Dating With Keloids Has Been A Blessing In Disguise
There are moments when I wonder if I’ve been cursed.
Maybe the karmic powers that be are punishing me for being a total twat in my past life.
Perhaps I’ve angered an enemy and I’m suffering from the aftermath of their black magic witchcraft.
Or more realistically, I’m the flawed product of an unfortunate batch of DNA.
Either way, I have keloids – non-malignant, tumorous scars, often ghastly and disfiguring, which plagues men and women of color.
Put yourself in my shoes for a moment. Imagine a tsunami of tremulous emotions rocking your body as you lay there, unclothed, before a lover who sees you bare-skinned for the first time.
Your mind flashes back to countless moments when you stood naked in front of your mirror. Your eyes would well up as you stare at the grotesque skin growths inexplicably invading your body – your chest, shoulders, and pelvic region.
There’s no cure for them. They will continue to proliferate, and there’s nothing you can do about it. They will be on your skin forever.
As you snap back into reality, you are now haunted by the thought of him laying his eyes on your monstrously flawed skin. You try your best to ignore the wave of self-consciousness that has besieged your mind, but you can’t help but think, “I’ve failed to live up to his fantasies. I won’t live up to anyone’s fantasies.”
That is what dating with keloids feels like.
There’s a crushing ache that overwhelms you when you realize that while your love interest euphorically envisions you with flawless skin, you know that what truly lies beneath your clothes is a lumpy bumpy nightmare that will send him crashing down from cloud nine.
But it’s been 10 years since the onset of my keloids, and I’m all cried out. I have two choices: either live life shrinking, recoiling, and sobbing over my condition or I could face it head on and find a silver lining.
In choosing the latter, I’ve made a pivotal change in perspective. Dating with keloids, believe it or not, has been a blessing in disguise.
As my friends would gush about their wild Saturday sexcapades and racy one-night stands, I used to envy their sexual liberation. They weren’t crippled by a skin disorder that would make the most callous man cringe.
Unlike me, they have the luxury of peeling their clothes off without a care in the world before doing the horizontal hustle with whoever tickles their fancy.
With my esteem barely hanging by a thread, I just cannot afford to be so indiscriminate with whom I allow “inside,” literally and figuratively. I have to inspect, investigate, and inquire. Is he shallow? Would he be turned off by my condition? Is he looking to play or is he serious?
Thanks to my keloids coercing me to wait and observe, I’ve been saved from scads of unscrupulous men who would have scarred me far deeper than my skin disorder ever could have if I prematurely engaged in the ol’ lust and thrust.
I’ve always wondered how my life would have been without keloids – uninhibited, liberated, and comfortable in my own skin. “Wouldn’t that be nice?” I’d say.
But I should be careful about what I wish for. Sure, I would have had a blemish-free, glowing complexion (#melaninpoppin), but is it worth hurtful heartbreak and the sullen sexual spirit I would have due to a culmination of depthless encounters?
It may have taken me a decade to get to this point, but I finally see my keloids as a blessing, not a curse.
Kimberly Gedeon is a content creator with nearly 2,000 professional articles published online about everything from beauty and business to politics and pop culture. Say hello to her on Twitter @sweetenedcafe or Instagram @kimmiexsweetie. She doesn’t bite … much.