Abida Mian's Blog

An outlier that's living, learning and being myself…

Facial Disfigurement

Before I got ill just over two years ago, I met someone that changed my perception of attractiveness. I remember after a few initial telephone conversations, I thought that this guy sounds lovely. Just before we were going to meet, he called and said there’s something I have to tell you, and I understand if this means that you no-longer want to meet with me. He then went on to explain that he had a serious car crash about twenty years ago, and lost an eye and suffered from facial disfigurement. I was unsure of what to say, but given that I enjoyed chatting with him and that it must have taken courage for him to wonder how I would react, I decided to take a chance and see him.

I was slightly nervous of what to expect, but within a few seconds of meeting him and seeing him smile, I honestly didn’t notice there after. We got on really well, but our period of dating was cut short when I became ill and just disappeared (something I have a habit of doing when stressed). Two years later, our paths crossed again, and he got in touch wondering why I disappeared, I explained the situation and he said that he always remembered the way I hugged him and made him feel safe. So, we resumed our relationship, and seeing him again was like meeting an old friend, very easy, everything was going well until he told me that if we were to get serious then I must know that he doesn’t want children. He divorced his wife who cheated on him with someone from her work, they were married for twenty years and had four children together. I recall going quiet when he mentioned that I’d get a ready made family without going through the torture of childbirth, in my mind I thought it sounded like a really shallow comment, but being polite I just went quiet and then he asked how I felt, which I just replied with I’m not sure.

I find expressing myself through writing much easier than through face-to-face conversation. Once I knew he didn’t want children, I became more distant, he thought I was cheating on him, and seeing the disappointment in his face, I assured him that I’ve never cheated or want to cheat on anyone in my life, I’m a genuine person. I recalled what a nice guy called Stephen wrote to me about longing for a family like me but having a relationship with a woman that already had children and similarly didn’t want anymore, he was willing to build a life around them. I thought I’d follow Stephen’s lead, and forget about any plans of having my own children, instead just concentrate on building a long-term relationship.

The problem was that in my heart I knew he wasn’t enough, even he would voice his concerns that I’d end up leaving him for someone younger. Emotionally the barriers came up, and he found it difficult to get close to me and understand how I felt about him.

It came to an end, when I was shopping in Westfield and I passed this small boy who was crying with two security guards at M&S. I overheard the security guys saying that they don’t think he can speak English, given that the boy was wearing a turban, I thought I’d speak Punjabi to him and see if he responds, which he did. I asked him what was wrong, and he was frightened that his dad would get angry about him getting lost. I put my arm around him and said I think that he will be very pleased to see you, and he mentioned his older brother was annoying him – I can recount the numerous times my brothers annoyed me, he started to smile again. I thought, I can’t wait to have one of those, but I’d be giving that up if I stayed in that relationship.

Shortly after, I decided that I’d rather be single with no kids than with someone that doesn’t want them. He understood, although tried to persuade me that given more time, I may feel differently, I never will though. That said, he was a nice guy and I had to respect his decision of not wanting children. I remember it took me months before I felt like dating again, I’m very selective as to whom I open my heart to and invest time in…

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