Self-hatred, Eastern Europe Style

For Christmas, my dad dug out this old sketch of me. It brought back memories of when it was drawn. I was in Eastern Europe, staying with a wonderful family, and they took me all over. Everything was beautiful and intriguing and wonderful.

One day they took me to a long alley filled with street artists waiting to draw my picture. I selected one randomly and sat for him.

It was as awkward of an experience as I could ever imagine. I sat there hating myself for being so ugly. I couldn’t stand the idea that he would draw me and it would be horrible. I’m not sure how long I was there but it felt like over an hour.

When he finished the picture, I was a little surprised. It was pretty, and in a way it looked like Marilyn Monroe. I figured later they probably spent a moment deciding what celebrity the victim looked most like and skewed the picture towards that. It really didn’t matter though. It turned out okay.

I was miserable.

This portrait is only one of the things my terrible self-concept ruined. I could have had fun or enjoyed the experience but I couldn’t. This was long before my diagnosis. Maybe things could be different now.

The picture is over our breakfast bar now and I hate it. It’s the first thing you see when you enter the house and that embarrasses me. I remember the experience and it makes my stomach churn. I’m not where I want to be.

I’m just a little overweight now. I have very messy hair according to my funny daughter. What’s more important is that I can be a kind person. But I want to have that glow that loving people have. I want God’s presence to be evident in me and in whatever I do. If I had that, I don’t think I’d hate sitting for that artist. I’d be excited for him to create something new and I’d be excited to see what I looked like to him.

I think I need to go back to Eastern Europe. Maybe my self-concept (stupid phrase) will have changed enough for my picture to look differently. Maybe I’ll just see it differently, and that will be enough.

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