Jonathan Lancaster u braktis nga prindërit biologjikë vetëm 36 orë nga lindja për shkak të pamjes së tij. Ai shprehet se ka vuajtur për një kohë të gjatë për çrregullimin e tij në fytyrë, por tashmë thotë se nuk ka më asnjë problem, madje i pëlqen pamja e tij dhe kërkon të ndihmojë edhe të tjetër që janë si ai.
Jonathan Lancaster ka rrëfyer historinë e tij të jetës për “Business Insider”.
“It wasn’t until I reached the age of 25 that I had the emotional stamina to read my adoption papers.
Jean, the woman who adopted me, told me in my childhood, in the most acceptable way for that age, that my biological parents “couldn’t handle” that I was “different”.
The change is my facial appearance. I have a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins syndrome, it is a rare congenital craniofacial malformation. It is incurable, and is known as a rare disease.
These days, after more than a decade of hating myself, I like the way I look. But it was hard to read about my parents’ decision at first.
Their names and signatures were on the documents. They had signed off on my adoption just 36 hours after I was born. At the time, they were married, in their twenties. They had told social workers and staff at the hospital that they did not want other members of their family to see me.
This syndrome affects 1 in 50 thousand people in different ways. In my case, the ears are folded and small. I love the fact that they look like Bart Simpson. I have no cheekbones and my eyes are droopy.
My mother took me home when I was two weeks old. The hospital staff had told her about my appearance to prepare. She said: I would like to meet Jonathan. She always told me that the first time she saw me, she couldn’t help but smile. My mother has done an amazing job with me.
I was popular at school. I even enjoyed going to the children’s hospital in London, where I had an operation to help my hearing. Then I went to high school. There I faced my peers who had not known me before. They had never met anyone with facial features like mine. They joked with me, telling me that my birthday was on Halloween.
I raised a “wall” experiencing it badly. We live in a world that is obsessed with image. I wanted to go back to my house, I was thinking about the end. My biggest anger as a teenager was directed at my parents. I was thinking: How could they have done this to me? I went to college to study sports science when I was 18, but dark feelings took over my life and I shut down.
My life changed after I kissed a girl. She told me: “I love your face”
My life changed forever when I was 21 years old. I started a job in a bar and fell in love with one of my colleagues. I thought she was the coolest person in the world. But I couldn’t imagine that such a girl would be interested in me. We got closer and she asked me out for a drink.
There was chemistry. One night, after a bottle of wine, she leaned in to kiss me. From thinking that no one loved me, I felt like the sexiest guy in the world. She said: “I love your face”. I am 37 years old and we keep in touch. I believed that my face was a bad thing, but from that moment, I thought: “I love it”.
I have spoken to hundreds of children with this syndrome around the world and told them to open up and talk about their feelings. I have traveled the world meeting people and speaking in public. I am an ambassador of the non-profit organization “Face Equality International”.
I don’t hold a grudge against the people who bullied me. Even the memes on social networks have remained, but I feel sorry for them. Unlike me, they are unable to live their own lives.
As for my biological parents, I sent them a letter in 2009 after reading the adoption papers. I told them that I wanted them to know that I was fine and that I was open to contact them.
I am happy that my parents brought me to life and now I am using this to help others.
A few days after the letter, I received a response from their lawyer. It said: We wish to have no contact and any future attempts will be ignored. It was overwhelming for me.
However, they brought me into this world. I have to live the life I was given. It’s been a long journey to get to where I am. But I am happy.