I have never been a confident person, and I don’t think I ever will be. I am immensely insecure, mostly for superficial reasons. As a woman, I feel pressure to be beautiful, but I don’t actually feel beautiful. I am so insecure that I often won’t let people take photos of me or go out with friends because I only feel gross in comparison.
Part of the fun in going to bars is feeling young and attractive along with getting attention and free drinks, and I watch that happen to all of my friends, but not to me. I was bullied severely for my weight as young child, and I don’t think I ever fully got over that. I was overweight in elementary and high school so people would spread rumors that I was pregnant or guys would pretend to ask me out only to make fun of me later.
I never really had many friends. What I hated most growing up was the teacher letting us pick our partners in group projects. I would sit there while everyone got into groups with their friends and once everyone had group members but me – I would have to walk up to the teacher yet again and tell her I had nobody to work with. She would either put me in a group of kids who would only complain about having me in their group or the teacher would just be my partner.
It only got worse when I started getting severe acne. My acne was so bad that people did not even realize it was acne. They thought I had some sort of disease. I would have people come up to me and ask me what was on my face and I would just hide.
The worst of all of my insecurities is my disability. I was abused badly as a child and as a result am permanently disabled. My arm was broken among other bones, but my arm was the only injury I never got a cast for. I was a baby when he broke my arm, so I couldn’t tell anyone I was hurting. I never got a cast on it, and it healed incorrectly. It doesn’t look or function like a normal arm. Everyday, I try to hide it. With every outfit I choose, and every movement I make, I attempt to hide my deformity, but it has taken a tole on my mental health. I want to wear clothing I like simply because it is cute, but there is so much clothing I cannot wear because it doesn’t cover my arms. I wear jackets when it is hot out and people always ask me why, and I just tell them I am cold. Everyone thinks I am just some weird constantly cold creature, but really I’m about to die of a heatstroke half the time. I tried to get my arm fixed but the doctors told me it would never work properly. Because it would only help the way it looks, the surgery would be considered cosmetic and not covered by my insurance. I cannot afford to get it fixed, so I continue to live with it every day as a constant reminder or what happened to me, and how I don’t fit in with everyone else.
As I got older and did more research, I was able to find out that my severe cystic acne was due to PCOS. This is known as polycystic ovarian syndrome causing females to produce more testosterone than normal. It leads to obesity, cystic acne, male hair growth, painful irregular periods, and male pattern baldness. I luckily wasn’t going bald, but I had all of the symptoms. I have since been treated, however the acne and weight is still hard to control. My acne is so much better now, but the scaring is pretty severe, I don’t always hide my acne anymore, but now I hide my scars.
It just really sucks having to constantly feel afraid and hide myself. It not only gets in the way of me wearing what I want to wear but I can’t even do things I love like swimming. There is no way I would go out in public in a bathing suit, and I draw just as much attention to myself wearing full clothing in a pool, not to mention it makes swimming more difficult. I just want to look normal and live a normal life. I don’t want to care about these things anymore, but I can’t help it. I often cry when looking in the mirror and going clothes shopping which I know a lot of other people, especially those who struggle with weight do.
I have tried showing my arms and my scars before, but people always make comments or freak out because they don’t realize my scars are actually scars. They are big big bumps and gashes, so people will think I’m injured or something is seriously wrong with me and they freak out and tell me to see a doctor. It is just too much for me to handle. I am hard enough on myself about my looks, I can’t really handle the comments from others. My insecurities really hold me back from truly living and from connecting with others.
One good thing has come of it, however. I am one of the least superficial people when it comes to how others look. I would never judge someone based on their appearance, and I always try hard to help others feel confident. I tell my friends and family every day how beautiful they are and I stick up for others who are bullied. I think everything I have been through has made me much more compassionate than the average person. I also feel as if I can see past physical appearances to see the true beauty underneath. I judge myself harshly, but I try not to judge others, because I know how it feels. I also know that we have no idea what others go through every day.
There is not a single person on earth who has not suffered. As sad as it is that is something that connects us all. I hope to one day be able to afford the surgery and scar removal to help my confidence, but until then I’ll have to work on loving myself as is.
Do you have any insecurities? What is your journey with self-confidence like?