I can only think of a maybe a handful of times that words have really cut me to the core in my life. Where I was struck completely speechless and stunned, as the person verbally assaulting me continued to speak on and on, and I couldn’t even defend myself. It’s this odd feeling of are they really saying what I think they are saying, surely I am imagining it, it almost feels out of body.
I supposed I need a little back story on my life…. I wasn’t sure I was even going to share this with the internet, but when I was 4 years old I was burned badly in a gasoline fire. I had 3rd degree burns on my face, arms, and back and I spent 4 months living in a hospital bed and 8 years having non-stop surgery. It is something I have lived with my entire life and honestly I have never let it slow me down. I wear tank tops and open backed shirts, I try to tell myself everyday that its freaking hot and if someone doesn’t like seeing my scars than that's their problem. I feel that my scars aren’t an issue, I am a beautiful woman (at least that is what people tell me all the time), and I am not afraid to be seen. I have bright red hair for gosh sakes… I don’t mind being noticed.
Now back to ignorant a** holes… I was sitting down having lunch with my co-workers, laughing and having a good time and this guy who works in another studio in my building approached our table to talk to us. He is known throughout the building as a perv… he has some stupid photography package where he teaches girls how to become models, which we are all convinced that’s code for he gets underage girls in slutty outfits and takes pictures of them bending over and showing their butts. As he was in the middle of a shoot a few weeks ago he shouts to me, I am going to take your picture next….my thoughts “yeah sure, I don’t think so”. So back to what happened , when he comes up to our table he points to me and says “I’m serious, I want to take your picture, I know you have, you know, scars and stuff” gesturing to the side of my face, “I was thinking we could use a mask, and sort of go with the Phantom of the Opera theme”………… me and all of my co-workers are just sitting there stunned. Now I really don’t think he truly grasped exactly what he was saying to a person who has had to endure what I have had to endure in my life and I also don’t think his intention was to hurt my feelings, I really just think he is that stupid. He continued on talking but I couldn’t tell you what he said because everything from that moment on was just a humming in my ears. I was shocked at how that made me feel…. I am the first person to defend myself and to defend others and believe me I don’t have a problem stating my mind but I was truly stunned.
I was stuck on what he said and what his intention for saying it were. When he left the only thing I could say to my co-workers was “did he really just compare me to the Phantom of the Opera?”, they were shocked as well and as I was forced at the moment to talk to them all about personal things that I didn’t think I would have to mention in a group work setting, the tears started to flow and I was so angry that that stupid a** hole made me cry. Of course me crying made my co-workers start crying which oddly enough made me feel better. They truly are my friends and they care.
I have had to work so hard…. soooo hard my whole life to have any self-esteem. This isn’t like a scar on your stomach or a scar on your leg. My scars are covering my arms and hands and over my entire face and neck and back. Most I do not have the ability to hide at all unless I wear long sleeves and gloves in Alabama summer heat. I went through elementary to high-school with these scars. Started dating boys and eventually getting married with these scars and building enough confidence in myself that I am desirable and I am sexy and I am beautiful. I was so stunned that this man… this insignificant a** of a man could make me feel so ugly in all of about 5 seconds. I just kept thinking... he thinks you need to wear a mask… I know he’s stupid but it still hurt.
Will I let this affect me?… Well maybe for a day or so.. yes I am still mad! But I will move on and I know he is wrong and I know that even if I wasn’t burned there would be jerks who said something to hurt my feelings. I will push his words aside and know I am the sexy woman I am and screw him. It also feels kind of good that every man I know wants to kick his butt….
But you think you have such confidence but it is amazing how fragile self-esteem and confidence really are.
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