What Lies Beneath the Surface?

Last updated: March 2019

Like most things in life, that which we see is but a portion of what actually lies beneath. Over the years I have found this to be true, of people and situations. I often find myself musing softly about how I wish the world was a kinder place. Other days I am screaming it at the top of my lungs. If everyone we came across no matter who they are, how they look or what their story is, was just a little kinder to each other. It would spread love faster than we could keep up.

Symptoms aren't just on the outside

What many people see when they look at me, a woman with terrible skin and sometimes patches on her face. Someone who has “dry skin”, (I think this is single handed the most annoying description I have heard – it makes me want to scream). I am reminded of how little people know about psoriasis and the totality of it all. If only it were only dry skin, oh if only.

So what lies beneath the surface compared to what people see when they look at us? My surface has become pretty thick-skinned over the years, something that resembles the beauty of the African Rhinoceros. Underneath there is a woman, fighting a daily battle, trying to stay sane through the pain and the itching. There are days of despair and desperation. There is a continued risk of more health issues. Beneath my surface is a single mom battling on the front lines without soldiers.

What you don't see

The lesions you see are but a drop in a bucket of pain and complications. A few shortlisted issues that people have no idea about when they look at me.

  • Fatigue is right up on top of that list, a tired cloud that travels with you. A feeling I never understood, until I was faced with it, head on. We are exhausted almost all the time.
  • Pain and I don’t just mean there where you can see it, everywhere. This skin that shines fire hot red, is not only itchy, it is also bitterly painful. Some days my whole body aches, right through to the bones.
  • Stress, how will we make it go away? What medication will work? Why do we have to suffer this way? What will they say at my new job? Are those people staring?
  • Risk, we are at higher risk for many other health conditions, so not only do we often have to deal with more than one disease ( which is often the case), we also need to be extra careful as our risk is higher than most for certain health issues.
  • Fighter, I could not even begin to explain the battles  I have fought and continue to fight. I will not give up.

Trying to be strong when others are cruel

Insecurity, not sure people always realize that we are well aware of what our skin looks like. When you are judged, rather openly by others on a constant basis you get insecure. People can be pretty cruel.

Please remember when you see me, with these marks on my body. I am more than what you see. Beneath my surface is a woman of character and strength who has to deal with more than her share on a daily basis. So rather smile and walk on by, keep your looks and hushed whispers for yourself.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." - PLATO

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