Dating With Keloids

*Sigh*

It’s heartbreaking to know that every love interests’ fantasy of me is nothing close to I really look underneath my clothes — filled with unsightly lumps and bumps.

Ladies and gentleman, I have keloids. I have one on my chest (with another one on the way), my right back shoulder, and bikini line. And even less noticeable ones on my jawline.

I could deal with one keloid. Maybe even two. But more than four?! All of these have obliterated my self-esteem into a million pieces. I’ve spent thousands on trying to get rid of ’em under false hopes from dermatologists that they will go away — countless laser treatments, oils, creams, three surgical excisions, numerous steroid injections, CryoShape, cryotherapy. Nothing worked. They either stubbornly stayed put or grew right back. Just when I think “Oh my god! I’m liberated! No more keloids!” A few months later, it rears its ugly head again and it’s back with a vengeance. It’s so frustrating! =(

And I hate the “reassurances” my friends and family attempt to throw at me “Someone will love you just the way you are!”, “Oh stop it! Guys won’t be worried about that, Kim. You’re still a pretty girl!”

I know they mean well, but what they don’t understand is that it’s not what guys think, per se, that makes having keloids difficult — it’s the psychological trauma of having your self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence plummet into the depths of hell.

What non-keloiders, including my friends and family, don’t understand is that it’s not so much that I want guys to like me — I WANT ME TO LIKE ME.

That’s all. And the sad part is that… I don’t. I don’t like me. I try to get validation from myself when I look in the mirror — especially when I’m nude — and I just cringe.

And that’s what makes dating with keloids is so ridiculously difficult.

I’ve found myself sabotaging many potential significant others because I knew I wasn’t ready for love.There’s a truth to the saying that “You cannot love without loving yourself first.” I never knew what that truly meant until I started getting into serious relationships.

Compliments such as “You’re so beautiful to me” seemed like lies — pure bullsh** — because I didn’t see that in my reflection. Making love was struggle because you just cannot feasibly be intimate if you’re too self-conscious about the skin you’re in. I began to even feel bad for my partners because I believed they were too good for me — they deserved someone with flawless skin. Not me.

For now, relationships are a no-no. I am too immobilized by the fear of having to someone else — someone I care about — see me blemished with these horrendously ugly masses of overgrown collagen. And my self-esteem issues are aggravated when I’m in relationships because I grow too concerned with what someone else thinks of my appearance — that’s the last thing I need right now. My prime focus is fixing what think of me.

I know in order to withstand a relationship in the future, I need to fall in love with  myself because it would be preposterous and extremely damaging to expect someone else to do it for  me.

Sometimes I wonder if I am cursed. “What did I do to deserve this?” And then I find myself bawling at night.

This dirt-poor self confidence of mine even affects my career aspirations. I once wanted to be a TV news reporter and nowadays I dream about hosting a docu-series for Vice News. But let’s be honest here. Everyone on TV barely has any acne — let alone keloids. Pfft. It’s a visual medium. It’s always been that way. So I get it. But there goes my lifelong dreams, just yanked away just like that, thanks to my f***ing keloids.

The only time I am happy in life is when I forget these things exist. But I realize the only way to accept my keloids is to embrace them and learn to love ’em as part of me.

But the question is, how the f*** do I do that?”

Update: As a writer at MadameNoire.com, I’ve written an article called “how my keloids have been a blessing in disguise.” It’s a newer, more positive perspective on how I’ve come to grips with my skin condition.

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22 thoughts on “Dating With Keloids

    • kimgedeon says:

      You’re right, of course. You’re absolutely right. However, it’s easier said than done. The psychological damage of disliking one’s physical appearance can take quite a toll on people unfortunately. Hopefully, one day, I can overcome it 🙂

      Like

      • Prashant Mudgal says:

        I have the same issue of keloids and I have many of them on my upper back but I don’t take a lot of notice of them. If someone is rejecting me for this reason then I guess it wasn’t worth it to be with them in first place.

        Like

      • kimgedeon says:

        I understand what you’re saying, but I think you’ve missed one crucial point. Let me explain. I’ve had love interests in my past that have accepted me for who I am and said that my keloids “don’t take away from my beauty.” However, the problem is that I don’t believe them because I don’t have self-love. So I’m not so much afraid of rejection per se, I am afraid that I will never be confident in myself. Without self-confidence, you can’t accept love — you can never be fully vulnerable and open because of insecurities. So I am trying to find that from within — self-love. I don’t know how, but I’m going to have to try 🙂

        Like

  1. Mari Rose says:

    I understand you, I too wonder sometimes what did I do to deserve this curse. I have never been able to wear a bathing suit or any sleeveless or v neck clothing. It’s so difficult being a woman and having this problem. My family tells me the samethings your family tells you and I know they mean well but I see the look in their eyes when they see my scars. Not only are keloids ugly to look at but so painful. I’m the only person in my family that has them. I can only think it was from chicken pox but I had it when I was 5 and this just happened after I turned 17. I was badly attacked by a dog and I wonder if the trama did something. I have a huge one on my chest, on my back several and on my upper arms.
    I’ve had someone rug my shoulders or rub my arm just to greet me and I cringe cause i’m afraid they will feel the bumps. I too have to learn how to love myself, cause right now I don’t like the girl I see in the mirror. I’m 48 yrs. old and feel so insecure and unhappy.

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    • kimgedeon says:

      I can totally relate to everything you’re going through. I have to be very stategic about the clothes I wear. When I shop for bathing suits, they have to be “high neck” swimsuits. Now that I have one growing on my left shoulder, I’m at a loss now lol. Now I’d have to find a long sleeve swimsuit — in the summer — which is so ridiculous! It’s so annoying not being able to have to luxury of wearing low cut tops and whatever else I’d like to wear.

      I, too, see the way my family looks when they see my keloids. I can totally empathize with you when it comes to others brushing up against me. I cringe, not because I’m afraid they’ll feel the bumps, but because I’m reminded of their presence. The way I’ve been dealing with the keloids is by pretending they don’t exist — this is why dating is so difficult because I can’t “pretend” they are not there because the other person can clearly see em.

      You’re right. That’s the key — learning to love ourselves. But the question is…how? That’s what I’m trying to figure out. 🙂 Thank you for sharing. It’s refreshing to hear your story. I completely get it.

      Like

      • erinrosstv says:

        Hey Kimgedon,
        This is a great blog post – I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you on here, but I’d love to chat to you about a documentary series we’re making at the moment? My direct email is erin.ross@betty.co.uk
        Would be great to speak with you, thanks,
        Erin

        Like

  2. Tim says:

    I feel people without keloids simply do not understand the physical and emotional trauma they cause. I have a chest keloid and its caused my self confidence to plummet.
    Everyday is a struggle .
    They destroy your life and shatter your dreams.
    I am jealous of everybody with clean unblemished skin and wonder what did I do to deserve this.
    I wish I could think of something positive or hopeful to say .
    We must at least remember that we are not alone in this struggle

    Like

    • kimgedeon says:

      You’ve made a good point about the envy of others with unblemished skin. I sit there and think, “Wow…They have no idea how much they are taking their flawless skin for granted!”

      Its okay. I’m not really looking for positivity because it tends to be disingenuous. I am hopeful, though, that there will be a cure soon. How hard can it be to get rid of overgrown collagen? 😩

      Like

  3. Prashant Mudgal says:

    Goodness ! People get yourself together. Its like I have opened a floodgate by commenting on this post 🙂 Don’t you think that working on other personal qualities and traits would be more beneficial than on something which we can’t do anything about. Let’s say you become a great media person someone like Oprah Winfrey or Letterman. Would you still care about that? I have one question though, I have never seen a dermatologist for my keloids. How do you stop the itching?

    Like

  4. viv says:

    I find tea tree oil really good for the itch.

    I also have keloids and a lot of what’s been said here resonates. But we really need to learn to love ourselves as we are and anyone willing to judge us for these things is not worth our time.
    Being a lady it’s a daily struggle and i have good days and bad days, but life goes on. I’m a survivor of severe child abuse so for me it’s all just become part of the journey towards self love and redemption.
    Good luck everyone.

    Like

  5. enoefia says:

    This is really amazing and touching. I totally get it. I’m at that point in my life where I’m deciding to grow from this instead of allowing this to grow on me. I’m truly inspire. pingback: enoefia.blog/2017/09/05/breaking-through-mirrors-and-breakthroughs/

    Like

  6. Seph says:

    I believe I was meant to find this blog. I thought I was alone. My man nor my family truly understand what I go through mentally and emotionally daily. After I turned 19 (I’m 32) I have not worn short sleeves, tank tops or anything backless. When i wear a bathing suit i have to have a long sleeve cover up. I want to be comfortable in my own skin but it is so hard. I have gained weight which has also played a part in making me feel bad about my over all appearance. If you find a way to feel better about your keloids please share.

    Like

    • Kimberly Gedeon says:

      I believe you were meant to find it, too. I can identify with everything you’re saying. There are times I am forced to wear something I don’t necessarily don’t want to wear, but I have to in order to hide my keloids and avoid the stares.

      The minute I find a way to become more comfortable with my keloids, I’ll certainly share.

      Like

  7. Isaboe says:

    Hi Kim! I’m really really glad I found your blog and I think this is such a good step towards learning to accept your keloids as a part of yourself – by talking about it! I started getting keloids when I was 15 and I have over 30 keloids scattered over my chest area and my back (mostly shoulders). So trust me when I say I know what you mean..

    I used to be so incredibly self conscious about them that I had convinced myself that I didn’t like the sun (so that I wouldn’t have to wear light, revealing clothes) or the beach (swimsuits…. :O ) – even though previously I had loved swimming etc – you know the drill…

    But then when I went on a vacation by myself – with nobody that I knew, and I thought – what the hell. I’m in Barcelona, nobody knows me, and I KNOW that my self consciousness about my keloids is hypocritical given how much I want to believe that appearances are not what really matter. If I can’t accept that about myself, then how can I genuinely accept other people and how they look if they don’t conform to societal standards of beauty? As you might have experienced, these inner cognitive dissonances aren’t actually very motivating in terms of doing something different.

    However, after also listening to who told me that nobody would care about my keloids if I didn’t act so self conscious and I should just suck it up and move on, I just put on a beautiful and crazy revealing playsuit – wore a bikini that I had been saving in my cupboard in the hopes of finally getting the courage to wear it – and went to the beach.

    And I felt good about myself. While I definitely wouldn’t say that I’m no longer conscious about my keloids, I get closer to accepting myself each day and have accepted (a maybe slightly toxic?) mentality that if someone has a problem with my keloids, then that’s a reflection of their shallowness as opposed to any problem with me! And I tell this to myself every time I see my scars and cringe, so that some day soon I can believe in it a 100% 😀

    And reading blogs like yours really really helps me with that because I see you and all of these other people (who sound great and honestly, look pretty great too) getting all of these complexes – and I realise that nobody who matters except ourselves care about our keloids! And maybe we just have to fake it till we make it – because it gets easier to accept ourselves with each scary encounter we undertake. At least those are my 2 cents for now!

    Like

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