I have a port-wine stain birthmark that covers the front of my right thigh. Growing up, I remember feeling so alone. I never saw anyone who looked like me. Ever. I spent years hating my birthmark, and, as a result, I refused to wear shorts or skirts, even when I was at home. It didn’t matter that my family never made me feel ashamed of my birthmark, I felt alone.
My mindset changed when I entered my teens. Little by little, I started to talk to my friends about it, and, to my surprise, they weren’t shocked or disgusted. It wasn’t a big deal to them and, somehow, that taught me that it wasn’t a big deal to me either. Not as big of a deal as I’d originally thought, at least.
Today, I still don’t always feel comfortable leaving the house with my legs bare, but I’m working on it. I’m not ashamed, and most importantly, I don’t feel alone anymore.