Just when I thought I was moving on with my life (with or without 3D vision), I realized yesterday how sensitive I am, and how deeply wounded I still am from almost 3.5 years in this therapy which hasn’t born the fruit of stereoscopic vision.
Two days ago, a Spanish friend back home sent an email to our group of friends about going to watch a 3D movie about Mars made by NASA at a theater in our area. I was boiling with anger. This friend knows full well that I can’t see in 3D. He’s heard my descriptions of the therapy, double vision, confusion, everything and then getting his email was a huge slap in the face. Don’t invite a friend who can’t see in 3D and who has been suffering because of their VT and inability to fuse to a 3D movie! How hard can that be to understand? How many @(@))@*^%@(_@&%!@!!&) times do I have to tell people that I can’t see in 3D and that this is a sour point with me? I know he didn’t do it deliberately to hurt me but it showed a major lack of respect and appreciation for what I have been going through for almost 3.5 years. When I first got the email, I just reacted by sending an email to all saying that I can’t see in 3D (although they all know that already) and that they should take me off of the email thread. It took me maybe an hour until I really felt how much his email had pained me.
It had been a long time since I had cried about my vision. Finally, my side effects are manageable and I am traveling and I feel great. And then boom, someone delivers a reminder of something that I can’t do and it stings like rock salt on a deep wound. It still stings, two days later. And the tears don’t stop coming out of my already tired eyes. I wrote to this Spanish friend once I realized how sad his email made me feel and I asked him not to understand me but to respect me. About a month ago, we were in the car and I told him (again) about how hard it is for me to drive at night because I see the left lane doubling and I see lights with rays going in various directions, thanks to the prisms in my glasses. He asked me how my disability effected my life before VT. I had already told him this many times about parking, merging traffic, sports, being clumsy, dancing, etc. And I was annoyed that he didn’t remember. He told me to talk to his neighbor who is an amblyope to compare our experiences. He had already told me to talk to her before and I had already told him that she doesn’t mind only seeing in 2D and that for us, not seeing in stereo doesn’t mean the same thing. She is at peace with it. I am not. I didn’t need to be reminded of this. For her, seeing in 3D is not a big deal. For me it is. For some people driving an expensive car is important. For me, it isn’t. The issue here is not trying to reason with me or with anyone else who is working hard to overcome a disability, it’s about respecting where they are and not trying to change them to be like someone else.
I also told this Spaniard that I’ve stopped discussing my eyes because it’s pointless. Few people understand me and I tire myself in explaining. Our conversation in the car was a perfect example of people not understanding or remembering what I’ve said. Getting his email about the 3D movie made it all much worse.
To someone who hasn’t been fighting to see in 3D with all of the financial and lifestyle sacrifices that come along this road, it may seem like I am overreacting or much melodramatic. But the tears coming down my face are real. If I had a mirror right now, I’d see my eyes bright green with red in the white part of the eye. The salt from the tears that has dripped into my mouth is real. The pain isn’t melodrama. It’s profound sorrow that no matter what I tell people, no matter how much they care, they will forget about my eyes and hurt me by accident. And there’s nothing I can do about it.