Cheryl (13/15)

“The 101 Dalmatians.” Dough for cookies Spotted Face Those were the names that my classmates had secretly saved for me. I used to despise myself. Everyone around me made me angry. Nobody resembled me… I didn’t resemble them. I thought I was hideous… horrible. Those emotions led me to a very dark place. My relationships suffered… with the people I cared about the most… Until three years ago. My children were a watershed moment for me. I recall that day vividly.

 

We were going on a family vacation, and I was selecting clothing that would allow me to cover myself. I didn’t want to be noticed… and I simply asked myself, ‘What kind of role model am I to my children if I can’t embrace who I am?’ I don’t want them to be concerned about fitting in. I want them to be happy with who they are. So I decided to be ME that day! Cheryl is my name. I was born with a melanocytic nevus (CMN). These are my wounds. This is my picture. I adore myself. I accept myself. For me, I wear me with respect, confidence, and boundless joy… “I am a cause for celebration!”

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