Saturday, December 23, 2017

Happy Christmas Adam, Everyone!

Christmas Adam: December 23rd. Comes before Christmas Eve and is generally unsatisfying. 
Hey, don't blame me for this. Blame Tumblr. All I did was laugh.

Anyway, I think I'm going to get through this Christmas

This time of year is usually pretty rough for me, as my loyal readers know well. And  I'm not going to lie; this Christmas hasn't been easy by any means. I'm mostly physically healed from my injury (although I still have scarring and swelling and can't fully open my mouth on that side), but emotionally and psychologically I'm still struggling. I rarely leave the house, and part of that is due to just not wanting to deal with people -- as I've said, I like persons but I don't care for people in the collective, and it's too people-y out there -- and part of it is because I don't want to go out there looking maimed. I feel eyes on me and my injury all the time, and because I think it look gross I imagine lots of other people looking at and thinking it's gross too, and therefore thinking that I look gross.

But I think I'm going to get through this Christmas without having a stress attack or drinking too much, and some of that is due to having a sanctuary to which I can retreat. When I lost my regular podcast recording studio (the office at my church), I took some time to convert my bedroom into a work area with a desk for my computer, and that paid off after the injury because I was able to stay online while keeping to myself instead of being forced to use the family computer in the living room.

So yay, I'm surviving Christmas by being a hermit. It isn't a great strategy, I grant you that -- mainly because instead of addressing the reasons behind the holiday stress I'm just hiding from them -- but it's working and for right now, I'll take what I can get.

I'm not looking forward to attending Christmas Eve service, though, because according to mom everyone has been asking about me and I just know that at least one person is going to tell me that it's not that bad while staring at my injury instead of looking at me. I have some Dermablend but... hang on, there's another story I have to tell first.
(December 11)
Yesterday, I was sneaky.

I've been invited to a Christmas party next week, and two weeks from now is Christmas and my family will want me there.

So yesterday I went to the Ulta that opened near my house, wandered around for a bit looking lost, then I found a salesgirl and said "I was bitten on the face by a dog two months ago and I'm really self-conscious about the scars. I'm told there's a product called Dermablend that will help me cover it up. Can you help me?"

And so she took me to where the Dermablend was hiding (I honestly couldn't find it), found some creme in a shade she thought would suit me, handed me a makeup sponge and guided me to a mirror. To her credit, she nailed my skin color on the first try, and the scars were covered up because that's what Dermablend does.

So I bought it ($40 for a 1 ounce tube, JFC), went home, and promptly asked my mom "Hey, does my scar look any better to you?"

She said that it did, so I explained the whole thing about feeling self-conscious and hearing from my friends about Dermablend and now I can go to church without feeling like I have a neon sign saying "STARE HERE."

This is fantastic for a few reasons:
  1. It gets mom used to the idea of me wearing makeup. 
  2. I now have a familial-acceptable reason to start experimenting with appearance. 
  3. If I end up with makeup smudges on clothes or the bathroom cabinet, there's now a good explanation for it.
I wouldn't have chosen to be bitten, but I'm going to turn it to my advantage whenever possible.
So now I have a good reason for using concealer on my face, but it quite obviously does nothing for the swelling. This was such an issue for me that in the week before the Christmas Party I gave in and bought a veil, because apparently my mind thinks that's okay for people to be staring so long as they're staring at the piece of clothing that I chose to wear and not the injury I didn't choose to have happen.

Again, my brain is strange.

The problem with veils is that they are either flimsy things which hardly conceal anything, or are big bellydance type affairs with chains and coins and whatnot. I didn't want either of those, nor did I want to wear anything heavier like a balaclava. I just wanted a tasteful veil that actually concealed what it covered.

To my great surprise, I found one: a hand-tatted chain face veil, for sale on Etsy. 

This is not me. This is the artist modeling her creation. 

I love this veil because it breaks up the pattern of the face so that things like scars and swelling aren't visible, yet it's not so completely opaque that people can't see my mouth moving. Between it and the Dermablend I actually felt normal at the party, and I had a great time.

So like Salem is fond of saying: "I may not be okay yet, but I can see okay from where I'm standing."

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