Most of the time, I don’t even think about my nystagmus. Other times, it can be slightly difficult to live with. However, on occasion, there are some really awesome things about my nystagmus that I’ve come to love.
1. It’s a great conversation starter
At times I can be socially awkward (try not to be too shocked). However, there is always one thing I can talk about safely when I get to know someone. Some people ask, but others will notice without saying anything. Either way, it makes me confident to speak up because I know more than most people about that topic, and I’m always eager to make people feel at ease about it. I also like to make them laugh, leading into positive thing number two…
2. I have a cool parlor trick
Explaining my nystagmus to people can sometimes be very dry, and at times people don’t know quite how to react. They think maybe they should feel bad for me. To lighten the mood, I’ll say, “Wanna see something cool?” and then spin around in circles like a crazy woman. Which is funny enough on it’s own, believe me. I think if that were the end of my talent it would still be pretty hilarious. Or maybe I’m just easily amused.
But I digress. Once I stop spinning in circles, my eye movement increases so quickly and to such a degree that at that point, I really can’t focus on anything at all, I just see the world spinning in front of me. They go back and forth as far and as fast as they can go. I don’t really know why they do this; my spinning must aggravate it somehow. It’s pretty fascinating to see (or so I’m told) and people usually laugh out of amazement.
And all I have to do is spin around in a circle once more in the opposite direction to get my eyes back to normal. Like I’m unwinding 🙂
Now whether or not people actually think this is cool is irrelevant. When I do my little trick for them, they know that I am not ashamed of my shifty eyes, and that I take it so lightly that I can joke about it with anyone. I really think that’s what puts them at ease more than anything else.
3. It makes me different, in a good way
Not to get all after-school-special on everyone, but I really like that it makes me unique. It’s something you don’t see everyday. It can even be a beautiful thing, in an uncommon, off-centered kind of beauty, and isn’t that the best kind there is? Besides, don’t all girls want their eyes to be unforgettable? 🙂
There are more great things about my shifty eyes, but I think those are my favorites. To my fellow shifty-eyed friends, what do you like about your eye movement? Parents, what do you love about your children’s nystagmus? I assure you, it’s not all bad. Sometimes it can be wonderful.
(cool parlor trick!) sounds funny but a bit mad but i would like to see someone or my sone do that one day lol
son not sone
Haha, thanks! Maybe one day I’ll post a video. It’s quite mad 🙂
Jo, i just love your post, especially #3 🙂 i really do.. i have nystagmus too, quite a mild form (e.g. i can drive a car), and some folks that meet me do not notice my shifty eyes.. (at first moment at least).. i do not use to explain why my eyes are moving that way, but i think i will start to do it more often now 🙂 I think i hate the feeling of being ‘defective’ in this way, but yep, it’s somethink that make me different and unique, like you say 😉 And i like your ‘parlor trick’ too – i have similar experience with my eyes, e.g. when i need to turn 90 degrees to left, i often prefer to turn myself 270 degrees to right, and nobody understand why i do it like this – it just keep my eyes in more silent mode 🙂 kinda strange during playing soccer at school in the past, when i remind now 🙂
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How about – when my little boy was smaller, his null point was to the right and so we have some very cute photos of him looking sideways in a really sweet and coy way. Heheh.