We have dedicated Today as
Breast Implant Survivors Day
I got the idea for breast implants almost before I was out of high
Everyone around me was getting bras, and since my Mom saw no
reason to do otherwise, I was still wearing "girls underwear," (as JC
Penny's catalog put it - kind of like a sleeveless teeshirt and always
I was flat, and I dreaded gym class, where we had to change in
front of everyone, and my already low self-esteem (my household was
always a war zone) went to rock bottom when I started breaking out in
acne all over, (not just my face), as well as having no discernable
Girls were supposed to be pretty, why was I so ugly?
I cried myself to sleep every night for the next 5 years.
Home life wasn't supportive, to say the least (my parents were battling each
other), and I was always battling with either my two older sisters, or
my younger brother, or one or both of my parents or all of them.
It seemed no one liked me (not that I was exactly acting likeable - an
angry, sad, moody teenager).
I decided women were never to be
trusted, (due to my experiences with my family and girls at school) and
although I did make two close friends in school, (one of whom is my
very best friend to this day), I decided to turn my back on my own
I figured my friends were exceptions to the rule that other
women were only to be competed with, and I could never win.
So, I set out to please men.
How to do this?
Be as pretty as I could.
I began riding the starvation diets/overeating seesaw ...
and the trying (and trying and TRYING) to get contact lenses that I could wear
(without my eyes feeling like they were made of red jello after just a
few hours) ...
and wearing clothes that hid me, yet were in in bright colors to
I just plain didn't know who I was, being so busy trying
to mold myself into someone that a guy would love.
I figured if I
could get someone handsome to marry me, then I had some worth. It
wasn't until just a few years ago that it finally dawned on me that
this is disturbing, controlling behavior, but there I was, doing what
I thought would work so I could survive in this world.
Some where in there, I attempted suicide a few times, towards my final high school
years ... yet only half-heartedly, thank God.
There was the usual reckless
behavior, like hitch-hiking across the states and doing some drug
I never once thought of anyone else but me and how I
Anyway, I finally "snagged" a man and settled down into
domestic bliss (or so I thought).
My first husband really was a kind
person, and I just never appreciated that fact.
He took great pains to try to raise my self-esteem but I never believed anything he said that was positive about me.
In fact, I came to be scornful of him for
trying to do so, I was so convinced of my ugliness.
If any book from
the library, catalog in the mail or magazine came into the house with
a nude, or overly pretty (to me) woman in it, I went ballistic!
And yet, I was fascinated with it.
It caused me such intense pain not to
fit in, that it is hard to describe, but was just so real to me.
It didn't help that my first husband's sister was a model, either.
I hated family functions because it just made me miserable. I tried
therapy, but unfortunately, my therapist suggested that this was my
husband's fault, and even though I knew deep down that I actually was
the one with the roving eye, (I thought then if more men thought me
attractive, then I would feel better - how sick is that???), I left him
when our daughter was in college.
I immediately hooked up with
another man (a real "Man's Man" - tall, muscular, deep voice, rode a
motorcycle, etc.) from work, and when he didn't show any physical
interest in me, I panicked.
I tried everything, and got as skinny as
I could, ran 8 miles a day (ruined my knees in the process), and it
still seemed like he wanted to marry me, but wasn't interested in
We got married, as I had no earthly idea what love is,
and I ended up just thinking it was all my fault that he had such
little interest in me. We sort of co-habitated for 6 years. Finally,
I went onto the Internet and found one of the more popular breast
augmentation sites. It didn't take long to convince me that THIS was
what I needed to do - it would all come together if I had an
I didn't listen to that voice in my heart that was
saying "So why does he make fun of you when you look in the mirror, or
catches you practicing smiling at yourself, or asks you why your skin
is still breaking out?" Nope.
Now I will know better when I get my
medical records back from the plastic surgeon in NYC, but it was
roughly Aug/Sept. of 2004 that I went down and had IT done.
The week following was painful, but I was prepared by reading about others'
experiences in the support system, so got through it. (I should mention that
I left my second husband and moved across the state just before doing
I had, at this point, been with this guy for 6 years of marital
hell. Also, since I was always the one who had to pay all the bills
except the mortgage, I was heavily in credit card debt. Yet, a
Cosmetic credit plan gave me a loan, and I was ecstatic. I thought
that yet another relationship, boobs, and being away from husband #2
would be the cure this time. I had just begun to see another man, (no
surprise there) and I truly think God intervened this time, as I
literally walked around a corner at work several times and ran right
into him. He was extremely happy with the way I was, but was
supportive of my doing "whatever makes you happy," so I went ahead
I was on a very low carb diet at the time, and had been for a year,
so I blamed my hair loss on that. My stress levels were huge, as I was
still working at the same place as husband #2, and he allowed the BA
rumors to fly, so I thought the other symptoms which have appeared
over these past few years were all caused by stress.
My knees and
fingers began to get stabbing pains, and my hands and feet are usually
very cold. In fact, I chill easily all over now. My vision, which I
had improved by Lasik during the rein of Husband#2 on one of my credit
cards, was failing. I could no longer drive at night without glasses,
and it was getting blurry during the day as well. I have blinding
headaches on and off, seem tied to the common sinus troubles that have
been plaguing me as well. I still break out, but add to that odd
rashes and extremely dry skin on the backs of my hands and the soles
of my feet, even when I slather on the best dry skin creams and wear
gloves to bed. Sometimes it is so bad that my knuckles will crack and bleed
in the space of a few minutes. My nails are ridged and look odd, (maybe
that's a deficiency of something).
I walk into things - I was never able to walk that straight anyway, but into
I often forget where I was going in a conversation (this is
difficult now, and I apologise if it is meandering), and will several
times a day find myself in a spot wondering what I meant to do there.
I went to our local doctor several times for the sinus problems, and
when they kept coming back, I thought I must just have polyps. I
don't like going to the doctors' so I just generally ignore things
until they get too painful to deal with.
Also, my breasts have begun
to feel terribly heavy, and I have constant discharge that is making
me think I have a yeast infection. My skin is itchy often, all over.
These things had gotten so bad that my husband #3 (and the last one,
please God), took out some loans so I could leave that work situation
this year to do my art and lose some stress.
He has been incredibly
loving and supportive, and we were both happy when I started to laugh
and lighten up, yet the symptoms still are here. With the stress
pretty much gone, what was going on? I just had this nagging feeling
that my chest was the center of this, and started surfing the web to
get some answers.
When I found the Saline Support Group, via
Explantation.com, I was drop-mouthed at the symptoms described by
It feels not unlike having a ticking bomb walking around
with me. This is where I am right now: trying to find out everything
I can, identifying with a lot of what I read, trying to forgive myself
for such colossal life blunders, and trying to get up the courage to
move on and thrive as best as I can.
I have started the ball rolling
to get the explantation done during the first four months of this
year, if we can afford it. I am terrified we won't be able to, but am
trying to trust the right thing will happen. I am so glad to have
found that women really are safe to be around sometimes.
I am finally, at 52 years old, realising that I am beautiful as I am, and
I have done myself a huge disservice, believing what I have been told
by outside influences in my life.
It will be a very long road, as I
have a lot of emotional scars to heal, but I am exactly where I am
supposed to be, I believe that, and I feel like I am waking up.
~ Devon ~