Dean's my name. I am 22 years old, but I live a sheltered life. Guess it's because of how I look. I have a face that can cause women to gasp in horror and/or kids to run away in fright.
I can't help it. I was born with neurofibromatosus, otherwise known as "elephant man's disease". Tumors form and grow and sometimes they can get so bad they can distort my facial appearance. I've had too many surgeries; so many, in fact, I've lost count. It doesn't seem to do much good: as soon as I get rid of some tumors, more come back, bigger and badder than ever before. It's a losing battle.
Other than my face, I look normal, but people can't get past my appearance. They've since called me so many names: Frankenstein's Monster. Scary Face. Ugly. Disgusting. And worse. I've kind of gotten used to the name calling, but deep down, it hurts, it really hurts! And there's nothing I really can't do about it either. I just try to ignore the teasing, pointing, or stares as best as I can and try to live my life as best as I can.
It isn't easy, though. I want to work or go to college, but people are so repulsed by my appearance I have had to try to get on SSDI and that's not getting anywhere fast. I've been at the disability game for the past ten years, since I was twelve, and people still refuse to help me. It's a ongoing, nonending frustration-filled process.
Now the tumors have started distorting my face. One covers my eye and it's started to affect my vision. I could get it taken off, but then I'd risk infection, possibly even death, because it's in a vital area, and if something were to go wrong, I'd only end up more damaged than what I already am.
Now some I will have to get taken care of, like the ones on my neck. If it grows, it could shut off my breathing. I have no choice. If I want to breathe (or live), then I will have to get the tumor removed when it gets to be a problem. So far it hasn't affected my breathing, but it looks like I've got a grapefruit on the side of my neck, or a goiter, perhaps. It's really ugly!
I am forced to stay indoors most of the time and try to entertain myself because as I said, people cannot stand how I look. That's their problem, not mine. I just don't think it's fair how they tend to judge me and render me an idiot before they even get to know me and know that my disease does not alter my mental capacities one bit. It's really sad!
Well, I've managed to bum myself out yet again, so I am going to bury myself underneath the covers and go back to sleep. I have nothing better to do. Why would anyone even consider being seen with the likes of me? Maybe their predictions are right: I am a hideous monster, a freak!!
~To be continued.~