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I’ve decided to post these under the Inside me deeply category. Mostly because they are so personal and those who take the time to read the writings under this category do get to know me. They get a deep peek into my mind, my past, my pain and my triumph.

I’ve broken it into multiple sections because one long posting would be too much to read as one bite. Today’s entry is the prelude to surgeries, a candid look at my mind before the surgery. It’s a walk into my world today and my hopes for one face. The one I show the world and the one I see myself.

I hope with this surgery I can retire the monster inside. So let’s begin the journey together shall we?

My journey to one face (Prelude)

Some of you know. I’ve written about my face being shattered during my rape. I’ve had multiple surgeries; major scaring and I wear a prosthetic to hide the monster. I’ve gotten good at concealing it. Enough so that only those who knew could tell, even when things were going wrong.

For a young girl to have her face so utterly destroyed is an awful thing. The surgeries, the awkward times between them when my face was too small on one side. The pain, not just of the surgeries. But also the pain of outgrowing the implanted cheek bone.

Couple that with crippling mental anguish and you understand the monster in the mirror. I hide it from the world and I hide it well. I never went out without putting on my face. The one I showed the world anyway.

Recently they’ve (modern medicine) become good enough to recover my face. How well? Time will tell, but nearly anything would be better than the hole in my face. I’m hopeful to no longer need the prosthetic and maybe just minimal makeup to cover the scars that might remain.

The doctors are good people. They said there should be very little if any real scaring and they certainly wouldn’t be the deep channels in my face today. I won’t need the prosthetic anymore either. My own flesh will replace it. My face, my flesh and not what my rape left me with.

I’m working hard to not get my hopes set too high. I mean it would be nice to be perfect, one face with no makeup. But not putting on the prosthetic every day? That would be a blessing all its own.

I understand the monster outside illustrates the monster inside. The monster inside that protected me all these years. The one who saved the little girl in me, while she wasn’t strong enough to face the world alone. I never needed a hero and I certainly never thought a monster could be one. But mine was. Sometimes we need the monster to protect us from monsters.

What the hell Michelle, protection from monsters?

Yes, sometimes the world is so cruel monsters are in control. The monsters who stole my face, the monsters who raped me.

The monsters created by the names. Slut, whore, and why? Because I was fourteen and pregnant and apparently there is no other way I could be so unless I was what they said I was.

The monsters created by the stares and questions. Monsters are real. People create them when they are cruel, intentionally and sometimes unintentionally. But they are real.

The only way to fight a monster is with a monster. I guess it was fitting the monster showed on my face and I hide it the way it hide me.

Every morning I’d apply the prosthetic, makeup and conceal the monster from the world. Every day it stood guard inside protecting the scared little girl. It’s kind of weird how that turned out. Me concealing the monster outside that concealed me inside. We protected each other.

The time has come to retire both monsters.

Surgeons can permanently retire the one I move to conceal. The psychiatrists are helping to retire the one who stands guard inside. The scared little girl has finally found her feet and is ready to stand and face the world.

This series is intended to take you along for the ride as my face is finally made whole. I’m not sure just how good things will turn out. But I know sharing the experience is therapeutic. If you’ve read the Inside me deeply posts, you know my past. This series will help close the book on the trauma of that past and perhaps help me move to the future. One free of monsters.

In part one I want to take you into the pain and the hope that is my present.

~Michelle

Maybe if I can retire mine it will help someone else retire their monster. I’ve certainly learned not all monsters are evil. But they all have a time, a season if you will. They have a time in each of us when we thought we needed a hero and what we got was a monster to wage the war we dare not wage ourselves.

My first step was acknowledgement the monster existed and that I needed it when it appeared. I’ve moved on to being thankful for my hero monster. Now to let the warrior rest after his battle is over. It deserves a place he can retire to where the world is no longer its concern and war is a memory.

I am strong enough now to stand and fight without the monster. It’s job completed and it’s long fight is over. My hero, my monster.