Sufferer Medical malpractice victim

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
Hi. Very sorry to hear what happened to you and how life changing it is. I hope you'll find here at least a few resources and mostly, encouragement and a soft support through writing and corresponding. As many have already said, it isn't the same as having irl friends, but reading through diaries, conversations and questionings, even in very different experiences, brings tools to cope and learn, and regain some hope.

On a personal experience I have a punch scar and I definitely understand how people's reactions are very brutal to anything that is on your face and how scared they are by it, as if you were going to contamine them with something. How stupid it is and how hard. And how it impacts your expressions, and how you constantly feel your face responding in a way that isn't the old one, and therefore constantly reminded of it even when not seeing it, and looping back in the circumstances etc. And see everyone resuming in their other world where these things don't happen, except when they see you and you can read their fear. I can only imagine how it is for something of your magnitude, and how enraging and tiring and sad it is to see people you once trusted to turn away from you while they should offer anything but support and inclusion.

It's very disheartening to experience and I totally get that sexual assault or anything that has invisble rather than visible consequences is preferred. And this as a sexual assault sufferer too so I'm not saying this in the wind. It is not minimising the pain of anyone I think to say this.
 

Jane19

New Here
Hi. Very sorry to hear what happened to you and how life changing it is. I hope you'll find here at least a few resources and mostly, encouragement and a soft support through writing and corresponding. As many have already said, it isn't the same as having irl friends, but reading through diaries, conversations and questionings, even in very different experiences, brings tools to cope and learn, and regain some hope.

On a personal experience I have a punch scar and I definitely understand how people's reactions are very brutal to anything that is on your face and how scared they are by it, as if you were going to contamine them with something. How stupid it is and how hard. And how it impacts your expressions, and how you constantly feel your face responding in a way that isn't the old one, and therefore constantly reminded of it even when not seeing it, and looping back in the circumstances etc. And see everyone resuming in their other world where these things don't happen, except when they see you and you can read their fear. I can only imagine how it is for something of your magnitude, and how enraging and tiring and sad it is to see people you once trusted to turn away from you while they should offer anything but support and inclusion.

It's very disheartening to experience and I totally get that sexual assault or anything that has invisble rather than visible consequences is preferred. And this as a sexual assault sufferer too so I'm not saying this in the wind. It is not minimising the pain of anyone I think to say this.

Thank you for your response. Yes, my mind still can't even believe it, like I don't exist anymore

I can definitely see where that would not be helpful.



Is there any kind of work you could do where you were not surrounded by people?

The nice thing about work if one is able to do it is that it can drag us out of bed even when we would rather forget about life. Dogs are the same way, in my experience.

It seems like a good trauma therapist would be able to have some notion of the gravity of your situation. Do you know if your previous therapist(s) specialize in trauma?
The problem is I don't want to be isolated in work. I want to be around people but they won't accept me unless they are elderly
 

RussellSue

Not Active
The problem is I don't want to be isolated in work. I want to be around people but they won't accept me unless they are elderly
I can certainly understand why you would rather not be isolated.

This was my story as a kid -- I had the elderly and disabled children and that was it. By the time I found that "normal" people were willing to be near me, I found that I didn't much like them because my situation had involved so much rejection that I expected nothing but mean-spirited shit from them and saw a lot I did not like. I do not have a stomach for hearing people talk badly about struggling people and I found a lot of that went on in the world.

I have done a lot of nonprofit work/volunteering as an adult and I have found that people who work in nonprofits are especially good at not being needlessly judgmental, especially those who have humanitarian efforts at their core. I know that doesn't fix your situation, but finding places where you might be accepted around people your own age seems like it would be ideal given what is going on if/when you are ready to work around other people, again. My thinking that you might want to work independently wasn't meant to be a forever suggestion. I was more thinking that it might be somewhere to get restarted in the world.

they won't accept me
By the way, I am sorry. I could not begin to explain to you why people have to go through things like this.
 

Jane19

New Here
I can certainly understand why you would rather not be isolated.

This was my story as a kid -- I had the elderly and disabled children and that was it. By the time I found that "normal" people were willing to be near me, I found that I didn't much like them because my situation had involved so much rejection that I expected nothing but mean-spirited shit from them and saw a lot I did not like. I do not have a stomach for hearing people talk badly about struggling people and I found a lot of that went on in the world.

I have done a lot of nonprofit

work/volunteering as an adult and I have found that people who work in nonprofits are especially good at not being needlessly judgmental, especially those who have humanitarian efforts at their core. I know that doesn't fix your situation, but finding places where you might be accepted around people your own age seems like it would be ideal given what is going on if/when you are ready to work around other people, again. My thinking that you might want to work independently wasn't meant to be a forever suggestion. I was more thinking that it might be somewhere to get restarted in the world.

Makes sense. I would work in a VA but I'm scared of hospitals. I just feel like injured veterens would have a better idea of what I'm going through
 

RussellSue

Not Active
Makes sense. I would work in a VA but I'm scared of hospitals. I just feel like injured veterens would have a better idea of what I'm going through
I honestly don't know much about the VA, but it seems like there must be VA jobs that are not in hospitals. I think that this line of thinking could really be helpful for you.
 

RussellSue

Not Active
Here's some more from me because this subject causes me a great deal of personal sadness and I hope that something I have observed, studied, or been through can be of some use to someone. It may not be helpful at all as I understand that you are mourning your face, still. I am putting this out there, nevertheless, because I think it makes sense and even if you already know every included detail, putting it together took me some time in my life and it may be helpful.

People have enormous problems because we are animals with animal biological and herd behavior stuff going on but still have to display outward moral character on some level as a part of being "civilized." Why can't we leave grandpa to freeze outside overnight? Obviously, there are plenty of reasons, but herd behavior sees that grandpa is no longer making the herd stronger and it is not instinctual for us to go out of our way to keep him alive.

Mating, of course, hinges on our evolutionary programming. We want the pretty mate with whom we can have flawless children that will survive. We know it really is that simple, biologically. What happens when people are deemed a biological threat to the herd because they are damaged in some way, is that the herd instinctually pushes them out. I was not sought out as mating material until after my "poor little face" was fixed. I had an upper lip that covered my teeth and the scars all over my gums for the first time in my life and that was the missing piece in the mating game for me. It confused the shit out of me because I was the same person I had been. I found myself very resentful not understanding one very simple thing: our herding instincts are not good nor bad -- they're just programming. People who live in those instincts were impossible for someone like me to deal with because they painfully rejected me, but they may not have had much choice, because they may not have had a scrap of experience that overrode their instincts, especially since most of them were fairly young.

That said, you probably will not find a lot of acceptance among people who are being led primarily by their natural instincts. It's not about you. They simply have yet to have an experience that teaches them to override their own herd behavior. Old people are great because they are old and therefore know what it is like to not have a place in the herd. Combat veterans, who are missing parts, as you mentioned? Sure. People with Down's Syndrome, Autism, MS, deformities, hearing problems, serious vision problems, motor skill issues, etc., etc., and people with siblings, parents, or lifelong friends who have had to deal with being pushed out from the herd are much more likely to look past their programming and see a person, who is likely to be suffering a great deal and deserves to be treated as a human being.

Empathy generally comes from experience. People can empathize and they do. Not everyone will but there are a lot of places where you might find acceptance.

Also, for me, many people did empathize, but in a painfully retracting way and I could not see it as empathy until many years later. These were the folks who caught a glimpse of me and quickly turned the other way. I came to realize later that many of these people felt my pain and turned from me because they could not handle it -- not because they thought bad things about me.

Hopefully, maybe some of that can be of some help to you. I feel a little self-conscious posting it because I don't know how it might affect you, but what you said about working with veterans has been on my mind. It may not be time for you to go back to work, but thinking about making connections with people is important, especially after feeling so much rejection.
 
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Jane19

New Here
Yeah I learned that when I tried to go out in society and realized I couldn't have what I wanted anymore and I'd have to settle.
I really don't want this life. It's scary and unfair.
 

Friday

Moderator
Makes sense. I would work in a VA but I'm scared of hospitals. I just feel like injured veterens would have a better idea of what I'm going through
It’s not a bad idea... as long as

1) You don’t take explosive bursts of anger personally, and being chewed out by people -and their spouses, who are usually worse- who USED to have the ability to physically punish &/or imprison anyone who didn’t do exactly as they said, immediately... wouldn’t in any way dismiss your self confidence.

((For many people, being constantly torn down by people who don’t pull any punches -including being shredded in every way possible about your face/jaw/appearance, whether your parents f*cked retarded animals so you come by this level of stupidity naturally, or you’re actually trying to be this much of a failure of humanity, etc- actually BUILDS their self confidence & ability to Pfft/DGAF about polite society nonsense. Because they learn to hold their own, and even relish people saying what they think & various levels of creativity in their insults. But it takes a certain kind of mindset to RISE to that sort of baseline, rather than be gutted by it.))

2) You don’t mind being asked about your face / talking about your face / having other people give you random congrats/high5s/thumbs-up, remove various articles of clothing to “compete” with you day in & day out. Culture-wise in the military how you “broke yourself” (which means whatever way you’re been f*cked up) is as open a topic of conversation as the weather. There are really only 3.5 correct answers :
A) Total Lie, as long as it’s funny (Ninjas. You know how they say “Your face might freeze like that?” 95yo lady & a ferret...Don’t ask.) which means you don’t want to talk about it, but are fine bullshitting
B) Total truth, minimized. Minimized in all ways. As few words as possible (Surgery, Landmine, Knife, Dog, Some asshole, ExHusband, My job, Sandbox, MVA, etc.) AND no emotions. >>> This means you don’t MIND talking about it, but it’s up to the other person to ask further, or start the competition.
C) Some version of “f*ck off”. It’s virtually impossible to offend anyone by not wanting to talk about anything they don’t have the right to know, and that’s everything anyone has to ask, rather than be told. This means you don’t want to talk about it AND aren’t up for shooting the shit. Let’s get back to work, thanks.

3) The cross-cultural thing doesn’t bother you. Not only military culture, which is a major shock to many, but most VAs are eyeballs deep in Philippino/Tagalog & other culture/language sets. I’m always sort of baffled by people who get upset by 1st generation immigrants / non-native English speakers, because that’s how I grew up... and their English is waaaay better than my ability to speak their language 99/100. The former National wives/extended family of active duty & retired service members make up the bulk of civilian personnel. But I can’t even begin to count the number of people (in the thousands) that I’ve met who get angry they can’t understand what someone is saying, or too scared to ask them to say again 47 times until there’s mutual understanding. Similarly, different cultures? Different rules. Even when people are trying their bestest to blend in with American culture, things like “communal property” (a Philippino thing) just end up being part of your life when 9/10 people come from a culture you don’t.

Because?

The VA doesn’t just operate hospitals. There are a metric shit ton of clinics, rehab facilities, and specialized programs. Some will have more pissed off vets, and infuriated family members, and ‘we don’t use English a lot in this office’ than others.

***

Alternatively? NGOs/Non-profits, especially those that deal with various kinds of disfigurement (landmine clearing, 3rd world medical, etc.)... will still have the touchy-feely western culture... but be totally non-plussed by missing & mangled parts. Because that’s what they do, who they work with day in&out, & who their friends/lovers are.
 
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RussellSue

Not Active
I really don't want this life. It's scary and unfair.
It is scary and unfair. That is no lie.
Settling looks different from different sides of the fence, though. I found that "normal" guys made me sick -- I couldn't understand the ego issues, pissing contests, or why they were so hung up on superficial crap. I didn't get married until I was 35 in large part because finding the right person was really complicated for someone with my history. I also developed PTSD because of abuse and maltreatment that was often bestowed upon me for daring to show up to the party with my face, speech impediment, etc. And that trauma, I am told, will always hold me back, no matter how hard I work and the fact that I outdid my now-UCLA physics professor peers means nothing. All that feels very unfair.
On the upside, I did manage to find a man whose character I trust and for whom disability is not a character flaw. It's still hard, but life has been made easier and better, for sure.
All that said, you may find that what you want changes, not because you settled but because your priorities change because you see the world differently. I believe my husband would love me even with the face and I needed that kind of safety because shit happens in life and I am aware. He's not ugly but he is an empathetic person due to his own life experience. He's a math teacher and I am very proud of him for his work and for the good things he does in the world, primarily with kids who are having a rough time. I would be dissatisfied if he worked in sales -- I don't care how much money he made.
If you're going to make it through this, I imagine your whole world and everything you want will change. Sure, you'll miss your old life and face but there is some good shit in the realm of the abnormal and with our sympathizers. I promise you that there is. I cannot make it around most "normal" folks because they do things like your friends did: they reject people for things they can't help and they hurt them, terribly. Maybe you are meant for better than that. There is no shame in that.
I am having a pretty nasty bout of depression right now, myself, so ignore whatever you need to. I know it isn't fair. If I know nothing else, I know that.
I think things can get better for you. Just keep reaching out. You are in a highly unusual situation and people won't always know anything to say, let alone the right things. Try not to take it personal -- It's lack of experience, that's all.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Thank you. I've been to every top surgeon and no one can fix it. My entire life is ruined and I'm in constant mourning for my face
The way you describe your mother is that she's got no more clue as to how to help you. If you are close.....can she just be there for you so you aren't feeling so alone?
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
Yeah but it's not enough support
I used to blame my mother that she wasn't supportive enough......and she wasn't as supportive as I would have liked. When I was able to look at how she was raised, and how her family dynamics helped her become the person she was-distant, self-protective and with poor self esteem, I was better able to see how human she was, and how she had personally struggled, and in life was just trying to get by. While that didn't change my belief that it could have been different, the support I got when I outright asked for help was what I asked for.....but if I didn't ask.....I really think looking back....she assumed I didn't need or maybe didn't want her help. I think mother-daughter relationships can be very tricky to navigate....from my own experiences with my daughter.
 
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