Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Love Yourself, Dummy

Today I did something I try never to do. I stood naked in front of a mirror and looked at myself. I took in the color of my skin, the curves of my body. I looked at myself up and down, stared at the areas of greatest imperfection. My weight these last 5 years has fluctuated dramatically. I'm currently losing weight slowly but I'm not as concerned as I used to be. I recognize now my exterior is only one factor in why I find myself beautiful. I am funny, kind, loving, thoughtful, generous and smart. Those things make me so much more beautiful than long legs and fast metabolism ever will.  When I was looking at my body I found it funny that right now as chubby as I am is when I finally appreciate my beauty. My body reminds me of the women in old Victorian paintings- soft, delicate, desirable. When I was little I remember always wanting to touch their skin. I ran my fingers along my waist and smiled; it was as comforting and feminine and beautiful and soft as I imagined.

When I was a size 2 I was so worried all the time. My imperfections governed my life. I don't know how Derek or anyone used to put up with it. My weight isn't something that bothers me anymore. I want to be healthy and I am working at that goal I just want to take on one project at a time. I'm only one person and essentially I'm learning this growing up thing on my own. Working, getting my budget in order and getting my own place is what I need right now.

All I've ever wanted my whole life was stability. When I didn't find stability in a loving family I searched elsewhere; relationships became my new stability. When relationships fail or people hurt me or leave me or what have you that rocks my very (weak) foundation. That constant thing that I had in my life is no longer there. The healthy thing I was supposed to learn during my childhood is how to be my own stability. That's what I'm doing now. I've been angry the last few days because I feel like I don't really have a support system. I don't want my parent's help anymore. I'm angry at them for crippling me. My defiance will be living well and not letting them take credit for my hard work. If I hear someone say, "You've done a wonderful job raising your daughter," I'm gonna cut into that conversation and say, "Thank you. It was a lot of hard work."

If you can catch the animosity that's how I feel most of the time having to do all this shit on my own. I know it's wasted energy, I understand my parents didn't know any better, the anger comes with the fact that they are still super fucked up and judgmental. I love them, they are good people deep down but they are really unhealthy human beings. My therapist mentioned that my mother only speaks in passive aggressive sentences. She nailed it. My mom is the queen of passive aggressive and my father's just the king of aggression. They told me what to do my whole life then the second I decided I wanted to make my own decisions they were like, "Okay, see ya!" and essentially abandoned me. I'm not angry at them, they are hurt and full of years of toxic resentment, I understand them, I just need time to heal without them reopening wounds and weighing down on the foundation I have so far. They aren't healthy for me right now. All I end up doing is trying to solve their problems for them which isn't even helping them. Also, who's been solving mine?

I talked to Lisa and Jamie last night. They both gently brought me back to reality. I was overwhelmed and convinced I was sucking at everything. I'm pushing off school to the Spring just to give myself time to recover and learn and adjust without the added pressure of assignments and presentations. It makes me feel really guilty that I'm doing this. Lisa's 29 and she laughed at me. "Tania, I'm 3.5 years older than you and we are in the exact same positions in our lives. Relax, you've been through a lot and you're doing a great job. Even if it takes you two whole years to get everything in order you'll still be ahead of where I am right now. I didn't figure out what I wanted to do til a couple of years ago. You've got these visions and determination... Slow down... Go at your own pace, you're already ahead of the game girl." After she said that I realized how I had allowed last week's obstacles cloud my perception. I was that neurotic, anxious girl worried about what everyone was thinking. Gross. When Jamie and I talked I mentioned I was overwhelmed, "Well T, for what it's worth I'm extremely proud of you. You've accomplished great things already in your short life so don't be so hard on yourself. You're working really hard. Take a step back and breathe, go on vacation, you deserve to treat yourself."

I know I'm dumb. I'm crying because I have no support system and I have great friends. Adulthood just doesn't ever let me see them. Best years of our lives and they're spent soaking in fluorescent lighting, completely the same mundane tasks over and over again. I'm growing up. Growing up sucks. I wanna change that and make it an adventure but everyone is too tangled up in their own pain, grief and fear.

Percy and I got together tonight after weeks of attempting to meet. It was really nice. We talked about parenting and family and life. She would be the perfect daughter for my parents, lol. We were talking and I kept saying I wasn't strong enough to deal certain situations and how overwhelmed I was. She piped up and said,"You keep using words like 'fragile,' 'weak,' 'damaged.' Quite honestly I don't see any of that in the person sitting in front of me. I see an intelligent and determined young woman who has overcome every obstacle and challenge that has been placed in front of her. I see a woman who has experienced the worst in people and yet every time I see her her smile lights up a whole room with light and love. Seriously, I've never seen someone smile so genuinely. The woman I see in front of me is very strong, successful, and won't let anything stop her from making her dreams come true."

... Obviously I cried. I need to read The Four Agreements again. I've been letting other's perceptions of me fog up what is true.

Someone said to me today, "I pray a strong, hot, successful man comes into your life and gives you the stability you deserve." I replied with, "Thank you but I'm gonna be my own stability. People are fickle and hurtful. What if I marry that man and he gives me 18 years of stability. But 4 kids later he decides the 19 year old from up the street has a lonely vagina? Well... there goes my stability. I can and have been taking care of myself. If a supportive, kind, funny, intellectual man wants to join me on my journey I will be more than happy to have company but if he decides to hop out before the ride's over I'll be okay because I'm my own stability."

Dear Tania,
You're doing a great job. It's been a very hard year... I am very proud of you for never giving up and always learning from your experiences. You let go of the hurt, victimized and jaded girl and you are full of hope and happiness and purpose again. You are very kind, lovable and resilient. Please be kinder to yourself and allow yourself to feel pride in your accomplishments. You've completely changed your life and are becoming the woman you always said you wanted to be. You affect people positively even if lately it doesn't feel that way. You make a difference in the lives of your patients. You are loved by many people but if the whole world abandons you I will still believe in you and be with you and always love you. I promise to love you the exact way you've always wanted to be loved because you deserve nothing less.
Yourself, dummy.

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