I look in the mirror and see an insecure me. The me that can’t see beyond the big, brown, wondrous eyes traced in emerald green eyeliner and thick black lashes.  The me that can’t smile because the red, irritated skin, peels so much it begins to crack and bleed.  The me that can’t smile because the skin underneath my nose and corners of my mouth feel rigid and tight.

I look in the mirror and see a scaly monster, the monster everyone at school and at work sees.  I look in the mirror and see a vulnerable woman, tears brimming on bottom eyelids, wanting to take a fist to the mirror and watch it shatter.  I tell myself I never want to see my reflection ever again. And instead, I slum to the floor and pull my knees to my chest.

There in that bathroom for the fourth night in a row, I cry in my own arms because I think no one will want to touch me and let me cry on them.  There in that bathroom, I cry so hard I tire myself to sleep for another night on that cold tile floor.  The next morning I wake up, my back is tight and red lines are embedded on my face from sleeping on a towel.  This is the way the next few nights will be until I just give up, I tell myself.

I go to school that day.  My friend, Lauren, tells me I look tired.  I tell her about the night before and she looks at me with the same expression my sister gives me when something I’ve said has hurt her hurt.  Lauren tells me about the first day she met me and how she noticed my smile before anything else.  She said I made her laugh, she found me to be light-hearted, and kind.  Lauren tells me the last thing she noticed was my skin, but I can’t help but think she’s lying.

It’s in that moment I ask myself why someone as sweet as Lauren would lie to me to make me feel better?  And that’s the moment I realized I’ve gone mad.  I’ve lost my mind.  I stare at the ground as she speaks because I can’t look her in the eye.  Lauren lifts my face gently by raising my chin with the bottom of her fingertips.. “Jamie, why don’t you see what I see?”

About jamiesjournals

Yes, I have eczema. Yes, I'm writing about it. I suppose it's unoriginal, but I hope my work isn't. Please share more of your stories and experiences with me and please suggest topics if you're curious about anything. Hope to hear from all of you soon!! View all posts by jamiesjournals

8 responses to “WHY DON’T YOU SEE WHAT I SEE?

  • Celiac and Allergy Adventures

    Mirrors have long been my nemesis. I can completely relate to this.

    • jamiesjournals

      I’m tempted to change the title of this blog to: “Me versus the mirror.” Def my nemesis some days too. Though much better these days 🙂

      • Celiac and Allergy Adventures

        Haha! Yes, it’s better for me these days, too…. but it’s amazing how one bad day can throw you back to some really bad times!

        I’m enjoying reading your eczema memoirs as I too have suffered from eczema my entire life. It was really, really awful as a child, and progressively got better into my teenage years. Now, a flare up has so much control over me mentally! A small blemish in my skin makes me panic and feel like it will go back to as bad as it used to be!

  • jamiesjournals

    Yes!! I am in the same exact boat!! As a child, it was out of control and just completely horrible. I have yet to write about those experiences as I am still VERY new to the blogging world. I read some of your blog posts and saw you’ve been doing this for awhile!! Hope you continue doing what you’re doing. I will be writing more for sure!!

  • eczemaexcellence

    Beautiful post, Jamie! I’m not a crier but this moved me to tears as it sounded EXACTLY how I’ve been feeling about rashes and eczema lately. Thanks for visiting my blog and following and it is so great to know all us eczema sufferers are not alone and can band together to identify with each others’ ups and downs! 🙂

    • jamiesjournals

      Hey, we gotta stick together!! Thank you for your compliment 🙂 I appreciate it!! All I can say is to hang in there, but I do understand it’s wayyyy easier said than done. Does your gets worse in the winter? Is the weather making it worse?

      • eczemaexcellence

        Yeah… mine does get worse in the winter. I am in the Midwest US so all the cold dry winter air doesn’t do it any favors. And i’m always cold so I like to sit by the heater at home and take hot showers/baths, but both of those are pretty terrible for skin. I would love to move someday to a more temperate and warm climate! What about you, do you experience the same? At least in the winter one can hide with a lot of clothing!

  • jamiesjournals

    Mine gets pretty bad in the summer. The winter isn’t as bad, but it can get irritated. I live on the west coast and the weather is pretty nice year-round, but the summers here are really humid. So the sweating really irritates my eczema. But I love winter because I can use all your tips to cover up!! Hehe. I’m always cold too and I’m guilty of taking an overly hot shower sometimes..Oops! I know we’re not suppose to. Have you tried dead sea salt baths? If you’re gonna take a warm bath anyhow, it may as well be a sea salt bath!! Or an oatmeal bath.

    You should move to the west coast if you ever get the opportunity – It’s absolutely beautiful. But be prepared to dish out some serious money to live here, haha.

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