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Advice for M.G.
Ed, I hope you are doing well. I'm hanging in there ... Only five more classes and I can graduate! Yay! At least I'll be able to get rid of one source of stress in my life. :)
I wanted to respond to M.G., who feels her life is in tatters right now:
I'm 25 and I've had psoriasis since I was about 10 or 11, so like you, I have experienced a range of emotions and had various experiences (good and bad and in between) throughout my flake-filled life. I was taunted in school, shunned by most during that awkward period of time, and fought against psoriasis to live a life I chose for myself rather than a life defined by my condition. I have been married once, and although I'm not crazy about my ex-husband now, he never ever made me feel like I was a freak. He accepted my skin as a part of me. Now I'm in a committed relationship with a guy who takes better care of my skin than I do! The trick is to be as upfront as possible about the fact that you have psoriasis. In my case, it takes over parts of my face on a regular schedule, so I cannot hide it.
Any man who is worth your love will understand. You have said you've learned to be brave and hold up your head in the face of your tribulations. This is no different! You have to be brave again and tell him what's going on. He sounds like a kind, caring person, and he deserves to know why you distanced yourself. (I don't blame you at all for doing this. God knows it's hard enough to deal with everyday looks and stares, not to mention getting physically involved with someone who gets to see it up close and "au naturale.")
When you love someone you just love them. It doesn't matter what happens on the outside. We all age and gain wrinkles and weight...these things are trivial when compared to the intrinsic reasons we care for people. I have struggled (and still do) with how my skin must feel and look to my boyfriend. I asked him, point blank, "Doesn't my skin gross you out?" He looked at me like I was crazy and said he doesn't even notice it. I can be physical with him knowing that in his mind, my skin is perfect and beautiful ... and that the flakes on the bed sheets don't matter because they don't even exist for him.
Our real beauty shines through so others, if they care to look hard enough, can see us for what we truly are. Stop listening to the doubt in your mind and start listening to your heart. Call him and explain everything. Tell him about your inner angst about your skin. Honesty works so well with these issues, and once you get it out in the open, you will feel better. Even if he's not a good guy and runs the other way, at least you will have found out now and not later, when you have more invested in the relationship. But I have the feeling things will work out once he understands.
Good luck! Keep your chin up and be brave! And keep us posted. -Abbi S.
Ed’s Response: Thanks Abbi. Your advice is obviously on-the-money. Don’t miss M.G.’s update this month: She Told Him! -Ed