By Sylvia Mac

When I reached my Teens, I began to think more and more about having an intimate relationship. My heart was always ready to accept Love but my head was telling me differently. If there was anyone out there that would want me as a person with a disfigurement, they would be the person of my dreams. Little did I know that by accepting anyone into my life who could offer me love, led me open to abuse from the wrong type of partner. I knew that this body was never going to please a man because after all, it never pleased me.

Why should I expect a man to like or love or accept my scars, my difference, my disfigurement. There were so many more beautiful ‘normal’ girls out there. I should be happy for what I got almost as if I was a piece of rubbish left out for the rats. Come to think about it, I believe it was the rats that wanted me. The men or boys who liked to abuse women and treated them with disrespect. I could never accept this body as being beautiful. I had this lovely face that all men were attracted to which made my life hell. As much as I wanted love, I hated the attention that was given to me. I was often stopped on the streets and wolf whistled from the workmen. Something that stuck with me were men always saying, “cheer up beautiful, give us a smile.” I hated hearing this as I had nothing to smile about. If only they knew that under my clothes I had this secret, this horrible disgusting body. I could almost envisage what they would say if I lifted up my top. YUK! You’re disgusting! Ugly! Putrid! Vile! I just didn’t make these words up, this is how I felt about my body and believed this is what any man would say when they saw my scars.

When I finally found the man of my dreams, I began to hate myself even more. Now that I was in this wonderful loving relationship, how on earth was I going to keep him. Jealously raged out of my body every time he spoke to another woman. Hate is a strong word but it was how I always felt. I knew that anyone could take him away and then I would be left alone again. It was already difficult finding someone to love me and my scars but to lose him would be hell.

The countless arguments over women destroyed our relationship and as much as he told me he loved me, those words no longer mattered to me. I drove him further and further away from me and I spent nights crying myself to sleep. Not only was I destroying our relationship, I was messing with both his life and mine. How can Love be so Bad and soul destroying. I could no longer go on like this and turned to alcohol. I failed in my school life, work life and now relationships so all I could do was find love and comfort in a wine bottle.

I allowed my scars to have a negative hold over my life. Body Acceptance and Self Love is what was needed and without that and changing my mindset, I was doomed in every relationship. If only I had allowed myself to change my way of thinking and able to express how I felt. Today, I do not put my scars first, I put me first. Love yourself first.