Living With Difference & Beauty That’s Beneath

A laid bare post..

The Mad Blog award ceremony is only days away and I’m absolutely bricking it….but not for the reasons you’d think.
So here’s why I’m petrified of the awards pretty much just the same as I’m petrified of school runs, playgroups, meeting people, socialising….I’m hoping a little honesty may support me a comfy shoulder.

Vanity is shite, there’s no getting away from it, it’s a natural blanket that either keeps us warm or gives us a chill….some personal perceived flaws can be hidden, make-up and clothes do a good job..some flaws can be hidden by radiance or smiles, or a confidence that flattens your flaws.

Others cannot be hidden or no matter what you do or what logic tells you, those flaws, which are teeny, even unnoticeable to those around you are the hugest thing in your life.

There’s an ironicness to the natural play ethos that we live by…we love sticks! We love climbing trees, throwing, rolling, jumping…living dangerously within childhood…we don’t care about ‘you’ll have your eye out!’ or ‘you’ll break your leg!’ echoes… we’ve not got cotton wool here, we’ve got bruises and war wounds and oodles of knee scraping memories to keep smiles forever with us. We get our hands dirty, filthy our fingernails and fill our hearts.
At 3 years old I lost my left eye in a childhood accident involving sticks.

It really puts play to the term that ‘everything changed in the blink of an eye’.

Damaged beyond repair I was left with a hideous looking ‘dead & deformed’ eye. I was provided with a contact lens shell for vanity purposes which I wore through school but due to health problems I had my eye completely removed at the age of 8. This was then replaced with a full bodied non moving artificial eye, which i still wear today.

I was fortunate in my school years to never be bullied much, there were occasion but all in all other children were often in awe of the girl with the glass eye. Friendly banter, a harmless acceptance. But inside I hurt.

I’m a girl, vanity runs deep. Mirrors don’t lie and every time I looked in them the truth confronted me, and quite frankly the truth hurt. I could not hide my flaw. I still can’t.

Isn’t the saying ‘the eyes are the window to the soul’?

Monsters were always portrayed with a disproportion amount of eyes, or with just one eye, like me. Baddies always seemed to have missing eyes or patches. It was constantly accepted and still is now to make yourself look like a fool or a freak by crossing your eyes….even today my newsfeed is full of people thinking it’s the norm to post selfies of eyes out of line/crossed etc…. I don’t do selfies….I wish I could.
Truth is, it’s easy to acquire a confidence when sat behind a computer screen….people can judge by portrayals you give but they can’t judge on what they see. If first impressions last like they say then the impression I give is not pretty, but there’s nothing I can do to change that so I avoid first impressions where I can. There’s no getting away from looking someone straight in the eyes…that’s what you’re supposed to do, it shows confidence, self worth, spirit etc…..unless you’ve a glass eye and are faced with inquisitiveness, confusions & on occasion looks of horror. In a nutshell that’s the truth. It’s human nature to be inquisitive about difference but unfortunately when that difference is a deformity in the eyes there’s no ability to display discreetness. Apparently the eyes don’t lie and are the first point of contact.

With no movement in my artificial eye I often look at people and they look over their shoulders to decipher if I’m looking at them or somebody else. It’s a natural thing to do but momentarily reminds me of my difference and breaks my heart.
The eyes don’t lie..

But the eyes do lie.

Strange really as its so easy to paint an unrealistic picture of yourself from behind a screen, to big yourself up, show the good bits, but equally, sometimes it’s the only way that some people, like me, can be who they are without judgement, be themselves without giving the false first impressions that people naively take when faced with difference, the only way you can get to see the beauty that goes beyond the skin but is often shadowed by the first impressions that are left by either disfigurement or the issues that make us unapproachable, not able to fit in, the things that we deem to be unacceptable flaws within social circles that make us refrain with the sad knowledge that because we’ve got little confidence, we may have anxiety, body issues, self doubt etc, we refrain knowing that we’ll be viewed unsociable, rude, ignorant, arrogant, better than others…’s a vicious circle and it hurts.
Most often the people that seem the most comfortable in being solitary are the ones that really would rather not be but can’t bring themselves to step forward.
We don’t help ourselves sometimes, not because we don’t want to but because are scared to do so.

We all have reasons that make it hard for us to fit in, low self esteem that situations put on us. We all want acceptance. Some of us can be deemed as loud but still amble along the sidelines feeling teeny and unable to jump in.
We’ve all got our own insecurities that can make social situations excruciating…..most of us hide that really well.

What may be a mountain to me could be a molehill to you…and most often is.
I’d like to be the life and soul of the party, I’d like to fit in, I’d like to rock up and slide into the conversation with ease. I don’t want to stand on the sidelines scared of unacceptance feeling meek when I’m really not. I don’t want to be the weird one. The loner. I don’t want to feel pushed out….But i make myself feel pushed out.

Socialising is ridiculously tough, and it’s not because you make me feel uncomfortable, it’s because I do that to myself.

The brutal honesty of my post is that I am so so SOOO proud to be going to the MAD Blog awards…proud of myself beyond belief but I’m petrified and sad that I’m anxious, I’m scared & i’m embarrassed for who I am, what I look like in the flesh.. for my flaw…it’s what circumstance has given me and no matter how hard I try I can’t shake off my feelings of difference.

If there’s a sore thumb in the room then that’s me.

I don’t want to feel like that and that’s what I hate most.

I’m scared of the cameras, photos which capture reality and never lie, photos that I don’t have chance to pose for that capture hideousness…I’m scared to be me with false first impressions.

I hate that it’s such a small thing to everyone else in my world but such a stupidly overwhelming thing to me.

It’s the people who care about me that matter, I know that, but I care about myself and I want confidence, I exude confidence in so many other ways but am void of it within social situations.

I don’t even care if I’m not deemed as beautiful on the outside I just want people to have the ability to immediately see what’s beneath without judging from the outside in.

I’m still Mrs heart is laid bare on FD because it comforts me that it remains a place without vanity, a place without face to face judgements…a place I feel I can be accepted for who I am. Not a rosy portrayal or bullshit made up words to turn myself into something I’m not…it’s a place I’ll happily give warts and all….I may sit behind the screen and make my choices but I don’t choose falsely, I choose to be honest, to grasp onto confidence that the shadows gives me. I don’t bring with me a vain disfigurement that I struggle with in tow….I just bring me…deeper than the skin..a beauty that’s there without a face & I fit in.

So there you go… the reason I might hide behind my shades at a red carpeted awards ceremony than I’m ridiculously proud of. ???? It’s not because I’m arrogant self obsessed rude or a vanity driven woman…
It’s because I’m scared to be me although that’s all I want to be.

Maybe a little vanity driven too.

Vanity is shit.

Most importantly though, I absolutely know that whoever I am or what i look like, I’m loved and am soaked in the beauty that surrounds me when I shut my front door. It’s those who see me without glasses and look into my eyes directly at who I am that matter most.

My family make me feel beautiful but no matter how I try I can’t grasp onto that feeling of beauty and take it with me into society…

Maybe one day I’ll shed that.

The aim of this post is a completely selfish one in the hope that laying myself bare will help me step out and not give a shit what others think..truly. To look people straight in the eye….And smile.

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  1. What an honest and thought provoking post, I know it must have a hard post to write but thank-you for being brave enough to do so. I hope you have a wonderful time at the MAD blog awards, your nomination is well deserved. xxxx

  2. Really touching post, Mrs FD! We all have our hang-ups, as you say. You ought to be proud of yourself tackling your feelings of anxiety head on. I hope you have a fantastic time at the awards xx

  3. You are my hero.
    Can’t express well enough how much this post touches me in so different ways but the most important one, I have also something that makes me feel that different, out of context, scared to death person, always avoiding whatever social event I have to attend. I’m that mum in the corner when school runs have to be made, always alone, always praying no one sees me.
    I’m a doctor, I love what I do, I love taking care of people but every second before a patient gets to my room I’m afraid of the judgement, although I’m aware it’s mostly in my mind. I will never be “a normal person” looks wise… knowing that I should’ve accept myself better is a daily struggle but it’s like you say: the mirror is there to confront us.
    I do know I’m so beautiful inside but it seems it’s not that enough when I have to stand before people. Some days I wish I could just be like everyone else. Some days I just go with the flow and try not to think much.

    Nevertheless, Mrs FD, we see you every day from the perfect point of view: your heart. And when a picture of you shows your face we see all the beauty of your heart. All the smiles and cares and snuggles and adventures with your little ones… and that’s all that matters. You are beautiful. xx

  4. Such a brave post. This made me very emotional as it touched a very raw nerve for me and my family. My little brother lost his eye in an accident when he was 19. It was the worst day of our lives and I still can’t think about it without getting very upset and angry at the unfairness of it all. He’s now 26 and while he’s coped amazingly well with everything he’s been through (multiple operations etc), I know that it still bothers him when he looks in the mirror and it has definitely had a big impact on his life. I know he’s my brother so I’m clearly biased but everyone who knows him agrees that he is one of the nicest people you could wish to meet. He’s beautiful inside and out but I worry that he doesn’t feel that way and reading your post reminds me of how difficult he must find it almost every day of his life to just go out there and try not to constantly worry about the way he looks and what others are thinking. I’m very proud of him and everything he’s achieved, especially the way that he’s still able to enjoy life without being bitter and twisted and thinking ‘why me?’ (which is how I think I might’ve been if it had happened to me and in fact I still feel very bitter and angry that it happened to him even now). My biggest fear after his accident was that it would change him from the happy-go-lucky person he always was into a bitter, angry and sad young man who could no longer enjoy life. Thankfully, that was definitely not the case and I admire him so much for that.

    Thank you for sharing (even if you made me cry!) xxx

  5. This post move me beyond words. Thank you for sharing your feelings so honestly. It must have been hard to write but I hope it was cathartic too. I am looking forward to meeting you at the awards ceremony and giving you an extra big hug. x

  6. Powerful, raw and honest post. I totally get it. I had Bell’s Palsy and am left with facial ‘abnormalities’ – mild, but nonetheless enough to make me self-conscious.

    I wish you lots of fun and unself-consciousness at the MAD awards.

  7. Wow what a raw and inspiring post!! I think we can all on some level relate to the feelings!
    You are amazing thank you for this post which is empowering.

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