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Black and White Rainbows: Part 2

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November 11, 1995

Achromatopsia. I was achromatic. The doctors were wrong, for years telling me I was semi-retarded and partially blind when all along I just couldn't see any color. I didn't trust doctors after that. Mrs. Thorn was the only person I allowed to help me, and that's exactly what she did.

It started with sunglasses. Mrs. Thorn informed me that the brighter something is, the less visible it becomes to my eyes. Sunglasses helped to reduce the intensity of colors, toning them down to the point where my eyes could process and perceive the object. Symbols came next. Mrs. Thorn broke down colors into a system of symbols for me. For every color there was a symbol to represent it, and with these symbols my mind was unlocked to the differences in each shade of gray from black to white and how they all held their own tone.

September 09, 1996

My first day of first grade. I continued to work with Mrs. Thorn on my colorblindness and she actually became an aid to follow me into the next grade. I was truly blessed with her helpfulness. She quickly became my best friend, helping me both in and outside of school. I would sit down in my room telling my mother of all the different things Mrs. Thorn told me, and my mother became less panicky with someone so knowledgeable around.

I started my life, happier than ever to know what I had and how to deal. My clothes were labeled with symbols to represent their colors, I wore prescription sunglasses indoors and out, and I finally grew out of ignorance and into reality. It wasn't so scary with Mrs. Thorn holding my hand . . . until she could no longer.

October 26, 1998

First and second grade came and went easy enough, but it wasn't until I entered third grade that I realized I had been sheltered by Mrs. Thorn. The school wouldn't allow her to be my aid anymore; she had her own problems to deal with. I had no idea what that meant at the time, but I wish I had. I wish I knew a lot of things back then.

Children began to pick on me. I got asked questions on a daily basis of why I had someone help me and why I wore tinted glasses. Kids picked on and bullied me to the point where I truly understood the word "disability." I cried for days and begged my parents profusely to let me be homeschooled. My mother, always being the panicked one, agreed to this, but my father never allowed it to go through. I had to endure the torture of being different.

I swear Samantha Ronaldson will go down in the bully's hall of fame. She was that good. She always knew what to say to get inside my head. She would ask me if I liked her multi-colored dress, then laugh at the fact I couldn't see it. She would pass me notes in dark colored paper and pencil so the message wasn't visible. She made fun of my colorblindness by pointing it out at every opportunity. Without Mrs. Thorn, I found I couldn't handle it.

May 25, 1999

So much hatred. Outcasted, bullied, humiliated and teased. I could no longer take the torment. I was falling apart at the age of eight, so my mother hired me a therapist. But I ended up hating her more than Samantha Ronaldson. No one understood.

Some days I just wanted to scream. I wanted to rip the colorless locks of my hair right out from my scalp. I continued to go to my therapist, but I would never get over the feeling I had for doctors and psychologists alike; they never had a clue as to what I was going through. I knew this because they originally didn't even know I was color blind. Thank goodness for Mrs. Thorn. I wished for her to come back into my life.


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