Monday, June 21, 2010

A Little Girl's Best Friend...

I never have understood - and never will understand - people who do not like animals nor see the importance of animals in one's life. They are not only a source of comfort and protection but medically, having a pet has proven to do more good for a patient than treatment itself in some cases. I'm not saying that having a pet will bring back your pigmentation in the case of Vitiligo, but it can surely relieve any stress or anxiety that the condition may cause you. 

My Yorkshire Terrier Kaiso is now 16 years old (far beyond his expected life span) and has been on this journey with me since I was 8. The total acceptance and lack of judgment found in this 'best friend' can get you through some truly difficult times. It may sound a little cliché, but seeing the way our animals look up to us and treat us with complete loyalty, acceptance and trust in return for just a little love and acknowledgement gives us quite an example of how we should treat each other. I would most certainly recommend getting a pet for a young child with a medical condition such as Vitiligo - it gives us somewhere to go when everywhere else is too difficult. Just remember that a pet is for life.

Here I am at about 9 or 10 years old. Yes, I was an absolute little nerd :) I even had braces by the time I was 12! You can see the Vitiligo clearly on my forehead, neck and backs of my hands, even inside my ears. Long sleeves were also my comfort zone.

Monday, June 14, 2010

He Sees Me Naked

He Sees Me Naked – 16/05/2010
- Darcel de Vlugt

He sees me naked –
In all my glory,
With all my worry,
And he is not fazed.

He sees me naked;
Beneath my mask of MAC,
Without the camouflage I use to hide my issues;
Without the airs and graces and bells on my feet;
Without the self-impressions and self-opinions forced upon me by society;
Without pretence, without barriers, without boundaries…
He sees not my flaws, even though I am flawed,
Even though I am floored and awed by how perfect he is,
He sees me naked and to him I am perfect.
To him I am a breath of fresh air;
To him I am new and undiscovered;
To him I am Eve on the first day in the Garden of Eden –
The only woman in existence, his woman…
He sees me naked and he sees my spirit;
He sees my imperfections as mine and mine alone,
Making me as perfect and unique to him as a unicorn;
He doesn’t see a horse with a misplaced horn.
He sees me naked and he sees my fear of judgment;
He sees the need to protect me, to wrap those arms around me and take me away
To where I can be safe from prying eyes and suspecting souls…
He lends me his eyes so that I may see myself in them;
So that I may see me in the way that he see…
He gives himself to me because I let him see me naked –
Stripped of ornament and decoration, and all that jazz…

Just me.
Just plain old me…
And he is not fazed.

He sees me naked,
And were I to ask him to tell me what he sees,
He’d smile and reply that he sees me in a way I’ll never see,
He’d reply that he sees me
and therefore he sees beauty.

*Please do not copy or reproduce without my permission*
**Please respect my work and give proper accreditation if you use this material**

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Permission Secured!

Fantastic news everybody! I have received the permission from the Commissioner of Police to have the WALK FOR SKIN here in Trinidad... which means full steam ahead with support and donations for those of you wishing to join me or to help the cause even if you can't join in...

Sunday 27th June, meeting point opposite National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) by the Savannah, 4pm. We start walking @ 4:30pm! Wear either BLACK or WHITE please!

Please make sure you do whatever you can to really show your support as this means the world not just to me, but also to others with Vitiligo, eczema, neurofibromatosis, acne and other skin issues who will be walking or have friends walking on their behalf.

The money raised online will be going towards the British Skin Foundation who will then be using it to help develop medicines, treatments and cures for these diseases as well as provide support for people worldwide. It doesn't matter what country it happens in, the support for the cause is necessary as we can (and will) all benefit from the outcomes of research and treatment results!

Thank you for your support thus far, please go to the following link to support even further, it will only take as little as one pound (=two US dollars) on your behalf and anybody from around the world can donate:

Many thanks and blessings always,

Friday, June 4, 2010

"Lucky", You Say - Part 5

My friends have always been a major part of my backbone growing up, along with my parents and my brother. I consider them to be my family because they went through this with me from start to finish as well and still care about how it affects me today. They always tell me that they did not see my skin, and when they see pictures of me from back in the day it is as shocking to them as it is to me, because they were always concerned with the qualities that truly matter... that's how you know you have friends for life, I love them dearly and would not change them for the world. I always say: "Blood may be thicker than water, but some of my friends are like oil..."

Here I am at my eleventh birthday dinner in Pizza Hut with my closest girlfriends. It's been almost sixteen years of friendship! You can see how the Vitiligo has now started on my face. I think by that point my Vitiligo had been such a part of me for so long that I tried not to let it rule my life. I never wore camouflage makeup and only became 'addicted' to foundation, after I went to university, at the age of almost 21 - many sarcastic thanks to the assistant in Boots for meddling and showing me how to wear it! I guess as a child you don't really consider things like skin and appearance until people start pointing it out to you (cue teenage-hood) and making it important. Looking back on a photo like this, I can see that it was a lot more extreme to an outsider looking in than it was in my head at that time - I guess that's when you know you have good people around you encouraging you to do your best everywhere you can, because they never made my skin an issue.

You can also see my hair that is white near my ears and hairline. It would be another year and a half before I dyed my hair for the first time.

My eleventh birthday in Cyprus - like me, my friends all come from very mixed backgrounds and upbringing, those are the people I tend to associate with the most.