What a weird, wonderful day it’s been!

19 May

Hey, y’all! Thank you to everyone who’s read and commented on my essay “What the Guys I Date Don’t Know,” originally published in the June issue of Marie Claire (that’s the issue with the super-fierce Beyonce on the cover).

It’s been a really interesting day since the essay hit the AOL home page. Lots of people have had amazing things to say, and still more have been extremely generous with sharing their own experiences and hardships.  My story may be unique, but everybody’s got their own equivalent, something they consider “baggage.” In that way, we’re all the same.

Others aren’t as fond of my essay, and that’s ok, too! I love this supa-fabulous exchange of ideas that’s happening right now. Let’s keep it up! What blows my mind are the (very few) people who have taken my essay as an opportunity to attack my physical appearance. To them I say, WTF? Are you kidding me with this?!

Weather’s lovely in Brooklyn, so I’m hoping to get outside soon. I hope there’s sunshine wherever you are, too!

xo carla.

19 Responses to “What a weird, wonderful day it’s been!”

  1. kidish May 19, 2009 at 6:55 pm #

    Worse still were the people attacking the disorder we share. That earned the big WTF from me for the day. My wife simmered me down. The best thing: more exposure for KTS. Keep your chin up and keep looking for what your heart wants, you’ll find it.

  2. Holly May 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm #

    Carla — don’t even think about the crazies that crawl out of the woodwork to spew out venom in the aol news comments section. I give it another hour before it devolves into an all-out cyber race riot or lowbrow “you people” type of political debate. Believe me, the ones who commented on aol this morning, are onto the next tirade by now. As far as the other venues, congrats on being published there .

    It will be interesting to see…it’s possible that this very day at this very moment, a barrier is being broken. KTS goes mainstream. 🙂

  3. JENNIFER May 19, 2009 at 7:59 pm #


  4. Jeff May 19, 2009 at 8:03 pm #

    I found that many of the AOL replies were better than usual, thoughtful, not typical flame or ad links.

    I’ve always found beauty in the eyes. Others will as well, give it time but stay away from those dating services.

  5. Geoff May 19, 2009 at 9:55 pm #

    Hi Carla,

    Simply brilliant! Probably one of the best written pieces ever to be posted to AOL. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with us.


  6. Jerry May 19, 2009 at 10:04 pm #


    I read your article that showed on AOL with interest. I had never heard of the condition KT. It obviously presents some unique challenges. Based upon what you said in your article you seem to have your head screwed on right.

    Take care,


  7. Rita May 19, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    Great story, it sounded familiar to me…I have spinal arthritis and dating was interesting to say the least. When do you tell someone? First date? Second date? Do they have a right to know? How do you work it into the conversation? Hey…could you pass the butter….and oh yeah I have a chronic illness. On the bright side it can help weed out the shallow jerks pretty quickly. Also, you are 100 percent correct we all have our “baggage” so to speak. Good luck with your career!

  8. Steve May 19, 2009 at 11:08 pm #

    Hi Carla, great story of courage and beauty….I would date you in a second because of your beauty, both in and out…you will find your mate in time, just have to weed through the shallowness of most men and you will be blessed with a true love. I commend you on your strength and courage to put it out there for all to see…..I wish I had half your strength….best fo luck

  9. Suzie May 19, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    Dear Carla,

    All I can say is Wow. I share the same syndrome, although it is my left leg/buttock that is hypertrophied compared to the right, with spinal involvement. I belong to a KT online support group and I brought up your article today in email and how it hit the nail for me as a woman. You are inspirational to me; it is difficult enough to face the topic with all the medical professionals, especially the males, you have to deal with. But having the courage to put yourself out there in cyberspace and put a face on KT/overgrowth syndromes, you are a gem. Don’t know if you are already a member of the KT support listserve, but the website is k-tsupport@sorrowind.net. Take Care….

  10. Alex May 19, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Hello. I read your story through the AOL homepage but I have a thing against commenting on AOL because everybody on there tends to be raving idiots. I don’t want to bombard you with comments about how strong you are and your level of courage, because those both go without saying. Have a truly blessed life.

  11. Lane May 19, 2009 at 11:53 pm #

    Hey Carla, I’m am the proud father of a beautiful 21 year old young lady who also has KTS. A friend sent me your Marie Claire article. Of course as her father I have managed to remain under the delusion that she is happily asexual. There is of course the off chance I’m wrong. Since I can’t seem to write anything that doesn’t sound patronizing or makes me hear banjos, let me just say thank you for your willingness to share. – Lane

  12. Liz May 19, 2009 at 11:56 pm #

    What wonderfully eloquent and poignant writing. I felt like crying as I empathised with the experiences you described…oh the art of disguise…the way you move, the clothes you wear, the way you interact and ultimately the ‘mask’ you wear, until you reach THAT moment where you either reveal or you run, fight or flight, are courageous or cowardly. Up until now I have mostly been of the cowardly persuasion but your article has made me think twice. Maybe, just maybe I will be open and honest and not try and be something I am not…? Maybe…

  13. Mark May 20, 2009 at 12:02 am #

    No I do not have K-T. My daughter was born with it. It has been terrifying, enlightening and inspirational. To me my daughter is perfect. I don’t waste my time on rude, idiotic people and their comments, which fortunately are few. My daughter twice won top student in her grade in elementary school. Her last honors day at this school her favorite teacher annouced the honors of the children then paused. He said, and my personal hero, and then he said her name. The auditorium erupted in cheers like a rock concert, kids repeating her name. It was awesome and I had tears coming down my cheeks. She will be thirteen this July and is as beautiful as Carla. I can’t help but believe her future is as bright as her smile. Thanks Carla for putting K-T out there for the world to see.

    • Nancy May 20, 2009 at 12:38 am #

      Hi Carla,
      I belong to the kt support group that was mentioned in a comment above (www.k-t.org/) Please join us, we are also on facebook…my daughter is the one who has kt and she 15. Thank you for writing this article, I think its very brave. I’m glad you are now able to put your kt up front and make sure people know in advance. My daughters kt is mild but its her arm and hand and she has never been able to hide it. She’s brave too.
      Nancy Marsh

  14. Richard Garbe May 20, 2009 at 5:15 am #

    Read your article/story today and wanted to tell you that as a writing critic for many, many years there are of course lots of ways to assess good writing. My favorite applies to your writing: I want more of the story! I want to know what happens next. You are a fantastic story teller. Both of my kids turned out to be great writers, writing things sometimes their father didn’t care for and often baiting me with “unfinished” stories I wanted to read more of. My daughter is 25, with KT, and likely shares similar experiences with yours, so in that aspect it was both a joy and hard to read your story. As to your appearance, WTF indeed to those ignorant few who have so commented…. perhaps it is the beauty you show that truly intimidates them.

  15. randy May 20, 2009 at 5:43 am #

    i read your piece on aol. i think a lot of people could relate to it because no doubt most folks have some degree of angst about revealing themselves to another if their bodies are less than perfect. i’d never heard of KT, but your general situation ie; attractive face and general presentation when clothed, but signifigantly non-normative looking when nude, is similar to my own. my problems are caused by a congenital neuropathy and include pretty severe spinal curvature and highly atrophied legs. when younger-in my 20s-i got about on crutches pretty well and looked pretty good in the face, i geuss. but i was always very self-conscious of my body. still am, in some ways…
    but the conclusion i came to finally was that if *I* was going to have physical standards for female sex partners; and i absolutely DID, and do still, then i could hardly complain if i was rejected for physical reasons.
    i’ve seen the word ‘shallow’ bandied about a lot here, as if most folks WEREN’T, or if they were they could and should learn to Look Past the physical, etc, etc…i’m convinced that the topic of physical Standards in a partner is something many people are uncomfortable about. they don’t want to admit that they reject potential partners because of looks-preferring to believe that they Just Happened to end up w/someone attractive by chance rather than because they ruthlessly shot down any number of dowdy potential lovers prior to meeting le hottie.
    even you, ms sosenko, don’t really address this issue of whether YOU reject guys for physical reasons. would YOU date a KTer…or a wheelchair user…or a little short pudgy guy? i’m saying-if the answer is No, then that’s fine and you neednt feel any guilt…but you also can’t complain if a man isnt attracted to you for physical reasons.
    in a way, your situation is like that of the late author and academic lucy greely, who was facially disfigured but had a great body. in any case, the good news for you is that you’ve personally verified that there ARE men who find all of you attractive..

  16. Kate May 20, 2009 at 12:20 pm #

    Thanks so much for writing this Carla – I also have KT and have more birthmark and odder legs than you can imagine. I find dating so, so stressful and difficult and therefore usually don’t. I am currently trying to learn to be more trusting and not always expect the ‘but you’re a freak!’ reaction. Hard to do though isn’t it?

  17. Dean May 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi –

    Your article was great; except for the part where guys who are just being nice are described as “disposable.” “Tell me you’re happy to be out with someone smart and attractive and see if I call you again.”

  18. Beth May 21, 2009 at 2:17 am #

    I read your article on AOL news and I just want to say thank you! I found it funny and inspirational. I’m a twenty-four year old with K-T syndrome as well and it was so great to hear all of the anxieties of dating with K-T that I’ve felt voiced by someone else. your awesome 🙂

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