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Not Knowing What Colors Look Like

Brooke Swanson was always color blind, but of course she didn't know that as a child, because you don't miss what you've never had. Still, it was difficult for her to use crayons if the labels were torn off. When she was diagnosed, she didn't understand. And as she grew up, she encountered new problems.

Aside from the whole crayon wrapper thing, color blindness didn’t start to really impact my daily life until high school. That’s when you start going shopping with friends, makeup becomes important, your mom isn’t dressing you anymore and you need to wear clothes that match. It wasn’t until I started making mistakes with that stuff that I realized this is kind of a big deal.

We moved when I was a junior in high school. Here I am, 16 years old, at a brand new school, and I just want what every other 16-year-old wants: to fit in. I was leaving English class when this boy Thomas came up to me and said, “I think your eyes are bleeding.” I thought it was a prank, or a weird joke, and I just kind of laughed and shrugged it off.

When I got home later the makeup I’d put on that morning was still out on the dresser. My red lip liner and my brown eyeliner were both Clinique brand, and I’d mixed them up. Thomas thought my eyes were bleeding because I’d been wearing bright red lip liner on my eyes all day. I was mortified, and I never wanted to make that mistake again. To this day, I make sure my lip and eyeliner are always different brands.

Swanson writes eloquently about the struggles of colorblindness, but her story takes an amazing turn when her boyfriend bought her a pair of Enchroma glasses. She describes discovering an entirely new world as an adult, down to seeing her son through new eyes. You'll see color differently after reading her story at The Cut. -via Digg

(Image credit: Flickr user Justin Morgan)

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