it fed to her from someone else since it was taking too long to read it on her Braille Display. Yes, reading Braille can be a little slow but speed does improve even mine has improved. I would also say check out her YouTube Channel since it shows what she goes through while living in L. A. and glad I get to see it on YouTube and get to hear her story. And like she said, she has gone somewhere and I have done it too with living on the coast and having a life with my fiancé and of course getting to work a great career. Let’s see how things go from here!

That is it guys for this post! Check out It’s Not What It Looks Like through Kindle or Audible because it is a great read. Also, if you’re a parent going through a child with a visual impairment I would say is read this because it would give you some pointers since Molly’s mom had to go through it too and if you’re struggling with your condition it can give you some help in how to get through it in a way by hearing her own story dealing with the depression. I will be talking about some of this in my next podcast episode since I want to give an auditory account too which I say listen for that sometime this week! I am waiting on answers about the game controllers and the good news is that my Ipsy and GB Plus are on their way! I am just waiting on my tracking for my BoxyCharm to begin. So stay tuned!

By the way guys…forgot to mention is that if you get this book there are some trigger warnings which I didn’t touch upon in this post. I don’t want to give any triggers on here. Fair warning!
It’s Not What It Looks Like by Molly Berk

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