through the eyes of someone who loves you

Screen shot 2015-03-30 at 6.36.36 AM

{Image is a photo of me kissing Katie, summer 2014 – copyright Connerton Photography, all rights reserved}

I’ve mentioned before that, throughout my life, I’ve had pretty severe psoriasis. I also mentioned that, some time ago, it inexplicably (or at least inexplicably to me) cleared up. What I didn’t mention was that, not long after it had dissipated, it, just as inexplicably as it had gone, came back with a vengeance. These past few months it’s been the worst, by far, that it’s ever been. In the past two weeks, it’s intensified even more.

Last night, to celebrate Brooke’s birthday party, we went out to dinner. “Is this the place where when you’re here you’re family?” Katie asked. I confirmed that it was. “So is the waitress going to ask why we’re insisting that she get us stuff and tell us to get our own damn food?” she asked.

“Did you just come up with that?” I asked.

“No,” she said with her mother’s smirk, “It was on a show.”

I reached out to squeeze her shoulder. “I love you, kiddo,” I said.

As I pulled my hand back, I saw it. I must have grimaced involuntarily. I pulled the fabric of my shirt down over my hand until it hid all but my fingertips. I thought no one noticed.

Katie leaned in. “Mama?”

I looked up at her face, her eyes gentle, earnest, pleading.

“Mmm hmm?”

“Your face is too beautiful for anyone to notice your hands.”

She registered my initial shock, then continued.

“No one sees it but you. I promise.”

People often ask how I manage not to cry in these moments.

The answer is, I don’t.

I wish one thing for everyone reading these words – a week, a day, even a single moment in a restaurant where we’re all family, in which you see yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you, not despite a single part of you, but for the sum of ALL of your parts.

It’s a pretty powerful thing.


23 thoughts on “through the eyes of someone who loves you

  1. i don’t think I’ve ever commented on your blog, but I always read. You have raised, are raising such amazing young ladies. I have lupus and a plethora of other issues, but the lupus gives me a red rash on both my arm that intensifies the more I’m in the warmer weather (living in Florida that’s more often than not). Anyways, it embarrasses me, immensely, to the point I will sometimes wear long sleeves in the 90+ degree weather. My son asked me why I did that a few months ago, he was 14 at the time, and I told him. He shook his head and said, “Mama, you’re beautiful, no one but you sees your arms and thinks anything about them.”…. It is AMAZING how our children can reel us back in. You’re not alone. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful, real life!!!

  2. Katie never ceases to amaze. I’m so sorry that the psoriasis is back. I know how difficult that is for you but listen to Katie. She’s right.

    Love you,

  3. I also have psoriasis, its has never been really bad, but something my doctor told me to do was to expose my skin to the sun. I know the last thing you want to do it let it show, and I know that its been snowing a lot where you are but when you can do some outdoor activities it helps to wear a tank top and shorts or a sundress. I know how much you want to cover up, but it really helps if you don’t. Good luck!!

  4. A stunning moment, well rendered, if I may say so. “Your face is too beautiful for anyone to notice your hands.” Whenever life kicks you in the chops, you can return to that moment, huh? Peace, John

  5. Pingback: » through the eyes of someone who loves you

  6. So beautiful. You have such amazing girls! I know the point of this post is not about your psoriasis, but I have a clinical grade product that can help. I’m sure you have tried many things, but you’ve helped me so much on my autism journey I would like to help you back (if that makes sense?!). I don’t have a way to message you so if you want to try it please let me know.

  7. You have taught me so much, but it’s my turn to try and teach for a minute. If you are ashamed of your psoriasis, my son will be ashamed of his eczema. How can we accept some of our differences, like autism, but not others, like skin conditions? Is it ok to have autism because it doesn’t make us less pretty? You’re so good at accepting everyone’s differences…we can’t stop with physical appearance. If we’re ashamed to have psoriasis, or big thighs, or a birthmark, or scars, or whatever…we’re passing along the message that it’s not ok to be different and unique. It’s not all about neurology. =) (I know it’s hard…I’m a fat girl…but we really have to try to show our kids to love ourselves no matter what.) Love you!

  8. I am loving Katie. Would she willing to guest post at your blog? I my kiddo might be about the same age as your kiddo. My girl is wonderful, too and I sometimes wonder how they’re going to maintain their wonderfulness as they enter a larger world.

    • she knows that she always has the option, but she has yet to be particularly interested in taking it up. She’s let me publish a few of her writings, which are sprinkled through the blog though, and they are truly treasures 🙂

  9. I realize that your story is not about your condition, but I know of some treatments that may help. I have a condition known as dyshidrotic eczema which affects my hands so I completely understand how you feel about hiding your hands when you are in the midst of a breakout. I have found a lotion that really helps with these conditions and may possibly help you. It is called AmLactin (can be found on Amazon for about $20.00). AmLactin helps to keep the skin hydrated while lightly exfoliating. It really helps to get rid of dry, scaly skin. Also, I have heard that organic coconut oil really helps with clearing up psoriasis.

  10. What a lovely and caring young lady! All too often we focus on those things that make us insecure instead of the big picture. Katie is wise beyond her years!

    Now, for a complete change of subject, but I wanted to share in case this might be helpful. My daughter, like Brooke, struggled with reading and math. The reading intervention programs at school did not seem to help. At the time we thought she might be dyslexic and after some research invested in getting her a tutor that was trained in the Davis Method for Dyslexia. It made a huge difference for her with her reading skills! We also found that if she was not interested in the subject matter of the story she was not going to put forth any effort. Her reading and comprehension are now at, or above, grade level.

    The tools for reading taught by the Davis Method were very different than what she was learning at school and for her “clicked” and made a huge difference. She still struggles with math and writing this reminds me that the Davis Method also has a math intervention component that I should check into for my daughter (and by the way, my daughter also has a diagnosis of PDD-NOS, and I’m fairly certain the Dyslexia was misdiagnosed based on further evaluations ).

    Hopefully this information might be helpful to you. Feel free to message me if you would like more details.

    • thanks very much. she is actually at or above grade level in decoding – she can read war and peace. her challenges lie in comprehension. 🙂

  11. I think Katie is a beautiful young lady with a lovely soul who gives very sound advice. I think psoriasis thrives on stress. The more you obsess over it or stress over other aspects in yr life , the worse it becomes . Pls don’t get me wrong. I am not being judgemental. I am just sharing what I ve learnt . It may not apply to you. Homeopathy also helps with it. God bless ! May you be filled with light ,love and forgiveness.

  12. Jess, I also have psoriasis And I have tried everything short of biologics because frankly they terrify me. There are two things that have helped me the most that I thought i would share since you have taught me so much.

    The first and easiest is Vitamin D. When I get my D levels at 60 or higher, my skin is so much better. And there is quite a bit of research out there backing it up. I have to take 4,000 to 5,000 iu daily to get it up to that level (and it takes months).

    The second is the Xtrac laser. It put my larger plaques into remission for years. Unfortunately, I mostly suffer from guttate psoriasis so it is not practical to zap every spot as they ebb and flow. But I do go back every few years when I get droplets on places like my face or hands.

    I am a high school friend of Luau’s so feel free to contact me through Facebook if you want to talk about it more.

  13. I also have psoriasis. Please research a home light unit which emits narrow band UVB. It can be a way to keep the psoriasis in complete remission.

    It is much better to keep your inflammation levels down, the UVB does this in part while also stopping the cell proliferation that causes the psoriasis lesions.

    In my maintenance routine, I use the light box for about four minutes a week.

    Once you achieve remission, which can take several months, the maintenance is very simple.

    This is a proven, safe and effective treatment for psoriasis. Many doctors no longer recommend this treatment because they prefer the biologics. However, if you find a dermatologist who still supports the treatment you can easily get a prescription for a home light unit. Insurance will usually pay for it.

    You need to take care of yourself as well as you do your daughters.

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