Beyond the mask

I wake with  my head heavily bandaged. My fingers carefully explore the extent of the dressing.

My lungs fill with air, and I exhale.

It is done,  I am different now.

My skin chills as I slip from the comfort of the warm sheets.

I need to find a mirror.

What do I look like?

I undress my bandages carefully. I see myself for the first time, the reality slowly absorbs me.

Life will never be the same….

DISFIGURMENT

Disfigurement is  not  an easy subject to quantify. We all look different, some people look more different than others. Some are born different, some are changed by circumstance, some are changed by their own free will.

I never grew up being “different” I was a “normal” kid whose only conflict with image was teenage spots and do I look stupid with a pony tail. I have always been healthy, never been ill, unbreakable.

Apparently not that unbreakable.

I HAD CANCER IN MY 30’s

My surgery saved my life, and changed it.

I had time to plan for this day. Many do not. To be totally disfigured is a huge emotional, psychological, physical thing. I chose this for myself, because the alternative was not an option.

I chose disfigurement and in doing so accepted every operation that was to come and the added scars to my face and body.

COVERING UP.

I wear an eye patch. It serves me well. It covers up most of my disfigurement, whilst making me look interesting…. but the “arrgh” and “pirate” references wear thin.

WHAT IF I WHENT NAKED INTO THE CROWD?

Unless I know who I am opening the door to, no one sees me without an eye patch.

I went without an eyepatch only once. Amongst other disfigured people, where I felt comfortable.

Strange is the world, where you feel you can only be open to people “like you”?

MEDIA

I am not alone. I have found so many friends through sharing my story.

The media helps so much, as the media is a consistent source of information.

Share my story, it will help others, raise awareness of facial difference.

Love to all,

Dan xx

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