I have been uncovering quite a few insights within my process of re-defining the word ‘skin’. I had created a list of word associations to uncover exactly how it was that I had defined and thus lived the word skin. I have moved through all the negative association, and in my last post I looked into the first positive association, The word was ‘youthful’, and today, the word is ‘pretty’.
It’s hard for me to fathom a dermatillomania sufferer think of his or her skin as ‘pretty’, but I have had this experience and made this connection with my own skin. Sometimes I might catch a glance of myself in the mirror, and see myself with makeup on, which makes my skin look clear, and I would be a bit surprised. But the interesting thing is that during times where my skin has been clear, at the point where I start to descend once again into the urges, I noticed that inside of myself I would begin to feel disgusting, as in, gross and vile within myself. It’s the point where I would begin to have emotional sensations of self-loathing and internal agitation, irritation, frustration and anger – a buried deep anger that I felt helpless to resolve. And at these times, during these internal storms, I recall some memories of catching a glance myself in a mirror – with makeup on and clear-looking skin- and it would be shocking: I looked… pretty. Inside I felt like a monster, and on the outside I looked like a care-free girl with no problems in the world.
The weird thing is that I felt like that wasn’t me; I didn’t have that as my internal experience; I desperately wanted that to be real and to be me, but it wasn’t, and I would eventually pick, and probe, and squeeze, and scratch, and pull, and pluck. And after all that, I would look in the mirror, blotchy and cut up, and with this spiteful gratitude I would think, “yes, this is who I really am, this is a true expression of how I really feel; this is not a mask, it’s the real me; I have this, I am this, and this best represent who and how I have been and become within myself.” Wow, scary stuff – but I have to ‘go there’ so to speak, or else it won’t change.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to judge my skin and myself as ‘pretty’ when seeing a picture presentation of myself in a mirror or in an image in my mind.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to charge the thought of experiencing myself as ‘pretty’ with a shockingly positive energetic charge of emotions of desire, longing and regret.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to want, need, and desire to be ‘pretty’, to be seen as ‘pretty’, and to see and experience myself as what I perceive ‘looking/being pretty’ might feel like.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to create an idea of what it feels like to be ‘pretty’ with ‘pretty, clear skin’, and then long for the idea I have created in my mind as if it were something I could have or possess as an experience of myself.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to want to escape my personal experience, and to do so through imagining other people’s experiencing and envying them, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that it is my own fabrication that I am dealing with, my own ideals and imaginings that I created, without considering what other people’s experience might really be like because I can’t possibly consider the multitudinous dimensions and history of events any one else has experienced within their own lives – And within imagining and fantasizing and envying the experiences I can make up in my mind, I am of course not looking at and facing my real self, and sorting out how I can work with myself to change myself.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to want to stop picking my skin from the starting point of desiring the experience of being pretty, instead of from the starting point of equality and oneness within myself, treating my physical the way I would want to be treated. Giving to myself what I need and require fundamentally. Loving and accepting myself unconditionally– because if I can’t do and give and be these things to/for myself, I will not be able to do it to/for others for real, I will not be able to live real dignity and respect, I will not walk amongst others as an equal, and I will not be able to stand as an example for my children or anyone.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think, believe and perceive that when and as I feel irritated, agitated, frustrated and angry within myself, that the experience is inescapable and will last forever.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to panic and fret when and as I begin to feel irritated, frustrated, agitated and angry within myself, because I don’t want to experience these emotions at all, and so without thinking, I do whatever I can to escape, and I use skin picking because it releases some chemical from my brain, into my bloodstream, which soothes and dulls the intensity of the irritation/frustration/anger/agitation, and it distracts me so utterly and completely, that I submit my directive principle, and allow a disorder to form and take-over.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to fear feeling irritated/angry/agitated/frustrated.
I forgive myself for accepting and allowing myself to think, believe and perceive that when I begin to feel irritated/angry/agitated/frustrated, that it will last forever and I will not be able to make it through, instead of seeing, realizing and understanding that it is an internal experience that I create, and it is not bigger or more powerful than me.
I will continue in my next blog.