Friday, December 22, 2006

Off to celebrate an Imperfect Christmas!!

And I wouldn't want it any other way! I am heading out to my Mom's for the whole holiday season, so you won't see another post here from me until into the New Year. Don't forget to subscribe to this blog and then you will be informed when the new posts start in January.

Thank you to all of my loyal readers for the support I have gotten on this journey so far.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Label: not well liked........

Not well liked......

What does it mean to be well liked? I supposed it is different things to different people. Does it mean that you have many friends? I am not so sure.

I have a lot of acquaintances. People I work with, people whose children go to school with mine, patients I have cared for in the hospital, people I have met online, people who were friends in my youth, whom I have limited contact with anymore. All acquaintances.......none really friends.....none I would share my intimate details of my life with.

That wasn't always the case though. I used to have a lot of friends. People I considered trustworthy enough to tell everything to. I learned the hard way that this is not necessarily the best thing in the world to have. I found out that even though they people called me "friend", that I was not well liked by them. Why??? was my burning question. What is it that I had done that caused them to dislike me so?

For example, in 1997 I was expecting a baby. I was not thrilled with the news of the pregnancy, it came at a time when my husband and were having a lot of difficulties in our marriage. I was in a state of depression still from the birth of my previous son barely a year before. Then, I found out that the baby I was carrying had a birth defect that was incompatible with life. I shared this story and my pain with a lot of people who were my "friends". People from a chatting community where I had always felt "well liked". Friends from my youth. Even in my own family. The reactions were underwhelming. The online friends really being the worst. They were so supportive to my face.......only to doubt my story and talk about me behind my back. Actually accusing me lying about this horrific experience. I was obviously not well liked to have my "friends" use my personal tragedy as fodder for their gossip. I am still in contact with a few of those people, one in particular who still puts up the facade of caring and friendship, only to cut me down behind my back.

Where I work, I used to always feel that people did not care for me. I am not sure why that was either. I always do my job to the best of my ability, always ready to lend a helping hand when I can. There were a few that could make me feel so very unwelcome. I always let that overshadow my whole day. Until I went on maternity leave. When I came back, I was making a bed with a co-worker. She said to me, "We are sure glad to have you back here, we missed you". In that one instant, my whole outlook changed. I realized I was well liked, by a lot of the staff anyway. I was appreciated. That revelation for me made all the difference. It makes going to work easier, I feel that I actually have people there who care about me. Makes work so much more enjoyable.

So, in your dealings with people, be careful what you do, as you never know when you could be shattering the very fragile psyche of someone. Treat others with respect, you never know what you make get back in return.

I feel I have shaken the label of Not Well Liked fairly well. A lot of it is making sure you surround yourself with people who do actually like you, and block out the ones that only want to gather the dirt on you.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Labels: Unattractive...........

This one goes along with the first ones. In my head, being chubby, fat, "big boned" or whatever moniker you put on it, is just not attractive.

I know I am pretty. At least I feel pretty when I look in a mirror, after I put on my makeup and do my hair. But being pretty and being attractive are two very different things. I feel that being attractive means that people will actually stop and take a second look at you. That never happens to me. I attribute it to my body shape. It seems to me that if you have blond hair, big boobs, and skinny waist, you are considered attractive, even if you have a plain face. Any girl who is chubby, no matter how pretty she is, is just a "fat chick".

I don't come by these observations arbitrarily either. I have heard it. I have overheard guys talking. I have heard guys talking in conversations where I am included. The media portrays it all over the place. I felt the sting of it when my ex-husband (pick either one) would turn his head and watch a thin, blond, big chested woman walk by, forgetting that I was even in his presence. Every time he would drool after some movie star on TV. I used to hear from them, "its just a guy thing"....but they didn't seem to understand the damage it did, even though I would tell them. The constant feeling of not being good enough.

I have had one relationship in my life where the man was not like this. He treated me with respect, love and kindness. He told me several times a day how beautiful I was. Always begging for pictures, not just the ones where I was all "fixed up" but every day pictures, no makeup, etc.....he loved to look at me. He loved ME. He made me feel beautiful. I remember actually feeling beautiful when I was with him. The funny thing about that, I remember OTHER people taking that second look at me then. It really is about how one FEELS. I have been fortunate to have been able to reconnect with this man recently. He still thinks I am beautiful. How wonderful is that????

Friday, December 15, 2006

Label: Not Smart Enough; Not Able to Learn New Things

not smart enough.........

This is one that plagues me from time to time. It is a strange one, since, I know I am smart. I know I am intelligent. I pride myself on that intelligence. Yet, there are times, in interacting with other people, that I feel I am not that smart....or not smart enough.

This most frequently occurs at work. And there are only a few people who seem to be able to have this affect on me. They are co-workers. I am not certain if they have this affect on everyone they interact with, I have heard rumblings of the such. I do not know if they do this intentionally, sometimes I think they do, sometimes not. I try not to let it bother me, but I tend to walk away from these interactions feeling less than adequate. This then leads into the next label.

not able to learn new things.......

In my job there are several extra courses that one must take. Being that I am in a rural setting, I don't only have courses for my specialty, I have to do courses for all specialties. I am currently enrolled in the MoreOB course for obstetrics, NRP for neonatal, I am considering the ACLS course for cardiac emergencies and have many of the nurses saying I should be taking the TNCC for trauma nursing. I feel incredibly overwhelmed by all of this, and I feel that there is no more room in my brain for anymore knowledge. I am afraid of failing. So I tend to not try.

I am certain the only way to really shed these labels is to actually enroll in the courses, do well, apply the knowledge and then, only then I will feel that I AM smart enough and I AM able to learn new things.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Label: Old Woman

Old Woman

This is a label I have been using a lot lately. I am not sure why exactly. I certainly don't feel like I am an old woman. Maybe I use it as an excuse for not paying much attention to detail, and excuse for being tired or just not wanting to make the effort to do much.

In my mind, I think I am still a 25yr old. I think like a young person, I usually act like a young least the good parts of a young person. I like to dress young, not midriff baring, butt crack showing young, but jeans and shirts young. I don't understand this need to qualify things by saying, "I am an old woman you know"

Turning 40 was not a difficult thing for me. Not like it is for some women. I have always embraced my age. The year I turned 20, I was pretty down. My boyfriend (whom I would later end up marrying) and I had broken up just before my birthday. I was no longer a teenager. My father, who was 59 when I was born, sat me down and gave me some good advice. He said to embrace each birthday, celebrate each one. It is proof that we have fought the battles and are here another year to show for it. This man's family mostly had died fairly young. For him to give me this advice was just wonderful. He lived to the age of 95. I have always lived that way. On my 40th birthday, I celebrated and enjoyed my day. I have never let another birthday get me down. I love being 40, especially when people say, "40?? You can't be 40!!"

I am hereby shedding this label. I will no longer call myself an Old Woman. Even when I am 95, I will think of myself as young and vibrant. Age is only the number of years you have been on this earth, it has nothing to do with what you have done with those years. At 40, I have done and seen much. I have not travelled, I have not scaled a mountain or swam the English channel. But I am raising 4 children, raising them to be good people. To be loving people. I have seen a lot of life and death, both in my job and in my life. I am soon embarking on a new life journey, one that was started several years ago and halted. I have found it again, and am picking up where I left off. This in itself serves to keep me young.

I AM NOT AN OLD WOMAN!!!! I am not. I never will be.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Label: Chubby Girl

Chubby Girl, Fat Chick, Chunky Monkey, Big Girl

all labels that I have given myself. I call myself these things, to show others that I do not hold some false idea of myself. I know I am not thin, I know I am not society's idea of sexy and beautiful......I don't want people who may judge me, to think that I am not aware of this fact.

I want to feel sexy and beautiful in this skin. I am just not sure how to change my thought process. I see other large women, and I have those same negative thoughts about them. "Who does she think she is wearing something like that?" "Doesn't she know that isn't attractive?" But who am I to say what is or isn't attractive to her. To her mate. What things have happened to her in her life that tell her it is okay to look like that, that she can be proud and not hide herself from the world? What things have happened in mine to tell me it ISN'T okay??

I want to get into her head and see what she thinks, how she perceives herself and others. I want to know how to get this kind of self love for myself. I need to get my own mind together and be able to accept myself for what I am........and love myself for it. I am a good person, I am a healthy person, I am an intelligent person, why can't I just be happy with myself?

This is not to say that I want carte blanc to be able to gain and gain and gain more weight, that is not what I want at all. I want to be able to love myself enough the way I am, and maybe then in turn I will stop hiding myself from the world. If anyone has any good suggestions as to how to get this task accomplished, I would gladly embrace them.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


In a lifetime people have many labels that are put on them, either by themselves or by others.

Step mom

These are but a few of the labels I have carried over the years. Each of these can be described further. I was either or Good Girl or a Bad Girl depending on the situation or the person involved. I was a Baby Sister, I suppose I still am in the eyes of my siblings. Perhaps I was considered more a Spoiled Baby Sister when I was younger. I was a good wife, an indifferent wife, a common-law wife. Each of those bring visions to your, the readers, minds of what that means to them. I am a Nurse, and even without the descriptors, that brings to mind certain visions of what that makes me.

Labels can be put on us by others, their judgements, their perceptions, their own experiences in their lives. These labels have the ability to make one feel less of a person. The more they are put on you, the more they can become true, if we let them. A self fulfilling prophecy of sorts.

There are many many negative labels I have put on myself. These are labels I need to start to shed.

chubby girl
old woman
not smart enough
not able to learn new things
not well liked
not good enough

Those are just to name a few of the more prevalent ones. Those are the ones that seem to be weighing most heavily. I am going to explore in the next few posts, ways to shed those labels. Being told that I am not those things is not really the point of this exercise, it is learning to tell myself I am not those things, in hopes of truly believing I am not those things.

Here are some of the positives that I do believe about myself already, just so you don't think I am a depressed loser who doesn't at least see some self worth.

I am intelligent. I know I am intelligent.

I am a loyal friend. Sometimes to a fault. I held onto a dying relationship for probably two years too long, just to prove my loyalty. Even when my own self respect was being attacked by that relationship, I was loyal.

I am a fair and compassionate nurse. I treat all of my patients with the same level of compassion, no matter how sick or how irritating they may be.

I am a good mom. I am not the perfect parent, I don't believe there is such a beast. I am a good mom because I discipline my children, I love them and tell them I love them all of the time. I have rarely had opportunity over the years to co-parent my children with a spouse, since most of the time there has not been one either physically or mentally present in this home. I have always had to do all of the discipline, and all of the love. I have done it well.

Tell me some of your labels. Which ones are negative? What would you like to learn to shed? What are your positives??

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Violation of Soul..........

This is how I feel. Violated. My self esteem has been raped, violated in some unspeakable way. To look in a mirror at my own image and feel unworthy of even living at times. I cannot even imagine the horror a rape or molestation survivor must feel.

My spirit was broken, allowing further attack on my soul. Taking me to a place that is so dark and cold in my head. And there are still people in my life that have the ability to put me back in that place, even if only momentarily. I am learning to resist the force of that, keep myself from going to that place, but I still do from time to time.

Recent conversations with my second ex-husband (and trust me, having two ex-husbands does enough of a number on my soul) have shown me that I am changing. I am becoming stronger in my own conviction and resolve. I have had to be firm and stand my ground. I am refusing to allow myself to be subjected to anything further. But more than that, I am realizing that the reason that I was subjected to attacks against my self esteem in the past, was because I allowed it.

I allowed people to make me feel like less. I allowed other people's perceptions of me to shape the way I felt about myself. For a long time, I didn't see it. Now I do, and I am trying to find ways to overcome that weakness in myself. I cannot change the world's perceptions of me, but I can change my own perceptions of me. I am finding that the more I write here, the less this becomes about my feelings of being overweight, and more about how I have allowed myself to be treated in the past. I am starting to see that losing weight is not going to make these feelings any better. Only I can make them better, in my head. I am not exactly sure how to accomplish this fully. I fear it will take many years to finally be able to look in the mirror and not have to go through the mental inventory of finding what is good, that I will just see it. But the fact remains, it took me 40 years to get to this point, I cannot, nor can anyone else, expect me to be able to fix it overnight.

Saturday, December 2, 2006

Toxic Relationships

I have come to realize that for most people, toxic relationships are the precursors to poor self esteem. Let me first give you the definition of toxic.

Main Entry: tox·ic
Pronunciation: täk-sik
Function: adjective
Etymology: Late Latin toxicus, from Latin toxicum poison, from Greek toxikon arrow poison, from neuter of toxikos of a bow, from toxon bow, arrow

1 : containing or being poisonous material especially when capable of causing death or serious debilitation

2 : exhibiting symptoms of infection or toxicosis

3 : extremely harsh, malicious, or harmful
- tox·ic·i·ty /täk-'si-s&-tE/ noun

The last definition is the one that relates to relationships. I am sure anyone who reads this will find that they have been involved in or subject to a relationship that was or is somewhat toxic. Unfortunately a lot of these happen in childhood, where one either does not even recognize the toxin, or does not have the power to overcome it. The poison that is accumulated in the mind from this can last a lifetime. And a lot of the time the offending party is not consciously aware of what they are spewing forth.

As an adult, toxic relationships come in the form of parents, siblings, other family, friends, spouses, partners, bosses, co-workers. It can be anyone you are involved with who has the ability to impact your life or your thoughts. The toxins that are let forth poison your mind and soul. It eats away at your self esteem and slowly your mind starts to attack itself.

This is what I believe to be true in my case. I am not saying that those in my life ever meant to cause this irreparable harm. I believe that often things said and done were done so under the guise of caring and concern. But the fact remains, especially for someone who may have already been suffering from a weakened state, the attacks were swift and brutal.

A psychiatrist I was seeing for treatment during the worst period of my depression told me that I likely had been depressed since I was a young child. In examining the events in my life, I had to agree. This was not because of some horrid life-altering event, it was just from my physical brain chemistry. As I was sad to learn I had passed on to one of my own children. Since the start of the attacks on my self esteem started when I was very young as well, I have to ascertain that it was because of the weakened state of mind that I was not able to filter them and fight them off.

But now back to toxic relationships. When one finds them self in such a situation, decisions need to be made. For the most part, the poison and toxicity has probably already started to cause a bit of a breakdown in the victims mind and soul. One can either distance themselves, thus limiting exposure to the toxin, giving ample time to repair in between. Or one can choose to sever the ties with the toxic person in order to never be exposed again. The closeness of the relationship and other intertwining relationships may play a major role in how one deals with this situation. Severing those ties is difficult. But in some cases, that is exactly what needs to be done. And one cannot feel badly about that.

I have had toxic relationships in my life. Both of my ex-husbands were toxic to me. The first one I have now only begun to be able to tolerate in smaller doses. The second one, until last night, I hadn't even heard from since he left. Both were toxic to my self worth. In different ways. The first never wanted me to be anything that could be seen as better than himself. The second, felt so poorly about his own self esteem, that he systematically broke what little I had left, down to almost nothing. Last night was definitely the last straw. I had made the decision to sever that relationship the day I finally asked him to leave for good. That was almost 7 weeks ago. He never tried to contact me, until last night. Then, he wanted to come to my home, to talk. I told him no. It was late, I was in no mood to talk. He got angry. Accused me of many things that just were not true. This man had never gotten angry with me like that before. He never raised his voice or his hand to me. He would never have said the things he did last night. It was vile, and it cut me to the core. Even though he apologized, the damage was done. I realized in that instant, that I hadn't loved this man in a long long time. I told him I did, I told myself I did. I was hoping that it was just a passing phase, a feeling. All marriages go through bad patches, don't they? But this was different. This had been going on longer than I cared to admit. There were big red flags, but I chose to ignore them, not wanting to admit failing at another marriage. In that instant last night, when he was trying to get me to feel some old distant emotions, I knew it.......I knew I had fallen out of love with him a long time ago. I told him I didn't love him anymore. And I know that hurt him deeply, and in a way, it hurt me too. It hurt because I didn't want to hurt anyone. But it was the not wanting to hurt him that got us to that point. The pretending that I was still in love that caused the shock and dismay when I finally had had enough.

I have a feeling he may be reading this. I can say I am sorry, and I am. I am sorry for causing pain, for giving false hope, for lying to myself and to you for all this time. I am not sorry that I have finally stopped being that doormat you accused me of being. I am not sorry for deciding I deserved more in my life, something you had been telling me from the first day you came into this house. I am not sorry for having our son, I love him to death, and I hope we can at least share in parenting him some day. I am not sorry for bringing you to the realization that you need to fix yourself in order to ever hope to find happiness with someone else. I am sorry that I couldn't do that for you before our relationship died. I tried, I really tried, but you didn't want to hear it then. And the fact remains, the relationship is gone, it is over, it was dealt some very fatal blows, there was no real need to call me to finish it off the way you did. It was already gone. I wish you well. I hope you learn to see the goodness in yourself....the goodness I told you was there for so long. I hope you find happiness and love someday. I hope you find someone who is your soul mate. It isn't me. I know that now. A soul mate does not tear the other down. Does not say hurtful, demeaning things. Does not use the others love and generosity without returning something. Even if that something is only a kind gesture. You are a good man, just not good for me. And I am not good for you either.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I love me, I love me not............

This is the tug of war that goes on in my head over and over. One minute I feel I am finally rounding this corner. The next, something happens and I feel like I haven't even gained an inch on this struggle. The loving myself is such an integral part of going forward with my life. I know that if I don't achieve this, no relationship I could hope to have will ever succeed. I am not willing to spend the rest of my life alone and lonely.

My body image is terrible. It is distorted and skewed. As I sit here, I feel okay with how I look. I know I am not perfect, but I feel okay. Until I look in the mirror. I see that spare tire around my middle, and I hate myself for it. I have these feelings of self loathing. Like if I love myself or want to love myself, I should want to do something about that. And then the feelings of disgust at not having the willpower to actually accomplish this. Then I do either one of two things....I refuse to eat anything all day, or I just say fuck it and eat everything. Neither being much of a help in the situation.

Emotional eating has always been a part of my life. I have had several periods of depression, treated and untreated in my life. Food was my medicine. Exercise not something I ever did with much regularity. There were a couple of times during my life that I tried to incorporate exercise into my day....but it seems the depression would soon override the desire to become healthy, and the exercise would fall away. I have now come to a point where I just can't bring myself to it. I know that sounds like an excuse...and it is. I won't be able to get myself past that until I start to feel like I am worth it again.

One thing, even though this journal sounds very dark and negative, I am not in a state of depression anymore. The lack of exercise and emotional eating have become a habit now. My depression has been in check and I am carrying on a functional life again, without medication. I was treated for a long time, and with the encouragement of my doctor and my family, I did a trial of getting off of the medication. It worked. That was 4 years ago. I no longer have feelings of harming myself or wanting to hide in my bed for days at a time. I no longer rage uncontrollably at my children. In those respects, my life is good, and I am happy. Even with the recent dissolution of my common-law marriage, I have not spiralled into a depression, and that is very big for me. To have enough resolve to not allow it to consume me. To know that it was for the best and it was something that needed to take place to prevent a breakdown in my mental health, that is also very big for me.

I want to find my way to a healthy balance between mind and body. To look in the mirror and see a body that my mind does not abhor. I am still not sure which one needs to be fixed........the body or the mind. I think a bit of both. I know I deserve to have peace in myself. I know I deserve unconditional love, I know I deserve to be happy, I need to find a way to accept those things in my life in the skin I have now, and stop believing that those things will only come to me if I am in a size 6 dress.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


I was sent an email. In this email I was .... well, accused sounds so harsh but I guess that is what it was, of posting this blog to just gain a lot of "warm fuzzies" and have people tell me that I am perfect the way I am, that I am beautiful, etc. And it made me take pause and ask myself, "Why am I posting this blog?"

First of all, any of us who publish a blog are looking for some kind of recognition of our existence to others in this world. One does not put their thoughts and feelings into a public forum and then not want anyone to see them. If you don't want them seen or commented on, write in a journal you keep locked in a box under your bed. So the accusation of me wanting to be recognised here, yes, that is valid. Do I expect everyone to just tell me I am pretty or smart or attractive. No, that I do not. I know most people who have posted have not done that, with exception of one person. But that person and I know each other in real life, not just here. Most have commented on my honesty, and the rawness with which I post these true feelings. Most of the emails I receive also are along these same lines. I have not had any negative ones. If there were a negative comment, it would stay there as well. I do not believe in censoring any ones thoughts, unless they are considered inflammatory, racist, or things along those lines. I have that right here, this is my space, and I don't want it to be taken up by garbage. If you have a particular beef with me, I have no problem, if you have a beef with an entire group of people just because of their race, religion or creed, then we have a problem.

Another reason I am posting this blog is because I know that there are many many other men and women and young people out there that are experiencing the same feelings I have felt and are still feeling, at 40 years old. My hope is that someone will read something I have said and glean from it something that will help them along their own journey to acceptance of self. If even one person finds something helpful here, I have done a good thing. The ripple effect of touching one life can be amazing. I want there to be good ripples from this.

Further, I am writing this as a catharsis. For as long as I can remember, I have felt that I didn't quite measure up. I am not sure where that started from. Kids in school, siblings, TV, .......... but I was never able to really expose my feelings. As a child, I didn't know how. As a teenager, if I tried to talk to a friend about it, it would fall on deaf ears. My father always told me I was pretty, but I feel he was disappointed when I gained weight. Not that he loved me less, but he worried about how I would be perceived, or for my health. I remember my mother telling me to "watch what you eat" when I was gaining weight in high school. I know she meant it lovingly and because she too worried, but in my already convoluted thought process, I didn't hear that. What I heard was, "You are fat, do something about it" I stuffed a lot of feelings down, deep. And I covered them with chocolate. I do not mean that to be funny. I became an emotional eater. I ate to celebrate, ate to console, ate to alleviate boredom. Now, I need to purge those feelings. I can't let them eat away at my self worth any longer. And that is a major reason I started this blog.

As I said in an earlier post, I have failed at three major relationships. I have always felt that "I" failed at them, not really giving much credence to the other party's role in it. I know that major problems stemmed from my lack of self worth. I do not intend to be alone in this world. I intend to find a partner who is loving, caring, nurturing and free of any constraints, either self imposed or imposed by other, that will keep him from giving himself fully to me. I have to be able to do the same. I realize that for me, the only way I can do that, is to heal my injured, mutilated sense of self worth. This journal, blog, whatever you want to call it, is one of several steps.

So to defend myself to the person who felt I was just trying to fill my comments page up with undulating praise of ME, that is just not accurate. To fill my mind and my thoughts with undulating praise of ME, yes, that is exactly what I intended to do. And, I am doing it rather eloquently, if I do say so myself.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Do I have to be thin to be beautiful?

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to be thin. I used to be, for a few minutes in high school. This picture is of me in grade 11, when I started dating my first husband. No comments about the mullet, okay? It was the style WAY back in 1982. Anyway, I look at that picture and think to myself, "I sure was a pretty girl" and I can appreciate that I was pretty, I was attractive to boys, I was popular. I was thin. I wasn't Kate Moss thin. But, I was thin. I could walk into any store and buy any clothes I wanted, and I looked good in them. I could wear a bathing suit and feel comfortable. I want to be able to find that comfort zone again. I wonder if I can actually do it in this body.

The men in my life have always been attractive. I have been legally married once. After that I was unofficially engaged to a very hot, younger man. And then most recently, I was living common-law with a tall, dark and handsome man. All of those relationships failed, I believe, largely due to lack of self-esteem. The first two, my own, the last one, his. Hard to believe someone has a feeling of less self worth than I do. I can't help to think though, that if only I were thinner, I would be happier. But how far am I willing to go for this?

I have tried the matter which one it is, they don't work for me. I rarely shed a pound. I have tried (though not that whole-heartedly) exercise. I really hate it, and feel so self conscious in a gym with all those skinny bitches pinching an inch of fat. I have considered the unthinkable....finding a website to teach me to become anorexic. They are out there, but, I am a nurse, I need to be above that. I have researched Bariatric Surgery and actually am considering this option because of other health concerns I have and family history. I am 40yrs old, and my healthy years are numbered if I don't do something to get this weight off.

But here in lies the rub. If I go through with such a drastic measure, find the body I have been searching for, will I be happy then? I have already decided that if I do the gastric bypass surgery, I will need to have a tummy tuck to get rid of the apron of fat/skin that has been so lovingly granted me by my four babies, two of which were too stubborn to come out the "right" way, causing c-sections which just compounds my problem. I will also need to have my breasts reduced, lifted and the excess skin removed, since being heavy usually endows you with larger than normal breasts. Will I be happy after all of that? Will I start to see more wrinkles and be unhappy with those? Where does it end?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Slow slow process....

I didn't fool myself into believing that a few posts about my self esteem issues would magically make them disappear. I know that this process will be slow. I know that I have to stop the negative self talk that I berate myself with continuously. But knowing it doesn't make it happen. People telling you to stop doesn't make it happen. One has to learn to stop it as it starts. Nip it in the bud. And replace the negativity with positivity. I believe eventually the mind will do the automatic flip and all the negatives are replaced with positives. At least this is my hope.

For myself right now, as I sit here typing, it is easy to be strong and commit myself to loving myself more. I will even carry that with me as I go about my day... and then, an offhand comment by a stranger, a co-worker, whatever, and I start to second guess my own self worth. Just last night in fact, I was driving my son and his two friends home from a movie. I was just driving, not participating in the conversation. They were talking about a young woman who was working in a store they had been shopping in. One said something about the girl flirting with the other boy....the other boy, horrified it seemed, blurted out, "UGH, she was fat and ugly"...... I immediately projected that comment onto myself. Thinking, "they must see me as fat an ugly too". Not that I want 15yr old boys to think I am hot, I don't.

It is those projections of myself into other people's minds that I think hold me back from realizing my own self worth. I cannot read their minds, therefore I do not know what they are thinking, yet, I seem to believe that I do. The worst of that is, if I see someone much like myself, I find myself thinking those negative thoughts about them....and that is troubling to me. Perhaps because I am the shallow, self centered bitch that I am, that is why I assume everyone else is as well. Maybe once I learn not to judge others.......but am I really judging others? I am not a racist, I am not the type to discriminate against anyone...... perhaps I am only judging myself in comparison to the people that I feel resemble me in one way or another. I certainly hope this to be true, because casting my negativity onto myself is one thing, projecting it onto another human being, who feels and hurts and perhaps is struggling with their own issues, is completely unacceptable.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mission accomplished..........

I did get the camera. And after working to get my Internet connection running again, I ended up talking with my friend. He didn't scream in horror, though his computer crashed a couple of times, he assured me that had nothing to do with my image.

I was self conscious at first. Fretting about the light, the placement of the camera as to not show off my double chin or dark eyes. But after a while, I forgot about the camera, just talked, became more myself, and it was fine.

Now my next step will be putting up a picture on my profile here, for the whole world to see...not just someone who thinks I am already beautiful, because he knows the inside me.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Another small step....

There is something I have been wanting to do, but fear has been holding me back. A fear of rejection .... or reaction maybe more appropriate. I am getting a web cam....... ACK!!!

A very dear old friend of mine has been encouraging me to get one. He wants to be able to see me when we chat. We have known each other for years, and it isn't like he doesn't know what I look like.....he just says he likes to look at me. Hey, that is okay with me, I like looking at him too. I have been reluctant though. I always put my best face forward. I don't allow photographs of myself unless I have done the makeup, hair and completely scrutinize the picture before letting it be seen by anyone who may pass judgement. I am not sure why I felt that this dear friend, a man I adore, would pass judgement on me.

He tells me I am beautiful and that I should not be afraid. But it is truly fear that has held me back. It is time to relinquish my fear....and take this step. And not because someone else wants me to, but because I need to do it for me. I need to stop being afraid of myself. That has to be a first step in loving myself. I need to allow others to see my vulnerability as well. It is so easy to sit here and hide behind a computer screen.

What is really funny is that I assume that people online would reel back from the horror of a picture of me. Yet, in real life people do not run screaming from me, little children do not hide behind their mothers when I am around. So why am I afraid to bare myself (no, not naked) to those online. Especially to a man whom I was once intimately involved with. He obviously felt I was beautiful then, and he tells me I am beautiful now. I do not understand why I do not believe him.

I need to trust him. I need to trust me. I need to let go of my fear.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A healthy dose of honesty

A couple of days ago my son brought some old pictures up from a box in the basement. He is doing a photo essay for school and found an old picture of me. I looked at that picture and smiled. I loved the way I looked in that picture. I laughed and asked him if he knew who it was. He gave me a funny look and said, "Mom, that is you". I laughed again and said, "Quite a difference, huh?" Then he said to me, "You really don't look much different" That statement blew my mind.

I looked at the picture a little closer. I was a few years younger, I believe it was almost 10 years ago. It was taken by a friend of mine when she and I had gone on a Not-the-Momma vacation to the Florida keys. I looked much more closely at that picture. I realized that I was not all that much thinner then than I am now. My hair is slightly different, but no real major difference. Obviously I hadn't had any cosmetic surgery done then that I have since had reversed. Then it dawned on me.

In that picture, I was happy. I had taken some time away from an abusive and dying marriage. I had been getting some much needed sleep. I was visiting with a lot of Internet friends as well, who all were so happy to see me and who all thought I was pretty important. I suppose I was feeling very good about myself in that photo. That is the key.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The first step.......

Why would someone want to love me, if I cannot love myself.

If I see myself as less than worthy, less than intelligent, less than beautiful, how can anyone else see me differently? The image I portray to the world is the one in which I see myself. I am starting to come to those realizations.

I may NOT be the most beautiful woman by the standards set by fashion and society. But, I am beautiful. I am beautiful because I am real. Unlike the pictures on the magazines or on television or in movies, I am not airbrushed.

My eyes are real...they have cried real tears, seen real miracles, witnessed love and hate and indifference. My lips are real....they have spoken words of love, of anger, dissappointment. They have kissed away the pain of a child. They have kissed a friend to let them know I am close. They have kissed a lover to bring him pleasure. My arms are real...they have cradled my newborns, hugged a loved one, comforted a scared patient or a family member of a patient who was very ill or dying. They have held that patient as they died. My shoulders are real....they have carried many burdens, both my own and other peoples....and yet, remain broad and strong.

All of these things are what make me beautiful....and there are people in this world who see that beauty in me......and want me to see that beauty in myself. This is my first step........

Friday, November 10, 2006

What is it you see, when you look in the mirror?

Looking in the mirror is a difficult and daunting task. I see the lines that are starting to form at the edges of my eyes. I see the dark circles from many nights of sleep lost. I see the gained weight from years of not having time for myself, or not having the willpower to demand that time. I see the blemishes and each and every one taunts me. I see the crooked smile, the less than sparkling white teeth. I see eyes that are too far apart, hair that is not perfectly styled.

I look into those too far apart eyes, and I see a woman. A woman who has failed at marriage, twice. A mom who loses her temper. A nurse who is less than confident in her abilities. A daughter who doesn't spend enough time with her mother, and who abandoned her father at the end of his life. I see a little sister who, after years of being told to get lost, seems to have done just that.

I see a woman who is determined to look tough to all those around her, yet is terrified of what is to come. I see a person who doesn't want anyone to know that she needs anything. Is afraid to ask for what she needs from the years of having those needs rejected by those who were supposed to love her. I see a woman who feels she isn't worthy of the things that all humans need.

I see me.