I have this list that my psychologist made me do; it is a 1 to 15 of the things I find hardest to do, as someone who suffers with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I did not have to think about the list and it took me seconds to compile.
When I look at it, it tells me why I am so fucking isolated; One of them is meeting new people and one of them is meeting up with people I know etc. The idea of going into a group of people is really tough, so the things I have done with the 'protest the pope' group were a major challenge. I am happy I went though with it and it helps me grow more confident.
I have been invited into a group at The Priory; a few people get together for a couple of hours every 3rd Sunday of each month to discuss how BDD affects their lives. I am a bit anti group, in that sense, because of the stigma attached to it, but I will give it a go.
I do wish that I could reach out more, and be more confident, but the fear is so great; it has nothing to do with rejection, everyone will have to suffer rejection at some point. It is a fear far, far greater. I am going to try and do away with at least two of the mirrors I have in my flat...again if you say to someone that you have a 'thing' for mirrors, they will say you are vain....really this is so ridiculous. A world without mirrors would be a fabulous place.
One day I will, I hope, be able to go about my world and not have to worry about things so much. The CBT I am doing is interesting; it studies schema's; emotions that were wedged into you as a young child. I faced awful bullying at school. I suffer with dyslexia, which was not picked up on in a 70's state school. No I was just placed in what they all called the stupid class. The teachers were nothing short of thugs. That is the issue; when you mention bullying you imagine a group of boys pointing at you and calling you names....yes this did happen but the teachers were no better.
Like I said, it is very difficult being a man and talking about these things; because I have been single and sexless for so many years I used to worry that this will turn any woman against me; the fact that I admit my problem and write about it. Maybe I am right but this is me and let's face it, if you are going to accept me, and if I am going to accept me, I have to confront it. And it is part of me so if someone will not give me a chance in this world, they will not be worth knowing anyway. Under all this, I am a rather fabulous person; its just getting to that point that takes some digging.
London September 2010