Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Yesterday I took some pictures. I have wondered if I should share them as I have as I wonder if somehow it sends a "wrong" message.

How so?

If I look good, if I look healthy, if I look attractive, can I be in the spot that I say I am?

Several years ago I was in a seminar, and was really sick. I wanted to be home in bed, but because of my commitment, I couldn't leave. I wasn't a happy camper. Not at all.

But I got something from that experience. I got that during my life I had often felt that if I was sick, I had to sound sick, act sick, look sick...otherwise I wasn't sick. I had to "prove" that I was sick to anyone (like a boss) that would care.

At the time I was no longer working for someone, so I could see things differently. I realized that I could feel horrible, but not have to act a certain way. I could actually still laugh, have a good time, and "act" OK. I wasn't really OK, but it was an interesting lesson for me.

Today I became friends on Facebook with someone who almost didn't befriend me because my blog backlinked to Womesexpomd.com. Depending on how you read it, it might read kinda funny. It read that "funny" way to me the first time I saw it, too.  Funny how our mind sees things. Funny, too, how we can make decisions and assumptions about things without even checking further to see what they are about. Had she not done that, she may not have chosen to connect.

At the same time that I am seeking to be as true as I can be to myself and my journey, I am a bit stymied by those perceptions that may come across in a way that isn't helpful. If I look and sound healthy then why would I need anyone's help?

In a world of soundbites, people are likely to make decisions about me and my plight in nanoseconds. They are likely to decide what I do/don't need by what they see and what they think they know. They may read one blog entry alone - when there are many of the almost 900 other ones that show me and my situation in a less affirming, positive, attractive light.

Talia Castellano often wore makeup to make herself feel better. She was one sick little girl, but you would not necessarily know that by looking at her. Sometimes I do what I do because I want to feel better, too. It is difficult to see myself looking so tired and drawn all the time. It takes effort to do what I do to take the images that I do, but a part of me needs it, so the energy is a trade off. It is another reason why I don't do it too often - it does take a lot out of me.

Do I need to share everything publicly? "Need?" No. But at the same time, my experience is multi-dimensional, just like I am. If I cherry picked the things that I chose to share, the picture would not nearly be as complete.

Many saw Talia being all smiles and rarely ever saw the reality of her situation. Occasionally she would be fairly matter-of-fact about what the news was. I think that is not uncommon for many people. If I thought about what others did/did not want to see, it might alter what I showed.

I seem to get a bigger response from people when I am in the more "positive" state, or at least looking great. But the thing is, the response at those times is rarely a financial help - or help at all. I wonder if those times make others feel better about things for themselves? I wonder if they somehow translate it into I am doing OK, so they can sigh a sigh of relief. I wonder if my experience is not really much about me at all, but rather about those who bear witness and their reactions to it.

I wonder how many people think it is about me, but it's really about them?

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  1. You are an incredible, insightful writer, Elizabeth. I am moved by your observations, perceptions and questions. I wish you much success on this journey.