As I wake up and enjoy this gorgeous day I also am reminded of who I am. In fact, I’m reminded so much that I feel I need to make a post. This is not just any post it goes a little deeper then that – this is about me, who I am and my vision on photography. I do not necessarily have a big secret because I’m open with everything but to post about something I’ve been effected with since birth is actually giving me anxiety, actually I’m a little bit in tears as I post about this.
I was born in 1981, and was the third born into my family. I was a happy and healthy baby (at least it looked that way). As most of you know babies have a funny way of looking around, their eyes kind of wander all over the place trying to adjust to their new life. After a little bit, my eyes did not adjust in fact, they were in two different directions. I was healthy but had eyes that weren’t exactly normal – I had crossed eyes, and it was pretty bad. No let me re-phase that, it was horrible.
At the age of 8 months I under went my first surgery to correct my eyes, and by correct, I mean they attempted to straighten them. Now because I was so young I can only go off the photos I see and the stories I hear. Shortly after my first surgery I had another. At the age of one I had undergone 2 surgeries. Success? Well, sort of. My eyes were a lot better then they were but very short of normal.
So what exactly did/does it look like? When I looked at someone my eyes would wonder in different directions. Countless times I heard “what are you looking at?” as they moved their body all around to see what I was looking at. I was looking at them but I would have an eye that would wonder off drastically. School? Well that was pretty tough. I went through the bullying, the ridiculing, and all of the ridiculousness you can only imagine. Elementary of course was the hardest for me because kids really didn’t understand it. Overall it was an experience I would never wish on anyone. Approaching middle school I ended up undergoing one more surgery which was the most life changing surgery of all.
The summer of 1992 I had my last surgery to straighten my eyes. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was so scared. I remember being wheeled into the surgery room, the mask went over my face and I sort of freaked out a bit. The nurses tried to calm me down and they told me to count and it would sort of feel like being on a ride. I started counting from 10 and the next thing I knew I woke up from the surgery. My eyes were incredibly sore – I couldn’t open them. I remember the recovery room briefly and then remember going home shortly after.
Recovery took a little while and after I was able to open my eyes and actually see – things did not look the way they once did, it was different. I at this point had undergone 3 eye surgeries and after being told my “different” vision would go away – it never did. Since 1992 I have been seeing double. Double of everything. (Deep breath) I have double vision and I’m okay with it.
I am 31 years old and have been seeing double for so many years that it’s a way of life now. I remember when I revealed to certain people I could see two of everything the very first thing I heard was “How many fingers am I holding up?” Seeing double did/does not effect my mind, I know what I’m looking at – I just see everything twice.
OKAY – so why am I posting this? Well I actually started thinking about how ironic it was that I evolved into this profession which involves your “vision” to create images. I was born with these “issues” surrounding my eyes and now look where I am. I absolutely love photography and although my vision is not the same as everyone’s, I can still see. I do think about my vision from time to time and think I’m meant to be where I am. I love what I do and I will continue to be the best I can be.
As a mom of four children myself the thought of one of them experiencing this makes me tighten up in fear. My oldest did show signs of the same issues but we have since corrected it with glasses. His eyes have since become straight and as I thank my lucky stars they are “normal” I am reminded of how lucky I am to have my vision as well.
I do have a few images to share … the first two are with my mom shortly after being born. The others are right after surgery.
And finally myself and my amazing family whom are the leading inspiration to everything I do. Thank you to my very good and amazing friend Mishelle for such amazing images of my family and I – I cannot express that enough.
WHEW – I can take a deep breath and freely share this with anxiety that won’t quit. But I want to say this is a story close to home for me and I want to say that I hope and pray that if I can inspire just one person it made this whole post worth every second. Even the shaking, the tears and the anxiety – it made it all worth it.