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June 12, 2009

Hi Freeme, I like your name, Freeme, it always asks, in earnest. I am in the start of my 30s. I am curious how you've been found peace and a way out of the insanity, the vicious cycle. I've been searching for the miracle, the mantra to freedom. I am getting better, relatively, I think, though not near perfect; and it is "perfection" that ironically drives this *#&#@! cycle for me. I would like to hear your thoughts about the shame, the "everyone judging you"...and the positive journey away from this. hope to hear from u. c.a.
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June 12, 2009

Hiya clarity-alas. Do you seek clarity then and yet, alas, there doesn't seem any?! I felt like that for such a long time and remarkably have more clarity now. Finding this site has helped hugely too. I felt so alone before and quite crazy, not in a lock me up in an asylum way just a, "why have I done this"? Of all the things to do, why this? Such a destructive thing to do by someone seemingly intelligent? That is what caused me so much anguish! I struggled with that for ages. So what changed? Firstly accepting that I was driven to it by external factors (e.g. bullying, neglect, ignorance and aggression) helped to stop me from turning on myself so much. I am the worst person I know for giving myself a hard time! I realise that I have been replacing other peoples abuse with my own. I wish (oh, that wishing thing!) I had realised this a long time ago. Maybe I could have avoided some of my pitting! Yes we are perfectionists and we also have all suffered because of others. Now let me explore the reasons for our behaviour. Maybe the real issue behind it is this: We have high standards and we expect good from others. Therefore when we are mistreated we conclude that it has to be because of us, we are wrong. We internalise this and spend forever trying to be right. Trying to be perfect, trying to be acceptable! What do you think? Ironically we end up destroying ourselves, well not destroying as such, for all we may feel that way at times, but scarring ourselves at least, and carrying our woes around for always. I think the marks we leave on our skin makes it hard for us to break the cycle, being as they are a reminder of our mistakes/pain. So, what do we do? Well, a few things. 1) Accept that our pain was given to us. 2) Forgive ourselves for causing harm to ourselves. 3) STOP going to the mirror and picking - DO SOMETHING ELSE, ANYTHING ELSE. 4) Speak to other people who understand and who can support us through change. 5) Learn to look after ourselves. You asked about feeling judged. Well on my bad days I feel so aware of my skin damage and I feel that everyone that looks at me thinks I am stupid and knows I did it to myself. I am trying to see myself in a more positive way but it is hard as it is ingrained. Remarkably though, as I said before, knowing I am not alone and accepting I am not entirely to blame is taking some of the pain away. So I have to keep on keeping my head up high and concentrate on the fact that I am a good, intelligent and caring person and sod what any of them think, if they are thinking anything at all. I mean let's face it, they may be thinking what fabulous hair I have or what a cute son I have. It is up to me to decide how I perceive the looks of others. I have to be strong and value myself. I'm getting there. I am going to go for counselling soon as I know I need to deal with other aspects of my psychology. My self esteem really dips at times, and I don't seem to be able to control it. I know that the way I have been treated by others has caused this so I have to try and re-learn my reactions to similar situations. They drive me mad. I have realised my worth now and I want to be able to be happy and live properly and express my joy. The time has come to shine! I hope you can shine with me. Then you can change your name to 'Class' (as in brilliant) and I can change mine to 'Free'. Sorry about the essay. I will calm down in time. It's so exciting to be amongst friends L x
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June 13, 2009

Hi Freeme, I appreciate you writing your essay above! What a relief your words provide. I resonate with so much of what you have gone/are going through (oh, the external factors which seem to enter visciously into your fingertips, and suddenly you are punishing yourself for the mean or ambiguous thing someone wrote to you in an email, the love you feel that you don't get from someone near, the procrastination you are so adept at...); and I think you provide so many brutal straight-up insights. No tip-toeing around the subject! I fret so much about my face. Like you, I feel like I am being judged, stared at, by friends, by family, by strangers (they are talking to me, yes, but they are looking at the horrible blemish on my forehead...and they can see how much I hurt myself, how much I hate myself...and it is there for the world to see, how horrible, what a horrible feeling, oh, it is a dreadful sense of shame). Though I've always gotten high grades, have been recognized by teachers, etc., etc., my measure of self-worth seems to have forever been the clarity of my complexion. It is so bizarre, irrational. You know I crave depth, but perhaps I am afraid of depth because depth for me harbours so much pain and it is easier to project that pain to the surface and make it a skin issue, when it really is a soul-issue. I feel the pain, carried with me from childhhood, and then it seems to morph into pain of a different kind, shifting, changing form, but always pain, all throughout my 20s. And now I am in my 30s and I want out!! I've forgiven others, but yeah, you state it right...you got to forgive yourself. It is harder than it sounds, isn't it? I want to be gentle to myself, like you said, I want to take care of myself, fill myself with love so that I can love others fully. A lot of the time, I feel like I am ripping off my partner... I think I am realizing my worth now too; oh, I too want to so much to be happy, live properly and express my joy. You say it so clearly!! Knowing that someone is longing for the same thing is nice, yeah, I don't feel so alone. Finally. Because before this forum, I have never shared this "issue" before, with anyone. I was very close to sharing it with a psychologist once; it was on the tip of my tongue. I was seeing her because I had recently and tragically lost someone dear, but my "issue" was flaring up because of it. And then suddenly, she suggested, as a way to deal with my grief I should go out and buy new makeup! I think she meant to say go shopping and experience new things...but she made the worst suggestions possible. I hate makeup. I hate the fact that I have to wear it. I don't think you need to calm down, we should always be passionate about loving ourselves unconditionally. Maybe that's the only way we'll be blue-sky-rolling-white-clouds free. (and be able to change our aliases! ha!). u take care...and thx.
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June 14, 2009

Hiya blue-sky-rolling-white-clouds free, aka clarity-alas (hope you don't mind just thought it was a fabulous statement). So much of what you say strikes a cord with me too. Turning on ourselves when we should have expressed our unhappiness or disgust to the person who actually put it on us. I believe we can be more than our complexion, we have to be! We do have to wear make-up to feel better and it is a pain in the arse but if it provides us with a sense of comfort then so be it! I bet it was so annoying when your psychologist said that. I bet you thought, christ! What is she trying to say? I was always recognised by my teachers too. I was often top of the class in something. When I went to University I was top in the class on a number of occasions (a class of 60!) but then sadly the skin picking thing and low self esteem had the better of me and so I never completed my degree. I don't regret that though as it was a Graphic Design course and I have been taken on a different path, working with children, I think it suits ME better as I'm not stuck in an office all day and night being told how to do things, creatively I feel your art is about expressing yourself and personal enjoyment, not tied to your computer trying to achieve somebody elses view of art. So, although my face picking stopped me from completing things and affected relationships, I have actually ended up somewhere better, where I can help others, and I have found that the really decent people, the people who are right for you anyway, stay with you despite the tendency to pick at your face!! So where are you with the picking thing now? Are you still finding yourself doing it? I have stopped that now. I am relieved too. I have decided to take back control and love me, because I would like to be in a relationship. You mentioned being in a relationship. What does he/she think about it? Do they treat you like you wish to be treated? I would love a partner. I have so much to give and not finding myself able to is what drove me to seek help in the form of counselling. I contacted a group called Changing Faces first, a charity that deal with people with disfigurements or other issues that affect the face. They are who told me about this as a recognised condition. Phew! We must fight this pain we feel about our faces. We are more than that are we not? No stranger knows we did what we did. Maybe we should pretend to ourselves (we must be good at that by now!!) that we had an accident as a child/teenager that caused our scarring. Nothing to feel ashamed about! We shouldn't feel ashamed anyway really but we do don't we? Us both intelligent women doing something well quite frankly idiotic! That's what we think though isn't it? Well we have to stop that to? We are not idiots, we were caught up in a viscious cycle that was difficult to escape. We can now. We have the tools and the support. We have to let the fact that we lived with so much pain for so many years just be, it doesn't mean we are burdened with it forever. We are light beneath this darkness. We need to find our true selves again, those children that would laugh and play so freely! We have to forgive ourselves for the opportunities we think we've wasted. We have to change ourselves and let go of the pain. Mostly though we have to give other people, like friends and family time to understand and see the changes. Unfortunately the hardest thing about changing is that other people maybe don't see it, or believe we can't, or worst still don't want us to!! We can only do this for us and know within us that we are changing. We don't need the blessing of others, we do this for us. I know, we think how? We've been miserable and pessimistic for so long after all! Well I believe we can. We're not fogies yet! Come on girl friend let's do this. Let's shine whilst we are still young! If you do ever want to unburden stuff that rags with your head and you don't feel counselling is what you want then you can always contact me. It is entirely up to you. Even if you just want to say what a good day you had or you managed to stop an episode from happening. Anything, then please contact me. My email address is: lisa@liso.plus.com. I would like to do the same. Then we can big each other up or consol one another. What do you think? Take care too Lx
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June 15, 2009

Hello Freeme, what a gift it was to stumble on this site & to connect. Yes, yes, you said it, I am certainly looking for that true self again & I am grateful that u are too. U hit it bang-on when you said, "those children that would laugh & play so freely", I've been remembering myself waaaay back then, way back when clarity just was, when I looked at the sky more...Gladly & relievedly, yes, let's do this gf! Gosh, this new vista of common experience comes at a critical time; I am so @#$&! tired of bottling this up and trying to discipline myself out of this addiction. I will contact u soon & thank-u for your email. Love & Light, c.a.
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June 16, 2009

Look forward to hearing from you. All the best always. L x
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June 17, 2009

Hi Freeme, I sent u an email last night, but I think it was returned if u did not get it. Maybe your email address, the one you provided above, has a typo? U let me know. Hope all is well; thx. c.a.
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June 19, 2009

God I am so sorry - it did! I am so glad I came on here to check! Yes my e-mail address is: lisa@lisao.plus.com. Crikey, How did I not notice?! Speak soon L x