She says she has never been happier.
At the age of six, Jewel Shuping used to stare into the sun.
For hours she would stand with the bright light burning at her eyeballs, the whiteness and glare soothing her.
But each time when she finally looked away, she was disappointed to find it had not worked: she could still see.
Jewel’s greatest wish was one she just couldn’t achieve as a little girl: becoming blind.
But as an adult, with the help of a psychologist, she has changed all that — with her psychologist deliberately pouring drain cleaner into her eyes helping Jewel realise her greatest obsession.
She is now officially blind.
What Jewel has done is shocking, confronting and so unusual it’s hard to understand. But for her, it’s finally given her happiness.
The 28-year-old from North Carolina suffers from the extremely rare condition called Body Integrity Identity Disorder – or as some experts are now calling it, transability.
Men and women like Jewel who identify as transabled feel like their idea of what their body should be like does not match reality.
Jewel has never known what it is like to desire sight. By the time she was 18, Jewel she was wearing thick black sunglasses, and got her first cane.
By the time she was 20 she was fluent in braille.
“I was ‘blind-simming’, which is pretending to be blind, but the idea kept coming up in my head and by the time I was 21 it was a non-stop alarm that was going off,” she told Barcroft TV.
Jewel’s obsession with being blind wouldn’t go away – and the young woman, studying a degree in education decided to find someone who could help her.
In 2006 she found a psychologist in Canada who understood her condition.
After working together for two weeks to ensure she knew the consequences of her actions they decided to take the next step.
Jewel told Barcroft TV the psychologist put numbing eyedrops into her eyes, and then a couple of drops of drain cleaner.
“It hurt, let me tell you. My eyes were screaming and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin,” she said.
“But all I could think was ‘I am going blind, it is going to be okay.”
But the result wasn’t immediately what she had hoped for.
“When I woke up the following day I was joyful, until I turned on to my back and opened my eyes – I was so enraged when I saw the TV screen,” she told Barcroft TV.
Jewel tells Barcroft TV about how she became blind. ( Post continues after video)