This is the first period of my life since my early childhood that I have been happy with my face. When I was little, I was quite cute, but through my teens and early twenties I became a skeleton.
I have just come across photos of myself at seventeen and eighteen. I was quite clearly ill. I have no idea why no one picked up on that. I look several years younger than my age.
Looking at those photos, I am not surprised people shunned me then. Seeing those photos, I don’t blame those who rejected me; that face is difficult to embrace. That was even my reaction this evening, as witnessed by my son. “What an idiot!” he heard me exclaim when I saw those photos of myself. It’s hard to look back on those photos of my face, so thin and gaunt and utterly miserable.
Photos of my marriage at 24 are not much better: I look about 16. Fortunately, over the intervening years, my beloved has fed me well. My exposed cheek bones and hollow cheeks are gone. My thin neck and arms have filled out. Thankfully, I look more normal today.
Yes, so these are the days I can finally look at myself in the mirror, no longer embarrassed, forced to look away. I no longer find myself ugly. I am almost ready to embrace myself, just the way I am.
Yes, I am almost ready to come out of hiding.