It's hard to write things down that are real, and honest. When I've forced myself in the past, they are immediately deleted or thrown away in a surge of fear. This is about my tenth attempt to leave a paragraph for longer than 30 seconds.

I'm not honest with anybody, myself included. So the act of exposing myself to strangers is meant to relieve the burden of my secrets in some small way. Let's hope it works.

I'm a virgin. I have a skin condition that struck in puberty that left me scarred in more invisible ways than visible. Oh but it scarred me.

Hidradenitis suppurativa. Appeared along my inner thighs and along my butt crack. Exactly what a 13 year old girl needs at a new school, in a new country, swamped by strangers under the mantle of Family.

I kept it to myself of course. Not that i didn't have a supportive mother who would have done anything to help. I guess it just never occurred to me that I could ask for help.

I'm not wired that way. I tend towards the sharing is burdening others unnecessarily and besides which, makes you seem weak, school of twisted thought. I came up with that little mantra by myself, somewhere in my absolutely blissful childhood.

It isn't supported by any evidence and I didn't experience some trauma that made me that way. The condition warped the way I saw myself and left me with deep intimacy issues, platonic and romantic.

Well I mean that was 10 years ago. 10 years is long enough to fuck yourself up thoroughly.

No friendships because I convinced myself nobody could ever like me and so I pushed them all away, hard enough that they stopped trying? Check.

No romances because it would only get so far in the friendship stages before I would remember my defective and disgusting body and quash anything more? Check.

Taking five years to tell your family about your condition, only after your older sister has horrific deep skin removal surgery complete with grafts, in a response to the same disease? Check.

The daily anxiety over H.S. morphing into a monster of generalised anxiety and depression that you still kept hidden until several breakdowns and dangerous coping methods forced you to confess and crawl for help? Check x2.

I guess what I'm saying is, I'm a mess. I can't cope on my own. You, my invisible, silent and, hopefully nonexistent reader are gonna keep my secrets so I don't have to anymore.