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Relationship Health Message Board


Relationship Health Board Index


Dear 'son',

I call you son because you are almost the same age of my youngest son. I'm not joining in to change your mind. I believe you can only be who you perceive yourself to be and nothing more.

What you believe doesn't make any difference to me. I learned a long time ago not to try to change other people's minds, as we all believe what we believe for our own reasons. I believe we are getting something out of the beliefs we hang onto, and who am I that I could make you think differently?

From reading what you have shared I do want to share some my experiences though.

When I was age 15, in one year I had shot up in height from what was 'normal' height for a girl to 5' 11", and in those long ago years, that was not a model's height!

I was already kind of shy and studious, but then suddenly was also a freak. So I have an inkling of how you have felt from your hair loss and skin and height that in your experience seemed pale and unattractive, exacerbated by how your family treated you. That is not easily dismissed or ignored no matter what we learn about psychology. We can get all the knowledge in the world and it doesn't change how we feel about ourselves. In fact I don't think one can ignore what we feel...it affects how we see ourselves.

So there I was age 15, a very sensitive age for a teen and way back then, no clothes had sleeves or lengths long enough for my legs or arms. It didn't add anything positive to my looks that I was skinny as a rail and my hair was very dark and as straight as a pin and would not hold a bit of curl when the big look then was for feminine hair to have height and to flip up at the ends. My so called 'best friend' was short and had blond hair that flipped up and she could act so cutesy that everyone wanted to protect her. I on the other hand was shy because of how different I looked than the other girls, and the attention I got was to be confronted by school bullies that tried to keep me out of the school restroom, of all the stupid things. I knew there were other girls and boys that were very self-conscious like I was, but what I didn't know was the future...

So skipping forward about a year, suddenly the tall, skinny, long straight dark hair look was "IN" (thanks to music groups such as the Beatles and British models and clothing designs. Suddenly how I looked was accepted and DESIRABLE. Girls wished they were me. Guys stared. But I remained self-conscious (which only many years later I discovered was just other words for 'stuck on myself').

The humorous but ironic thing is that the boys shorter than me or same height or even taller were intimidated by my looks. The guys that had the most guts were the short cute guys and they and I walked together and held hands...this was my high school experience in a different state's high school than when I had been looked down on; LOL, it was so ironic, considering my height.

I just about had come to accept my looks and get past my height, when in my late teens I was almost fatally injured in an accident. My body was crushed so that I lost considerable leg height which left me an average height for a female. But it also left me with bone length deformities and severe scarring, which I could cover with pants or a long skirt, but I could not hide that I was crippled.

I tried to compensate to look normal by scrunching my body on one side until I got permanent scoliosis and pain from it. All that did was to leave me more crippled as the scar tissue hardened and the hunching on one side made my body more uneven.

Now no one on the outside knew what I was suffering on the inside. I learned early on in my family of origin that others didn't really care, not because they necessarily disliked me but that everyone is worrying over their own selves and I was the furthest thing from their minds, unless they felt sorry for me. And I didn't want any of that. I swallowed what I felt about it and remained emotionally isolated.

My perspective got changed the day when I saw a lady walking in a skirt that was short enough to reveal a huge, bulging scar on the front of the shin of her leg. She walked along with that scar showing for all the world to see, without seeming to care a bit who saw it. I was truly shocked that she seemed to not have a care in the world about the scar. I asked her if she minded if I asked a question about her leg, and she said not at all. So I told her about my scars and crippling and some of the ways I worked hard to hide it so that I looked normal.

She told me what happened to her leg and that it was from a burn accident. She told me that she had used to try to hide it with clothing, but then one day she realized that the scar was something she had, but it was not who she was. After that she quit trying to hide the scar. I then showed her my scars and told her what happened to me, and what work I went to to try to hide it. She told me something like 'it wasn't your fault and you don't have to hide it'. That's all she said to me. I never saw her again.

It didn't happen over night, but there came a day a year or two later when I lay on a beach in a two piece swim suit to get some sun, and didn't care who saw what my body looked like. It was what it was.

Ironically a guy I had known a couple of years walked up and chatted with me as if he didn’t even see what my body looked like. I was self-conscious and thought about throwing a towel over myself, but thought that would draw even more attention, so I just chatted with him till he went on his way. That experience helped me to look the best I could and ignore the rest. I became aware of how my own self-consciousness affected people around. Occasionally someone would ask me what happened, but most people ignored what I ignored about my self. There even came a day when I became grateful for the scars as they reminded me of what I had overcome. I knew that I was self-conscious way before my body got mangled.

I have to add that as I have aged and looked around at others that were aging, I saw that if one lives long enough to become aged, that aging is the great equalizer. We all lose the youthful looks we had, get wrinkly, flesh sags, bags, droops, falls, thins out, becomes blotched and/or spotted. People lose hair they want and get hair in places they never thought they would. The list goes on.

I have seen gorgeous people bemoaning their ‘flaws’...when what I saw was just what made them uniquely themselves, and I thought, ‘if they only knew’.

That’s what I thought when I read your thread – “if he only knew’.
If he only knew how little his appearance makes him who he is. If he only knew how much everyone yearns to be accepted with their flaws. If he only knew that he doesn’t have to be anyone else but himself. If he only knew how to forgive those who didn’t love him enough or in the right way. If he only knew how to get off his own case.

But we are all blind at various times for various reasons.
I want to tell you that I hope some day you can accept yourself and stop blaming yourself for not being like someone else.

What happened to you wasn’t your fault, You don’t need to hide it.


PS, Just wanted to add that a few years after that swim suit episode, that friend and i became close, he asked me to marry him, and we have been married over 30 years.
Hi Way,

Clearly you know what rejection is like. In fact you know it so well and are so comfortable with it you don't tell anyone off that makes those insulting comments, or leave them behind. You carry their perspectives around like a badge of honor. You have made their perspective your own.

I guess it must be true; every other single person in the world is exactly like your rejecting and insulting family. You are ugly and balding but want only a perfectly good looking woman that needs and wants nothing from you. Just like your family wants nothing from you.

I am just reflecting what you have written.

You don't appreciate females for who we are...look at your comments about aging, as if that makes us less in the know. Actually aging usually makes people more in the know. Have you heard the saying, 'there is nothing new under the sun'? It is a fact. Rejecting parents create rejected and rejecting children.

Someday you might learn to stop insulting other people's intelligence. You write as if you are the only one that understands rejection or why it happens. If you have a shallow point of view based only on your own experience, then you cannot see beyond your own nose. That in itself is very unattractive.

The saddest part of this is that you cannot see how shallow your own viewpoint is, wanting something from females while offering nothing they want in return.

Many unattractive guys get very attractive looking females because they do offer financial security; so they marry and are happy, each getting something important to them. Females can get pregnant and have babies to care for, so of course we care about finances. It is very difficult to get a big career or have a big inheritance so a man doesn't have to have to offer anything to a woman.

Looks only gets a man so far, maybe in the door, but if that's all he has to offer he is severely lacking. Wanting a female to be self-sufficient so you don't have to offer anything at all is a self-centered perspective.

Yet you try to meet pretty ladies before they can even see what you look like, then blame them for being turned off. If you look at reality, the only unattractive guys that get gorgeous females are those guys with a lot of money and/or property. This is reality. And you want to offer ladies nothing they want and wonder why you can't attract one.

Everyone has to develop and offer a redeeming quality to attract a mate, even if it's only financial security. There is nothing wrong with offering or desiring financial security. But it seems you want full acceptance and offer nothing a woman that you find attractive wants.

You can reject your family of origin flaw that esteems looks higher than anything else and move on with your life. Whether you do that is up to you. There is no reason to blame others for focusing only on looks until you stop doing that to others and to yourself.

Nothing will change for you until you change your own mindset. Clearly none of us can do it for you.





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