Iama blind Redditor who went from homeless in a foreign country to being a producer at an animation/game studio and a sort of local celebrity in my town. I'm back to answer more questions about my unique disability, my new animated series, and my ...
I've done an AMA in the past after my daughter had eye surgery at the age of 3 months. She's totally fine now and has 20/20 vision with glasses.
Some of you know me from the Finnish baby box post from a few years ago. Some of you know me from my Youtube videos about how I live my life with 2% vision. Some of you don't know me at all.
I was born with congenital cataracts. These have been in my family for 500 years and were inoperable until the last few decades. The technology didn't exist when I was born, and since the surgery is only effective if done within the first three months of life, I was left to live this way.
I never let it stop me, though. I went to normal school and had mostly A's in school. I was bullied quite hard for my disability, since the cataracts have caused me to have astigmatism(rapid, uncontrollable eye movement) and the people where I went to school, rural Pennsylvania, were ignorant.
At 20, I moved to Finland for a man who I thought was the love of my life. He ended up having sever psychological issues and abused me for a year before I was able to get away.
I was homeless for two weeks. I didn't speak any Finnish at the time and decided that I could either go back to the US, to a place I never ever felt was my home and where I had no friends or family other than my mom, or I could stay here, learn Finnish, build a life and try to show the people who bullied me and the man that spent a year telling me I was worthless what I was capable of.
So I did.
Since then, I learned Finnish(and a little Swedish!), volunteered for a few different NGOs that eventually lead me to find work, made hundreds of friends, found new hobbies and interests I never would have imagined, and found work with an animation and game studio, where an animated series I wrote and produced has just finished production.
My story is so unique that I've been featured in the Finnish media, both local and national, several times, because of how openly i speak about my love for this country and the opportunities and love its people have given me. Finland is my home, and even though a lot of foreigners have extremely difficult times finding work and friends here, I've defeated the odds and found where I belong, even with the disability. My city has accepted me and made it very clear that this is where I belong.
AMA about my disability, blind life, my series, Finland, or literally anything.