To not let dh look at sil wedding photos?

(144 Posts)
Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:01:13

Dh sister got married recently. Today mil gave us the photo book to look at but...

I have always had a huge phobia of having my picture taken, even as a child I hated it and I always avoid it. I hate how I look and especially how I look in photos.
A the wedding I avoided all except one picture and even then sil had to beg me to be in it. Obviously being nervous it wasn't a good photo and its in the book.
I had a look before dh and I just can't let him see it. I'm embarrassed enough having seen it myself. One wrong comment from him or laugh in a jokey way and it'll destroy me. I hate the way I look that much.

He asked to see them and I said no and I've hidden the book. I feel horrible. Maybe I should cover that page and sit with him so he can see the rest as dcs look lovely? I feel completely mad and really unhappy sad

StarGazeyPond Sat 15-Mar-14 13:03:21

I'm sorry but I don't understand how he can look at you daily, yet he can't look at a photo of you?

Flossyfloof Sat 15-Mar-14 13:03:36

He loves you. Let him see. I bet you are beautiful.

ENormaSnob Sat 15-Mar-14 13:04:22

Can you not just remove the pic of you?



in fact, im going to stay stop being so bloody dramatic.

sallyst123 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:05:21

i totally sympathise. i have the exact same issues with me & photos. let him look this evening while your having a nice glass of wine i bet he wont even notice the thing that you do.

You need help. Please get some.

Unless you're actually an alien you will just be your average human.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:06:20

I think as I'm nervous of having my photo taken that it really comes across and I look awkward. Also the photographer also managed to take the picture as I was blinking so I also have my eyes closed and I look hideous. I am close to tears over it and having a knot of panic in my stomach.

I don't know what it is that makes me like is I just hate how I look. Every evening after I've put a to bed I go downstairs but can't have the main light on just a lamp as don't want dh to see how rubbish I look, I can't even sit further forward on our corner sofa than him as I feel like he's looking at me. I am mad.

Unless you're actually an alien you will just be your average human.

^ This. i bet you look great.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:07:08

No can't remove it, its a hardback sort of photo book not actual photos you can take out they are printed on.

I think you might (seriously) benefit from some counselling.

noblegiraffe Sat 15-Mar-14 13:09:16

Leave the book where he can find it, leave the house. Let him see the photos of his children, you don't need to be there.

And get some CBT or similar to address your phobia.

CrapBag Sat 15-Mar-14 13:10:31

Sorry but YABU. Its his sister, of course he should see her wedding pictures. He obviously doesn't think you are hideous because he married you. You really do need to get a grip.

Having my photo taken is not one of my favourite pass times and I hate the ones where you have your eyes half closed etc but that's they beauty of digital cameras, take loads and delete the crap.

I'd hate for my DCs to grow up and have no photos of us together when they were babies and growing up. How sad.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:11:08

Counselling won't help, not being me would.

I remember as a very unhappy 13 year old being told by DM "however bad things get, don't run away or I will put this hideous picture in all the papers" whilst holding up my year 7 photo which was actually really horrible and I was mortified. After that things just got worse and every now and then that photo still comes out "for a laugh"

KurriKurri Sat 15-Mar-14 13:11:35

I'm sorry you feel like this - it must be very difficult for you, does your Dh understand that you feel this way?

Could you possibly sit down with him and say you really don;t want him to look at the one withyou in it, and then look at the others with him? - I don't think you can really deny him the chance to see the photos of his sister's wedding, that wouldn't be fair to him or his sister.

Have you spoken to your GP about the way you feel? - there is help out there for phobias, and problems such as you describe. I hope you can get some help because the avoidance of having your picture taken is making you as unhappy as having your picture taken, and something could be done to help you feel better about it all.

You're not mad - don't think for a minute that you are, but you could be suffering from depression - I'm not a doctor so I don;t know, but I have suffered with depression and sometimes it took the form of making me very unhappy about my appearance, and I never wanted photos taken either. But you do need to talk it over with someone qualified.

RedHelenB Sat 15-Mar-14 13:12:22

It's his sister - its not up to you to let him see the photos!

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:13:04

Dh understands, he saw how upset I was and he said it was fine. I feel so guilty though. I could put a post it note over me in the picture and let him look at the book.

CoffeeTea103 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:13:08

Yabu, and a tad over dramatic. He will see it at some point. I'm sure he's seen you at your best and worst. Also how will you stop your mil showing other people?

TwixTime Sat 15-Mar-14 13:14:22

He was there with you and seen the best and worst of you all day- he's already seen the photo in real life!

I too hate seeing my photos and shared this with a friend and she said 'my nan says people that say they take bad photos think they are better looking than they really are' haha that shut me up and is probably true

Be kinder to yourself and let him see the photos he won't even be focussing on you it was his sisters wedding so relax

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:15:04

Its not too bad if mil shows it to people as I don't know them and I wouldn't be there and tbh they will be looking at sil. Its just I know dh will look at pictures of dcs and the one with all of us in.

copafeel Sat 15-Mar-14 13:15:29

You need help, it's a mental issue nothing to do with how you look.

AllThatGlistens Sat 15-Mar-14 13:15:59

You can ask him not to look at the photo of you, I'm sure he's probably well aware that its an issue for you, and that's fair enough.

to try to stop him from viewing the rest of his sisters wedding album is completely out of order though. You simply can't do that.

mercibucket Sat 15-Mar-14 13:16:03

why wouldnt counselling help? why not try.

eurochick Sat 15-Mar-14 13:16:18

Counselling won't help, not being me would.

I remember as a very unhappy 13 year old being told by DM "however bad things get, don't run away or I will put this hideous picture in all the papers" whilst holding up my year 7 photo which was actually really horrible and I was mortified. After that things just got worse and every now and then that photo still comes out "for a laugh"


Your second paragraph shows exactly why counselling would help.

You are being very silly in not letting your husband see his own sister's wedding album!

CoffeeTea103 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:16:46

So you have never taken a picture with your own kids? How sad for your children.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:17:15

I'm just not sure that counselling would make a difference after all this time. I'm 32 and have felt this way since I was 11 or 12

MrsMcEnroe Sat 15-Mar-14 13:18:16

Wow, your mother sounds horrible OP, and I'm not surprised you feel the way you do, given what she said to you when you were younger.

However - you really DO need some counselling! From what you've said, it sounds as though your mother never allowed you to develop a healthy attitude towards your own appearance. This can be fixed!! (Not your appearance - your attitude/feelings).

KurriKurri Sat 15-Mar-14 13:18:16

sorry I x-posted - you are not mad, but you sound desperately unhappy, and it sounds as if stuff in your childhood has not helped - you really do need some help - you can't go on like this, I know it is hard to think that anything will help and to resist it, but onceyou have taken the first step, youmight feel a sense of relief that something may be done. If you don't feel able totalk to your GP - write down how you feel - print out your OP and posts onthis thread and let him/her read them.

I feel enormous sympathy for you my dear, but you have to let people help you and not try to struggle on on your own.

And MyNameisKenAdams - I rarely criticise other posters, but shame on you - what an appalling thing to say.

WorraLiberty Sat 15-Mar-14 13:18:24

I'm sorry you feel that way but I don't think it's fair to dismiss any kind of counselling or help, and then tell your DH he's not allowed to see his own sister's wedding photos.

That's not fair and if I were him, I would just go and find the album anyway.

specialsubject Sat 15-Mar-14 13:18:26

please get help. Mental illness is not your fault and there is no shame. However refusing treatment when you have kids who depend on you is not on.

It is clear from this exactly why you have this problem and it REALLY isn't your fault.

good luck.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:19:15

I couldn't manage to have pictures taken (even though I wanted to) when dcs were born except for ds2 as dh FORCED me to as ds was in nicu seriously ill and dh said he had to take it for me as I might really regret it otherwise. Other than that the are probably only a few photos of me.

HadABadDay2014 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:21:10

I think you need to address this problem you have.

I have hundred of pictures of me and the DC which I know the kids will love to see when they are adults.

Do you have many photos of you, DH and the DC.

FrogbyAnotherName Sat 15-Mar-14 13:21:15

Counselling won't help, not being me would.

I was sympathetic until or posted this - your refusal to consider counselling indicates that you don't want to change how you feel about this, even though it is affecting others, such as your DSIL on her wedding day, and your DH.

So yes, YABU.

Why shame on me? In response to the OPd initial post, my opinion is that stopping her DH looking at his own SILs wedding photos because OP does not like how she looks in the one photo of her was that she was being dramatic.

once the OP posted further at her feelings of anxiety and stress at how she looks in photos and in the evening sat on the couch, I suggested she speak to a counsellor.

A suggestion which others seem to concur with.

what exactly should I feel ashamed about?

That was to Kurri-

MrsMcEnroe Sat 15-Mar-14 13:22:44

You are not too old to have counselling.

CoffeeTea103 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:23:06

You are against the idea of counseling so I have to say you are being selfish. How about giving it a go for the sake of your DH and kids? Also how did you take passport pics or other required pics? Seriously you are ridiculous.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:23:39

There are barely any photos of all of us. A couple from our wedding day, a couple of forced ones from ds1 christening and that's probably about it. Not one of all of us together.

HadABadDay2014 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:23:59

Why do you think it will not work.

Frogbyanothername that's a bit harsh, admitting you have a problem to a stranger and there is alway a chance it may not work is a huge step.

ProfessorSkullyMental Sat 15-Mar-14 13:24:17

i do understand Hedgehog, i LOATHE having my photo taken, i'm very overweight but its not until its staring at me from a picture that i realise how terrible i look, and i hate it.

however, i do let people take the odd picture so my children have something of me to remember when i'm gone.. there's lots of DH as i'm usually the one behind the camera.. but theres a few of me from a distance <cringe> that i've let him take.

i dont like them, i don't like looking at them, but they're important to other people.

your dh knows what you look like, he looks at you every day, and he loves you how you are.

Let him look at the album.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:24:18

I don't have a passport for this reason.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:25:41

I didn't mean I wouldn't try counselling, just I doubt it would work as I've never felt any different and up until now I've just really avoided photos and anything that puts me in the position where people may look at me.

gamerchick Sat 15-Mar-14 13:25:46

now your husband has been with you when you gave birth... he knows what you look like.

It is such a shame that there won't be many photos around for your kids to keep though.

MorrisZapp Sat 15-Mar-14 13:26:16

Did you have pics taken at your own wedding? Clearly you need help with this issue, counselling is a great starting point. You can't make it go away by ignoring it, sorry.

HadABadDay2014 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:27:52

It may work, just think if it does you can have a beautiful family photo. That DH and the DC will cherish.

pussycatdoll Sat 15-Mar-14 13:28:12

you owe it to your family to get help

what if one of your children decides to move abroad -won't you go and see them?

what will happen when they get married, you'll avoid mother of the bride/ groom photos?

I feel sorry for yuor SIL having to beg you on her wedding day to be in one photo

gamerchick Sat 15-Mar-14 13:28:57

FWIW I don't like it either.. but I get one full length shot taken of me on my birthday every year so I can look at how much im decaying.. but mainly it's for my kids as i'm usually the one behind the camera so there's loads of them and my husband.

It's really worth trying to find a way past this as it seems to affect you quite badly.

SomewhereBeyondTheSea Sat 15-Mar-14 13:29:55

OP, I understand how you feel because I feel much the same.
But I recognised a long time ago that it isn't actually about how I look - it's about how I feel about myself. I look at photos of myself and I see all the things I dislike about myself - I see myself as fat, ugly, unfashionable, etc. It's a symptom of a lack of self-esteem. That is what counselling would help you with - to realise that this is not a problem in and of itself, it is a reflection of an underlying problem.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:30:13

I feel dreadful about it all, I even had to decline being my own sisters bridesmaid as I simply cannot stand in front of people/have pictures taken. She isn't getting married till next year and I feel guilty but I had to tell her I can only go as a guest and sit with dh and dcs not stand at the front.

squeakytoy Sat 15-Mar-14 13:30:40

you are allowing a phobia to ruin your life. you have to do something to get it sorted out. it doesnt only impact on your life, it messes up that of your family too.. do they not deserve for you to try and get this fixed?

Piechomper Sat 15-Mar-14 13:31:17

YANBU to feel like you do. But it's massively unreasonable to inflict your choices on other people because your avoiding the stress of a photo is more important to you. So you can't go abroad with your family because you won't get a passport photo? Go to your GP and tell them that.

KurriKurri Sat 15-Mar-14 13:31:25

Dont be disingenuous MyNameisKenAdams - you said 'bloody dramatic' - which is rude and insulting. The Op's distress was obvious in her first post - you may then have backtracked when you saw that your opinion wasn't the majority one, I don't know and I don't care, I'm not going to derail the OP's thread by turning it into an argument with you.
What you should be ashamed of is your callous and unkind response to OP's first post. The fact that you need telling is in itself, telling.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:31:48

Even on my Facebook page there are no pictures of me just the dcs. I just can't do it. The photos taken at my wedding caused me so much anguish it was the one part of the day I dreaded most.
I know this is far from normal and I hate feeling this way.

limitedperiodonly Sat 15-Mar-14 13:32:23

Good idea to cover the page and let him see the rest. Maybe you'll feel brave enough to let him look at you. Maybe not. You're worrying over nothing but I do understand.

If it's any consolation, you're way more reasonable than my SIL. She also hates photos of herself but unlike you, didn't avoid them at my wedding. She posed for quite a few family pictures.

Luckily she'd let slip in the past that she always destroyed pictures she didn't like - a holiday got cancelled because she hated all her passport photos so much she ran out of time - so when she asked to see my album I ignored her.

Then she asked my mum to get it for her saying my brother really, really wanted to see his little sister's big day and was upset at not seeing them. Bollocks. He's not at all interested in things like that. She was trying to guilt-trip my mum into wheedling the photos out of me.

So then I had my mum on my back for a while. She knew what SIL was like but kept saying: 'It means so much to your brother. I'm sure he wouldn't let her tear them up'. My mum liked to think the best of people confused

The daft thing is that SIL is good looking and is a nice woman too - which I'm sure you are too. She wouldn't dream of destroying anything else of mine or anyone else's. She's just really funny over photos.

izzydazzling Sat 15-Mar-14 13:33:30

It's hard when you feel unusually anxious about something and people just say 'get over it'.

Do your photos look like you?

No? Some people just aren't photogenic. But I can guarantee that for every beautiful, stunning selfie you see online, there's 10 photos been sent to the recycle bin!

Yes? Your husband loves you and married you and he will think you're beautiful.

This isn't about the photos though, it's sounds as if your self esteem is quite low. Please try to work on loving and respecting yourself.

If your DH is anything like mine he won't even want to look at wedding photos. My DH refuses to look at photos.

Electryone Sat 15-Mar-14 13:33:58

It is really quite sad that something you could have got help with years ago has stopped you having pictures taken with your children.

TwixTime Sat 15-Mar-14 13:34:43

Do you judge other peoples photos if they don't look great? You probably don't give it a second thought.

Please try and get help, at the moment by not getting help I am afraid you seem a bit selfish. Not letting your husband see his own sisters wedding album- you must surely know this is wrong. Plus your family can never go abroad because of a photo? You need to get over this for you and your family.

squeakytoy Sat 15-Mar-14 13:35:44

And to try and put things into perspective, my dad had major surgery on his face due to cancer, lost half his jaw, his cheekbone and an eye, and he still managed a smile on photos with my mum.

You are not some three headed monster, you have a lack of confidence. It is something that CAN be controlled and cured. You shouldnt waste so many opportunities in life because of this.

GiraffesAndButterflies Sat 15-Mar-14 13:36:39

You poor thing. sad

But the reason you feel like this is not how you look. Lots of ugly people have photos taken and are okay with it. The reason you feel like this is your phobia, and that can be fixed. Counselling might well help you, and think how freeing it would be if it worked and you felt comfortable with people looking at you. Imagine the relief of not having to spend so much energy avoiding being looked at. Worth a try yes? smile

In the meantime the post it note sounds like a good idea. Good luck OP.

PrimalLass Sat 15-Mar-14 13:36:52

I am really awful in photos too. I have about 3 from the last 10 years, and hardly any with my children sad

However, I have had to provide one for a work thing. I took about 250 with the front facing camera on my phone. That's helped me practise what face to 'pull' etc. Give it a go when no-one is in the house.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:38:42

I don't look like me at all in pictures, I look awkward and weird because I'm so nervous having them done.

Once or twice I've been in the background in a photo so unaware and those ones oddly are not as bad. It isn't just photos though. On bad days (like today) I hate dh looking at me, I feel anxious and just want to hide away.

Itsallabout Sat 15-Mar-14 13:44:09

Hedgeheg, can I share a story with you?

I understand completely how you feel. I do not like the way I look and having photos taken fills me with horror and dread. I try to avoid it as much as possible and as a result there are only a handful of photos of me with my Dd and with my Dh, Dd and my-self.

How I regret this now. I have a life limiting illness and who knows how much time I have left. My beautiful 7 year old Dd will have only a few photographs to look at to remember me. In time her memories of me will fade and she will struggle to picture me in her mind so will turn to a photograph of which there are so few. This fills me with sadness and it will fill her with sadness too.

Please get some help, not only for your-self but for your family too. Some-times we have to put our feelings aside to give to others and make them happy.

TwixTime Sat 15-Mar-14 13:44:30

I think something you need to make peace with.... You DO look the way you do in pics and do you know what - that's ok!

You need support and kindness I hope you are getting that from your DH -does he realise how deeply you feel about this?

limitedperiodonly Sat 15-Mar-14 13:49:35

The thread's moved on since I wrote that epic. I completely understand the passport thing because my SIL missed out on a holiday. She does have a passport now. The picture was professionally done. Expensive, but it was worth it because they can go away now.

Also, it is a bit dramatic to suggest you're depriving your DH of the chance to see his sister's wedding. I have no idea what his feelings are, it's just that IME my brother, like most men I suspect, CBA. It could well be a ploy by you MIL to make you 'confront' your issue - well-meaning, or otherwise.

FWIW there are very few photos of me before about 25 when I met DH. We just weren't a very snap-happy family.

It would be nice to have some pictures of me growing up and to remember my parents by. I do have some of my mum, who was camera-shy, and I'm glad of them. But looking at pictures of her isn't the same as having her around so the fact that there are no photos isn't going to ruin your children's lives.

The fact that their poor mum is so unhappy with her appearance might spoil things for them though. I don't have any better advice than the posters who've suggested counselling. I'm sure it would help. I hope so thanks

BackforGood Sat 15-Mar-14 13:50:06

As your metal health problem is now impacting upon not only your life, but also on all those you have around you who love you, your owe it to them, as well as yourself to go and get some help.

Hedgehog80 Sat 15-Mar-14 13:50:57

I feel so guilty and unhappy, itsallabout I'm so sorry you feel the same way about photos and what you posted made me cry, I was so wrapped up in myself and I'm so sorry you are unwell.

It also made me realise that I think nobody would want to look at a picture of me, even my own dcs and I realise that is not a normal way to think but the fact I detest myself so much that I believe my own dh and dcs would not want to remember me makes me realise what a huge problem I have.

blueemerald Sat 15-Mar-14 13:52:08

You really do need to seek professional help. If only to help you not pass this phobia/paranoia/obsession on to your children.

limitedperiodonly Sat 15-Mar-14 13:56:04

Itsallabout Try not to regret it. It's a shame but what's done is done. Whenever I think like that I try to think about the billions of people who lost loved ones before cameras were even dreamed of. Or the ones who couldn't afford photos.

They didn't love any the less. I know that's not exactly what you're saying but your daughter will have your things and memories and the memories of others.

ADishBestEatenCold Sat 15-Mar-14 13:57:20

Apologies if somebody has already said this Hedgehog80, but this sounds like a known phobia, eisoptrophobia.

As far as I know, it can affect people in different way and to different degrees. Some people cannot bear to see their own reflection, may have no mirrors in the house, and may even take unreasonable steps to avoid catching a glimpse of themselves in a shop window, for example. Others cannot bear to see photographs or other images of themselves, and for some this may extend to family and friends seeing their image (although I do think I've read that some sufferers don't care if total strangers see their image). Some a bit of both.
For some people the phobia may simply be a mild nuisance, but it can exists at different levels and, at the other end of the scale, it can be a really debilitating condition.

So, as I say, it affect people in different way and to different degrees, but (I have read) in all cases it is thought to be caused by insecurity and low self-esteem, possibly in general and/or with trigger episodes.

I hope it help to know that this is real Hedgehog80 and I would urge you to ask your GP for a referral for appropriate counselling.

cerealqueen Sat 15-Mar-14 13:58:27

I can relate to this. I used to avoid all mirrors, and even if I knew they were there, just pretended they weren't. At home, when I was in the bathroom, I would drape towels over the mirrors.

Same with photos. My mum actually returned a school photo once as I looked so awful in it. I had very bad skin then, and crooked teeth (still have the crooked teeth, so never smile).

A friend (with whom I wasn't getting on with that well), dumped me because I looked so miserable in her wedding photos, so she reasoned that I must hate her and not be happy for her (she actually sent me an email saying this), I was devastated, as it just confirmed what I thought about myself in pictures.

I only allow them now for the sake of the DCs and my brother did say once that having my photo taken wasn't just about me, other people wanted to have a photo of me, so I relent, reluctantly.

cerealqueen Sat 15-Mar-14 13:59:45

Adish You have just described me!!!!! very helpful to the OP.

Pippilangstrompe Sat 15-Mar-14 14:00:20

Itsallabout wrote what I was coming here to write. I am that kid who doesn't have photos of her family. I wish so much that there were photos. I understand that this is not just a normal dislike of getting your photo taken, but please get help so that your children will be able to remember their childhood and their mum when you are gone.

Itsallabout Sat 15-Mar-14 14:13:48

Hedgehog, I'm sorry if I upset you, it wasn't my intention. Your crying made me cry.
Don't feel guilt. You have recognised that the way you feel isn't normal and it makes you unhappy. You have the power to change it now. It is never too late.

If I knew how to, I would put a photo of my Dd and myself up on here if it would help to give you the courage to move forward.

Limited. Thank you for the comforting words.

MalcolmTuckersMistress Sat 15-Mar-14 14:15:56

Oh OP this is so sad. No one should dislike theirselves that much! No one would look at you and thing anything other than you are just you!! I don't photograph well but I think everyone dislikes their own photographs to some extent.

I think you sound a little like you might have BDD

I really think you should visit your go because it's a form of anxiety and you can get help. But please don't worry.

ADishBestEatenCold Sat 15-Mar-14 14:17:10

Sorry to hear about what you've been through, cerealqueen.

One of the (many) tough bits that I keep reading about this condition is that people, often friends and family who would otherwise be a sufferers support group, do not give it any credence.

I gather common responses include things like
'oh I know what you mean, I looked so bad in my graduation/whatever photos, I had to have them redone!'
'oh I know what you mean, I can't bear to look in the mirror while I've got this huge spot!'
or even worse
'oh get over yourself, you're spoiling things for your family!'

Eisoptrophobia is a real debilitating condition. People wouldn't tell someone whose life was being wrecked by with agoraphobia to 'get over themselves'.

Valdeeves Sat 15-Mar-14 14:21:00

Hedgehog - life is too short to feel like this. There is a system out there devoted to helping people like you - go to the doctor, you can get counselling or meds to help with your anxiety. Please find a way to help yourself - this will impact on your kids if that motivates you.
Life doesn't have to be this way - you can be happier. But you have to do something about it.

CrapBag Sat 15-Mar-14 14:30:17

"I know this is far from normal and I hate feeling this way."

You are right and this means you need to seek help.

Sorry but feeling this way since the age of 12 does not mean that you can't deal with it in your 30's.

I have felt a certain way about myself since my 'mother' abandoned me as a 4 year old. Literally moved away without saying anything whilst I was at my nans. I have many issues because of this (and not liking myself is one of them).

However I know that I need professional help to deal with it so I am having counselling. I have had it before but it was never for very long so it was never dealt with properly. I have now reached the age where I am fed up of feeling worthless so I am doing something about it.

And do you know what, it really really helps. And I mean it really does. My counsellor is fantastic and knows exactly what to say to make me understand things.

I have carried it with me for 28 years from her leaving and the first 4 years of an abusive life. You need to face up to it and not bury your head in the sand hoping it will go away. It won't. It is ruling your life if you can't even be a bridesmaid for your sister.

Oh and your mum is a cow! What a horrible thing to say and you should destroy that photo just so she can't still laugh about it to this day. What kind of mother would do that to her child who is clearly distressed about it.

Also your DH does know that a (possibly) dodgy photo with your eyes half shut isn't how you really look. If you are that uncomfortable then cover you in the photo with something then let him look at the rest. You can't allow him not to see any photos of his sisters wedding because this rules your life.

GimmeDaBoobehz Sat 15-Mar-14 14:36:06

I'm not trying to be rude but you really need to seek help here.

You say it's not the picture, it's being you.

That's some real self hate you have going on there and it needs to be addressed.

Do you want your DCs to feel the same because they see how self conscious Mummy is?

Because children do pick up on these things very easily.

I'm sorry that your Mum has been really horrible to you in the past. Perhaps that's what you need to talk about to someone - why you feel so bad about yourself.

Because I bet if I saw a picture of you I'd at the very worst think you looked normal!

I don't like having my picture taken. I'm visually impaired and my eyes are funny and I'm fat so I'd try having that to look at in the mirror. But I'm a good person so there is no reason why I should dislike myself.

I hope you get some help that you need. Remember you husband chose to marry you so he obviously thinks you are beautiful.

cheekyfunkymonkey Sat 15-Mar-14 14:36:28

Your dh doesn't want to look at the picture of you to upsett you he wants to enjoy reliving his sisters wedding. I am sure if you mark the page he can agree to skip it. Yabu to hide the album. I understand you have deeper issues you need to work through but you need to take responsibility for helping yourself. It's not all about you.

LittleBearPad Sat 15-Mar-14 14:40:31

I think today you need to pop a post it on the photo of you and then let DH have a look at his sis' wedding.

Then I think you need counselling. You know it isn't right to feel this way so what do you have to lose by trying to deal with it. I hope it gets better for you.

AramintaDeWinter Sat 15-Mar-14 14:46:51

I can assure you that 32 is nowhere too old to have counselling for something that happened in early adolescence, please look into getting help.

SilverOldie Sat 15-Mar-14 15:04:12

I've always been phobic having my photograph taken and will do practically anything to avoid it but YABU. Let your DH look at the album

MusicalEndorphins Sat 15-Mar-14 17:06:56

You do need help.
This (wedding album) isn't about you.
If my brothers wife hid my wedding album from him, I would be none to pleased.

Samu2 Sat 15-Mar-14 17:15:55

I have a phobia of having my photo taken too.

I need to have one took for work next week and I already feel awful about it.

I have two wedding photos of me, and a couple of others ones that I weeded out of thousands.

Strangely enough I don't mind looking at myself in a small mirror all that much but I can't have any full length mirrors in the house as I can't bear to see all of myself. My mum has a massive mirror in her hallway and I walk past it with my eyes closed.

When I die there will be very few photos of me and the kids.

Littlefish Sat 15-Mar-14 17:28:55

hedgehog - I've read a few of your threads on here and really think that you would benefit from some counselling, not only about this particular issue but because you have so much on your plate too.

In every other thread of yours that I've read, people have tried to support you and offer you help or advice, but you manage to find reason after reason why what they've suggested either isn't possible or isn't reasonable.

Please try and find the strength to seek help in real life.

BOFtastic Sat 15-Mar-14 19:06:07

I remember reading this amazing blog post on this very topic once, and it really resonated with me- please, anybody who feels a bit like the OP about being photographed, do read it.

myroomisatip Sat 15-Mar-14 19:30:20

I sympathise... I wont even put my picture on FB!

But I really believe that counselling will help.

I also have a phobia about having my hair cut. Every time I came back from the hairdressers my Ex would give me a funny look and never ever compliment me or comment on my hair. Even something as subtle as that affected me, heaven only knows how I would have coped if it had been insulting.

I dont consider my body to be me, I look upon it as a vehicle to carry me through life. Okay so others might have better models but I am comfortable in mine smile

myroomisatip Sat 15-Mar-14 19:31:09

Well that is a bit contradictory! I am mainly comfortable though, more than I used to be smile

ilovesooty Sat 15-Mar-14 19:39:20

I remember as a very unhappy 13 year old being told by DM "however bad things get, don't run away or I will put this hideous picture in all the papers" whilst holding up my year 7 photo which was actually really horrible and I was mortified. After that things just got worse and every now and then that photo still comes out "for a laugh"

Honestly - there is specialist trauma therapy out there to help you to deal with this. Ask your GP for a referral.

crossparsley Sun 16-Mar-14 20:27:19

Hi hedgehog, please remember that this is just the way you feel, not what you are - I know you know this, but it's hard to keep hold of and really believe. 32 is absolutely not too late to start to change things. I had a horrible, poisonous self-image (long story, some of it's in the Stately Homes threads) and I once left a lovely friend's wedding party early because I had a meltdown over photos being taken. I am sorry about that now, but at the time it was the only way to avoid cracking up completely in public. I first felt OK - just OK, just now and again - about what I looked like at around 36. I've had some wobbles and some tearful moments since but they have got less frequent, and at 45 I feel better about mirrors and photos and just being seen than I have since I was six. You can get over it. For me, there was some real-life trauma putting my face into perspective, and a lot of therapy, but also realising that the people who like you, and love you, can really see you - your idea of what they see is all wrong. I promise.

LookingThroughTheFog Sun 16-Mar-14 20:37:31

OP, on the counselling; I'm 37 and am coming to the end of a long series of therapy sessions to fix things that have been ingrained in me since I was 4 or 5. That's sort of what therapy is for; for long, deep-seated problems. If it was for just things that happened yesterday, everyone would need it.

Please do see someone.

JumbledAndTumbled Sun 16-Mar-14 21:14:41

Sorry if this has been suggested but do you have a phone. With a camera? What happens if you take snaps of yourself that you can instantly delete. Selfies are in you know smile Might it help with you feeling a little more comfortable with photos of yourself?

I always read your threads, you have so much going on with your kids and DM, it must be very difficult for you.

DoJo Sun 16-Mar-14 21:54:29

I hate having my photo taken, not the same extent that you do but I ALWAYS look appalling in photos, although I do have a few coping mechanisms which might just help:

Pay attention to how you look at photos of your friends and loved ones. Do you search for flaws, or do you look more at the scene and the setting and notice the emotions or relationships involved? I do, and I realised that I couldn't have told you how x had their hair or what y was wearing when looking at most photos, as that isn't as important as whether they look like they're having fun, or deeply in love, or about to wet themselves laughing.

Be aware that everybody is looking at themselves in photos - if you are in a photo, you are going to look at yourself about 8000 times more than anyone else will. People will look at themselves with the same critical eye that you use (although not as critical for most other people) for yourself, but they won't look at you like that.

The last thing I find helps me to get my slight photo phobia into perspective is that I find that you draw much more attention to what you look like by making a fuss. Insisting that nobody takes any photos, moaning about photos and pointing out all your flaws is a sure-fire way to make people scrutinise your appearance even if they don't mean to - if it helps to think of it like that, then reminding yourself that you are giving people a reason to check the photo for flaws etc by making it the focus of their attention as much as it is yours.

I know that these are simplistic, and your phobia seems a lot more serious than I would imagine can be cured by thinking positively, but if any of the above even begins to sound logical or even vaguely makes sense to you on any level then I'm glad to have helped.

I hope you have some success seeking support for dealing with this - it is obviously having a detrimental effect on your life as well as those of your family and friends.

TheBody Sun 16-Mar-14 22:02:36

your mum sounds a bully. you need help to deal with this. go and chat to your GP. this isn't about a photo you are just focusing in that if course but this is a deeper issue. go with your dh to see the GP but get help op or this will impact on your marriage/life/children and no one deserves that.

RunLikeSomeFeckersChasing Sun 16-Mar-14 22:09:42

Hey hedge - incurable lurker here. I was thinking of you today hoping things had eased out. Your posts reasonate with me and I think you are an incredibly strong, determined and pretty amazing person.

I suffer from low level social anxiety and depression. Only way I can have my pic taken is to take my glasses off. I'm thankfully rather shortsighted and somehow I feel less there and more relaxed. Glasses on - stick up ass expression. Glasses off - natural. Know that's no help but I really wish you well.

RunLikeSomeFeckersChasing Sun 16-Mar-14 22:11:24

And your mum is a toxic old bitch. Sorry if that's harsh or upsets you but it's also true.

Redcliff Sun 16-Mar-14 22:48:26

Hedgehog - my heart goes out to you. You DP sounds lovely . I had some help with something that happened when I was 11 when I was 41 - please go and see your GP or if you can afford go private.

MiscellaneousAssortment Mon 17-Mar-14 00:36:28

Hedgehog I think it must be really really tough having to live like this. On top of everything else you're going through, it just sounds so hard.

I would definitely look into councelling, I suspect that you're adamant it won't help because of how big an issue it seems to you. And maybe a bit of fear about raking it all up, or being forced to confront your fears with no defenses in place.

But the right style of councelling with the right councellor is incredibly powerful stuff. I think you'd be surprised.

EverythingCounts Mon 17-Mar-14 00:49:24

Agree with everyone saying that it is not too late at all to get counselling to help you with this. As said above, the right counsellor can work wonders. You can do it.

As for the event in your childhood with the school photo - that was immensely nasty and cruel. I am shock that 'the photo comes out every now and again for a laugh' - that's horrible. Your DH sounds like a lovely man who understands you on this. Could he go and confront your mum about it and get that photo back for you? I wonder if it would help at all to know it would no longer come out - maybe you could destroy it yourself and that would allow you to begin working through the damage it has caused.

trufflehunterthebadger Mon 17-Mar-14 00:51:09

If your dread of having your photo taken has directly led tonyou (and therefore your family) being unable to travel outside the Uk because you wont get a passport, I would suggest it's time to get help

I mean, seriously ? If you won an all expenses paid trip to the craribbean would you really not go because you had to have your photo taken ?

trufflehunterthebadger Mon 17-Mar-14 01:02:02

But it's much deeper than the photographs isn't it. The fear of having your photograph is almost like a symptom of a bigger problem. You can get help, therapy will help you in ways you would never have thought of.

SallyMcgally Mon 17-Mar-14 01:48:22

If it makes you feel better OP we had to cut my head out of all pictures with newly borns as I looked so hideous. grin I wish I was joking.
That said, you need counselling. It's not fair on your family not to take it, and ridiculous at age of 32 to say you can't change. You may never feel comfortable with having your photo taken - lots of people don't - but you will learn ways of coping with the crippling irrationality that you're suffering from. You deserve to feel better than this, and your family deserve it too. thanks

MistressDeeCee Mon 17-Mar-14 01:49:51

Counselling won't help, not being me would

So basically - you want to wallow. & it doesn't matter how your DH or DCs feel about you never taking photos with them. Its all about you.

It must be horrible to feel as you do. I can't imagine it. But to blatantly say you won't seek help, which is what you are saying with 'counselling won't help' is very insular.

Hopefully your DH will find his DSis album & look at it anyway. Its a memento of his DSis special day. Life isnt all about you.

frumpet Mon 17-Mar-14 08:18:51

OP yanbu to feel the way you do , but it would be unreasonable for you to go on thinking that it can never change .
As many others have said , you can do something about this , something that will make you feel better about yourself . Surely that is worth a try ?

Cyclebump Mon 17-Mar-14 08:44:20

I can completely sympathise, I too have this phobia. However, they're wedding photos. I'd sugges letting him look while you're out of the house and asking him not o comment. Surely he knows about your feelings and will be willing to keep schtum?

Blithereens Mon 17-Mar-14 08:49:24

Sweetheart, you probably feel like counselling won't help because you've felt like this for so long that you simply can't imagine not feeling like it.

I strongly urge you to try it. It can help in lots of ways. Considering all the limitations this phobia is putting on you, I think it's at least worth a try.

Bulldozers Mon 17-Mar-14 09:09:05

I've not read all the responses but like you I have an issue with photos.

I've relaxed a bit now but still find it difficult.

With DH we take selfies and make a joke of it. I know we can delete it if it's terrible. Digital cameras are the best! We've managed to get some nice ones because we relax.

One thing that helped me is realising like you do that you look awkward because you feel awkward so I just take a deep breath and try to relax. Reminding myself I'll only look worse if I'm apprehensive. Does that make sense?

There are very few photos of myself and my daughter. I know I'll regret it one day.

I know this doesn't help with your current situation. I think you need to let your DH see the photos. Trust him. If need be let him look alone.

Good luck.

Bitofkipper Mon 17-Mar-14 09:30:53

I dread having photos taken and the worry is even worse now because people take lots of silent pictures on phones and tablets that you are unaware of, especially at family gatherings. I was looking at DH's camera recently and there was one of me on there that I didn't know he had taken; I deleted it and said nothing.
One thing I have realised though is that making a fuss is counter productive. I say nothing and people don't single me out for attention.
People really are only interested in pictures of themselves and their children; they don't care if you look rubbish.

SarahAndFuck Mon 17-Mar-14 09:33:28

Why would he make a wrong comment or laugh if he knows how strongly you feel about the way you look in photographs?

Is he not very understanding of your feelings or does he think that he can 'jolly' you out of them, so to speak?

glasgowsteven Mon 17-Mar-14 12:00:45

This is beyond belief.

No passport - no driving licence if you were to move house (assuming you had a paper licence 15 years ago and have not moved since).

Serious help needed.

What about when your kids get married, photo of the happy couple and 4 parents...

Sorry my mum wont, she is selfish

limitedperiodonly Mon 17-Mar-14 12:02:28

Sorry my mum wont, she is selfish

And that's unkind

Sicaq Mon 17-Mar-14 12:52:20

You DO look the way you do in pics and do you know what - that's ok!

My recent passport pic looks so little like me that it has actually caused me to be stopped at airports. I have other photos where friends have not been able to recognise me. Pictures can be nothing like reality for some people.

MiscellaneousAssortment Mon 17-Mar-14 21:08:11

Oh op, I hope you are ok. Some of these replies are cutting and cruel. A serious failure in empathy and an interpretation of AIBU as 'please feel free to be unpleasant'


charitygirl Mon 17-Mar-14 21:16:03

OP - you have ONE life to live. A cliche, but true. You say 'not being me would help'. You don't have that option, so try counselling instead.

ilovesooty Mon 17-Mar-14 21:24:51

I also think one or two posters have had an empathy bypass here. I don't see how calling the OP selfish is going to help. I hope you can focus on the positive support here-it's a much bigger issue for you than the photos themselves. Please do ask your GP about referring you for appropriate interventions.

TalkinPeace Mon 17-Mar-14 21:24:54

you need counselling.

I look shit in photos : I am spectacularly un photogenic - I do not like having my picture taken (profile pics are great as I get to blank my face out)
but I do not stop others looking at pictures of me
that would be loopy

why should you husband and kids not be allowed to have pictures of you?

FabBakerGirl Mon 17-Mar-14 21:25:38

It is never too late to make your life better.

Hedgehog80 Mon 17-Mar-14 21:55:02

I have very occasionally taken a photo of myself and been horrified as I feel that I look hideous. I didn't mean that I wouldn't try counselling just that I couldn't imagine it working as I simply can't imagine ever feeling old about myself.

Re the passport issue, if I'm honest even if I won a holiday I doubt I'd go even if I managed to get a passport done as I have other anxiety issues and I don't think I'd be able to. Dh and I used to plan that one day we would go on a holiday as we didnt get a honeymoon but when dd2 got ill we realised nobody would look after dcs so we would never get to go anyway. I'm living a life day in day out where all I see is danger and risks so I never do much its pathetic sad

Dh saw the album but I covered the picture with me in so at least he saw the rest he said he just wanted to see the dcs as they'd been bridesmaids/pageboys.

Hedgehog80 Mon 17-Mar-14 21:55:54

Good not old

Littlefish Mon 17-Mar-14 22:44:17

Please speak to someone in rl about accessing counselling. You sound depressed.

Devora Mon 17-Mar-14 22:56:20

Hedgehog, I'm really sorry you've had unpleasant responses on this thread. You are not dramatic or selfish - you have a disorder that needs treatment.

Please, please seek help. I gave away far too much of my life to anorexia, and the sheer relief of being free to get on with being a human being makes all the hard work of recovery worthwhile. Best of luck to you.

limitedperiodonly Mon 17-Mar-14 23:12:27

I'm glad you showed him the album in the end.

I'm still not as convinced as other posters that you were depriving him though. That was every bit as overdramatic as they were accusing you of being.

As I said, IME men aren't interested in wedding photos. Actually, lots of us women aren't interested either. I married in 1992. I haven't looked at my photos since and they're still not in an album.

But please do try and seek help because this is something that's spoiling your life and it really shouldn't.

EeeIcouldCrushAGrape Mon 17-Mar-14 23:23:11

Reading your posts, I do think you sound like you could do with some sort of counselling.
This coming from someone who absolutely HATES having their photo taken, and always has done.
Seriously now, I can probably count on one hand the amount of photos I've had taken of myself over the past few years.
I'm not photogenic, and cringe like mad when I see myself. When the camera does point at me I either tense up or pull silly faces. smile
To deny your husband the chance to see photos of his sister getting married though? That's extreme and not a normal reaction.
He sees you every day in the flesh, he knows what you look like unless you go around with the lights switched out and a bag permanently over your head

EugenesAxe Mon 17-Mar-14 23:24:13

Honestly it does seem like counselling would benefit you - even if if wouldn't cure your phobia, it would hopefully halt the severe self-worth issues you have.

Don't bite my head off for this, but didn't you post a fairly heartbreaking account of your son's sensitivities the other day? I'm now wondering if there isn't some genetic factor affecting you both... or if your problems are due to your mum, whether yours are now somehow projecting to him? Like I say if it was you please don't take this the wrong way; I was upset to read of those problems and I'm the same with this post. I hope you can start to respect yourself again soon - I would second talking to your GP.

AlansLeftMoob Mon 17-Mar-14 23:31:46

YABU he sees you every day of the week, FFS.

Devora Mon 17-Mar-14 23:37:07

Alans, have you read the thread? Can you see that that's about as helpful as saying to an anorexic, "Just eat a fucking pie"?

AlansLeftMoob Mon 17-Mar-14 23:37:23

Just read back over the whole thread and in all honesty you need a serious reality check. I don't like pictures of me either and I will never watch a video that I'm on - but to deny your children a family picture because of your own insecurity is downright selfish. What difference does it make if your photo is taken? Have you two heads? Three noses? Two teeth? Seriously. I hope to God your children don't pick up this ridiculous insecurity from you. You do realise that people can see you anyway? That none of us really LOVE standing posing in front of a camera? Count your blessings for your good health, healthy children, and nice family and suck it up. And yes, you're being beyond unreasonable to not "let" your husband look at family photos. What do you think he's going to do, look at them and walk out? In all seriousness. Get over it.

limitedperiodonly Mon 17-Mar-14 23:38:28

Way to go alansleftmoob.

Your mother must be so proud of you.

SallyMcgally Mon 17-Mar-14 23:39:54

Please get some counselling. It can help you have some of the happiness you deserve. I didn't start counselling until my early 40s, my sister was older and it's been so helpful to us both. On the other hand for as long as I can remember my mother has said she can't change. She could have found help, but didn't, and it marked my sister and me. You deserve to feel better, and your children deserve you to feel better too.

AlansLeftMoob Mon 17-Mar-14 23:39:56

Sorry Devora it sounds incredibly attention seeking and total rubbish. I despise cameras but would never make such a big deal over someone seeing a picture of me. For that matter, it was an occasion so presumably the OP was dressed up nicely and was happy enough to go to the wedding . Attitudes like "counselling won't help" are immature and selfish when there are children to consider. Eating disorders are a different ballgame, this isn't body dysmorphia - this is a phobia of photographs.

limitedperiodonly Mon 17-Mar-14 23:41:47

Good point devora Feel free to choke on a fucking pie alan.

Bye bye, you pest.

Devora Mon 17-Mar-14 23:43:47

Well, I'm not a psychiatrist, but it sounds to me very like body dysmorphia. And in some ways that is rather like anorexia. When I was anorexic I was told I was attention seeking, dramatic, self-indulgent, childish, manipulative and immature. All true: it goes with the disease.

I don't imagine for one second the OP is feeling good about herself, do you? So does it help, really, to just tell her a few more times how crap she is? To suggest she should be feeling just a little more shame?

AlansLeftMoob Mon 17-Mar-14 23:44:09

And before you lot start attacking me you may want to look at OP's other numerous posts - if they are serious, the woman has serious, serious issues that AIBU will not fix. Photographs are the least of her problems.

ilovesooty Tue 18-Mar-14 00:15:37

AlansLeftMoob I have seen the OP's other posts. And I still think you sound appallingly insensitive.

ilovesooty Tue 18-Mar-14 00:17:11

And if you'd seen her other posts you'd realise her children have health problems - so your previous comment was inappropriate. You sound about as delightful as her mother.

Funnyfoot Tue 18-Mar-14 00:50:46

Seriously OP you need help with all your issues.
You have countless threads with various problems raised and every time you are given brilliant and well thought out useful advice by caring posters. Yet every time you come up with reasons/excuses not to take it.

You always post in AIBU which usually ends up a bit bun flighty and you are advised time and time again by the nice posters not to post here because it always ends up the same way. But you still do.

I have reached the point where, I don't disbelieve your family situation but I think you post in AIBU it to get attention.

The seek counselling advice given by folk always ends up being the same on all your threads regardless of topic. Then someone comes along and knows your form gets fed up and says something negative, then others stick up for you and you sit back and revel in said bun fight.

Maybe it's time you listened to the good advice that is repeated to you time and time again

Hedgehog80 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:09:45

I have posted in many other sections not just Aibu.

As for 'not taking advice'??! In the last few weeks I have made huge changes some was advised on here some from other sources-huge amount of financial advice accepted and now our money situation is better, advice from sn children's section and I've been working towards things to do with that, I've sought help for problems dcs have so in no way have I been resistant to help or change its just that from y posts you only get part of the picture not all of it and don't see what I'm doing/getting help with/sorting out.

Hedgehog80 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:13:47

And if you have seen my other posts and read them then you will know exactly what issues I'm dealing with but bear in mind I've namechanged twice in the five years or so I've been here and if you were to read all the posts in all usernames you might understand that its not attention seeking-I literally have no other place to go for advice etc .

FabBakerGirl Tue 18-Mar-14 09:30:29

Hedgehog80 - please get some help. For your own sake as well as your children and husband. You only get one life. It is too long to spend it in fear.

Hedgehog80 Tue 18-Mar-14 09:34:23

I currently have counselling once a week but that's for issues to do with dcs being unwell/coping with that. I'm waiting for counselling about another issue and will look into help for my problem with image/confidence/photos. Its just hard to find the time and childcare alongside dcs appts and looking after them, I will get round to it.

ilovesooty Tue 18-Mar-14 10:12:23

At least go and talk this through with your GP who might reassess your counselling needs and look at different provision.

OvertiredandConfused Tue 18-Mar-14 10:25:24

OP I'm afraid that I'm posting without having read the whole thread sorry for committing a serious MN sin but I do know some of your situation from some of your other threads.

I just wanted to say that last year I spent a lot of time supporting a family where the mum died VERY suddenly. One of the hardest things for her three grieving children was that there are hardy any photos of their mum - and no recent ones - because she didn't like having her picture taken.

Please don't think I'm minimising the stress and anxiety that it causes you. But please, please find a way round this. On the positive front, the confidence boost you will get from addressing it will be huge.

Hedgehog80 Tue 18-Mar-14 10:58:33

The gp couldn't provide counselling, I am seen at the children's centre as they allow ds2 to be there as well and no other would allow him the and I couldn't get childcare. Its in same building as dd pre school so is ideal as don't have to travel.
When that finishes I will be having counselling for a traumatic event from two years ago that I need help with. After that I will seek help with confidence issues. I find it easier to try and deal with one thing at a time.

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