Although I have an excellent memory, I can’t remember much about my eye surgery in March 1994 when I got my eye straightened while a senior in high school. (I had surgery for strabismus when I was three years old that left with a wandering lazy eye, amplyopia.)
This was one of the most important events in my life and I don’t recall how I felt before the surgery or after. My family can’t recall anything either. I don’t think people in high school treated me any differently after my surgery. It’s as though my complex about my wandering eye was all in my head. I emailed my high school friends to see if any of them could remember how I felt before and after surgery. Two of them couldn’t recall that my eyes were ever misaligned. One friend said, “I do remember that the change was dramatic. I never really noticed you had an eye condition – until after you had it corrected.”
All that time that I felt like a freak and others didn’t think of me that way!
Sometimes, when I wear my contacts now, I have mental flashes to a photo of me taken when I was 13 years old without my glasses. My wandering eye is very evident in the photo. I have been wearing contacts off and on since I was 15. Strangely, I still feel that when I am despectacled, I reveal my wandering eye that has not been evident since I was 17! All that trauma is still in my head.
I recall an episode of the 80s sitcom, Head of the Class, when Arvid went to get a nose job to reduce his nose size. He felt ugly because of his big nose. When he came to school after his surgery, he was shocked that nobody notices that he “looks better”. His big nose complex was all in his head.
Alas, my vision therapy is not about my eyes, it’s about re-wiring my brain. As I rewire my brain, I can also vacuum out my complex about having wandering eyes.