Opening my eyes, I felt the tightness of my face, smelled the dried blood.
It was the biggest skin graft of my life so far. An op to rebuild my face, eyelids, nose and lips.
I was 18 and, after years of taunts at high school, I was ready for change.
‘You look like Freddy Krueger,’ mean girls in my class would snigger. At first, I didn’t care. But, as I grew older and began to scrutinise my body inch by inch in the mirror, my self-esteem plummeted.
Friends got boyfriends but I had no confidence, thought nobody could ever find me attractive.
At my lowest, I even began to self-harm.
So, as they unwrapped the bandages on my face, I prayed I’d look like my friends.
Like the Photoshopped pictures I would upload to social media – hiding the
real me behind the screen.
But, looking in the mirror, I cried in utter despair. ‘I look hideous,’ I wept. I became lost in depression…
Face of despair