Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Self Esteem and Acne

I know, many people have talked about their acne problems but this is my blog so I'll talk about it some more.   Acne and self esteem goes hand by hand.  Some people may disagree but this is based on my personal experience.  The more severe your acne is the lower your self esteem is.  I started having acne when I was 13.  My mom would describe me as introvert / shy type / loner.  What she doesn't know is that there's a reason why I'm like that.  It's the embarrassment of knowing that I have a lot of icky things covering my face.  I remember enduring a lot of hurtful jokes about it.  I've been called a pizza face for a greater part of my teenage life.  Teenagers, especially those age 13, are not so sensitive to people with this kind of issue.  They can also be creative with the name calling.  Aside from pizza face I was called sandpaper face, the pimple that grew a face, spikes and a lot of other things.  Before you go saying, don't be dramatic it's just a pimple let me just shut you up.  First of all, it's not A pimple, it's PIMPLES.  Acne vulgaris, google it if you must.  If you already have, you're probably traumatized by the mere pictures alone.

The first few taunts, I let go thinking that the hurtful jokes would not last that long.  When it didn't stop, I would usually just cry.  When it felt unbearable, I asked my dad to bring me to a dermatologist.  My parents are not the supportive kind.  They are loving but they see things in a different way ie they don't think I should get a college degree because in their minds, women will only marry and the degree would be useless.  So when I begged them to bring me to a dermatologist they replied with a: "What for? That will go away in a few years.  Don't be so vain.  Do you know how expensive that is?"  In case you're wondering if I hated them for that, NO, they had a different upbringing.  I was upset but I still love them the same.  So getting no support from my parents I seek advice from other people.  You would not believe the advice I heard.  Some were ok but the others were disgusting.  Not everybody was helpful, more of hurtful.  This guy who was 3 years older than me told me to eat a lot of bananas.  I asked him why bananas and he replied: "have you ever seen a monkey with pimples?"  There was this one who I never even asked for advice, he offered it.  Thinking it was really an advice, I listened.  He said my pimples would disappear if I wash my face with his saliva. Disgusting right?

I've been the butt of a really cruel practical joke.  In college, this guy came up to me and told me that his friend likes me and he would like to ask me out.  Not believing him, I told him that he must have made a mistake which he denied and told me he was going to prove it then he left.  A few minutes later, someone tapped my shoulders from behind and it was the same guy.  As soon as I did an about face, I heard the guy who was supposed to like me yell: "fuck no, no way" and then I heard his buddies laughing from a short distance.  After that, I ran to the nearest rest room and cried my eyes out.  I think that was the same time, out of desperation, frustration or whatever else you call it, I scrubbed my face raw.

Because of acne, I shied away from cameras.  I would protest when my family would take pictures of me.  I just hated my face and I didn't want a remembrance.  I so hated my face that I cut out my picture from the yearbook.  The only pictures I treasured were those that were taken before the acne outbreak.

This is also why I felt so comfortable chatting.  Nobody sees me unless I show them my picture.  I just wanted to be as invisible as I can be.  

Those were difficult times and it affected who I am now.  For the first 6 years of my 20s, I had no illusions of meeting the one.  I was convinced that guys will never be interested with me.  And if for some strange reason a guy sort of become interested, I doubted his sincerity.  I was never trusting.

I am 35 now.  I don't have acne outbreaks anymore.  I get A pimple from time to time but never as worse as before.  What was left of the outbreak was the scars.  I prefer my face with the scar rather than when it was filled with acne.  I'm more mature now.  Whenever people from the street make fun of me, I just ignore them and refer to them as idiots in my head :P  Also, I've been dating the same guy for 7 years now.  I'm thankful to God that I met him.  He never made me feel ugly and he makes me happy.  So the reason I wrote about this topic is because I just wanted you to know what it's like to have severe acne.  When you make fun of them, it's not just physical scarring that they get.  They also endure the mental scarring.

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