Experience Project iOS Android Apps | Download EP for your Mobile Device

Pictures Not Included

I appreciate your interest and I respect your healthy curiosity. It's important to act on one's regard for the unknown and for this I empathize (I'm an engineer... being inquisitive is an occupational hazard lol.) I mean no disrespect and I promise I am not hiding anything. If this is a test of trust and I've failed I completely understand, I wish you peace and a pleasant journey; no hard feelings. Allow me to briefly explain...

When I was eleven years old I just like any healthy American boy. Forever competing with my friends and cousins to see who is braver, stronger, faster, etc... I mentioned before I'm an engineer and even at a young age I refused to let go of a challenge. In the spring that year my older cousins and I were determined to try out my uncles new Ducati motorcycle (yes the bike featuring the Ducati Desmoquattro with desmodromic valve actuation circa 1985 for my fellow gear heads...) Upon setting my eyes on it I was hooked. I wanted to ride that motorcycle. I needed to grip those throttles and feel the rush of adrenaline flying down the road holding on for dear life. I had to prove to my older cousins who was tougher, braver, and reckless. The garage was set in the back of the house, the rear of the property shared a common lane way with other garages flanking the ally. My cousin reached for the handle bars and "flipped the switch" bringing the 4 valve engine to glorious life. I knew I was smiling ear to ear and I remember how hard my blood was pumping I could hear it in my ears. We knew it was only a matter of time before the adults heard a commotion and would investigate. I pushed past the others and reached up grabbing the saddle to join my older cousin to join him on one tryst down the lane way, 40 ft down and back, what could be better! I recall shouting in my cousins ear something to the effect of "let it rip!" but I honestly cannot recall my actual words. I don't recall or remember anything between that moment and hospital bed. Amnesia is a wonderful thing, it protects the human mind from so much pain and stress. It should be this way, my last memory at that moment was the rush and exhilaration of anticipating the next magnificent 15 - 20 seconds of flying down the lane way on two wheels and an open throttle.

Events leading up to the crash. The lane way was cement not pavement and it had started raining before our gang had reached the garage. The block was flanked by 2 - lane city streets progressing East or West depending on your destination. The entrance to the lane way was unattended and featured no guide posts alerting the motorists to be aware of traffic or pedestrians. The facts are sketchy. My cousin did apply the brake peddle properly but did not brace or shift weight like you should on performance bikes causing a skid on the wet pavement. The driver of the moving van could not have anticipated the on coming motor bike and could not have been respond in any other way. My cousin and I slammed into the grill of the moving van at 35 mph collapsing the mainstay and forks on impact. My cousin suffered life threatening injuries to his neck and skull. For myself, my body careened off the passenger quarter panel and slammed into a light post. My cousin lived but sustained enough damage to need to learn how to walk again.

At eleven years old I had broken my left leg and jaw. I underwent 5 - rounds of surgery over 8 years to restore my jaw and achieve a normal profile for my jaw and face. The bones healed, and mercifully I didn't lose an ounce of my courage or enthusiasm for adventure. I did learn a valuable lesson in humility and respect for the dangerous. High school is a battle field of popularity and bullying. I never let on about how self conscious I was about by appearance. I was by no means ugly (my mother still calls me handsome... god love mothers everywhere.)

Here is the purpose of my story dear reader. I have a phobia for images of myself. To this day, although irrational and unwarranted, I still envision the mangled and broken result of my misadventure. How my teeth were splayed and my swollen jawline and features announced the repercussions of my reckless decision. Even now, in my minds eye, I still see the injuries as if fresh and distorted. There are no pictures of me that can be found. I'm very much afraid of the camera lens and I never smile. From the outside and for all appearances I'm a regular person. In my thoughts and imaginations a different story. I understand why people ask for pictures and why its important to project an image. I do not ask for your pictures out of cold hearted vanity, it's not that I don't like you or don't care about you or elsewise. I fear the image of myself and since I am unwilling to share then I do not ask for pictures of people I meet either. And if my reluctance to share pictures of myself offends you, my sincerest apologies. I feel confident I am a good person, I belong in this universe, I have magnificent friends here and in real life. I apologize for disappointing you and your request for pictures of me, and peace be with you as you go on your way.

I love motorcycles. I own a T100 mcqueen and as a person who is mechanically inclined I'm in my zone. It's a passion and I think it's healthy to stay in the saddle. As for my phobia of my image and avoidance of the camera lens, there is an end to this story but I don't know yet how it will unravel. Maybe one day I will forget those scars. It still hurts and sometimes I'm reminded of how weak I am. Strength is the product of adversity. And in my struggle I hope I will prevail. As Robert Frost penned in one of my favorite poems:
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

miles to go.. 
tenente tenente 31-35, M 26 Responses Jun 11, 2012

Your Response


behind every fear is a freedom, but you don't need to hear it from me.. good that your experience hasn't kept you from what you love.. the pictures.. i had a similar experience, have like a spider web of scars on half of my face.. it freaks me out about pictures too, but sadly what allows me to do it is two things.. one.. my loved ones don't see me every day, they want something to hold onto that they can see and remember, i have enough experience of people i love dying, so sometimes it's all that's left of them is their pictures or videos, it's a blessing for those of us who are left... the other is that I believe deep down i'm not beautiful.. for some reason that ugly thought really works for me LOL.. the positive of that one is that it opens the door for other things in my life besides the illusion one gets folded into when people constantly tell them they are beautiful.

You are beautiful and people who can see it without seeing your pictures deserve to be your friends :)

ƪ(˘⌣˘)┐ ┌(˘⌣˘)ʃ ƪ(˘⌣˘)┐

Ur beautiful to me

tx u ! :D

Ur welcome

I don't really know you, but to be honest you seem like a really nice, fun person.. Forget about the camera and pictures of you, those don't define who you are. you're already brave, strong and awesome.also I like your stories. *hugs* :').

ƪ(˘⌣˘)┐ ┌(˘⌣˘)ʃ ƪ(˘⌣˘)┐

One of the (obvious) benefits of EP is that we get to know people based on the way they reveal themselves, rather than how we perceive their physical attractiveness. And you, my friend... you are hawt ;) Clever, upbeat, very male, and I suspect, rather brilliant. Thanks for being so open about yourself, heref. I could say all kinds of mushy stuff about how sorry I am that you've gone through so much (and believe me, I feel that). But I think what's most meaningful here is to say just how cool I've always perceived you to be. Cool cat. That's you :)

awww :D

Thank for sharing you story. An insight into the person you really are...a nice one at that...LL


Looks and how one 'appears' can never EVER portray if they are 'ugly' or not.... that's in their intention for others or the world or their heart... and so in this, I'd say you are one of the most Handsome people to be on the planet. *Hugg* Thank you for sharing this post T.

awww thank you! :D

Wow that's a very powerful story , thank you for sharing. Forget the camera lens if you don't wish to have your photo taken then that's just fine, the only important thing is to know that it is your spirit heart and soul that show you are handsome.


Well, I am ugliest and no one can beat that! I think you are a handsome dude with your sense of humor and the way of respecting others.


Thanks for sharing.


I think you're quite a beautiful EP friend. I will envision you as a little green man. The green man who makes me laugh reading your responses in Q/A. :) I can't imagine how it was for you to live with that weight of negative self image. But, like you said your Mom sees as something other than that. I bet someday if not right this second other people will and do feel the same.

<3 motorcycles and adventures as well!

woot woot! :D

Dangerous things two wheelers , I also know. Glad to see you never last your passion for them though.
(And a very nice quote.) :)


Awww I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable with my question, I was only messing around on Q&A. Your mind seems like a very beautiful place and that's greater than any supplemental picture. Thank you for sharing your story and I'm really sorry for what happened to you but really glad you're the way you are.

no worries :D you ask i answer

Always on the go. It fun to be the star of the show. But for the one, your always walking away. The burden of those at task to stay. I like to laugh, I like make, I enjoy all the same things. I am not standing here because I wanted to suffer. I stayed so you didn't have to.

I don't need a face to know that I have a rare and dear person in my circle. :D


Phrak ya!! :D

lololololol XD

hugs Tenente -- I will be away for a while but I will be back XX

be good! :D or be quick!

I hope to be quick -- hate being away from my EPeeps! :)

3 More Responses

That is sad that you still carry those internal scars, even if the external are now healed. That was courageous of you to let us know your reasoning, even though it's really no one's business. I'm sure your desires are more respected for it. :)

true true but still it\'s a phobia i can call my own lol

i can only say one thing about this, apart from admiring your honesty... i find scars extremely sexy. so what YOU may feel a downfall, to others it may be a high. don't deprive others of what we may think is beautiful :) x

:::mind blown:::

This is so true.

I inherited 6 motorbikes from my Dad, unfortunately I never got round to getting my bike license but I still can't bare to get rid of them because one day I hope I'll have to balls to learn. However, I am incredibly dippy and so easily distracted that even if I did learn I don't think I could trust myself not to do something stupid.
I really admire your ability to get back 'on the saddle' after that! I think we should compare notes - I'll teach you how to embrace the camera lens and you can teach me how to face my two-wheel panic without turning into a ball of jelly!

why u so awesome?

I'm not, I'm just incredibly good at blagging. really touched my 'mom' heart (it brings tears to my eyes as I saw my own son in your story)....your inner beauty shines through brilliantly here....

Keep 'keeping those promises' and making those miles before you sleep :)

thanks! :D

I understand how you feel. To experience an accident like that at such a young age can leave an emotional scar. I have a scar myself because some people made fun of me when I was younger because of the way I look. It's not completely healed, but waaaay better now. I grew out of my "hideousness" lol. As for pics, it's not that important. Funny avatar, btw. Thank you for sharing.

you have the right attitude and you are strong:D happy you enjoyed reading about my story. keep being awesome!

So no fears for motorcycles but still have the images of your injuries in your head. Hmm, interesting. I wish you luck getting over that. We all have something that is inside that shouldn't be. Thanks for sharing.

True beauty comes from within. I don't know about you, but I don't share pictures of my insides with people either. :)<br />
All joking aside, I don't like how I look either. I am not as phobic about it now as I used to be, but I have come a long way. I can understand the want/need to not share photos. I am here to read peoples stories, not to look at pictures. /hugs<br />
- Ivy

Wow. I can see how deeply your accident affected you. Eleven years old. Traumatic doesn't even begin to describe what you went through. I think it's great that nothing stopped you from getting a motorcycle. Your avatar belies the kind of person you are totally though. Your story is very moving and well-written. Thanks for sharing.

I truly love reading your stories!

guess i better get my a$$ out of this chair and have more experiences to write about! lol XD

WOW!!! Your such a wonderful person..I'm so glad your still here encoraging others as well as teaching me to be very grateful and not take the simple things for granted 😊.. So glad we're EP friends😊😊

thank you you are very kind :D we all have experiences of adversity. i wrote this as a public apology but i appreciate you kind words. cheers!