Although the movie, Eyes without a Face, (French: Les yeux sans visage 1960) was before my time, I can sort of relate to the antics of the insane surgeon who resorted to horrific measures in an effort to restore the beauty of his daughter's disfigured face. Eventually, his efforts failed.
In 1984, the song "Eyes without a face" was released. This was written by Billy Idol and guitarist Steve Stevens with the title referring to French director George Franju’s above-mentioned movie.
At the age of seven, I survived an armed robbery but witnessed the murder of my mother, her partner, and my godmother, in Harlem (NYC). Although I suffered from a gunshot wound, it was the mental scars that resulted in the most significant damage. Several years after this tragic event, I was clinically diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder. (PTSD)
After battling PTSD for over 35 years, I decided it was time to fight back and tackle the disease head-on with professional guidance. I enlisted the services of a mental health therapist -- this decision ultimately saved my life.
Unlike the physical wound that disfigured the face of the surgeon's daughter, the mental scars associated with the traumatic events that I witnessed, continues to present daily challenges for me. At times, I’m able to temporarily change my emotionally disfigured face to a happy one. Then, in an instant, a flashback or a nightmare can reverse the happy face back to an emotionally disfigured one. Like the surgeon, I failed at restoring.
In a world that frowns upon imperfection, living with any type of mental health disorder will always have a stigma attached to it. I’m not implying that we shouldn’t strive for perfection, but there’s nothing wrong with owning up to our weaknesses and realize a need to seek help by utilizing accessible resources such as trained/licensed counselors, clergy, and trustworthy family/friends.
Although some days are tougher than others, never let an emotionally bad day set the tone for the next one. Yes, I still make my share of mistakes and don’t always handle negative situations and challenges the proper way which is depressing, but feeling down is only a temporary situation. Remember to stay in this game called life and fight the good fight! So, unlike the movie, the good news is that our eyes do have a face and others do care. Allow them the opportunity to do so.
If you are having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Current Military/Veterans: use the same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line. Hearing impaired 800-799-4889 LGBT youth 866-488-7386.
At the age of seven, Herman survived an armed robbery but witnessed the murder of his mother, her partner, and his godmother, in Harlem (NYC). Although he suffered from a gunshot wound, it was the mental scars that resulted in the most significant damage. Several years after this tragic event, he was clinically diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (PTSD)
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