It wasn’t that she thought she was special – definitely not. She’d always felt quite plain and boring, and had made peace with that long ago. But she noticed an undeniable difference between herself and many of the others with the same illnesses who she met through various online communities. Not that there weren’t some who were similar, because there were, and she was glad of it. It’s just that she didn’t relate to the majority of them. The desires they had, especially. And the reasons.

Dating. Friends. Societal acceptance. To look better. To look good. To look perfect. Beauty. Sexuality. “Fitness” (oh, the irony).

She was indifferent to most of those things, even disgusted by a few.

Acceptance. For others, it usually seemed to boiled down to some type of external acceptance. Self-acceptance as well, yes, but self-acceptance based upon being handed a seal of approval.

For her, it was to escape. Not to be noticed, to be perfect, to be sexy or fit or beautiful. Rather, she desired the opposite: to be plain. Unnoticeable. Small enough that her mere existence could be called into question. A shadow, whisper, eidolon. Almost nothing. It was then – and only then – that the sickening sense of shame would ease, and she could fill her lungs with clean, cold air and inhabit her own being without fear.

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