A young, confident woman, Katie Piper had her life turned around when her violent boyfriend raped her and then arranged for someone to throw acid in her face. The acid burnt through her skin and blinded her in one eye. This documentary shows her going through medical procedures, getting justice in the courts against her attackers, and her daily life coping with the physical and emotional scars left behind after the attack. Her determination and resiliance is wonderful to see.
I can really recognise myself in her in some of the situations she goes through. When she goes shopping with her sister for the first time in over a year she’s embarrassed that people are looking at her, and that she shouldn’t go to the make up counter because people will think there is no point in her buying it. I feel like that too when I go to buy fashionable clothes and shoes, like the shop assistants are thinking: “Doesn’t matter how much she tries to look nice, she’s still in a wheelchair and that negates any effort she makes to look good.”
Like Katie, I also remember when I first went for a walk on my own after a long time indoors. I had a better health year in 2006 so I tried walking up and down my street. I hadn’t gone anywhere on my own before, as the last time I’d been out and about was when I was a child and then I was always with my mum. I was very nervous about it as I was convinced I would get hit by a car or that someone would see me and just know from looking at me that I was “different”! It’s funny how something so small and insignificant to most people can be a huge emotional and physical challenge to others.
I can also relate to how she felt in hospital, when she says “I was thinking wow, I’m gonna go home tomorrow and do exactly what I do here - nothing. And I was thinking, what actually is the point of my life? I really miss having a purpose; a job; earning money. My purpose now is just to get better. I’ve never in my life been like this, where there is no point waking up.” When you lose your health, you can lose your identity and purpose too. If you can’t work or leave the house or do very much of anything, how can you feel like you’re living a fulfilled life? That’s one I am still struggling to work out.
I’m very glad that Katie Piper chose to record her journey throughout her struggle and recovery.