I developed myopia very early, when I was only three years old. I didn't get it from reading books, or watching TV, or playing computer games. It was purely genetic. My entire family was cursed with extreme myopia, including my sisters, my parents, my cousins, my grandparents. My eyesight deteriorated rapidly when I was still in kindergarden. I still have brief memories of the days when I could see without glasses. Since then, my eyes began to fail.

When I was in primary school, my eyesight deteriorated at such a rapid rate I required a new pair of lenses every 6 months. By the time it stabilized (around 3 years ago), I was practically blind. My eyesight was at -9.00 and -9.75, left and right, with severe astigmatism. At 1 meter, my vision was reduced to a foggy blur. Past 3 meters, I cannot make out the edges of surfaces. Without correction, my view of the world was pretty much a mess of blurry movements. Pretty horrible, but I managed to cope.

Before the age of ultra-thin lenses, my glasses were thick and heavy. At one point, I had to wear a pair of telescoping lenses around my neck to read signs. The glasses weighed my head down, literally. Even though it didn't prevent me from participating in sports, it did make it impossible for me to play contact sports. Groping around the field for my glasses, which were likely to be broken, convinced me to quit. Contacts were not a solution. Every time I see a 12 year-old teeny bopper get contacts at the optometrist I sigh at the ignorance of the parents. At that age, the eyeball is still developing and shaping, getting contacts ruin the physical development of the eyeball. But hey, with the advertising campaign the corporations are throwing, neglecting the dangers of contacts at that age, nobody cares. Looks are important, right? But at what cost?

I learned to live with this disability. However, in the fickle mentality of adolescents, I was mercilessly teased and made fun of by brutish bullies, the "in" crowd, and other human filth. Nerd, geek, chink, four eyes, one inch glasses, I've heard them all. They never bothered to stop and think, "Is it OK to laugh at a disabled person?" I don't see them making fun of the quadraplegic in the wheelchair. Or the jock with the broken leg. The cruelty of these people is beyond description. I grew insensitive to their taunts quickly. Once in a while, some people who step over the line receive a broken nose, courtesy of my fist. Those people usually never called me names again.

I got contacts last year. Due to my extreme level of myopia, they are still being tweaked. I am seriously considering the LASIK treatment, but I decided to wait a bit before taking the plunge, since I hear the side effects increase as your eyes get worse. Maybe one day, I'll be able to see clearly without correction. Would I look different to those shallow people, who taunt me because I wear thick glasses? Hopefully not. Adults are supposed to be somewhat more mature than high school brats.

Like Dman and weStLY I too suffer from myopia. Unlike Dman and weStLY, mine was not troublesome until several years ago. Unfortunately it is all my fault. I have no one else to blame.

As a child my mother would often put me to sleep at ridiculously early hours. I combated the boredom of sleeplessness by reading. Unfortunately, I was also a very lazy child. It was too much trouble for me to simply get up and turn the light on when it became to dark to read. Instead I would draw the book closer and closer until my nose was literally touching the surface of the page. On more than one occasion I did this through the entire night.

My eyes were irrevocably damaged at a very important time in my physical development. As a teenager and young adult I frequently did not wear my glasses. In high school I suffered from low self-esteem. Later, when I joined the Army, my spectacles interfered with my headgear. I still managed to play football in school and consistently claim expert marksmanship medals while in the service, without the assistance of corrective lenses. I have always been rough on equipment and when I did wear my glasses I broke them faster than my parents or I could afford to replace them.

Towards the end of my term of service my eyesight became too bad too ignore. I bought contacts in the hope that they would not get smashed as much as my frames did, and now I have to wear them constantly. Ironically enough, just about the only thing I can do without my lenses now, is read in bed.

Maybe it was because I never really suffered as much as Dman or weStLY seemed to, but until I read his write up I had never considered my nearsightedness as a disability. It had always been inconvenient and was often upsetting and traumatizing, but I never felt handicapped by it. On the other hand, I understand that most people with disabling handicaps don't feel that way. I've been told that many never think of themselves as disabled until an abled person brings it too their attention.

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