My Face (now)

Hello everyone, just Jules here,

Are you all ok (ish) ? Miss talking things through with you.

I said i would stay away for a while, but i need to ask a question.

How important is your face and your natural 'at ease' expression that people see do you think ?

Life is very odd for me at the moment, odd, boarding on frightening if i think about it too much.

Its just I keep getting big shocks when i see a passing glimpse in the bathroom mirror.

I know i have talked to you before about not recognizing the face, but recently when i have peaked a quick glance its the expression that is frightening me. Now, even when i make a conscious effort to relax my face and think of something 'happy', the reflection is of a woman who looks mean and ugly.

If its a reflection, then this must be exactly what others see and think is me.

My older sister was here last night and i studied her face as she talked to me. Her face became mine, as i remember i was before the crash.

The thing with my sisters face is odd because, i have two sisters, but this is the one that i remember never looked anything like me. completely different face. I was much more like my younger sister.

I am frightened of these odd things that happen to me, but am learning to manage how i deal mentally with it, but i feel so low that no matter how good a person i try to be, people will always see this face i have that isn't mine. I know how mixed up that sounds.

I 'tested' the situation with my older sister by stating that my face has changed - to which she agreed but said its deep down what really matters - so that confirmed it to me that there has been a big change in 'me' visually.

I suppose the question is then, if i am stuck with this picture of another woman on my face how much do people use the face to assess what sort of person you are, or how you are feeling/reacting to them ?

Does anyone experience a similar thing - i think i remember a couple of years ago someone did say they experienced the same, but i cant remember who it was (on this site).

Much love to everyone here.

So sorry for my long letter.

Jules

x

17 Replies

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  • Hi Jules, I think that person may be me, because I still feel the same way and I do empathise.

    My smile is now wonky, one side of my mouth no longer curls upwards when I smile and I feel it's more of a grimace now.

    I only mentioned this this month to my hairdresser whilst seated in front of those unforgiving mirrors.

    So we had a chat about it, I have only been going to this lady a few months so she never knew me before. I had to point out how my face was no longer working symmetrically

    , and she said that once I pointed it out she could see but that she had honestly not noticed.

    Perhaps we are our own worst critics.

    I make my husband retake photos until I see an expression I am happy with! Such vanity!

    So Jules you are not alone.

    Love Janet x

  • Hello again Janet,

    So pleased you saw my post and were able to reply.

    You i think were testing the hairdresser the same i did my sister - your heart sinks when then confirm doesnt it.

    kindest regards to you Janet - peaceful evening.

    love

    Jules

    x

  • Hi Janet

    As always i forgot to mention something -

    Are you able to look into your eyes in a mirror ? What do you see/feel ?

    Jules

    x

  • I can now look into my eyes, at first I wasn't there, you know, the real me, the person I was. It was like I was this shell that looked like me but my" essence" was no longer there.

    That feeling has gone now, I am back! It is such a relief, I don't know when it happened, it just did.

    I kept on going through the motions, behaving as I knew I used to, and one day I was back.

    I can laugh spontaneously, at first it was forced, a great weight has lifted off me. I can relax more in company, but still I feel my face betrays me.

    But, I am learning to live with it. It took a long time, more than 3 years.the future looks far more rosy now. I hope you can relax into this but any support you want with this please come back, it is important you have someone who knows how you feel. It's not enough to be told you are fine. I got all of that, and it's a lonely place with a mirror that shows you things you don't want to see.

    Take care x

    Janet

  • It could of been me cause I feel the same always and I'm paranoid about it. Won't have a full on photo taken. If you remember me saying I have one side that doesn't work so my smile, if I ever do one, is wonky and my eyes don't open the same as each other. I'm sure I look fine when I asleep.

    I don't think you will ever forget how you were, never. But you learn to get on with it. When I see photos of my modelling my heart crumbles. I will never deal with it

    Don't give yourself a hard time, avoid photos being taken or turn you head to the aside. Avoid looking at photos. This will disturb you and rightly so. You can't push your feelings to improve they might but as for me they havnt.

    I have a photo since crash when I was at my best friends wedding, I thought I was smiling but was quite the opposite. I looked so miserable like I was going to start sobbing but I knew that's not how it was. If I could show you the photo I would cause you will see I totally understand how you feel

    Xx 😘

  • Oh and btw it's NOT JUST JULES HERE. You were getting good at not putting that, ya know I love ya which is why you just need putting jules here. You are not a JUST. We don't see you in a negative way on here so as said to us you ARE NOT A JUST JULES TO US. you are much loved and all your friends adore you. I know that's how you feel. I do understand xxx

  • I believe I understand my darling girl. It's taken a long time to look in a mirror........,and I don't feel, or didn,t until recently, that it was worth doing my hair, putting make up on, because I had changed, and like a lot of people have said, it wasn't,t me.. no it wasn't, but I,m slowly changing my mind because it is but different.

    No person could have gone what you went through and look the same......I saw you remember.

    Yes, darling you are different and so am I, and I,ve got twenty years on you. When I saw you in October all I saw was my beautiful daughter shining out with laughter in her eyes. I,ve known you for nearly fifty years, many people have known for less, but I know they love and care for you , you know yourself that this is a self image belief that is really not true.

    I know, that the daughter I,ve loved for a very long time is still very much there, changed maybe, but haven't we all....life goes on and even I,m accepting it now, hard as Its been.

    Goodnight sweetheart, so much love.xxxxx

  • Hi Jules

    I never was one for mirrors but just before my final counselling session I happened to catch sight of myself in the mirror and felt great because the whites of my eyes were white for the first time in a long time and so much more important to me.......The mischievous twinkle was back.

    I can't begin to explain what that meant.

    Look to your eyes for the reassurance and it will come with the work you are doing.

    Love n hugs xoxo

  • Remember Jules that after a brain injury our perceptions can alter significantly. I had to have a photo taken for a new license last year and I don't know how many I tore to pieces insisting the camera was rubbish !

    I shook with temper because I couldn't recognise myself in any of them. But I suppose we've always taken our features for granted all our lives 'til now, and after a trauma to the brain we suddenly view ourselves objectively and critically as we would a stranger.

    It's just one more obstacle along the self-rediscovery track m'dear and, from where I'm standing, you're putting up an impressive fight. Intelligent questions & soul searching often produce satisfactory answers and, eventually, peace of mind.

    Keep up the good work Jules ; you're doing so well and we all love you !! Be kind to yourself, Cat xxx

  • Hi Jules,

    You have raised an important issue about how much of a struggle it really is to actually study the depth of our altered selves when looking into our eyes in the mirror or at photos of yourself.

    Sometimes (not often, that is only when am feeling brave enough), I look closely in the mirror into my eyes in search of my soul. It's there but it seems to lack richness/depth.

    For a long time following my illness, I always had an awkward facial expression in photos when looking at the camera lens. These days, I manage to look a bit more more relaxed. I tend to avoid having my photo taken though. In the big scheme of things, I don't worry about it.

    Looking forward to hearing lots more about your progress.

    Claire xx

  • I'm sure you look lovely Jules, try to not beat yourself up so much! I have aged by years since discovering my tumour and having surgery, although I do feel the radiotherapy has made things a lot worse! I am very conscious of having one eye bigger than the other, I'm sure it's because of the tumour pressing on various places. I hate getting my photo taken, I avoid it al all costs! I've never been vain it's just that the face I see now doesn't feel like it's me but it is and I can live with that as long as I can keep enduring the bad days! You take care! xx

  • Hi, i'm sorry i don't have anything to add that's helpful. I guess because i had my accident when i was 14 i was still growing and developing so to me i don't feel i have changed looks wise.. I can't imagine how that must feel, very confusing and frustrating i think.

    Just wanted to reply so you know i'm here listening.

    Katie x

  • Hi Jules. I never really thought about this before reading your post. But recently when I have looked in the mirror I have sometimes thought that I don't look like me anymore. Noone else has mentioned anything so I tried to forget about it. But I have an almost nagging feeling that something about the way I look has changed. About a year ago I had a stroke mimic caused by my BI and for a while didn't feel myself. And the corners of my mouth didn't move the same way when I smiled. Fortunately I seem to have recovered well although I still have this feeling I can't explain.

  • Hi Jules

    This is an interesting point to consider.

    When I look in the mirror I see a stranger. My face was not permanently changed by my accident - they did a great repair job and I am grateful to their skills because I was a hot mess after the accident - but thanks to their skills now, apart from a small scar, nobody would know unless I told them.

    Now when I look in the mirror I simply do not recognise the woman staring back at me.... When I gaze into those eyes I see blankness, although when I look at "her" and compare that image to photos of me previously there is a clear link.

    It used to bother me but over time I have just put it down to my bashed brain doing its weird stuff. Its amazing what we eventually become used to I guess.

  • Hi Iforgot

    I looked at my face on the computer and enlarged the eye to see what i could see. It sort of helped to connect me a little, seeing the minute detail. On the funny side, i also notice i had blocked pores !

    Yeah, i see that blankness too at the moment, but 'Random Oxo' has just sent a post saying the mischievous twinkle is back for her. I hope mine comes back, maybe thats whats wrong.

    Jules

    x

  • Honestly Jules it makes a whole world of difference having the twinkle and sparkle back.

    It was such a lot of hard work but really really worth it.

    Being realistic it can't be there all the time we are human after all and everyone has off days.

  • Hi Jules, I'm much the same as all the other people who have replied. I also struggle with videos of my self pre accident.......looking at them in a mixture of confusonn and amazement. Ive gotten used to the woman in the mirror who I recognise but am not. And I echo Cats thoughts about photos for ID cards - I think even the bus drivers don't think the person in the card is me. No one has told me I look different, and all my facial scars are gone, so I ask myself why I don't recognise myself and I think the answer is its not myself and so that's that. Im just entering what in calling my 'deal with it' phase. It's not innanybtext books or handouts I've been given, but I've become aware that there's no one coming to the rescue. So I'm writing my own recovery manual. I've noticed that things have changed and that everybody here says things will change. I think that's right. Good luck Jules.....just keep on going (that's chapter three) xx

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