RBF, Bitch Face, Cranky, Moody, Anti-social, Unfriendly. All terms others have used to describe my face, to describe me. It's brutal knowing that your face isn't beautiful enough that people think only of kind words to describe it. But if only they knew the story behind it.
My face often reflects emotions and physical pain.Nothing is “The Matter” it is just that I am fighting discomfort and I have forgotten what my face looks like. But I am sure someone soon will remind me.
“You should just try harder to look like you are having a good time. Then people might like you. ” – Neighbor
Most people have no idea what it is like to live with Lyme disease and Fibromyalgia. It is a life of chronic pain and discomfort. Some days are better than others. Some meds work better than others and often just for a little while. Sometimes I am just so exhausted that I would like nothing more than a nap.
Really? That's how you want to be?
Just because I am a little distracted by how I am feeling or something else on my mind doesn’t mean that I don’t want to know what’s going on in your life, want to be your friend, or am in a foul mood.
The pain or frustration that my resting bitch face often shows sometimes just means I need someone to take my mind off it for a bit. Sometimes I just need a friend who won't just me by my appearance.
“Smile, you look prettier that way.” – family
I've actually been surprised at how rude people can be. And it seems like the prettier and more financially secure they are, the more they feel like they have permission to say things that are down right terrible.
Recently I had a nosey neighbor feel obliged to tell me that the reasons she and other women in my neighborhood don't like me is that my face isn't pleasing to look at and that I give off the body language that I don't give a shit. Huh… it was actually surprising to me how much that day sucked and yet when I realized that petty people like that don't stay in high school, instead grow up to be adult bullies. I moved on.
Be like Scarlett
When I was younger, I was fascinated with Scarlett O'Hara. I loved how she was going through this emotional struggle of adjusting to her new life and fighting to know who she was and who she could trust in a world forever changed by war. Now granted I was like 8, and the truth of her status and situation wasn't as clear to me. But I really loved how she looked around at the surroundings and made herself a grand dress out of some old dirty curtains and moved the F on.
For a while in my young life, things in my own world often went to hell. I dealt with abuse, abandonment, and struggled to fit in. As a little child, sometimes I wore my pain on my face and the adults around me were afraid of that fierceness, afraid of others finding out the level of cruelty my home was capable of. I was bribed to “look pretty” or to “smile” because it wasn't as threatening as the starkness of a child who didn't laugh. I would stand in the mirror, trying to force this fake happy on my face.
“Be like Scarlett and as she said – Tomorrow is another day. There's time to be sad tomorrow.. but not today.”
When did it become acceptable to be awful?
When did we start thinking that it was okay to be cruel and rude to people, to our friends, to strangers?
Since moving to the Seattle area, I have been shocked at some of the downright terrible things I've heard other people say. Shockingly, I've had grown-assed men tattle on me to my husband because I didn't respond promptly and called a bitch about it. There are groups of 40-somethings that are worse that high school mean girls, drinking and bashing other people and making them feel terrible about their weight, about their homes, about stupid things.
Apparently my “bitch” face got me kicked out of the “Cool group” and my family shunned from social events they were attending. Yeah, it's ridiculous and a reality. What ever happened to the Golden Rule of doing unto others as you would want them to do to you? What about Karma?
I know I have a fierce resting face. But I am also a loyal friend. Doesn't that count?
You don't know me.
I try not to judge other people. I don't know the road they've traveled, the pain they are dealing with. Really, I've been judged enough on my appearance that I never want to do that to anyone else.
We all have our own backstories that separate us from other people. That's what makes us interesting. We have intense stories of overcoming, of accomplishment, and even our dreams of what's to come. Judging other people for their faces, that's just not cool.
Live your life and enjoy who you have become. Be proud of the good things in your life, don’t let others shame you for the richness in your life just because they have lost track of theirs.
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross