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Two Face 07-24-2008 08:44 PM

Struggling along
Hi I'm a 25 year old male with a port wine stain covering most of one side of my face. Lately I have been struggling to live with my birthmark which seems to be on my mind all of the time.
When I was a kid I was picked on quite a lot in school and my parent found out about laser treatments when I was about 9. I had the laser treatments 6 or 7 times which didn't do that much except make more people stare when you got that 'fresh burnt' look. I stopped having laser treatment before high school. Near the end of primary school I began to get very aggressive and ended up in plenty of fights. My parents sent me to a smaller high school and there I met some good friends and had a few good years of normal school life. As I got older I realised I was becoming more self concious about my birthmark again mostly around girls and this made me more reserved and awkward. I wasn't unpopular but when it came to dating etc I felt I was at the bottom of the list. I started to become depressed and fairly aggressive again which probably didn't help my case. After high school I fooled around with jobs and university a little but became involved with drugs which of course gave me that 'fake' confidence I craved. At this point I was ready to tear any stranger apart that even stared at me too long and all I cared about was getting high. I only went out at nights which was probably another behaviour related to my self esteem.
After awhile by chance I started a relationship with a girl that was a friend of my families. We hadn't hung out that much over the years but I found out in the last few years she had become interested in many of the same things I liked. I was glad that a girl showed interest in me and that because she knew me already since we were kids she was fairly understanding of my face. I cleaned up my act quite a lot and we had a good couple of years together. Later on in our relationship we had problems like all couples and at some point she told me that I should try harder in the relationship because it would be harder for me to get another girl but it would be fairly easy for her to get another boyfriend. I resented this opinion strongly even though we patched things up for awhile the thought had already been put in my head. I became more depressed and months later she left me for another guy telling me she had 'warned' me she could do better where as I would have problems.
I don't regret not having her in my life as she obviously didn't care about how I felt or would feel in the future. She was quite popular in school and had no understanding of the other side of the fence. She also didn't care how what she said would affect a person with self esteem issues and is self conscious of there appearance. Having this 'taste' of a serious relationship has made me feel worse now then before when I didn't know how a relationship felt anyway. I feel that she was right in that I may not have many chances at a serious relationship at all.
More time has passed and between then and now I have become more and more self conscious of my face and my birthmark seems to be on my mind all the time. I dive in and out of drug use which of course temporarily solves problems but just adds to them later. I hang out with my friends and I don't bring the mood down at parties or anything but they all are in relationships of their own and as we all get older it gets harder and harder not to resent my own face.
I know that attitude plays a large part in how you feel and I know that there are a lot of people with worse conditions than mine that deal with it better. I have never met anyone else with a facial birthmark and thats why I'm choosing to tell my story here. I know its a bit odd to vent on the net but I felt like being honest and I have never shared this with anyone. I feel like I have taken to many blows to my self esteem and that I need a boost or something...
But thats why I'm here... I'm hoping to better my way of thinking and learn from other people. I'm not looking for a quick fix just maybe a new way of looking at things or just knowing that people have gone through similar things...


hankbartenbach 07-29-2008 05:51 AM

Hello B,

My name is Hank and I am 26 with a facial birthmark.

I completely understand what you have gone through in your life so far.
I have been in your shoes time to time except self esteem and anger issues. Everything else even dating I completely understand.

I work in retail so you can understand how many people ask me on a daily basis about my birthmark. For children I have always turned to education since they do not know any better.

Some adult I feel like I could blow up on them some days but that would be career killing for me in my job.

I have always had the attitude of I really do not care what people think of me, if someone does not like me for the way I look that is their problem not mine. Let them make a fool out of themselves for not knowing what a birthmark is. That just tells me how uneducated some people are.

I have always had them mental not to let things and comments go in one ear and out the other or to let them roll off my shoulders. Negative energy about hating your birthmark will eat you up inside and will lead to depression. There is a reason you have a birthmark you just have to find out why.

Just remember realationships will come and go but you have to except your birthmark before others will. I know unless technology gets really good in the next 20 years I will have this birthmark for the rest of my life. I started laser treatment 21 years ago and have had 3 plastic surgeries to keep it growing and to remove it, but I am not holding my breath that it will ever be removed.

My fiancee tells me I would not be the guy I am today if I did not have a birthmark and that we would have never met if I did not start going blind.

I hope this has helped. If you would like to see pictures of what my birthmark looks like I have pictures on my website. I have before and after plastic surgeries as well.
If you ever want to talk email me the email is hank@ instead of www. on my web address.


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