Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to attend a gathering of acquintances I know for a small celebration. I told D. that I didn’t want to go, but I really wanted nothing else but to go and see people and see the presentation that was to be put on.

You see, these “friends” are very strict and conservative. The last time they saw me I didn’t have pink hair, no nose piercing, and two tattoos. I was a blank slate. Dressed conservatively, rigidly, and fit into a very small box. Now, I’m pure as the driven snow. Not really, but I definitely don’t fit into the same category I used to.

One of my members had the idea of tattoos and nose piercings. Since we all share a body, I try to be agreeable to fashions, fads, and wants that each member has.

But I knew if the “friends” that saw me the way I am now they would not “approve” and I would be a subject of discussion among everyone. I’m not embarassed of how I look now. In fact, when we see the colorist next month we are going to request more pink for our hair. We are also planning our next tattoo.

But I still knew that people would talk about me. No one knows about my diagnosis and that the members have their own opinion on what to wear, how to talk, and how to act. And I wasn’t about to explain to them that I hear voices and lose time and see people that know me and I haven’t the slightest clue who they are.

So….a rose by any other name still smell as sweet and if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, walks like a duck, then it’s a duck. I can say that I’m not embarassed by my members, but the evidence proves otherwise. I can say that I’m really not embarassed, and I feel I embrace my members, but I was too self-concious as to what others would say.

It makes me think of two things:

I’ve said it before and I will say it again to myself: be kinder and more gentle with myself. It is unreasonable to think that a member would not embarass me and it doesn’t make me a bad person that I’m not explaining away my behaviors or sharing my diagnosis with everyone so they will understand me.

I know I use a lot of quotes, so I won’t stop now. It reminds me of a quote I learned in treatment:

Those that mind don’t matter, and those that matter don’t mind.

I don’t know who wrote this, but it gives me comfort.

If these people truly care about me, they won’t judge me on my appearance. Yes, I look different now, but I’m/we’re the same people that we were pre-tattoo. And if people do judge me on appearance and do mind how I look, then they don’t matter in my life and I’m better off without their friendship.

I say alot of things and I hope in saying them that it will come true in my heart. I can B.S. myself to hell and back, but I’m hoping something I throw out there will stick for me.

Stay strong and take care.