©Nevus Network

The Congenital Nevus Support Group

PO Box 305 West Salem, OH 44287 (419) 853-4525 (405) 377-3403

web site: http://www.nevusnetwork.org email: info@nevusnetwork.org


Newsletter Number 9 September 17, 1996

From a Husband's Perspective

Low Self-esteem, Insecurity Can Be Overcome

Nevus Registry

Thanks for Your Support

From a Husband's Perspective

I am the widower of Veronica, a woman with a congenital bathing trunk nevus and neurocutaneous melanosis. I would like to share some of my thoughts with the members of the Nevus Network. I met Veronica five years ago and I watched our relationship blossom into a full flowering of love. Then only three weeks after we were married, I began to watch her slowly die from malignant melanoma of the brain at age 28. Fortunately for all of you, this occurs only rarely in those with giant nevi.

Some of you may ask, why am I writing this? I want to reassure everyone associated with this condition that there are loving people in the world who will care for you and love you for who you are regardless of a congenital nevus or surgical scarring. My wife had the bathing trunk portion of her nevus removed in numerous surgical procedures using skin grafts before she turned sixteen. This left the skin from her mid-thigh to halfway up her back and to her waist in the front quite badly scarred. Additionally, she had scores of smaller nevi scattered throughout her body. These ranged in size from 1 mm to 10 cm in diameter. When we first met I hardly noticed her moles because she was so great to be with! As I found out later, she was quite apprehensive about her skin, but I was barely aware of it. In fact, she was so apprehensive that she had avoided intimate contact with men her whole life. She had assumed that she would be rejected. However, I was persistent and we grew closer. Then one night in a ski lodge in the Rocky Mountains she told me about her skin and showed it to me. She expected rejection, but she received acceptance and understanding.

That more than anything is what I am trying to convey here. There might be rejection at some point in relationships with the opposite sex. But there can be and will be acceptance and love if you give prospective "boyfriends" and "girlfriends" an opportunity to show their true colors. Whether you have surgery or not, do not allow a society that is obsessed with a specific and discriminatory idea of what is or is not beautiful prevent you from living and enjoying relationships of all kinds. With Veronica, her family implied that there simply would be no men for her. So she spent her teen years believing romance would never come her way. Perhaps her family didn't want to build up her expectations only to have her be disappointed. However, I think a better method of support would be encouragement and unconditional love. This will build a person's self-esteem to the point where they can withstand any possible disappointment and cruelty.

Although I lost her as I watched her slowly die of a brain tumor, I feel strongly that the love we shared and the wonderful times we enjoyed outweighed by a wide margin my emotional pain at her suffering. My message is only this: Be open and honest and caring and you will find that there are many special someones for you who have these same qualities. --Veronica’s husband

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Low self-esteem, insecurity no obstacles


Like Veronica’s family, (see front page) my family implied that there would be no men in my life either. With my bathing trunk nevus, I also spent my teen years believing romance would never come my way. I had only one date in high school: a fix-up to my senior prom. I vividly remember some of my classmates' mouths dropping open in surprised disbelief as I walked into the gym with my date!

In college, I had much better experiences with opposite-sex friends. But I was still plagued by low self-esteem and feelings of insecurity. I felt so ashamed of myself that I could never look a man I was attracted to straight in the eye. I would always glance at the floor and carefully pretend I hadn't noticed him. Naturally, I had few dates doing that.

Gradually over the years, I realized that I didn't have to be perfect because no one else was either. I was OK just as I was. My first boyfriend had one leg slightly shorter than the other. He was quite sensitive about his leg, but my skin never bothered him at all. Since then, I've had quite a few boyfriends, most with no obvious physical defects. At the present time, I'm very happily divorced due to physical abuse by my ex-husband during my 11-month marriage. I've learned that most people with nevi do find romance--and can even find it twice! The marriage rate for those with nevi is very similar to that of the general population. I wish I had been told this as a little girl. Most of us also lead long, happy, productive lives and I hope to do so, too! Right now, I have a very loving relationship with a special significant other, and I'm enjoying more freedom from insecure hang-ups than ever before. Life can be wonderful, no matter what a person's skin looks like! --BJ, Age 34, Arlington, VA


"Beauty is truth, truth beauty."

Keats (1795-1821)

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Nevus Registry

We have recently established a database of our members. Please see our home page for details on registering you or your child's info into our database. The data will periodically be published, anonymously of course, so that the information will be available to all.

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Thanks for Your Support!

We're happy to report that the Nevus Network has been making good progress since our last newsletter. Our membership roster has been steadily increasing. Most of our referrals have been by word of mouth. Please keep them coming! We would like to extend our sincere appreciation to all of you who sent donations to the Nevus Network, especially to Elizabeth W. Because so many of you were generous, we were able to cover the expenses for the computer software, printing, and postage for the last newsletter. All checks sould be made payable to the Nevus Network. We're also interested in feedback! Please feel free to contact us with your comments. Anyone who would like to submit an article for the next newsletter is encouraged to do so. Have a safe and happy summer and don’t get too much sun! ----------------------The Editors -- BJ & Kelly

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 The opinions expressed in the Nevus Network Newsletter are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Nevus Network or the medical community at large. For any medical advise, please consult your own personal physician.© 1991 Nevus Network Reprinted 2004