Thursday, July 28, 2011

Psoriasis and Me

I try not to do this.  I really don't.  It's not something I like to draw attention to, because I have spent so much of my life fighting it.  Forcing people to see me and not just my skin.  For most people, this isn't an issue.  But for me - it is.  I have had some truly horrifying experiences.  I have chronicled a few here.  Honestly, the list could go on.

But that's not my point.

This morning, I was having a lovely morning.  Contemplating what I wanted to post.  Perhaps and amusing chinchilla story or about how much I love thunderstorms.  And then I read this:

Just an article detailing all of the things that can be wrong with you if you are diseased with psoriasis (which, by the way, is just a correlation NOT a causation).  That everything is doom and gloom and there is no cure.  You are as screwed up as you think you are.

Boom.  Morning shot.

For those of you who do not have psoriasis, it may not seem like any big deal.  But, let me tell you, as someone who has had it for 20+ years it was like diving head first into a cold pool of all the negative things anyone has ever said to me about my skin condition.  When I stumbled into the bathroom to put on my make up, the reflection staring back at me was not mine.  It was a woman, yes.  With dark hair, side-swept bangs.  She had my eyes.  A nose that resembled my father's.  But what stood out was her skin.

It looked alright, mostly.  Except along her hairline and beside her nose.  Places where your skin tends to dry out.  Her ears.  In these patches, the skin was a different color.  Pink.  And it made me want to know what happened to her.  That's when I realized - this was me.

Dear God.  Was this the me that people see daily?  Suddenly, I was 12 again.  Fighting the words, "Freak" and "Monster" and "Hideous".  No - I'm not kidding.  I've heard those words in regards to me.  Trust me, people are that cruel.

So I closed my eyes and shook my head.  That wasn't me.  No.  Not the girl who moved out on her own.  Decided to take guitar lessons.  Has taught herself to make some damn complicated desserts.  Can read Spanish from 1492.  Jumped into a management position with no experience.  Who graduated college.  Who had her heart broken and put it back together.  Who battled depression and won.  Who can recite both Shakespeare and George Carlin.

This woman in the mirror was a stranger, defining herself by her skin - she wasn't me.  Not the girl who decided at 16 that she would never let people see just her skin.  And those who do?  Are shallow and not worth her time.

So I opened my eyes.  And that woman in the mirror?  She was gone.

I was back.


  1. Ah, yes. Nothing brings about media attention like trouble at the Kardashians. Turn off the noise and go do one of those deserts you do so well. Save a piece for me!

  2. I love you and your sassiness. :)