Living with a Rare Deformity

Updated: Jan 22

We live with the scars we choose.


Natalie James

It’s okay to be different. I was born different.⁣

Growing up with a rare deformity, one that the medical community, never mind society knew very little about was tough to put it lightly. And when there is lack of understanding, there is ignorance and isolation.⁣

It look me a long time to find this self compassion and self love.⁣

I was hard on myself, always striving for perfection, trying my best to pretend like everything was okay. Meanwhile, I was filled with anxiety and hanging on by a tread.⁣

I hated everything about my body, primarily my legs. I was angry that I was given this body, it felt like a life sentence that I wasn’t sure I wanted to serve.⁣

I was influenced, influenced by the words spoken by doctors, the images I saw on tv and in magazines. I knew I was different and different is hard. So I covered up my flaws and pretended that I too was normal, and I did a really good job of it. ⁣

I alienated those who knew the truth and started over where nobody knew my secrets. I created a persona for myself because I believed that you couldn’t be both different and confident. That being beautiful was the only way to success.⁣

See I was creating my own reality, I was making assumptions that I wouldn’t be accepted or loved if people could see what I was hiding.⁣

Listen, life goes by in the blink of an eye. Over time I began to realize that I needed to change my perspective. I needed to free myself of the shame and shackles I was putting on myself. I was tired and reached a breaking point.⁣

Don’t get me wrong, everyday is a struggle. I still have bad days. Days where I let comparison get the better of me.⁣

My tattoo is a reminder that everyday I have a choice - “We live with the scars we choose”⁣

Through sharing my journey I hope to inspire others to live their truth, whatever it is. And I also hope to encourage others to have more compassion towards each other because everyone has something they’re struggling with and things are never what they seem.⁣


xo Natalie

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