Firstly, if you’re my mum, I need you to stop reading this one because it will make you sad and there’s nothing you can do. Go have a nice cup of tea instead. You know I’ll know if you read it, so just go have a tea. Thank you. x
For the rest of you that aren’t my mum, this story has a trigger warning for emotional abuse, emotional manipulation and body dysmorphia.
Many years ago, I was living in a storage space under a friend’s house and paying rent for the privilege, even though I couldn’t even lock the door behind me when I went out, so anyone that got in the backyard could go in my “room”. But this story isn’t about that, it just takes place there. I was living there with my then fiance. Sometimes he would very gently stroke my face for a while. If felt so nice, that sometimes I would almost fall asleep. One day, he was stroking my face when he suddenly stopped. “Wow!” he exclaimed. I opened one eye, “What? What’s wow?” I asked.
“You would be beautiful if you got those acne scars removed.” he said. I rolled over. I didn’t want him stroking my face anymore.
About a week later, he was stroking my face when he “wow”ed again. I opened my eyes and looked up at him. “What?” I asked, half asleep. he put his finger on my eyebrow and gently lifted it up, “You would be beautiful if you got this extra skin removed from your eyelid.” I got up and went for a walk, even though I was alone and it was dark. I prefered it to being there.
The next time he was stroking my face and “wow”ed, I shut my eyes tightly, afraid of the next thing he’d say, “You’d be beautiful if you got your nose straightened up!” I just pretended I hadn’t heard.
One night, he came home from work very late, sat on the bed beside me, reached over and started gently stroking my face. “You know,” he began, “you’d be beautiful if you got your teeth fixed up.” I pretended to be asleep as tears slowly made their way out of my eyes and into my ears.
Now? I hate everything about my face. I already hated it, and then somebody meant to love me told me everything that’s wrong with it. It’s been seven years and I still have trouble looking in the mirror.
My least favourite thing is, I did get my teeth fixed (they were so bad I couldn’t chew my food properly, so it was a health decision). I hate that I got my teeth fixed because now there’s part of me that he would find beautiful, and the thought of him finding me beautiful makes me feel sick.
I was thinking about all this when I woke up this morning, so I thought I’d get it out in case someone has had a simillar experience and needs to know they’re not alone.
Letter to the world signed with all the love I can muster,
The Pretty Kitty.