A post popped up in my street team just the other day and boy was it a trigger! Every time I see anything to do with Batman’s the Joker I can remember the humiliation and the cruel things he used to say to me.

Wonder why I always hide my mouth when I smile? Why I try not to show my teeth? I wonder if those around me had ever noticed before?

I don’t even really want to write it here because of fear of others using it and seeing it as a weakness, the truth is it doesn’t hurt me it just causes me to remember what my ex abuser used to do with cruel laughing and pointing at me.

I bet your thinking- cut to the chase! Say it! Tell us what he said! But I’m sure your reaction will be what! Why do you think on it anymore? You know it’s not true! You are beautiful! Or perhaps your thinking he’s right, that’s my true fear and drawing attention to it here could only make it worse.

BUT I’m going to tell you because I know that someone out there will relate to this. The comment he used was something I shake my head at now, I don’t know why he fixated on it. Perhaps he destined for me never to smile again.

Ok… here goes! Every time I smile I have this BEAMING smile. It takes over my mouth and in my head it makes others smile. To him he used to laugh, point and almost used to wee himself because I smiled. He even asked me to stop smiling. He said at each edge of my mouth it was like I was cut to make my smile wider like the Joker. For years it was something he would come back to over and over again, he laughed so much his eyes would water. Can you imagine how I felt?

Photo from Huff Post- 5 stories you’ve never heard before about Health Ledger as the joker

So here is a photo of me with my husband, the man who tells me I am truly beautiful and to smile more. He’s stuck the plasters on my emotional wounds, helped me to regain my confidence. It’s in confidence I post this. Because if you are being humiliated like this it isn’t normal, if you tell someone it’s hurtful and it makes you not want to smile (or refrain from whatever it is) then it is cruel and its a sign of an unhealthy relationship. Why would the person who says they love you want to upset you like this?

It haunts me now and I’m sure if he read this he would be happy with himself. BUT I feel I have my smile back, I’m happy and I will show my pearly white teeth so people can smile with me.

A smile I’m not going to hide. So if you see me tell me to smile, I’ll smile with you! You can’t hide happiness or recovery.

I feel like my smile says many things but most of all it reveals how far I have come and that I allow myself to be happy again.

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  1. Helen

    You have a gorgeous smile, I can’t understand why anyone would make fun of you for it. Or why anyone normal would make fun of you for it. Because those people aren’t normal. My ex also told me I had enormous front teeth (I don’t) and made fun of them until, like you, I wanted to hide my face every time I smiled. I still cover my face now, and my husband tells me off because, like yours, he says I have a beautiful smile I shouldn’t hide. We can smile together and be proud! x

    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Wow I didn’t realise we had even more in common. Perhaps it’s something they simply want to control, who knows. I just know I used to love Batman and even more Heath Ledger but now it flashes that back in my face. X

  2. Helen

    He used to call me after a well-known animal with large front teeth that makes dams – see, I still can’t say it, even now. It became my nickname, and he never used my real name ever again. I hated it, and I hate any mention of those animals.

  3. Tina

    You are beautiful.
    Sadly there are so many hurtful people in the world but there are a lot more who aren’t. Keep smiling.

  4. Kate Kenzie

    So glad you have your smile back! Your post has struck a nerve today and has helped Thank you for sharing.

  5. Emma

    Just another way to make you feel bad and him have power. Im glad you’ve told the told, it shows you have nothing fear from him anymore.
    You have a beautiful smile and I’m glad you share it with us xx

    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you Emma. Recovery certainly doesn’t happen overnight or weeks but can take years. X

  6. Sharon

    My husband used to call me ‘Moose’ he used claim he was being funny, I told him it hurt me as it was a term used locally for an ugly, fat, woman -an offensive term. After telling him that it upset me he used it all the more. I didn’t have much confidence as it was but constantly being called a moose made me feel like crap and fat and ugly, I still feel upset if I hear it now, even if it’s not directed at me xx

    • jenniferlauragilmour

      I’m sorry to hear that huni. I can relate completely to what you are saying. Sending you hugs. X

  7. Jackie

    I love your smile Jennifer, you have a beautiful heart and it shines from the inside out! Keep smiling, every time you do, it says, ‘I’m not afraid, you don’t have that power over me anymore, I’m taking it back.’

    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you for those words! I’m certainly not afraid anymore and there is no power… yes- I’ve taken it back 💪🏻 x

  8. Bernadette

    I bet your smile is even more beautiful now than ever – and that, my dear friend, is your winning card. You have a gorgeous smile, I don’t think I’ve EVER seen a smile yet that I would feel needs mocking for any reason. Your smile is deeper than ever because you’re away from that ridiculous ex of yours – if he needed to mock your smile just to make him feel that bit stronger to get through the day, he clearly needs to have a word with himself. If your smile weakens him, just remember every time you smile – it takes a bit more way from him and will continue to do so until he exists no more in your head 🙂 Smiling is contagious and i’m smiling now looking at the beautiful picture of you and your husband because that is two smiles weakening your ex! ha!

    • jenniferlauragilmour

      Thank you Bernadette. What lovely things to say. I used to love my smile and I will some day get there and be confident with it. I guess my smile is my winning card- I love that idea and thought. It reminds me of how happy I am now, how lucky I am and that I have this amazing husband who loves me for me. Thank you Bernadette you always say the nicest of things and put it into perspective. X

  9. Dorota

    What a sick man……You look lovely when you smile!xxx

  10. Kathryn

    So pleased that you now smile freely. The impact of being told not to smile is immense….as are comments when your inner feelings are betrayed by that moment when your mask slips….for me..not strictly domestic….thankfully, I too smile freely. God bless x

  11. Sandy Cee

    I don’t care what anyone else says, you have a gorgeous smile and you ought to smile when ever you feel like it. I do. It makes me feel better. I know a smile can be contagious. If it makes others feel better than I’ll smile more often.
    You know what they say “Smile and the whole world smiles with you”. So be it. 🙂 🙂 🙂



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