When I was a little girl my parents were not fully aware of my “special” eyes, but the neighbours thought there was something wrong with me and so they took me to the doctor who just laughed and told them there’s nothing to worry about. Later on, colleagues at school/highschool/university/flight attendant school often told me that i may have lost a contact lens.. joke was on them obviously as I asked them to help me find it! Funny the thing is that in flight attendant school a teacher told me that I should really get a correcting-contact lens, otherwise I will never get hired with such weird “condition”. I’ve been a successful flight attendant ever since, I have been flying for 5 years now and most of the people who notice my eyes find them fascinating ,so it has never been a minus Although I haven’t been able to be a part of your project (yet) I would like to thank you for making heterochromia seem so special in the eyes of everyone!
“As i said for long time a never heard about heterochromia or encountered anyone else with it. And because i wear glasses most of the people never noticed my eye color.
Even when my doctor checked my eyes for a first time, she just said that i have beautiful eyes. That was it. So i just thought i have nice eyes, but didn’t know it is actually something rare (maybe when i meet people i should look more often in to their eyes 😀 ).
The only time i might encountered someone else with heterochromia was in a hight school when i looked closer in to the eyes of one of my classmate and it seemed to me she might have similar eyes as me, but it’s so long i don’t even know if i remember it right.
But as some time passed i naturally started to take more interest for my eyes, so i did some research and found out many things about it. What it actually is, how rare it is and most importantly that there are many people with this trait forming social groups. I was happy about that. I saw how people are passionate about it and suddenly i felt like a part of something more…..part of people with special eyes :-D”
My Heterochromia Iridum Story
The first time I can remember being conscious or aware of my Heterorchromia, other
than looking in the mirror or from family members admiring me, was when I was in
Primary School. The other students and I were tasked with completing a worksheet
with a profile about ourselves which included height, weight, hair colour and of
course eye colour. The space that was provided for us to fill in our eye colour was
very small and as I have two distinctly different coloured eyes, I did not have enough
room to fill in my eye colour, as it only allowed for one. Some other students found
this funny and one in particular teased me for a time about it. It never bothered me
though. I cherished being unique and as I was born with different coloured eyes, one
brown (with blue/grey speck) and the other blue/grey, I never knew any different. To
me, my eyes were normal.
My reasoning for calling one of my eyes blue/grey as opposed to blue, is because as
I grew older, many friendly arguments would arise over what colour my eyes were.
The blue eye is not bright blue, like those many fair haired people have. Some called
it grey, others green but all were resolved that it is most definitely different than the other eye.
Over the years, I have had the usual questions that I assume all people with
Heterochromia have been asked. “Do you know your eyes are different colours?”,
“Did you loose a contact lens?”, “What colour eyes do your parents have?”. Many
are surprised that I was born this way, that I do not wear contact lenses and that my
parents have distinctly blue eyes (Mother) and green eyes (Father).
I often enjoyed my eyes being compared to celebrity Heterochromia examples, such
as Jane Seymour and David Bowie (who I later found out was not Heterochromia).
However, I did not relish being compared to Husky dogs or Marlyn Manson. I was
often used as an example in Biology class for genetics, but as Professor X in
‘X-Men: First Class’ says, most people believed it to be “a very groovy mutation”.
Friends, colleagues and partners have expressed jealousy over how “cool” my eyes
look, the irony being that the person who I am now marrying, is totally colour blind
and cannot see any difference between my eyes. I have met many people over the
years who have various forms of Heterochromia and no longer believe it to be as
rare as I once believed, but maybe I just notice it more in other people because I
have it? When I travel I seem to get more attention for my eyes than at home in
Ireland, which leads me to believe that it maybe more common in certain countries
and therefore more rare in others.
Once while on holiday in Italy I noticed a group of waiters in a restaurant looking at
me and whispering to each other. Eventually one of the waiters approached me and
asked if he could have his photo taken with me. I replied that I was not famous and
he said it wasn’t because I was famous, but because of my eyes. Another funny
incident happened at a bar in Austria where a drunken man broke down in tears after
meeting me, saying that he had always wanted a girlfriend with different colour eyes
but had never met one. Finally, whilst travelling in Australia last year I met a German
backpacker who told me how lucky I was to have Heterochromia, as she explained
that there apparently is a scholarship programme , funded by David Bowie himself for
people with this condition. I have never been able to back her statement up, but she
was very dissapointed that she had never been able to apply.
My most prominent memories involving my heterochromia are when I was younger. These boys living in the apartment building next to ours would pick on me and call me “zombie girl” and pretend to run from me. Even if I had no interest or was walking somewhere else. No one told me what it was they just said I have hazel eyes which frustrated me because I knew hazel was a brownish color and my eyes are so green. Only as an adult did I find out I have heterochromia (from my eye doctor). I have central and sectoral heterochromia. I also have distichiasis which can be irritating and painful when lashes grow right into my eyes. I very often get accused of wearing colored contacts. Heterochromia is not known to be genetic but both of my children have it. My son has complete heterochromia (one green eye and one blue) and my daughter has central and sectoral het. I teach them to embrace the beauty of their differences. They aren’t ashamed or embarrassed like I was. And thankfully they’ve not had to hear people asking “what’s wrong with your eyes?” I would love it if more research was done. Something ties is all together. It would be great to know what that is.
At the day care:
– Mom, why does she have one big eye and one brown?
– :)) …
🙂 kids can be hilarious, this is one funny story that little Ula’s mom was able to remember 🙂 there is more to come, I am sure! 🙂
I was born in 1968 with this brownish streak in my eye that my mom thought was a problem. She took me to the doc who stated it was a “birth mark”. Even later on I worked for an endocrinology clinic who deal with diabetic retinopathy and an ophthalmologist was passing out business cards visiting our clinic to whom I inquired about the “birth mark” and he stated it was a nevus. Not until my little cuz through marriage got “diagnosed” did I find an actual name for it.
My mom almost named me Bethany but dad said you named the first 2 so I’m naming her Karen. Well through the FB groups that I joined related to heterochromia, I found that some believe it’s a way to find your soul mate in the next life. Well I found mine to whom I’ve been married for over 29 years. I find it ironic that I almost didn’t get a K name but ended up marrying a man whose last name starts and ends with a K. 29 years, there must be something to that story about finding your soul mate in the next life !
World Peace, Karen