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Is it possible to find love if you are facially disfigured?

The above title was a question thrown into a Google search, and it led to one of my blogs at hickeysworld.com. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get around to blogging about the subject at the time, but here are my thoughts now.

The answer is most emphatically ‘yes’, it is possible to find love if you are facially disfigured. In my long and torturous path to finding myself and removing the blackness that surrounded me, I believed that I would never find love, that no girl or woman would ever see beyond my face. No matter how often people said looks didn’t matter, or that there were plenty of girls who would look beyond my face, I thought I hadn’t a chance. Personality matters, people said, but I didn’t believe them. Who would want me? I thought.

The older I got the more I realised that life is for living, and most people couldn’t care less whether you’re beautiful or facially disfigured. Once they get to know you – and it’s up to you to let those barriers down and allow others to know the real you – then they will embrace you heartily. Rejection is something everyone suffers, and finding love isn’t easy whatever your face looks like. Everyone suffers romantic setbacks – and I mean everyone. I suffered my fair share. It took me a long time between these rejections to dust myself down and start again, but a lot of my problems related to a lack of self worth, an inferiority complex, and fear. I projected too much about the future instead of concentrating on the present.

I have been married for 29 years (30 next March) and each day  I thank my lucky stars that I met Trish. She was willing to take a chance on meeting me for the second time and from there our love blossomed. In the UK, Katie Piper was the victim of an acid attack, suffered horrendous facial disfigurement, yet has found love and has a beautiful daughter. In Australia, Turia Pitt too lost her old face in a bush fire, but her boyfriend did not lose his love for her and stood by her.

There are many facially disfigured people in this world, and quite a few have risen above their condition to find love, marry and have children. But you won’t find love sitting at home and hiding away from the world: you must step outside your comfort zone and be visible. It’s not easy – that first step is the hardest. But if others like myself can do it so can you.

Tom Hickey is a former chief sub editor at the Irish Examiner. He was burned as a child and blogs about his life and facial disfigurement at hickeysworld.com Subjects he tackles include everything from travel to his family, and coping with facial disfigurement.


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