I know I can enjoy parts of my appearance now, but it always baffles me a moment when people say it to my face, as happened unprompted this evening. Somehow it’s always on the days where I feel like I’m struggling to hold myself together, which only makes it weirder in the moment.
That kind of timing, it doesn’t come as a pick-me-up. It’s more like, “Wait, what, what’s wrong with you?” combined with someone peeking over one’s shoulder in the middle of a sketch that isn’t working out. No, God, this isn’t the real drawing yet! Argh, don’t patronize me! I’m getting better at nodding and thanking and moving on, but there’s this moment of stun like I’ve been socked in the face with no warning.
I’ve spent my life, like, locked inside for weeks at a time because I was so ashamed to be seen—such bad skin, so deathly awkward. General insecurity about my frame, and limbs, and torso and face. There’s only so much I could hide, without hiding entirely.
I’m not saying they’re wrong in what they see. I’m not blind, and I’m not going to tear myself down unnecessarily. It’s just weird to hear from someone outside of me. There’s almost an element of, wait, you can actually see me? The hell? I thought it was just me.
I am so unused to existing.
I mean, I guess I never have been a real person until recently. That seems to bring a lot of adjustment.