I have nearly complete night blindness in one eye. This isn’t debilitating, but it is disorienting when I have to get out of bed and have almost no vision in one eye, so I have a small night light in my room that helps minimize the effects. The problem is my family. I visited them over Christmas and took the night light with me (they know I use it). My brother’s girlfriend thought it was hysterical that a grown man used a night light. She snuck into the room I was in twice and turned it off in the middle of the night. My family took her side and said I was too old to be scared of the dark, that it was a waste of electricity, and I should man up.
I lost my temper, and we fought. I pointed out that I wouldn’t be night blind if they were better parents. They told me I couldn’t throw that in their face for every failure in my life (I haven’t mentioned it in years; it wasn’t their best day as parents, but it was a dumb accident). I drove home to spend Christmas alone with Chinese food. It is obviously ridiculous to cut off your whole family because they think a night light is childish, yet I haven’t answered their calls or read their emails, and I am fine with that. I don’t get angry a lot, but when I do it tends to destroy relationships before I warm back enough to consider fixing things. How do I mend bridges this time when I am still in “Do not speak to me or my night light ever again” mode?
—Night Light License