Adult with facial birthmark
Hi! My name is Tiffany, and I am 39 years of age. I have a massive facial hemangioma on the right side of my face, in my scalp, and on my liver. I have had cosmetic surgery on my face since the age of one up until I was seventeen years old. Sometimes, I'd have surgery twice a year.
As a child living with this, I can remember the first time I became aware of myself. I was actually looking in a mirror when I noticed that one side of my face. It scared me because I had never noticed it before. I mean, I knew there were times that I had to go through things like surgeries, but I didn't understand why or what was really happening. Staring in the mirror and seeing this very red and huge mark on my face worried me. I called out to my mother.. "Hey Mom! There's a huge red blob on my face!" She replied. "Tiffany, It's always been there." That revelation changed my life.
I had been a outgoing child, for the most part. After I discovered what I truly looked like, I would actually put paper bags over my head so nobody would see what I looked like. Of course, My mom would make me take it off. I began noticing people around me staring at me. Kids called me names like" ugly" and "monster". My mom couldn't find a baby sitter for me as a child because people didn't want to take responsibility if something were to happen with my face while in their care. I do get treated differently, and I still do to this day, deal with people judging me and treating me like a social outcast all because I have a birthmark on my face.
Today, I still get stared at. People believe I've been burned. They won't ask me about it when they first meet me. They speak to me, but They won't meet my eyes because they're too busy trying to ignore my face. Sometimes, I wish people would just get their questions over with so they could move and learn about ME.. and who I AM as a person. They wait until they see and know that I am an outgoing and kind person, who doesn't mind answering the question that always pops up from people about me. I can cover the birthmark for the most part with heavy make up, but I am not a heavy make up type of person. Most of the time, I wear no make up at all. However, I wear my hair long, and My hair covers that one side.
It is tough. This is a superficial society where people focus on the outside more than the inner beauty within a person. However, I know deep down that I am a better person for having this birthmark. It may bring painful experiences emotionally in my life. I may get rejected by people for how I look. However, My birthmark helped shape who I am as a person because I am more compassionate towards others who look different or who are different. I am less judgemental of people based on their appearance or physical or mental abilities. I am stronger emotionally, even during sad or painful times in my life because I know what it's like to walk alone in this world and feel alone. I know the pain of rejection very well, but I also know how wonderful it feels to have good hearted people truly care and accept you for who you are as a person and not what you look like. So, I am not bitter nor Am I angry about this lot I have in my life. I KNOW I am beautiful.. no matter what others may see with their eyes, and I don't need them to validate me.
I read once about a couple who had a baby with a birthmark, and The mother actually went on television and referred to her daughter as looking "ugly and hideous" My heart immediately cried out for that baby. Imagine growing up and reading your parent would say such a cruel thing about you! I'm happy my mom did all she could do to try and protect me. I'm happy we had insurance to get all the surgeries I required to even just look like I was burned. I once saw a person who didn't have surgeries with a birthmark on his face just like mine. It was the first time I had ever seen anyone who looked the same as I did.. or How I would look if I didn't have the cosmetic surgery I had. I was in my car in the back seat with my parents. I wanted to rush out and give that man a hug because I knew his pain well, but I also knew people would treat him even worse than they treat me sometimes. It made my heart twist for him.
I was actually due to have more surgery done because my face drags slightly and it gets worse with age, but I don't believe I'm going to. I HATE surgery completely. It terrifies me to this day just to be put under. I have come to an acceptance of my looks, and I just try to live the best way I know how to live.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you all. It's nice to meet you, and I hope you all have a good day.