birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Lack of Integrity

My skin is substandard. I would say I was uncomfortable in my own skin, but it’s really more that my skin is uncomfortable on me. It’s always breaking and wearing off for no good reason.

My skin disintegrates into wounds very easily. If I wear clothes with tight elastic for too long the skin under pressure will just wear off. After one half marathon I had such serious sores along my bra line that I had lingering marks there for years (and that’s not even the worst of my bra accidents). I used to say that I lacked integrity. It’s really true.

I have allergies. I’m terribly allergic to dryer sheets, and it took me years to discover the source of my trouble. I’d started using them when the kids were really little because dryer sheets kept all the little polyester baby clothes from sticking together in a big ungainly clump. And for years the skin on my hands, especially the palm-side of my fingers, would tighten and then break open. My hands were functionally stuck in a claw like curl because if I stretched out my fingers the skin on them would break and bleed.

Not only do I have allergies to things I touch, I have allergies to things I eat. Nightshade plants give me little bumps all over and make me super itchy.

I’m also very susceptible to viral and bacterial infections (although thankfully not fungal infections.)

I’ve become so used to having crap skin that I don’t think about it much anymore, but I would have had a much easier and less painful life with better skin.

My Slim Flippers