Imaginary Ugliness

© 2017 DAMSteelman

I believe the more pain and torment a person has gone through, the more well-rounded they can be.  Either that or they become a serial killer.

When I was 11, I was in junior high school with older kids. Back then, if you were born in January, you were (un)lucky and could start school with older kids. Had I finished high school, I would have graduated when I was seventeen.

My age had nothing to do with much really… what really bothered me and many of my schoolmates, was that I was skinny. I was willing to let it go so I could learn and get through the awkward social aspect of school but the others weren’t having it.

It was so important to them to point out how skinny I was as if I wasn’t already painfully aware. They would push me around, call me names and worst of all play tricks on me. I would go home and cry to myself in my bedroom while I clutched one of my stuffed animals. I would look in the mirror and really study my face: my eyes were too small; my nose was too big; my face was too long. And where the hell were my breasts already?!

There was no way around it. All those kids in school were right: I truly was ugly.

After dropping out of high school, and getting sucked into a vicious cycle of abuse with an older boy, I still believed I was ugly. And that older boy? well, he helped hammer into my sponge-like brain that it was all true. All of it: I was fucking ugly.

Nothing made me feel un-ugly. The make-up, the clothes, the pushup bras, the promiscuity: it all worked for an hour or a day but in the end, when I went home at night and stripped it all away, I still felt ugly.

That belief – inherent in nature – stuck with me for centuries and was a catalyst in many bad decisions:

  • excessive drinking
  • sleeping with strangers
  • getting married at 16
  • illegal drugs

Depsite breaking the imaginary madness that I was indeed ugly well into my sobriety, I still have little flashbacks of junior high school and that shitty marriage from yesteryear. Every once in a while, I’ll have a bad day and throw it all on my looks.

“Well, if you looked better, you’d feel better,” I’ll say to myself in the mirror. But being older (and a wee bit wiser) I know that to be a lie.

It was always the other way around.

Author: D. A. M. Steelman

I could get through life just fine quoting heavy metal lyrics.

4 thoughts on “Imaginary Ugliness”

  1. It’s crazy the things we believe about ourselves in order to justify OTHER people’s ugly behaviour!
    Wonderful post. And the art is spot on– reminds of the film Teeth (2007).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree… the damage we do to ourselves so we don’t damage others is disturbing. Thanks for the art compliment! I did it with charcoal pencils. I’m gonna have to check out that movie.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment… have a great day.

      Liked by 1 person

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