Whoever said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” was most likely a liar. Words can and do hurt. I was reminded of this earlier this week when a coworker carelessly made a remark about my appearance. I don’t feel like he was trying to be hurtful with what he said, but when you’ve struggled with self-image issues your entire life, even the littlest thing can leave a lasting impression.
Just to clarify, we’re not talking a bout a sexual harassment situation here, or even any harassment at all. It was simply an observation, that might have just been brushed off my an average person. But I’ve never been average. Due to nerve damage on the right side of my face I tend to be very sensitive about any comments about my appearance. It’s the reason I actively try to not smile and usually hate having my photo taken.
It has affected the way I view myself my entire life, but I rarely talk about it, even to my closest friends. But I feel compelled to write about it now. It’s my hope that externalizing my insecurities will lessen their power over me, and at the same time, help anyone else out there who’s faced similar issues.
It’s hard to be less than perfect in world where perfection is idolized. I struggle with it constantly, but over time I’ve begun to realize that it is ok to be different. Not only is it ok, but in many ways it is preferable. It literally makes you one of a kind. It can give you different perspective. And it can also give you a sense of empathy that others simply don’t possess.
We all have struggles and life can really suck sometimes. People will say things that hurt, sometimes on purpose and sometimes not. But in the end, we must move forward and focus on the good.
So, there you have it. Now you know a little more about me and my inner struggles. And I feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. Maybe another day I’ll tell you more. But for now, I think I’ll call it a day.
Until next time…