Aversion : I was born with a class 4 tessier... - Changing Faces

Changing Faces

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I was born with a class 4 tessier cleft among other, less severe, facial defects. Throughout my childhood and teen years I had few problems or insecurities surrounding my face because I grew up in a small town where everyone knew me and was accustomed to my face. Now however I am in my second year of university and am feeling increasingly uncomfortable in class and in public. The one thing that’s been bothering me the most is the tendency of people to leave as much space between me and them as possible, as if I am contagious. It makes me uncomfortable that my proximity makes other people uncomfortable. I’m especially aware of this when I’m in a crowded area and people are forced to sit next to me or stand near me. Has anybody had a similar experience? I’d really appreciate some advice on managing this issue.

4 Replies

do u live in the USA I am from Kentucky I have scars from a recent bad discision from derm doc

Abigail_B in reply to MICKEYJO

I’m Canadian, saw your other post and it seems to me that you’re probably mourning the loss of some of the beauty of our old face. This is totally normal. If you feel like you’re scars are making you afraid to socialize normally I’d start out small with familiar interactions ( chatting with the person at the checkout for example) and work my way up. If your worried about dating with scars I can tell you that it’s 100% possible. I’ve dated in the past and will almost certainly do so again, relationships are about more than facial symmetry and a good person will see the strength in you and appreciate that. I’ve known people with fairly severe disfigurements who’ve gotten married so don’t feel as though its unlikely that you’ll find love. Have you considered getting involved with a church or other community organization? That sort of intentionally companionate community of people could be a way for you to get comfortable interacting with people again if that’s something you struggle with.

Hi Abigail_B,

Sorry to hear about your discomfort. I haven't heard of people leaving a space around someone unless that person is, for example, behaving in a suspicious way.

Perhaps you are uneasy about being in close proximity to others in public? I've had this myself when I've had to sit close to people I don't know in a meeting room. Is your unease being inadvertently telegraphed to other people?

Can you experiment with trying a different demeanour? For example, be busy reading or act distracted or engaged in your thoughts. Maybe try different strategies. Above all, act like you are entitled to belong there, because you are! You've done all the hard work to get there.

Dunnock (Jean)

youniqueCommunity Ambassador

Abigail.. YES! Exactly this for me too. The distancing. However another way to look at it, is this. The other day I was in line at the grocer, there was a woman with a physical handicap in front of me and I intentionally left space between us because I didn't want her to feel rushed or pressure. I wonder if there are some people out there who only distance themselves from us because they are respecting our space and don't want us to feel like they are on top of us or hovering? Hope you've been well, it seems this was posted nearly a year ago.

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