Can you imagine the devastating impact living with aniridia nystagmus can have on a woman in her twenties? The constant feelings of worry towards how others may act if they discovered your rare visual impairment. You live your life in an introverted state of being as you believe that nobody will ever be able to truly accept, love or understand you for the person you truly are.

These lifelong patterns of negative thinking are not entirely in vain. I've been a victim of bullying, loneliness and rejection. Reluctantly, I have chosen to wallow in denial and self-pity for the person I see in the mirror is not a sight that I can be truly at one with.

It pains me to comprehend how seemingly important ones' aesthetic appearance is when forming relationships with those in the outside world - particularly the opposite sex. As the saying goes, "the eyes are the windows to the soul". If that is so, I must be the most physically undesirable woman in the world. My eyes are not sparkling nor are they bright and alert. They are devoid of any colour, are squinty and they do not function properly. Yes, they are lifeless, opaque, black as the night.

Yet, I am more than meets the human eye. It's just that battle between two differing perceptions. I know i'm a thoroughly decent person inside with plenty to offer in terms of goodness and personal warmth but to see my naked eyes, you'd think I was a demonic character out of some sci-fi novel. Frankly, it's the ignorance of those that peddle such nonsense and the brutal remarks from those who mock those with visible defects that makes me want to hide myself away from a seemingly cruel world that is not made for such sensitive people as myself.

So, after spending my youth and young adulthood years feeling like "a freak" of nature; I wanted out. Rather than openly disclose my rare condition, I have aimed to conceal my aniridia from public view. First came the uncertainty around wearing coloured contact lenses. Would my new eyes be enough to make me feel more confident in interacting with others or would it make the situation worse? Even more, would I be discovered as a fraud for wearing colour contacts on a daily basis?

I have attempted to place this paranoia aside and continue to use contacts as a means of preserving my independence. Who'd have thought two small plastic discs could be so vital in whether I step foot outside or stay at home? It's in contemplating their eventual absense that I am most in dread. This seemingly minor event for most would cause me immense psychological pain.

In hindsight, I can positively state that this rare condition, aniridia nystagmus, is the primary cause for my extremely low self-esteem, pessimism and feelings of social inadequacy. I wonder how I would have turned out if I had been born with normal vision...

eleisopaque eleisopaque
22-25, F
Aug 31, 2014