LIving with facial disfigurement has been an adjustment, to say the least. Anyone who is living with something that makes them appear differently from the general population, also knows what I am talking about. It has takenme 8 years to adjust to all of the challenges and nuances that come with having a different face. Or so I thought! Then along comes COVID-19, social distancing and the requirement of wearing a face mask. Now, I blend in with everyone else. My face mask hides what makes me different including, my crooked smile. Now, I do not mind going out in public without the stares, being the subject of whispers or being the person being pointed at. All these things used to cause me anxiety and make me want to stay in my house. I have come to accept that life is a funny thing. So many people focus on appearances and physical beauty. They fail to see an individual for all of their qualities. Living with facial disfigurement, internal scars or external scars has taught me to look at the whole person, flaws and all. You see, no one is perfect. We all have flaws. Some are just more visible than others. We are more than our face and more than our scars.
I would like to close with asking a favor. Please treat all people with kindness. Just because we may look different, it does not mean that we are not human. We have feelings just like you.
Karen L. Scuilli, MSN, RN, MBA
Founder and Executive Director of Face2Face Healing