Mental Health Stigma Suicide

Four Eyes.

I decided to finally look into getting blue ray blocking glasses. I’m not sure if that is even what they are called…the kind of glasses that are supposed to protect one’s eyes from the harmful light of the computer. Specifically if, like me, you stare at it for up to eight hours or more a day.

I did some google searches and looked at a few of the “best sites” to buy blue ray blocking glasses. Then I went to those sites and looked up a bunch of them. I even added some to my cart on one site.

Then I walked away.

Then I went back to the site.

Then I closed my iPad again.

Then today I looked on Amazon and added more to my cart.

Then I stopped.

I am many things but I am always honest with myself. I reflected on the pit in my stomach that seemed to set up camp whenever I pulled up one of these eyeglass websites. I reflected on the “virtual try on” experience that made me just extremely sad as I stared at my face with the fake lovely glasses resting on my nose.

Then I felt like Winnie the Pooh in that scene when he is pondering and tapping his big yellow paw on his head.

I had a cataract when I was 4. It was removed. I am legally blind in my right eye and have been for as long as I can remember. I wore a patch on one eye for 6 hours a day for a couple years of my life. I wore a contact in my right eye (the cataract/legally blind eye) since the surgery and glasses also for as long as I can remember up until 6th grade I believe. In 6th grade I was old enough for the contact in my left eye.

The glasses were thick frames. I remember my eyes often being hot and sticky from the patch and the glasses. I remember being made fun of many, many, times by other children.

I had this Ah hah! moment in remembering all of this. Duh. Of course my entire body revolted at the idea of glasses, even just glasses to protect my eyes, because I was having flashes of seeing my clients in glasses. I was having flashes of being incredibly vulnerable in front of clients. Clients who do not need to see me have a breakdown if they so much as mention the glasses.

I have glasses. I use them at night. Alone. After I take my contacts out right before I fall asleep if I want to watch TV for a little while. I don’t think even my closest friends have seen me in them.

It’s an odd thing to be 37, a Mom, a boss, a nurse, so many kick ass things, and still be completely gutted thinking about buying glasses. This is what it does to people though- bullying. It stays there. In the back of my mind, in a filing cabinet that I put away and locked up, but that creeped out slowly with enough of a trigger.

I remain undecided on the blue ray glasses. I write this feeling odd. Somewhat shamed? Even though I know rationally it’s not my shame to bear. It’s the shame of my peers who made me feel less than because of a vision deficit that I had no control over. I’ve known since age 4 what it feels like to be different. And I’ve never attributed that experience to any of my life decisions, but it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I have devoted my life to serving the underserved and the bullied and the misfits.

Because I was one. Who knows? Maybe I still am. But the difference now, is I know I’m in good company.

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