I’ve had eczema since I was a little girl. It’s the cross I bear. I’ll always have it and that’s the way it is. One day, a doctor told me that there was nothing to understand about it, it was atopic, it was in my genes. I said okay.
Even without actively trying to understand why I have eczema, I realised soon enough that big flare ups would occur when I was stressed, when I was not happy “in my own skin”.
A few months ago I had a lot of eczema on my hands, as in the illustration above. I thought it was strange because I was not stressed at work, and on the contrary, quite happy in my life. Despite the doctor’s comment, I could not help it then, I wanted to understand…
I sat down and looked at my hands. I often get eczema in different places whenever I get a rash, however, I had never had eczema between my fingers like this, all along them on the side, and on the upper side of my palm. I had also a little bit of redness on my knuckles. The moment I thought about the word “knuckles”, my intuition told me I was on the right track…
I clenched my fist and told myself “Oh! It’s funny, I can’t see my eczema anymore when I clench my fist! All my eczema is contained in my fist!” That’s when I had a aha moment! 💡It made so much sense! I looked up and realised ” It is my anger! The eczema, the fist I raise, the fist that fights, it’s my anger!”✊👊
It’s true that at that time, I was reading a lot of feminist books, and some of them open my eyes on a lot of important (and painful) facts about women’s condition, which triggered overwhelming waves of rage inside me. When it happened I did not know what to do with that rage, I did not know how to channel it or who to blame for it so I immediately dismissed it and repressed it.
What I learnt thanks to eczema is that feeling anger is healthy. It means I matter, I have worth, boundaries, that I am taking space.
Once I realised that my flare-up was connected to anger, I freed up the emotion by beating up the (very innocent) cushions of my couch, by screaming insults into the void, by saying it was not fair, by crying. Thankfully I live alone so I can go crazy without worrying or disturbing anyone! Quickly after that I had to rush to work…
Once at work, I looked at my hands and my eczema was cleared! All gone! Just like that! My skin was dry on the affected areas but the rash, the redness, the inflammation were gone. As you can see, sometimes it is worth trying to understand.
📚Feminist publications that opened my eyes on the patriarchal society we live in. I would like to thank the authors for their essential work in educating us.
📌Sorcières : La puissance invaincue des femmes by Mona Chollet, publisher La Découverte. I reeeeeeally hope this indispensable, mind-blowing book will be translated in English very soon.
📌All of Emma‘s work in general. She especially rocked boat (and changed my life) with her theory about the mental load women bear in her comic You should have asked . You’ll find extracts of the book (in English) here.
📌Another comic: Fruit of Knowledge by Liv Strömquist, which I imagine is as radical and hilarious as I’m every woman (the comic I read and loved, which hasn’t been translated into English to my knowledge),
📌 A brilliant podcast in French by the journalist Victoire Tuaillon called Les couilles sur la table (Binge Audio).