I'm relying on the Pussy Bow Blouse to help me cope with some stress this week. Because, I find, obsessing over fit issues and fussy fabric that just wants to go off-grain helps me stave off the panicky feelings creeping in as I get ever closer to Friday.
|Here's the fabric: a cream silk chiffon printed with purplish-brown birds|
I also keep trying to tell myself that no matter how bad Friday is, it will be a cakewalk compared to getting punched in the face by a crackhead in front of your preschool-aged daughter.
Because Friday I am finally having the minor plastic surgery needed to fix the small deformity left behind by getting punched by in the face by a crackhead in front of my preschool-aged daughter.
And I am nervous. Very nervous. Surgery always carries the risk of infection, and this one also has a chance of not improving my chin at all (or maybe my surgeon just said that to lower my expectations?). I am also conflicted about undergoing a cosmetic procedure. I talked myself out of it at least 100 times in the past year (including 10 times today), convincing myself for a moment each time that the small deformity on my chin is somehow something to be proud of (I took a punch!) — or that I was vain for wanting to erase it (love thyself as thou art!). A couple of people have told me it's badass (I took a punch, after all!), and my husband claims to not even notice it.
But then I look in the mirror, and my gaze is immediately drawn to my chin, where my scar is so thick it casts a shadow beneath it (actually, my surgeon informed me, it's not even a true scar: the guy punched me in the mouth so hard, my teeth cut clean through my chin under my bottom lip. As it healed, there was not enough tissue structure to keep the top half of my chin from slumping slightly over the bottom half, hence the shadow). No amount of makeup can make it look better — unless I were to apply it with a spackle knife, perhaps.
I'm also conflicted because I have a daughter. She's only four, so we're not at the point yet where I have to work with her against our culture's unreasonable standards of beauty to maintain a healthy self-esteem. She's young enough that she's still enamored with her own reflection, and the only body modification she would ever imagine wanting is wings. At this point it seems best to lead by example: I don't put down my own figure or face in front of her. We talk about exercising for strength and eating well for our health. I would never even muse about making improvements to my self with surgery.
It took me months just to call the surgeon recommended to me by a friend of a friend. And then while I sat in the waiting room for the consultation, I considered leaving. Even now, as I write this, I am contemplating not going through with it. Is it really worth all the trouble? I could still cancel. My husband doesn't even notice it.
Searching for photos to illustrate this post, I'm anxious again. It's so small; in some photos, you can barely tell. If I posted a close-up pic, you would probably tell me, "It's no big deal" (which is not what I want to hear right now, by the way, so I decided against posting any pics). So what is my problem? Maybe I need therapy instead. Or regular massages. I can't afford those, however, so I'll keep working on this blouse.
|Accommodating my wide hips: A slash-and-spread alteration to the Pussy Bow Blouse pattern|
Looking in the mirror, I feel entirely justified. You really have to see it in 3D to appreciate it; the scar sticks out so far. And I feel like there's more to it than just the scar. My face looks different since the attack. I look like I'm holding all my anxiety in my jaw, where I was punched. I don't know if getting the scar fixed will help release the physical memory of violence that has me subconsciously steeling my jaw at all times, even in a smile. I'm hoping if I spend less time looking at it, I will be less worried about something so terrible happening again, and maybe I can relax.
Anyway, I liked my face just fine as it was. I never asked for this. I didn't deserve to get punched in the face (nobody does). Why should I have to live with it, no matter how small?
My blood pressure spikes every time I think about it. They better give me some good downers or I may just jump off the chair. I've considered asking friends for spare anxiety meds. I hope I can make it through the week without freaking out completely. Yesterday I sewed a collar to cope. Today I'll work on the sleeves if I get anxious:
At the rate I am going, I should have this blouse sewn by the big day. (But I think I'll save modeling it until after the bandage comes off!).
Has sewing ever helped you get through a stressful time? Or do you end up mangling a project out of distraction?