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    Body & Face = Not Me
    [Originally posted on 13 Sept. 2008, when my blog was over at]
    I was brushing my hair this morning, standing in front of the mirror. Something struck me again, and I figured, why not write this down in my blog? If anything, I'll be able to read back my own thoughts later.

    My face is not mine. By that I mean, when I look in the mirror and see my face, that is not me. I do not see 'me'. Every time, still, I go: "Oh yeah, this is what my face looks like." It's like looking at the face of a close friend or relative: I know it well, I recognise it, I'm used to looking at it, but it isn't 'me', it doesn't give me a feeling of 'this is myself.' This goes for the rest of my body too, really. And I've always had this. It actually used to be worse when I was younger. It got a bit better after I dyed my hair a different colour.

    It's not that I have problems with face recognition (including my own), quite the opposite. I also have a superb memory for faces. I'll forget your name in the blink of an eye though, once we don't have regular contact. I can recognise which one is me in photo's without problem, but it's just that I know that the one that looks like that is me. The way that body+face looks in that photo looks very odd and sometimes jarring when it hits how I felt like I was in that photo, in my memory. It doesn't look like what I felt. It looks like I'm watching this other person whose face of course I know well is there, only that person that looks like that is me. I know it's me, but it feels a bit like someone I know very well is standing in the spot where 'me' should be. Only what should that 'me' look like?

    I don't really have an image of me at all. Maybe two hands in front of me and the frame of my glasses at the height of my eyes. Mostly nothing. When I think of me there is no physical thing there. I wish I could play life the way I play computer games: in third person. Other people have physical presence in my mind, but I don't. But then when I see my body, I know that I do. Of course I always 'know'. But in my mind I don't, in my deepest sense of my presence (not talking about sense of identity/personality, by the way, I dare say that is very well defined indeed here). So, there I have to look at this body that rationally I know is mine and I recognise it, but... it's just not me.

    Now, I'm not explaining it as well as I wish. I'm coming close to describing it, but it's like I just can't really hit the bullseye. So I hope that it's somewhat understandable or imaginable for anyone else but me that happens to read it.

    I have always had a poor sense of body. It is hard to tell what exactly is wrong or hurting when I am in pain or ill, and it was even harder when I was little. It's hard to tell what and where sensations are in general. I used to feel like I was in some sort of cell, or maybe locked into some hunk of flesh, and looking out of two little windows. I can still feel like that, but I've worked very hard at 'being' in my body more, and there has been some improvement there, though it's still not very good. My coordination and gross motor skills are also quite bad (fine motor skills not so bad, though slower than others). I wonder if that is at all related.


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