Happy As A Werewolf

Niraj Budhathoki, 12, sits under the shade of a tree a normal routine for the villager to spend time under a tree and speak with each others as there are very few televisions or any other means of entertainment at the homes of the villagers at Kharay

Earlier this month, I came across a  story about a family in Nepal who suffer from a genetic disorder known as Congenital Hypertrichosis Lanuginosa (CHL).  It causes excessive body hair growth and is sometimes referred to as “werewolf syndrome.”

The photos by Navesh Chitrakar are staggeringly beautiful. They show a very poor family living in a remote village in Nepal, making regular trips to a hospital in Katmandu for free laser hair-removing treatments.

Despite their unsettling looks, I thought I could perceive a kind of happiness that I’m incapable of achieving.

They are a family,  joined in a team effort to survive poverty and disfigurement. They are surrounded by natural beauty. The children look cared for and happy. They know what matters and what doesn’t.

I’m probably projecting a fantasy on them but it helps me to see how depression not only distorts everything, but how traumatic childhood experiences deprive you of something essential. I don’t feel okay being me. I feel disfigured and unlovable. I find it hard to be at one with nature. I want my mommy.

Devi Budhathoki

Devi-Budhathoki

Mandira-Budhathoki

Anyway, today I woke up to learn there has been a massive earthquake in Nepal. What about my werewolf family?!? It is unbearable. Are they okay? What about everybody else??

Let’s all give money to relief efforts in Nepal, because we are so blessed, no matter how miserable we are, to have somewhere to sleep tonight and to know where our loved one are.

Doctors Without Borders, Mercy Corps, and CARE.

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3 Responses to Happy As A Werewolf

  1. annemarie says:

    This is a lovely post. My mother has a lot to answer for, but maybe I’d have been an asshole without her. I don’t know if it’s possible to feel for the pain of others if you can’t connect to that point of vulnerability and exposure in yourself.

    I saw this painting just the other day. Isn’t she lovely? I thought of you: http://new.artsmia.org/blog/stories/the-hairy-family-and-the-habsburgs/

  2. Sister Wolf says:

    annemarie – YES, I love that portrait, thank you! xoxo

  3. ALI says:

    I thought about your werewolf family all weekend, though didn’t comment on this post. Nepal is one of the most beautiful, and joyful countries I’ve ever visited (and I visited right after the assassination of the royal family in 2001).

    When I visited I became obsessed with the Kumari(s) (living prepubescent goddesses) and collected many photos of them. Still have postcards and framed photos around my current living space. Keeping Nepal, including werewolf family and current and prior Kumaris, in my thoughts.

    Today a friend of mine posted something about donating money to her friend’s father (a white man) so he could “take a trip to Nepal to administer acupuncture to earthquake survivors”.

    fuck us. The USA IS post-apocalypse.

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