"Seeing" things a little differently
Everyone has a story…….
Everyone has a reason for being who they are. Our childhood plays a part, the social environment that we grew up in, how we are treated and the circumstances that we are surrounded in. There are hundreds of thousands of scenarios that can be possible and thought about, combined with the natural characteristics that you are born with, this is what makes us who we are.
Each of us has a path to travel. We have choices to make which determines our future. My story is no better or worse than the next person’s. It is my individual story with very individual circumstances. I know for me personally, it helps to learn about other people’s circumstances and how they were able to deal with hardships, I always enjoyed reading true stories of others overcoming hurdles and the strength that they found and never knew they had. Even at a very young age, I loved reading autobiographies and inspirational books. I found motivation there to stay positive even during the toughest of times.
Living with humiliation all the time while I was growing up was very difficult. I didn’t let others know what I was feeling. I knew there was nothing anyone could do, after all I was born with congenital coloboma and my right eye looked differently than the other. It was larger, the pupil was cloudy and very noticeable to everyone that met me. Just stop and think for a moment how often we meet people, just passing by someone and exchanging glances at the store or on the street. People looked at me and immediately saw my odd-looking eye. Usually they would take a double look and whisper to the person they were with.
Children were the worst, they are always so curious about things. I love children, especially after I had two daughters myself. They would always point and stare, asking questions or run tell their parents. It bothered me so much I would not even make eye contact with people, it was easier to just turn away from them instead of answering the questions. I remember when my daughters were in school, I didn’t want them to be teased by their classmates so I wouldn’t volunteer to help with certain things. I didn’t want them to suffer because of me. I know their friends always asked them about me.
There has always been a small percentage of people who didn’t show any reaction to my appearance, these are the ones that accepted me for who I was and never made me feel uncomfortable. They are kind, generous, loving people who became my friends immediately. I call them God’s angels because they have so much empathy for others.
Being blind in one eye and near-sighted in the other brought on many humiliating experiences. I tried so hard to blend in with the “normal” sighted people. On the outside looking in, I lived a very normal life…..got married, had children, ran a business and seemed overall a happy, balanced individual. On the inside, I felt as though I didn’t measure up and was embarrassed to exert my opinions or go after my dreams. I always seemed to settle.
I made the decision before the age of ten to live my life as best as I could. I wanted to be happy like most children. I purposely ignored the fact that I looked differently….. until I was reminded again and again by a certain look or comment by someone. It’s funny how we grow to adapt to our circumstances. After fifty years of living with this, I learned through self discovery (rejection from divorce and simplifying my life) that I could rely on myself and I had the power to make the choice to be happy with who I was. I did just that.
How odd is it that only a short time after my newly found self discovery, life presented to me an opportunity to “fix” the cosmetic appearance of my eye? Is this just a coincidence or is it fate? At the age of fifty-one I have a beautiful artificial eye that matches perfectly with the other. My vision is still near-sighted but now when I make eye contact with others, there are no more stares, questions or comments. People can’t even tell.
I was even called “gorgeous” the other day by a complete stranger. THAT has never happened to me before! It’s been a year since my surgeries and I’m still trying to get used to this new way of living. I am in the process of having my memoirs edited and hopefully published soon. I want to help anyone I can from my own experiences. My situation is pretty unique, even my eye surgeon said she had never seen anything like my eye before.
This blog is my way of keeping track of my next “memoir.” My life is not over by any means….I’ve just begun! The second half of my life is definitely going to be my BEST !
It will be my best because of my past.
(For more reading on this series check out the following link….. )