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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

TMI--there! You're warned!

For most of my life I have felt hatred toward my body. Therapist believes it's how I coped for so long in a seemingly "normal" capacity. I channeled all the negative feelings about being raped and abused and associated them with my body. In essence, my body was responsible for everything bad that had happened. If I had not had a body, it could not be abused. Makes complete sense, right?

I've never believed Darrin when he paid me complements about my physical appearance. I just thought he had very bad taste. Someone once asked me what I saw when I look in the mirror. Truthfully, I've never really thought about it. I've never analyzed if I was physically attractive--I don't think I've ever cared.

For about ten years I was an avid body builder. I told my family I did it because I liked feeling strong and healthy. In truth, I believe I did it because if anyone ever attempted to hurt me, I wanted to be sure I could defend myself.

Clothing has often been an issue to me. I have never been comfortable wearing anything form fitting or even slightly revealing. It was not unusual to see me in long pants all summer long and rare to see any part of my chest exposed. I always dressed in clothing at least two sizes larger than I actually wore. I think I did this because I thought it made me look bigger, and also because I was hiding the body that betrayed me.

Things have been changing for me, however. Tabitha told me two years ago that she thought I should let her choose my clothes. I was in need of some new ones--and I certainly didn't care what I wore--so we went shopping. We came home with a new wardrobe for Mom. Some of the clothes I didn't wear for a few months, because I just couldn't get used to how I looked in them. Some I wore one time, but not again because a man commented on the outfit, or about my looks--unacceptable. Eventually, though, I became used to wearing things that fit.

Tolkien Boy told me after he met me the first time that I "dressed very youthfully." Well, I suppose that can't be avoided when one's daughter is choosing the wardrobe. But I noticed last year that I lived in shorts and capri pants all summer long, and DJ told me some of my shirts have "cleavage peeks". That would never have happened five years ago when my wardrobe consisted mainly of t-shirts, sweatshirts and jeans.

Honestly, over the past two years I've been able to view my body in a rational light. It's pretty amazing. I've put more than 1500 miles on it every year--literally, and it still works wonderfully. It's borne me three children. It's rarely ill. Its total cholesterol is 118. And some of my good friends tell me it's very lovely. And Darrin tells me, after all these years, it's as beautiful as it's ever been.

I think I stopped feeling that I hated my body about nine months ago. At that point I started being very grateful for it. In spite of the horrific trauma it was put through--my body still works.

1 comment:

  1. It is wonderful to read about how you are learning to love yourself.I am so glad you are happier now. :)