Anyone who knows me will know how hard it is for me to do this. But I have hit a point in my life where my desperation has won, and I have to reach out and ask for help.
I have always had issues with my face. When I was 11 and my adult teeth came in, they came in huge and crooked. Braces could have helped with how bucked my teeth were, but there was no helping their size.
For years, my teeth were the punchline of jokes. I was mocked at school, to the point where it became physical. I was hit, stalked, harassed. It was more than my teeth, we didn't have much money. I was insecure and developed severe social anxiety. I was terrified to get braces, to the point where I was mentally unable to do it.
Fast-forward, and I won't go deep into details. I am now a 31 year old mother of the best kid in the world. I am getting out of a 13 year long relationship where I was emotionally and mentally abused almost from the very start. I was unable to see it or even think about leaving, my self esteem was low before he got ahold of me. By the time the abuse became physical, I was mentally trapped. By the time the police had to get involved when he tried to kill me one night in his parent's front yard, and I have been diagnosed with PTSD from the abuse.
Today I am starting work as an optician apprentice. I am trying to make something of myself, to show my son that I can do it and how important it is to keep going no matter what. But from the years of anxiety and depression,my teeth have taken the biggest hit. I can't get on insurance, and every week another tooth has broken or hurts. I live with icepacks on my face, and am never without tylenol or ibuprophen.
My dream is to get implant supported dentures. To finally, for the first time since I was 7 years old, be able to smile and feel confident. I am one of the few who loves wearing a mask in public, because for once people arent distracted by my oversized, discolored teeth. For once nobody sees those.
But I do see the looks on people's faces when I finally move my mask to eat or drink. That, with the most recent broken front tooth is what brings me to do this.
As a single mom, working an entry level job, I am saving money for my teeth. But at the rate I am going I won't be able to get started until I am 36.
If anyone has it in them to donate even a small amount, or even tell me where I can go for help. All I want in the world is to finally be able to smile in public without wanting to hide my face.
- Mary Hannan
- Patricia Schmidt
- Kenneth Walls
- Sonny Walls
- Christopher Fletcher
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