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.
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.