Vascular Birthmarks Foundation Forum

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hankbartenbach 10-12-2003 07:50 AM

Hi everybody this is Hank.
I was just wondering all of use out there dealing with relationship issues because of our deformities. When women see my face to face it makes me feel like the think I am a freak. I have not had many relationships but the ones I have had saw me for who I really am. They could look past my hemangiomas and port wine stains. I hope my soul mate is out there some where and one day hopefully soon I will meet her. I am tired of be alone and looked at as I do not fit in. If you have any input please respond.

Talk to everybody soon.


gaminexx 10-23-2003 05:01 AM

Hi Hank,

I know how you feel. The quest for the perfect relationship is sometimes a cumbersome matter. But it's out there. You will meet someone that will find you as attractive and geniune as you are, and not account for any of the physical flaws. Even though i haven't had that experience just yet, I'm not counting it out as an impossibility in my life. I've met some great people who've been attracted to me for who I am, and even some that have been attracted to my looks. They always find it interesting and see me as an interesting person they'd like to get to know. I think for me a lot of it has to deal with my own discomfort with myself still. I fear the double take deal, where you're thought of as normal at first glance, but then they do a double-take and they're caught off guard. That bothers me the most. My feeling is if you're comfortable and accepting of who you are, you will exude that feeling and others will be attracted to you. True, there will be those that won't be, but that's with everyone, having a physical flaw or not. It's a matter of compatibility. I believe you'll find that perfect girl. :)

hankbartenbach 10-24-2003 05:29 AM

Hi Gaminexx,

Thank you for such kind words. Just from reading you post and after reading the first post you made on this website I could tell you I would ask you out in a heart beat. I wish I could atleast meet you but since you live in FL and I live in Nevada I do not know how soon that will happen. I would like to get a picture of you sometime. You can email me if you would like. My email is in my profile. I can email you some pictures of myself but I do not know if you want them sent to the email in your profile or a different one.

I know exactly what you are talking about when you where talking about people be caught off guard, but I do not let it bother me. I have had girlfriends but only one was physical. I have been on many dates and have tried many dating survices and I always say I have a birthmark that covers about half my head. When it comes to meet the girl either they see me and just turn and walk away or I become good friends with them. I am only a year older then you so we have more incommon the we both realize.

Well I hope to talk to you soon and get back to me when you can.


Carlos2 12-30-2003 08:58 PM

Here some advise that worked for me,
act like it not even there, don't pay attention to the stares they're probably not even looking at you or your really atractive and you dont know it ::) (just a joke man) work hard save your money and get that laser surgery and then do the old Embolizationl e-mail me if you'd like. B-easy ;)

hankbartenbach 02-14-2004 07:26 AM

Hey Carlos2,

Thanks for responding, if it was that easy I would just have it removed. I have been doing laser treatment for 14 years now and I still have more then 3/4 of my face and on the top of my head are covered with marks.
They can not do plastic surgery because of the risk of bleeding to death, because of my crated artery problem.
I have not ever had that good realationship with girls. Most of them where just friends, but I work thur it I guess.

I read your post about the advice, and what you should do is go to the left of this page, under resources click on find a physician and then go to your state and then find a doctor near you. These doctors now what they are doing otherwise they would not have them as a resource on this webpage.

Insurance,, you are just going to have to shop around for the best deal. I have always used Blue Cross Blue Sheilds, and they have always paid 80% of my bill after the deductable is paid off.

Good luck and hope to talk to you soon.


Deliriou5? 12-20-2004 11:03 AM

Re: Relationships
Hi. I would be lying to you if I told you that my birthmark did not affect the way I felt women looked at me, but it did. Probably up to about 7 years ago, and I am 31 now. The thing to do is do what everyone else does. Suck it up and ask that girl out. Dont let anyone tell you you cant get the trophy girl either. Lets put it this way. My birthmark caused me to overeat because of the way kids treated me and so on and so on. I weigh nearly 500 lbs, have a birthmark on my chin and cheek, and I am dating what most men would consider HOT. Why? She looks past the problems and into my heart. If a lady cant look at you for who you are, then she is the one with the problem. Not you. IF there is girl out there you want, go get her. Once she gets to know you, chances are, she wont even notice it any longer within a month.

hankbartenbach 12-23-2004 03:50 AM

Re: Relationships
Thanks Delirious for posting your opinion. It helps when other people are going thru what you are.
I know allot of women out there that are just scared of my PWS, and I think it is bull. I agree with you if they can not except us for who we are then we are better off with out them. I have had a couple of relationships but they never really lasted very long, but you just have to get back on the saddle and try again.

Hope you have a great Christmas.


Amy Ann 01-05-2005 09:49 PM

Re: Relationships
It is hard for me to think that anyone could possibly like me because of my birthmark. (I just recently found this website and I am so happy to know there are people out there who understand!)

I don't have any advice - I've still got a lot to learn myself - I just wanted to say thanks for writing that. I don't feel so alone anymore!

hankbartenbach 01-08-2005 07:38 AM

Re: Relationships
Hi Amy Ann,

I am glad you are here, there has been allot of people that come to this site once or twice, and then do not check there posts for replies. I try to be as active as I can on foundations to help others thru what I have already gone thru.
So do you have a Port Wine Stain, hemangioma, etc?
I am 22 and have PWS.

I am sure you have plenty of advice that you could share.
If might be an opinion, but you have lived with your condition, and have been thru good and bad times in your life. Everybody has room in there life to learn. My 96 year old Great Grandmother as made it her goal to atleast learn one new thing a day. She can tell you some stories to, let me tell you.

Anyways, we would love to here more about you and what you have to offer to others in this website.

I hope to talk to you soon.


violetchick 04-24-2005 09:47 PM

Re: Relationships
Hey People* ;D,
I'm a little remiss in responding to this message board, given that you started this in 2003...haha. I have read a lot of very positive responses from you all. It compelled me to post a poll.* I used to belong to a pws support group founded by one of the VBF people, Mike DeSteffano. I have to say, most of those people (at least when I was on the group) were happily married or in very stable long term relationships. So, I'm thinking to myself, "Am I a total freakin' loser?"

To be quite frank, I have an attractive albeit petite physique. I am intelligent and independant. Despite my birthmark, I am very outgoing. However, I have a very extensive facial portwine stain.* Given that it is fed by an underlying AVM, it is rather plum colored. It looks like a dark purple beard, essentially. I have scarring on my left cheek from an Argon treatment. I have had at least 8 treatments with PDL so it has lightened considerably on my right cheek and neck. The chin is just stubborn; increased blood supply and all that. My jaw and lip have hypertrophied due to the birthmark. I would say in all honesty, if it weren't for the darn birthmark, and comorbidities, I'd be hot.

I have had ZERO, when I say zero, I mean zero luck with men.* No dates, no repeat dates after a blind date, nothing!! Not even flirting!!!! Literally, after 3 months of having no matches on I gave up. Forget it. I'll be one of those old ladies with 60 cats. I'm just kidding here...I'm actually allergic.*

I have no problems talking to people. I talk to guys all the time. The problem, is that we usually become friends. So I have a bunch of boy friends, but no boyfriend.* My one guy friend told me that I just push guys into the friend category to avoid getting hurt, so I worked on the flirting thing. It didn't make a difference. I'm taken for granted because afterall, I am just one of the guys. Meanwhile the guy is falling over furniture to help out the hot chick get a glass of water, or some such rediculousness. Let me clarify here. I don't intend to bash guys. I hazard to guess, guys have been subject to the same sort of things.

I just don't get it. How do all these people with PWS find someone that can look past image, and I can't? Well, I guess I have rambled enough.

Anyway, thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts and stories. It is really nice to be able to get some insight from other people's experiences.


what part of me being all noble didn't get through?--Angel

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