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She Dated a Flaker Before She Became One
from Edda in Norway

Dear Ed: I’m 26 years old and have had P for about two years. Over the last year it’s gotten much worse, and I've been so down in the dumps sometimes, I never thought I would get up again. Then one day I found FlakeHQ. It changed my life! I'm still dead-scared the P will continue getting worse by the years. However, after reading letters to you from other flakers, I've realized I will manage — whatever happens. It’s a tremendous support knowing there are people like me out there!

I would also like to share with you something I myself try to remember when everything looks dark. Before I got P myself, I went on a date with this guy I didn't know. We went to a really nice restaurant and I did everything I could to try and look the best I could. Hiding all my flaws (this was before I got P ... for some reason I don't see those flaws anymore). Then suddenly, in the middle of supper my date says: "By the way, as you can probably see, I've got psoriasis. It means I flake a lot, all over my body." I was totally stunned. I couldn't see anything whatsoever — probably because I wasn’t looking for it.

It was as though he broke all the rules of dating, spelling out his Big Flaw like that. My first thought was, Why do you tell me this now? Why don’t you let me get to know you first, show me all your good sides, your personality and character? Then, if I like you and you like me and intimacy becomes an issue ... then you could tell me. Wouldn’t I handle it much better then?

Now, three years later and a flaker myself , I can understand why he so badly needed to tell me. Sometimes I (we?) get so obsessed by the lesions and the flakes that I no longer see what others see. I hope they see my figure, my smile, my long hair and my charm! :-)

It didn't work out with this date, but I can assure everyone it had nothing to do with his P. The experience sure gave me a lesson to remember. When I look at myself in a mirror, I look for patches and flakes. When someone who likes you looks at you, they look for so much more! Our attractiveness is far more than our P, or acne, or weight or ... you name it!

By the way — changing subject to careers, now: I know this guy with P who works in television. He's on camera all the time, and out in the field. Even if he wears T-shirts you can't tell he's got bad P on his arms. He’s good evidence that P doesn’t have to stop you from pursuing the career you want, even a high-visibility career like being on TV!

I'm planning a trip to sun and the sea. Norway isn't the perfect place for sun-treatment. But then again, we do have national health service. Obviously you can’t have everything!

Thank you again for you wonderful site. -Edda from Norway

*****

Ed’s Response: You’re so welcome, Edda! It’s been awhile since we wrote about flaking in a romantic context here, but it’s certainly not a new topic. Just to refresh my memory, I searched for "romance" here and was directed to 6 documents and then I searched for "sex" and was directed to 17 documents!

I agree the secret to remaining a social person as a flaker is to constantly remind yourself that flakes aren’t all you have to offer. To a certain extent — albeit an unpredictable one — people will take a lead from us about how to react to our flaking. Are we pretending it’s not there? Are we trying to hide it? Or, on the contrary, Are we pointing it out? Making it the subject of our discussion? It gets complicated because we don’t just consider how we feel about our flaking, we also try to read the other person and anticipate their reaction. Does he want me to explain this? Would she rather I pretended this didn’t exist so we don’t have to talk about it? There’s an old saying that the eyes are windows to the soul and, since I’ve become a flaker, I take that saying more seriously. More now than ever, I try to read peoples’ eyes to determine how significant my flaking is to them — hence if and how I should talk about it. It’s certainly not an exact science!

Being in a television niche business myself, I respect your acquaintance for his courage in pursuing an on-camera career as a flaker. It’s not easy. Stay warm and stay in touch, Edda. -Ed

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