Can I Ever Feel As Though My Appearance Doesn't Matter

When I was seven years old I was sent to boarding school and, I think for the first time ever, was made to feel very isolated and a 'freak' that everyone was cruel to.    When I was nine years old we left Africa and came to England.

Once again, I felt 'out of place' as I'd never experienced cities, large crowds, watching TV ... or the cold, snow and ice!   One schoolfriend said "I can tell you are African because you've got big lips!"   (I am actually white)!

I became agorophobic and very fearful of people (still am).  I started developing earlier than my peers, and started periods on my 11th birthday.  When I was 12 years old my father died, and I started developing an eating disorder.   I was followed all the way home from the bus stop by curb crawlers (even though I was in school uniform and short socks!), and later on gangs of prostitutes shouted abuse at me as I walked home.  I have gone on to suffer from alcoholism, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder and depression.

I spend hours getting ready to go out, then have to look in different mirrors, and it can sometimes take all day before I dare go out.   I just want to look 'normal' and acceptable in the eyes of other people.

A few years ago I was diagnosed with BDD, and had cognitive behaviour therapy.  However, this didn't deal with the root causes of my feeling a freak and, since then, I have got worse again.

I recently was referred to a psychiatrist, who basically told me to go away and 'live with it'.

If I could afford it I'd pay for treatment.   I really believe there is a way of recovering - I pray one day I'll find it.

In the meantime, it really helps to be able to share this, and to know other people feel the same.  My heart bleeds for you too, and I pray that we'll all emerge stronger, happier, wiser - and able to help others who feel as we do.

mandyclaire mandyclaire
2 Responses Feb 27, 2009

Thank you so much for your comment - I was really touched. I was afraid my story would come out rather pathetic. You are so right - a lot of other disorders seem to be linked to BDD.<br />
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I'm reading a really moving book called The Butterfly Girl, written by someone who has BDD. Her story is awful, but she's done a lot to help other sufferers.<br />
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Thanks, again, for your sweet comment.<br />
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wow, your story was really touching. Its funny how a lot of disorders etc are linked. BDD, depression, eating disorders etc. <br />