20 May 2014

Ichthyosis Awareness Month: Katie's story. "Let the world see your vulnerability and then let them watch while you make it your superpower."

Katie's this woman that everyone in the Ichthyosis community loves and looks up to. She's incredibly kind and smart, and is studying nursing. I've mentioned her in my International Women's Day post - she's going to Tanzania in June to intern as a student nurse! Her purpose in life is to help others. And from her photos, she exudes happiness.

Katie is in her 20s, lives in Massachusetts USA and has Lamellar Ichthyosis. You can read her blog here.

She's written this piece as a message to little girls everywhere. There are some beautiful messages in her words - for all girls and women of all ages. What she's written resonates with me because there have been occasions in the past when I have let people made me feel less than I am, they've made me feel like I shouldn't be proud of who I am and the type of skin I have. She writes about letting your vulnerability be your superpower, and as I mentioned in my first post of the Ichthyosis Awareness Month Blog Project, the thing that makes you unique can set you apart.

Meet Katie.

"To my future daughter, my nieces, and to every young woman I have ever known:

This year, I almost lost myself. I almost let one boy and one experience rob me of who I am. I gave him the power (for much longer than I care to admit and far longer than he deserved) to make me forget my beauty, my essence, and my self. I felt myself shrinking. I did that. I allowed who I was to be swallowed up in US. In him. Pay attention to the language I used: I gave him the power, I allowed.

Why am I putting this on me? Well my dear, it is because I am NOT a victim and neither are you. I am not an object to be acted upon. I decide how to respond to what happens to me.

This boy, for that is EXACTLY what he was in that moment, said something terrible to me. Something I will never forget. Something I SHOULD never forget for it is in remembering that we grow. Rebuild. Overcome. It is in remembering that we become empowered enough to say never again.

What he said, in that moment, stripped me of my heart, my character, and everything but my physical appearance. He made my body and it's imperfections the most important part of me. Guess what? I am so much MORE than my body and SO ARE YOU. You are why I cannot tolerate such behavior. YOU are why I survive. You are why I keep fighting. You are what saves me from him and from myself. I love you.

I want you to know how seriously I take on the responsibility to be a good role model to you. To show you what it means to be a strong, confident, compassionate, modest woman. How can I hope for you to grow into that woman if I don't do my part in showing you the way? Even in the moments when I don't love myself enough to do what I should-I love you enough. When I dream of you, all I see is potential and your power to make this world kinder, smarter, and more beautiful.

YOU will shake up this world and dust off the cobwebs. You will be the most incredible woman because you have been a choice spirit since before this world began. It is in your very marrow. I believe in you so much that it actually makes me ache inside to think one day you may doubt yourself like I did. My love, never give any person or any moment the power to steal your eternal worth. And please, please, never worry that you might disappoint me. To me you will always be miraculous. Let the world see your vulnerability and then let them watch while you make it your superpower.

I remember who I am because I know who YOU are. You are the most beautiful part of me. I cannot wait for the day when you grow and we can shake this place up together. Until then, I will dream. I will hope. And, I will love.

From my heart to yours."

May is Ichthyosis Awareness Month - I am sharing stories of people who have experienced Ichthyosis. Read all stories in the Ichthyosis Awareness Month Blog Project here.



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