December 28, 2011

Smacking Myself

I guess even a woman with a beard has some sensitivity lessons left to learn.

My step-sister has been getting eczema off and on for a while now, and recently developed an infection in the eczema around her eyes.  It's gotten emergency-room severe a couple of times now, as antibiotics in pill-form seem unable to help her overcome it.  Her face has become a hard, cracking, crusty, scaly, itchy, painful visage.  Because of the infectious nature of the infection, she is not allowed to attend her college classes.  So she spends much of her time in her room.  She says its because she doesn't like people looking at her.

I caught myself saying, rather haughtily, "Well, now she knows how I feel all the time!"  What the heck was that?  When did I start thinking I have the monopoly on humiliating cosmetic conditions?

So what if a sudden acute attack of a skin condition is not quite comparable to an incurable chronic issue that calls into question one's gender identity?  That's just technicalities.  It's all about the way a person feels about themselves.  Whatever the severity of someone's perceived "problem" with their body, it's all relative.  It's not a contest to see who is the most hard-done-by. 

There are girls who call themselves "bearded ladies" who simply have a lot of blond vellus hair on their chins.  I might wish that was all I had to contend with, but the way they feel about themselves is valid.  They might very well feel worse than I do.  I've got to be careful of this tendency to be too full of self pity.
I think sometimes, as human beings, we enjoy self pity.  We enjoy being in pain.  Maybe becoming okay with ourselves as women with beards involves letting go of the pleasure of wallowing.

I have promised myself to be more understanding and encouraging to my step-sister from here on.  Maybe it could be worse.  But to her, nothing could be worse right now.


Anonymous said...

Its a harsh one but a true one.
I have a big issue myself with trying to find in others something "bad", as bad as I have it or maybe worse? Its something to work on but I think a part of it is mechanism of willing to fit in... Dont blame yourself for feeling like this, but when you catch yourself doing it, try to think - why? Cause its probably more to do with you than your step-sister. Speaking of whom, if she's got a blog, I'd like to know ... yeah, I have the best of both worlds... s

Allerleirah said...

Yes, I think it's me, too. She had to back out of an event that we've been planning for months, and I really had to fight not to be irritated about it. She really can't help that she feels bad about herself, and I can't blame her. I'd probably feel even worse about it, if it were me. She's doing rather well, really.

She doesn't have a blog, though. Hopefully this infection doesn't stick around long enough to be blog worthy, anyway. :D

Anonymous said...

I was joking about the blog, trying to imply I know what she's going through. So thats why, on this one, I probably sympathise a wee bit less with you ;)) The Problem doesnt bother me when I stay in. The other thing does. I told you before - everybody's got their something ;)
I think you can only "accept" (truly) others "somethings" after you accepted yourself the way you are. Maybe? ... One day I shall find out! :) s.

Allerleirah said...

Ah, and did I mention she's become gluten intolerant? ;D You can definitely sympathize with her there!

Anonymous said...

Noooo waaaay???? Well, you can mention your gluten free, erhm, school exchange colleague (as long as she doesnt ask me anything about your country!) who'll be happy to share experiences :) But really, dont you think its kinda - hmmm? :) Coincidental... ?