My Personal Thoughts and Motivations [TRIGGER WARNING]
The first day I realized my scarring was terrifying to other people was during my first quarter of college. I was lounging, reading a book when two guys came up to me, asking about my scarring.
“How could you do this to yourself? Don’t you care at all? How do you think you’ll get a guy to like you when you look like an acid-attack victim? YOU ARE DISGUSTING AND SHOULD PROBABLY JUST KILL YOURSELF AND DO EVERYONE A FAVOR SO WE DON’T HAVE TO LOOK AT YOU.”
I skipped the first Chemistry class of my career crying in the bathroom.
Up until that point, I believed that my scarring was bad, but it didn’t hinder my daily life. On one hand, I was proud of it because it mapped out my life story for strangers and friends to read. It reminded me that I had survived and come a long way to a healthier place. On the other, it did make me strikingly different from other people and I noticed double takes and critical glances. I felt judged, but figured just about everyone had that one characteristic that made him or her considered “odd” in societal terms. However, this point caused huge changes in me – I no longer talked to people or wanted to become involved on campus.
Looking back, that’s the fundamental reason – I did this because I didn’t feel like I was enough for other people to accept. I’ve been told either directly or indirectly that I was an ugly, damaged person. I’ve been told that because I look different and I didn’t fit into the mold of a standard idea of beauty, I do not deserve love or basic decency. I’m not sure this is good reasoning, but it’s the truth.
Thinking about my life before and after my procedure, I feel much different, and the way I am received by other people has changed. Now, people do not look at the texture as long, people are more open to me, and I date just fine :) In this way, I guess I’ve accomplished my goal. I know I am the same person, but it seems as though my treatments have only convinced others to realize this fact. If you feel depressed, anxious or emotionally heavy because of severe scarring, I recommend getting CO2 laser treatment from a trained professional you trust – I’ve noted some emotional improvement while friends and family notice a real physical difference. I realize that my scarring is still considered severe by most people, but I feel less self-conscious and can carry around my day like I used to.
And if you’ve made it this far, I thank you for sharing this journey with me and I wish you all the best. Cheers!