Be different and be happy!
Nine years ago I was babysitting for a friend of a friend and I opened the door to someone who was out to get the children’s mother, and they threw nitric acid in my face. When I realised what had happened I was appalled that someone could do such a thing to someone else. It did make me fearful, but I wasnt afraid of how I would look – I was just glad to be alive.
At the time I was undertaking a nursery nursing course. Two years later I resumed my studies and then decided to go to university in Swansea. I achieved a 2.1 degree and had a great time. It was nice to be just “Bev” and not “the acid attack victim”. I met many interesting people and enjoyed going out to rock clubs and gigs – which I still do whenever I can.
I love working with children, although currently I am in other employment. I find that children seldom have a problem with the way I look and are very open if they are intrigued. They tend to just ask a question, take in the answer and carry on playing.
I have never thought of myself as a particularly confident person, although I have always been quite secure in what I believe. However, I do feel that after what happened I have been in situations where I have learnt to be more confident. I have always remembered that if anyone has a problem with me looking a bit different it is their problem not mine.
I have only had one or two bad experiences with people. I tend not to think about it, and when people who may be unsure of how to treat me see me smile or talk to them as “anyone else” would, it seems to put them at ease. I also try to remember that some people are only awkward because they care.
Looking a bit different to everyone else has its advantages and I find it makes me more memorable! For example when I have seen a favourite band more than once they tend to remember that I was there before, or that I was in the front row.
I am a member of the support group Changing Faces.