I realise that you have great shame around your much discussed condition – your disability as you sometimes call it. You hide it where you can and you dislike it intensely when others unsurprisingly focus on it. Perhaps you would prefer it if it was your secret, and yours alone. Maybe then we could all pretend you were perfect.
I understand this. I have spent an entire life hiding, covering over and underplaying my own ever-present physical flaw. I bluff, I refuse special treatment – dammit, I outright lie. Especially around people I am hoping to impress. Like you.
How, I ask, could she possibly love me with this?
Yet I am as foolish in this reflex as you are misguided in your belief that you are ‘no good to anyone’. For I have seen you at your lows – collapsed, in hospital, afraid – and I have collided with your brilliantly constructed defence – but guess what, I still think you’re excellent.
Because you are so much more than this thing that happens to you. And even when your flatmates call me over in the night and I am sitting next you on the floor – holding your hand and feeling for your pulse – it is not a victim or an invalid that I see. It is beautiful you – smart, funny, wonderful you. The one I want to know more and be with, the gorgeous girl I desire, the fabulous lady who has absolutely shattered my determination not to yield to her countless charms.
We are all broken – some of us profoundly – and this is exactly where our true beauty comes from. For we can make beautiful light from of our terrible darkness. We can turn our busted hearts to gold.
It is neither an airbrushed idol nor a figure of pity that I like – it is a girl. One in the splendid shape of you. Who does not need to lie or hide. Or feel ashamed. Or be any more or less than who she is.
Whatever your weakness, whatever your strength – I will love you to the ends of the Earth because you are you. Made up of whatever broken parts fell from the fantasy of perfection. Just as I am.
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