Monday, 24 September 2012

Orthognathic surgery woes

Well it turns out I'm not as big and strong about all this as I make out I am. I've been umming and aahing about posting this for a few days but this blog is meant to be about my experience through braces and double jaw surgery to correct my underbite, and all the highs and lows that come with it. So I should be honest and brave and discuss the difficult times, as well as the good.

This last week or so I have been struggling with this whole process, I've been feeling rather sad and miserable actually. It all came to a head after I saw myself on TV last Thursday.

I thought I had conquered my worries about being seen in braces with my big chin and how I would be perceived etc but it turns out that I hadn't. It's actually a lot harder than I thought, and although to a certain extent I have accepted the way I look and I do always try to remain positive and "let go" of any horrid comments that are thrown my way it is an entirely different story when you come to try and forget all of the negative things that you and others have associated with your face/jaw/teeth.

So I watched my (albeit brief) appearance on TV with my dad, and I was utterly horrified at what I saw. It was shot at the dreaded side angle and showed my large chin and horrible underbite in all it's glory. My Dad was very proud of my appearance on TV and gave me a great big hug and my Mum shouted down from upstairs how good it was etc but all I was thinking was

"I look absolutely awful, look at the size of my chin, I cant believe I walk around and communicate with people looking like that. Why hasn't somebody told me how much worse I look now, why hasn't Ben dumped me yet? I'm not surprised people call  me names and make comments, I look bloody horrible." 

All I wanted to do was go upstairs and get into bed and cry, but it was my Mum's birthday and we had dinner reservations to get to in 15 mins. I did go upstairs and cried for 5 mins while I tried to pick something to wear, pulled myself together and put my make up on and went out for dinner. All night I just couldn't shift my negative thoughts about myself and felt so self concious and horrible. I got in and cried myself to sleep. 

I went into work the next day and spent most of the day either crying in the toilet or fighting back tears at my desk. (Thankfully most of my co-workers leave at midday on a Friday so I was able to cry at my desk in private) I just felt so embarrassed, so embarrassed that I look like I do, and so angry that I was feeling that way about myself. I had made myself feel so bad, I had done it to myself. I emailed my brother in Paris this; 

Hey Biff 

Don't get excited, i haven't got any dates yet! buuuuuuuut have a look at this girls blog. She has had jaw surgery and has put up some before and after pictures.
They are amazing! I hope I look as good as her when i have my surgery. I hope I don't come out looking like a monster! 

I'm having a bit of a crap time at the min, feel really gross and ugly and that my giant chin is even gianter! I know it all has to get worse before it gets better but I'm fed up. I forget that the way i look isn't normal and that I'm a bit ugly really. I was on bbc look east last night, they interviewed me at work about some funding i won the company and to do with Northamptonshire being voted the most enterprising place in Britain. I was only on for a couple of seconds but they shot it at an angle that i don't often see myself, because it's a bit of side angle and its bloody awful lol my profile has got worse since I've had my braces on, my chin/lower jaw does jut out more and because they are pulling my top teeth back in it's making it look worse, like the difference in length of my top and lower jaw. 

I guess it was just a bit of a shock to see really. I forget what i look like. 

Sorry to un load all this on you biff, i don't feel like i can talk to mum or dad, and i don't really want to point out to Ben how ugly i am. Oh well, not much i can do really till i have my operation, just gotta carry on and look to the future and all that shit :-)

At least i get to come and see you soon anyway! Looking forward to it! Hope your ok, 

love you lots! xxxxxx

I got a lovely reply from him, I wont publish it all but I've read and re-read these sentences and I'm going to keep reading them till I stop crying and being so hard and horrible to myself and pull myself out of this negative frame of mind I'm in at the minute. 

I'm so sorry I've only just got this. Tash you break my heart, you are not at all ugly with or without braces and a moving chin. Just remember you are doing this to feel ultimately better with yourself at the end, so try practicing feeling better about yourself now so you're ready for it :) haha.

So thank you Biff if you're reading this, I'm still currently sat at work feeling horrible about myself and trying not to cry but you're very wise words will work soon enough. This process is full of ups and downs and I think I've hit my first of probably many downs. 

I know in my heart that I have made the right decision to go through with this process, it will benefit me considerably in so many ways, I just struggle from time to time to come to terms with it and the changes that are happening and will happen. I struggle with the demons that I thought I had overcome, as they seem to be rearing their ugly heads from time to time. I guess I didn't expect this. The NHS Orthognathic Surgery DVD didn't bloody tell me about all this! :-) 


  1. Natasha,
    I am not sure I have any words that could make you feel better. My issue is a little different from yours (mine is an overbite) but those horrible self doubting thoughts; those nasty how-could-anyone-in-their-right-mind-possibly-love-me-cause-I-am-ugly thoughts go through my head too. You are not alone. You are not ugly. Those that love you aren't just see your external self - they see Natasha as the whole package - and love you because of it. I have a little mantra I keep repeating to myself - it might help....
    Those that matter don't care (about superficial trivial things like overbites & big chins); and those that care don't matter.
    Hope you are feeling better about yourself soon :)

    1. Thanks lovely,

      It's nice to know that I'm not alone in all this, and that others go through similar battles with self perception. Thanks for the mantra, it is very true! x

  2. I have the opposite, an over bite, but I know exactly how you feel. It got so much worse from the braces. I interviewed for a job I really wanted and just missed getting, and could not stop thinking my huge overbite had something to do with it. I am 8 weeks out from surgery, and It's hard to remember how bad it looked to me. It's all worth it, and remember, we're just so much more sensitive to it because it's our face.

    1. Thanks Lou,
      You're right, I do probably notice changes to my face much more than others and I am a sensitive thing anyway. But I'm glad to hear that you feel the surgery is well worth it. Did you ever have any doubts about it? x