In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Finding the truth

Before I write anything more, I must say thank you to all of you for your wonderful supportive comments to my last post. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for not judging me. Your love and support is overwhelming to me. I hope that I will not lose you once you read what I have to say today....somehow I don't think I will because each one of you have shown such love and understanding in everything I have written thus far. Thank you for helping me on my journey.

What I am going to share in this post is very personal and something people don’t talk about very often or least I don't because of how ashamed I am. It’s about breast size or lack of breasts I should say. The fact is, I have never been very well endowed in the breast department and anything I did have was lost each time I breast fed. Growing up I was teased a lot for this. I always pretended that this didn't bother me but deep down inside of me it ripped my heart. I have always felt like this part of me was ugly and a defect.

While some people would never discuss or flat out say to someone, you are fat, those same people would see nothing wrong with discussing my breast size or informing me that my breasts were small, as if I didn't already know this. You would think that adults would not be as cruel as children but that is so not true.

In one serious relationship, with marriage even being talked about, he told me that he could not remain happy with me unless I had breast enlargement surgery…that the only reason he had dated me in the first place was because a mutual friend had told him that I had been considering having this done. He said that if I truly loved him and cared about his needs, I would do this. He asked me to promise him that once I got my workers compensation settlement that I would get big boobs for him. I could not go out with him, without him making comments about other women’s breasts to me and commenting to other women about their breasts and how he wished I looked like them. What really hurts is that I loved him and thought that he had loved me for me.

While dating another guy… he took it upon himself to announce at a bar one night that he was taking donations for a boob job for me…he then proceeded to pass his hat around the bar. I was beyond humiliated and ashamed. Not just over my body but how I allowed him to treat me this way. I didn’t stand up for myself and I don’t know why. Here was this person, that said how much he loved me and wanted me to marry him, but yet he could so easily point out my defects like they were a joke. What really hurts is that I continued to pretend that this didn't bother me...I either walked away or covered it up with a smile.

I shared these things with my husband for the first time last night and although he was appalled at their behavior, he was more upset that I allowed this…he wants to understand why I would let anyone treat me in this way…and he wants to know how I can see myself as defective. He wants to understand why I want to fix something, like myself, that isn't broken…at least not in his eyes.

As I struggle with my body image, I am exercising and eating healthy in an attempt to feel better about myself….yet there is nothing other than surgery that I can do about my breast size. That is a different subject that I won't get into today. I am working hard on being my authentic self…of living true to myself so that I have something real to give those around me. I continually strive to be the best wife, mother, grandma, friend and person that I can be. In order to do this, I am facing issues that stand in my way of living out my best…I am trying to figure out why my best never seems good enough for me.

The thing is I have so much compassion for everyone else…I see beauty in every person I meet. I tend to see more good in people then negative. I don’t focus on other peoples flaws, in fact I hardly notice them. Why can I not do this with myself? Why is it that I measure myself by a whole different that doesn't seem reachable? My heart and soul are screaming out for the answers to all these things. I haven’t been posting much because I am so occupied with reading and soul searching in an attempt to find fix my brokenness.

The thing is, this issue really isn’t about how I look, my weight, or the size of my body or breasts. What it comes down to is how I feel about myself. It’s about the negative messages I have been given about my body and the “inside“ me…the person that makes up “me“…it’s about me believing these messages and internalizing them in my core being…thinking this is my truth. I have based my value and worth upon these things that I believe to be true. The truth is, never in my life have I felt good enough.

I need to vomit this from my soul…all this hurt and humiliation, that comes with the self-loathing. As much as I want to figure out how it all got here, I want to figure out how to get rid of it. I don't want to be broken...I want to be able to look in the mirror and not just see the defects. I want to look in the mirror of my soul and see true inner beauty. I want to be free…to find what is true and good in me. I think what scares me the most is finding out the truth.


Claire Marie said...

I have told this story before but I am going to tell it again because I think it is appropriate here.

A few years back I was really struggling inside. I had been given a massage gift certificate and had made the appointment to go. That same week I was given a picture of myself that I had never before seen. It was a picture of me in the first week of my life. I had only ever before seen pictures of myself any earlier than my first birthday.

When I saw this picture of myself I was overwhelmed with how much love I felt for this cute little baby that was me! It may sound weird but it was as if I was looking at a picture of one of my children at that age. I felt love for that baby in the picture. It was something that suddenly, and very powerfully, overwhelmed me. That was me! It seems so simple but it did overwhelm me.

As I went into my appointment for my massage I decided that I would meditate that hour on loving and taking care of that baby in the picture. As she massaged my sore muscles I thought about taking care of the tired and sore baby. I had tears dripping from my eyes through the opening in the table onto the floor. I suddenly felt deserving of this much needed massage because it was taking care of that baby that was me.

It was a very meaningful experience for me and still today I often remind myself that I would not want that baby to feel badly about herself, I would not want that baby to have one minute of bad self image.

Recently I struggle with many other things but self image is not one of them because somehow I shed that from myself. I hope, Lori, that you too can pass beyond this hurdle. It is a high one but get over it even if you have to knock it down and stomp right over it to get beyond it.

I am glad you like the book and I am glad that we were put into the friendship with each other.


Heather said...

I deal with my own body issues, but instead of the self-loathing I've taken to feeling numb. I've been heavy my entire life and stopped feeling anything about my appearance a long time ago. I don't take care of myself like I should and only put the smallest effort into looking presentable, if even.

I'm glad you found someone who loves and appreciates you for you. I hope the ass who begged you to get your breasts enlarged found what he was looking for and that her IQ is lower than her cup size.

SciFi Dad said...

You need to stop being angry at yourself for mistakes you've made in the past (like letting people treat you poorly) and move forward. You're not that person anymore; try and remember that.

Your husband sounds like a good man.

Midlife Slices said...

I keep wondering if you and I were dating the same SOB's. I'll never tune out the voices (his voice) I hear berating me, but I'm learning to ignore them. It's been a long and slow process. Hang in there. You are heading in the right direction.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Again, I am overwhelmed by your courage and honesty. I like claire marie's advice. It sounds very empowering. Those men that were in your life were the ones with the problems. I'm sorry for what they did and said to you.

thistle said...

I had to go away and think about what to say here, cos i'll be honest i'm not a professional i just play one at work :)...but i will agree here with Claire Marie, her suggestion is bloody brilliant...find a pic of yourself from when you were little and start re-parenting yourself, talk to yourself the same way you would talk to one of your much-loved little ones...positive self-talk is one of those things you have to practice, for whatever reason it doesn't come naturally to us...and stop hating yourself for hating yourself, that's a game you can't win...we all have some aspects of our personae we don't like (if you didn't, well that's another whole kind of pathology in itself) learn to accept that discomfort/it's sources,that's the key to working with it to heal it...

you're a brave soul for putting this all out there, continue being brave but don't forget to also be kind(er) to yourself...

Cheryl said...

you are beautiful inside and out. i'll post more later. my sister is like you in sooo many way.

Plunger Girl said...

Wow. I'm not sure there are even words to convey my disgust.

Those men are scum.

I'm angry for you.

D'Arcy said...

This is a hard thing to write about. We all have our body issues and we have all been judged harshly in this world. I don't know where the fleeting ideals of beauty come from. I don't know why women seem to get it thrown at them from every direction they turn these days, I don't know how the men avoid the brainwashing.

One of the saddest things in the world to me is a woman who has undergone plastic surgery to feel better about herself, but never finds satisfaction. Getting a nose job can lead to getting a face lift, then getting lips enlarged, getting makeup tattooed on (I've seen this more than once), getting butt implants, getting breast implants, getting teeth bleached. I think that sometimes a surgery is ok, but I always fear that some of these women just don't know when to stop. And they don't even look human anymore, and their desperate search for acceptance is still obvious behind their perfectly made up eyes.

To me, this search for the perfect body is the biggest lie being told to society right now. It is a LIE and it is up to us, like you said, to find the truth. And you are on that path.

I have a feeling that even if you would have gone through with the surgery, you might still have issues with your body. We all do, it's a continuous battle. But I think it is one that you are on the way to winning.

I proud to be your friend.

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