Charlene-2 * * * I was born with no bones in my face and I had absolutely no jaw structure, so therefore I had no chin. And I was also born with Microtia, meaning no ear. I was born with absolutely no right ear whatsoever – none – not even the feature or structure; just flat skin. I was also born deaf as well – completely deaf. But I wear a hearing aid, so that’s why I can hear. I had experienced my first rejection within the hour that I came into this world. My father called his parents and his mother answered the phone and he told her, “we have a girl, her name is Charlene and she is a sick baby with severe facial defect.” And the response from my father, she stated, was I am not a Guenette. Guenette, that’s my family name, so I’m not considered a Guenette, because I was not born perfect. * * * Up to now, I’ve counted 62 procedures and out of the 62, I would say (I have had) 55 procedures from the age of 10 months until last April, this year, 2013 I wasn’t aware until I was age of eight, and I started to ask questions to myself as why are people calling me names at school? And every time when a child would tease me or call me names, obviously I’d become much more vulnerable, sensitive and I would cry. And my older siblings were at school with me and whenever either of my brothers would see me cry, they would come to my rescue and say, “what happened?” And I would say: "so-and-so called me names.” And of course, my poor brothers ended up beating them up, you know, just to protect their little sister, and they ended up getting into trouble. I didn’t realize back then that I had a facial difference; I just knew that they called me names. And the names were always common; they always asked, “Hey monkey face, which planet do you come from?” Can you imagine the mind of a child who’s five, six, seven, eight years old? It’s very hurtful. To this day, I still remember it; I could talk about it, but it doesn’t hurt me that much But on the emotional level, you still have that memories that you don’t forget, so it’s still there. And when I was eight years old, that’s when I decided to do my observation with my sister, Sharon. I made her stand in front of the mirror with me and was comparing, because I wanted to know why people are calling me names. So I looked at the mirror and I said: “Okay, I see we have a body; we have a head, arms, legs. “ And then I touched her face – and I was touching her cheeks and her nose and her chin and I know that she had something in her, but I did not know what it was, but it was obviously the bones. And then when I touched my face, my finger went in and that’s when I realized that I was different.