Four years ago I had an injury. I won't go into the full details but I was basically dropped onto my face. The damage was pretty bad. A few teeth were broken in half and the damage to my face itself was bad. If anyone knows me well they know that I take pride in my teeth. I didn't spend seven years of having braces for nothing. My teeth were perfect in my mind, so for this to happen was catastrophic for me. As for the skin itself, your face is the thing that everyone sees. To have so many physical injuries and imperfections was heart breaking to me. This may seem pretty vain, but these were my initial thoughts.
On the way home from the hospital I remember stopping at the shop so my mum could go and get all the prescriptions for my painkillers and antibiotics. I of course stayed in the car as I didn't want anyone to see me. I remember a group of teenagers walking past the car, stopping, pointing and staring. It was possibly one of the worst feelings in the world. I didn't know where to hide, I had no where to hide. So I closed my eyes and pretended they weren't there. I should have told them to eff off if I could speak at the time.
Fast forward to four weeks later, the awful teeth problem was fixed, and the facial wounds were healing nicely. I went back to university for the first time, feeling terribly nervous as I still couldn't speak properly. I had a lisp for months, and I still can't say some words properly to this day. I felt sick stepping into class, wondering if anyone was going to judge me on my new looks. Of course it went fine which gave me a little step of confidence, no one said a word.
That was back in 2010. I still have scars on my face. Luckily they have faded somewhat but you can still see them. The scars are on my chin and under my nose. I feel self-conscious of them. Since the injury I had never been out of the house without make-up, afraid of people seeing those ugly scars. Recently I have been able to step out of the house without make-up on, just a few times. The scars are part of me now, I am used to them and I don't care what anyone else thinks. Although sometimes the scars do flare up and turn red, this is when I feel self-conscious.
Since the injury my jaw clicks a lot. This is only a minor problem but sometimes I get jaw pain too. Maybe I should have had an x-ray at the time. I have scars inside my mouth and sometimes they open up, when this happens sometimes they bleed. I hate it when this happens as it is so painful, sometimes I wake up with blood around my lips from the scars that have been bleeding in the night. Maybe I needed stitches. My nose is wonky. When I compare photos from before the injury to now, my nose has changed and it is slightly wonky. I don't know how this happened, I don't remember injuring my nose. My lips are also slightly wonky and misshapen which is understandable considering the injuries. However this is so slight that it is probably only noticeable if you study my face very closely.
Then there's the problem with the teeth. Now, I have a massive fear of going to the dentist. At the age of 24 my Mum or Dad still have to come to the dentist with me and I shake with nerves. However, no matter how many times I visit different dentists each year, they just can't get my teeth right. They are now slightly wonky, they aren't perfectly white and sometimes they hurt.
These are all minor things. You probably can't notice them from far away, but I see them every day. It could have been much worse. I could have broken any bones in my face, or fractured my skull or even had a brain injury. I got off lightly and was lucky. I am still in one piece.
There is a message to this long-winded story. I have spent all of this time hating the way I look. Ranging from thoughts of hoping my looks would get better, to thinking I will always be ugly. Instead, I should have been focusing on learning to like my looks. I will never say that I like the scars and imperfections on my face, but I have learnt to accept them. They are part of me and who I am now. I like the way I look. I know this all sounds pretty drastic. If you were to compare a photo of me from before 2010 to a picture of me now, I still look like the same person overall.
I just think that why waste my time being unhappy on how I look, if I can be out there being happy and having fun with new experiences. These vain worries of mine are so minor compared to some people out there. Why worry about what is on my face when there are others who have injuries and illnesses that are one hundred times worse than mine. When you put it like that, I feel guilty for worrying about a few scars on my chin.
I like the way I look and I feel great about that.