Hey guys, so I’m gunna be answering some of the questions/statements discussed in this video done by the BBC, and also giving my opinion on them. Whats written below is my response and nobody elses’ xx
1) Why don't you just get plastic surgery?
Honey, this IS plastic surgery…
Yeah, sorry to crush that one but I’ve had a LOT of plastic surgery. Usually people mean cosmetic surgery when they ask this, and I have had to explain to quite a few people that the surgeries that I have had are reconstructive plastic surgeries, and that any plastic surgery that I’ve ever had has been more focused on function and purpose rather than aesthetic. This is the way my parents operated when they made choices over what I had done, and this is the way that I have continued to decide. I have considered procedures and surgeries that could be considered more cosmetic than not, but that is usually still somewhat to do with function. I know a lot of people will look at me and not get it, but I’m actually okay with my scars and the way they look… The things that irritate me about my scarring is when it is itchy, or tight, when it restricts my movement or the constant need to avoid loads of sun and wear suncream (eugh!).
2) What happened to you?
I mean, little bit personal, but I understand curiosity. I struggled with this question growing up, it felt so intrusive and filled me with so much dread when I could see it coming. My parents always told me that I did not have to explain, but if I did I could say something like,
‘I was hurt when I was younger, but I’m alright now (insert distraction)’
Nowadays I am a lot more open depending on who asks. I’m open with the people that I’m close to, I tell them enough that if I am struggling I can tur to them for help and not have to explain. When I’m at work (I work with children aged 5-16) I stick more to the line my parents gave me, or if it is not a good time I say something along the lines of ‘We’re a bit busy doing … right now, but we can talk about it later’. 9 times out of 10 they don’t care that much and don’t ask again.
With strangers it is easier to stick to the line my parents taught me, I mean I’m just going to be honest here, I don’t always want to talk about it…! It was an extremely traumatic time in my life and quite frankly it isn’t anybody else’s buisness. I’d hope that I never come accross rude, but there have been times where I though, I just don’t want to have this conversation with a stranger on a bus with other people listening in etc (and I have now learnt that that is okay!)
*** What I will say, and completely respect is that I am half way through my first year in uni, and of all the people that I am close with, I don’t think any of them have actually directly asked me. They have either waited for me to say something, or are still waiting (I will probably tell them at some point) and I’ve just reflected on that, and I really appreciate it. So anyone in my seminar group or from CU here reading this, I love you guys xxxx Thank you for allowing me to feel a bit normal xxx
And haha you've got to this point probably wondering what did happen to me, well sorry to disappoint but I'm not going into that this time 😉
3) People Staring
This is a hard one. I think I may do a seperate post on this at some point. I experience it everyday, in most public places that I go to, and it is not fun. However my basic suggestion that I would throw out there for people is:
If you think you could be making someone feel uncomfortable, then stop.
4) 'I know something that will help'
Now people who have said this or similar to me, are genuinely trying to be nice and not wanting to offend. This makes it harder to respond. Because, by saying you know something that will help you are implying that I need help, and that my body is not okay how it is now. And actually, I am okay with my scarring. I mean if you have a magic cream that would stop me from having to have monthly laser procedures, mass surgeries and have to go through OT and Physio etc at times, then great. But if not, then I’m not really that bothered…
5) Have you ever had a boyfriend?
Um, no. But I mean I’m only 19, so I’ve still got plenty of time right?
I’ve been asked out before, so if the question is, is it possible to have a disfigurement/scarring and still have a relationship, then my answer would be for sure! 100%. I know loads of people who have visible scarring like me and are happily married or in a long-term relationship. Does it make it harder? Probably at first. As a society we can be quite judgemental. But I’m not too worried about it at the moment, my time will come I’m sure 🙂
6) If you could change the way yo look, would you?
Yes and No. In terms of my scarring, I would change things to make me feel more comfortable. So I’d love to be able to lift my left arm up fully without being in pain. I’d love to be able to move my neck more without it being uncomfortable (mostly because it’s a pain for sleeping in the car! I have to sit on the left side of the car on long journeys so that I don’t have to stretch it!). There are various other things that I would change in order to make me work better, but from an appearance point of view I don’t think I would. The only thing I can ever really think of when asked this question is my hair. I’d love to have a full head of hair so I could do loads of different hairstyles. Right now I’m stuck with low plaits or a low bun or ponytail. But am I desperate to change this- No. I’m happy with how my scarring looks.