anti-bullying, Awe & Wonder, courage, depression, Guest Posts, healing

Visually Impaired, 66 Surgeries & Still: Nothing But Love. A Must Read.

November 20, 2013

I wrote a post a while back called The Irrelevants. This letter to me was a response to that article and with Michelle Medina’s permission, I am sharing it. You are not irrelevant either, you sitting there reading this.


Thank you Jennifer.

I have tried to commit suicide since I was 6. Anything to ease the pain. Even cut twice in my life, just ANYTHING to make myself disappear. It’s even harder when the messages I received from the public and my classmates were disappear! Evaporate!! You’re NOTHING!!

I’m visually impaired, I was born with a rare facial birth defect called a Tessier Cleft. My face didn’t form properly and I’m one of only between 50-56 people in the world with it. I’ve had 66 reconstructive surgeries thus far including skin grafts and bone grafts and the public has stared, pointed and laughed.

My family in the past, has given them the power to ruin perfectly good outings and I’ve often asked my parents why they didn’t abandon me at the hospital. I’ve even wished I’d been aborted, though back in 1986 the ultrasound tech wasn’t fantastic, no 3-D images like nowadays and my mother had no idea I’d require 66 surgeries and be born without eyes to boot. I have a talking computer.

Anyway, my classmates were even more brutal, punching, kicking and spitting upon me. I have PTSD, occasional panic attacks and still struggle (without meds) to remind myself every day to stick it out. My little sister has a Baby, a boyfriend and my life consists of a CockerSpaniel and a Cat. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my girls!! They are my babies!! They aren’t a human baby though and they definitely aren’t a partner.

I hold my 4 month old niece and sometimes find myself indulging the idea that she’s really mine and not my sister’s. I’m already so attached when my sister tried to leave her with me overnight and ended up crying herself to sleep and then coming to get her a while later because she just couldn’t, it took all I had to hug her, pat her on the back and say: “It’s ok Sis, I understand.” She left and walked across to her place and I couldn’t move from my spot in front of the door, couldn’t breathe. . . it felt like my heart was ripped out of my chest. My rational side kept saying: “She’s a first time mother, it’s not you!! It’s not you!!” My ego said: “Of course it’s you! You suck! You’re a piece of shit!! Even your own sister thinks you’re just “the blind girl” who can’t look after her child! Pack it in, bitch! Just pack it in already!” I typically share EVERYTHING with my sister, we love each other to bits, but I didn’t share that. . . I just couldn’t bring myself to, thinking of her and how her feelings would be hurt, because that’s not what she was thinking at all and I knew she wasn’t! If anybody knows my abilities it’s my sister. Point being. . . I’ve been there, am still there probably half the time if I’m brutally honest, but I’m crawling for it anyway. “Bullet With Butterfly Wings” from the Smashing Pumpkins is playing now and aptly describes that 50% of my time. The other 50% is probably best described by “Dirty Frank” by Pearl Jam. I choose that because it’s funny, an oddball/goofy song that makes me jump around and holler like a fool. Lol. Thank you for the reminder I can do this. . . even if it means crawling and falling and clawing my way through it! ~ Michelle


Beloved tribe of mine, dear readers, you, whoever you are: take heed from Michelle. Listen to her. You can do this. Even if it means crawling and falling and clawing your way through it.

Post comments to Michelle below 😉

Also, feel free to contact her via Facebook. She would love that. Click here.


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  • Reply Evan November 20, 2013 at 9:43 am

    wow. amazing. beautiful. a stark reminder to be grateful for all we are and have been given in this life. my heart goes out to Michelle and to us all.

  • Reply tish November 20, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Oh you beautiful,beautiful, woman. Thank you for sharing your life with me, I am so sad that people have treated you badly. Know right here right now ,you are so loved by me. If you ever need a friend I am here. I love you unconditionaly.

  • Reply cressycat November 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

    I hope you don’t mind – but I was so moved by your story … You seem like a wonderful person; I’m sorry to hear anyone has ever caused you pain.

  • Reply Heather November 20, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Michelle you are a warrior, a princess, and an inspiration to us all. Unfortunately, there are a lot of cruel, shallow and selfish people in the world. Please dont let them dampen your spirit. We all have one short life to live here, focus on what you have and what you love and just be grateful….f*ck the rest.

    • Reply Michelle Medina (@MichelleM86) November 20, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Heather,
      Thank you. There are days when I believe life is the longest thing we do, not the shortest. Lol.

  • Reply fetters79 November 20, 2013 at 11:12 am

    There is courage and integrity in you that I admire and appreciate more than I can say in a comment section of a blog. I think you are beautiful. Thank you for sharing this! Xo

  • Reply alysha.greig November 20, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    Always inspired by those who share their stories with such grace and love. You are beautiful Michelle!

  • Reply Mike November 20, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I’m so glad you’re here. Thank you for being tough when so many have given up. You are inspirantional in a time when it is very needed. I’m sorry people were so I’ll spirited toward you I will never understand why they feel the need to mock those born differently.

  • Reply Janine November 21, 2013 at 5:45 am

    You are truly beautiful in all meanings of the word. Your soul is pure and loving and that radiates to anyone who hears you and your story. Never give up, ignore the evil that comes from ignorance. I too was teased as a child. We all have our weaknesses that are preyed upon by people who make their lives a little less miserable by causing others pain. Please remember exactly how much those peoples opinions matter. None! People who are truly happy with themselves would never feel the need to attack anyone else with negativity. Don’t let them win. Continue to stand tall and rise above their pettiness. Your strength is an inspiration to all who have been bullied and made to feel ugly. You are anything but ugly. You are beautiful and always remember that!
    ~ Janine

  • Reply Elaina November 21, 2013 at 9:44 am

    What a beautiful letter, a beautiful spirit, and a beautiful human being. May we all work hard to overcome all the terrible values that we are fed by the media, by corporations, by anyone that defines beauty by meaningless appearances, rather than the spirit that lives inside. I hope you surround yourself with people who will reflect to you your loveliness, because there are so many people that will, but we often don’t realize that we have that choice. We tend to choose people depending on our view of ourselves, often not knowing that we can choose better, since most of us struggle with issues of self-doubt, worthiness, and self-love. So know your beauty and worth and choose well 🙂 I am so moved by your words, and sending you much love. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Walking 4 Air November 22, 2013 at 6:11 am

    Your spirit shines through your words, Michelle. What a truly beautiful read. May your life blossom and may we all learn the lessons in what you have written. Thank you for the beautiful reminder that we are all human. Your beauty and honesty is truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply Michelle Medina (@MichelleM86) November 23, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    Thank you all for your words, they are much appreciated.

  • Reply Suzanne Magdalena Rolph-Mcfalls February 17, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I connected with Michelle through this article and your website, and have since started a fundrazr campaign for her. Here is the link:

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