My Facial Injury 3 Months On

Sunday 20 August 2017

TW for body image issues.

It's been almost exactly 3 months since I injured my face. For an in depth info about what happened and the immediate aftermath check out this blog so I'm not repeating a lot of the story. When I wrote that it had been a month since the initial injury, and now I'm at just under 3 months. A lot has changed, and a lot hasn't too. When I wrote the first blog I think I was just so happy that I hadn't injured my eye that my brain hadn't processed what had happened properly. Now I've had more time to deal with it and I have to admit, I'm a lot less OK with it than I was.

This photo gives a pretty good representation of what my face looks like now. I have quite a prominent red scar that cuts through my eyebrow, leaving me with a good chunk of eyebrow that no longer grows. That's the easy bit though, because of how it cuts through my eyebrow I've been plucking out the strays hairs that have tried to grow back in underneath the scar because they are really sparse and it just looks a bit odd. My eyebrows were one of my favourite things about myself; I always loved that I didn't over pluck my brows as a teenager so my naturally thick brows survived the early noughties. Not anymore! People often say that eyebrows should be like sisters rather than twins, mine are barely even related at this point.

These are probably the closest before and after photos I can find. It turns out I don't take many photos with me looking directly at the camera. My eyes have physically changed shape, my eye now droops and is still swollen. I don't think it's going to go down at this point. With hindsight it looks like I actually fractured my eye socket in the fall which explains the really bad bruising. I am just about getting to the point where I can comfortably touch my face now, but only just. It's still sore, but not so painful I flinch away. I can't sleep on that side still, but I can lie on it for a little while before it becomes too painful.

One of the side effects I did not anticipate is how hard it is to wear makeup now. My lower eyelashes touch my face at all times so I get constant transfer from them. My upper eyelid is so swollen my eyelashes no longer curl upwards, and even when I curl them they don't have the right angle to them. So if you have any good cruelty free recommendations for mascara that does not shift, please send me them because I'm really struggling! The swelling also means that when I pull certain faces I develop a crease that runs along the length of my eyebrow underneath it.

It's strange not to recognise your face when you catch sight of it in the mirror. I've cried over it, more than I'd like to admit. And I think admitting to myself that I'm not OK with the changes to my face is important, my feelings are valid and I shouldn't push them away. I've spent a lot of time telling myself that I had no right to be so upset because people go through so much worse, and experience a lot more change to their bodies and faces in accidents. I told myself I had no right to write about what happened and how I feel because people have it worse. But my being upset does not minimise anyone else's experience, and I'm allowed to hurt. My face changed, and I didn't want it too, and that hurts.

My face took me a long time to learn to love. I never considered myself pretty, I had way too many teeth as a teenager and had braces for years. I have a round face, a fat face, and it took a long time to consider myself to be attractive. I tend to think of myself as cute, because I know people like my smile, and it makes them smile. I don't think of myself as pretty, and now my face has changed once again and I don't know how to feel about it. And for now, that's OK. Self love is a journey, and this is just a speed bump I've hit along the way.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx