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My Tears (Anonymous)

September 27, 2013

I came across this website after following a link at the bottom of an article on government fiscal policy of all things.

Without reading a single story, just the opening statement, I found myself in tears. Not a soft, delicate, salty trickle of shared sadness, but a harsh, tsunami of tears, so hot I thought my cheeks would blister. If my reaction to this site took anyone by surprise, it was certainly myself. But with those tears came a sudden epiphany – a deep and startlingly profound understanding of myself, and how I see myself and, hence, my world.

I have always had body image issues. As a young teen I was a curvy, top heavy size 12 and my friends model thin, flat chested size 6 and 8. There has never been a time in my life where I haven’t been focussed on my weight, my size or my shape to one degree or another, and not in a positive way. When I look back now, I am amazed at how good I looked as a teen and I feel sadness that I was so obsessed with wanting to be Kate Moss thin like my friends that I didn’t appreciate how healthy and normal I was.

I had my first child at 19, my second at 22, my third at 31. Each pregnancy saw me stay a little heavier and my body shape change a little more, but I wasn’t obsessed by it, even though I was still always dieting and wanting to look better and thinner. Overall it was ok – my, then, husband liked my body, I was still a size 13/14, and my baby pouch which had nurtured our three babies, was just a part of me.

When my marriage failed everything changed. I found myself in another relationship with an attractive, successful and yet, on reflection, controlling and misogynistic man who had me constantly apologising for my weight and size and just about every other aspect of me. When I fell pregnant naturally at age 43, he stopped touching me – wouldn’t come near me, all physical, and emotional, connection ceased suddenly, and he started a string of affairs with numerous women that continued until I left the relationship with an 18 month old baby and a very differently sized and shaped body. If I thought my body changed after pregnancy in my 20’s and 30’s I didn’t know what to think about the changes from a pregnancy and a natural birth in my early 40’s.

I’ve been living on my own for a year now, but in reality I’ve been alone for three, and if I am honest much longer, as I now know the affairs started before the pregnancy. I suffered severe post natal depression, which continues now as just regular garden variety depression since my daughter is now 26 months old.

Every aspect of my life has deteriorated, including my once successful career, and relationships with my older children, family and friends have been affected and infected as I have isolated myself. I have no confidence, no self esteem, no value in myself. The simple act of dressing every morning is an emotional hurdle finding something to wear that “minimises my fatness”.

I feel inferior to colleagues at work, embarrassed taking my daughter to toddler dance class because of what the other mothers might think of me, I avoid time with dear old school friends because I am embarrassed. I would like an intimate relationship, but can’t even contemplate that a man I would find attractive would even give me a second look – overweight, cellulite, saggy breasts and a, now, very pronounced baby pouch.

If the father of my child rejects me because of how I look, how my body is, how can I expect anyone else to accept me

My epiphany is that I suddenly realised I have allowed the loathing and hate I have for my body to determine the self-image I have in every aspect of my life. And that’s stupid. How I look doesn’t affect my skill at work, or the love I have for my children and family or the quality of my friendships. I’ve spent the last few years investing in tummy tamers, hold me in undies and fantasising about affording a boob job, tummy tuck, arm thinning, liposuction and a multitude of other surgeries to make me “acceptable” to the world.

The reality is, if I do not love me, I can never let anyone else love me. Self-sabotage is a vicious disease.
My body tells my story –every bump, lump, lovehandle, stretchmark and wrinkle – but it does not define who I am. If people can’t see beyond the lumps and bumps on my body that tell my story they doesn’t deserve to be part of that story

I need to see beyond the lumps and bumps on my body that tell my story. I need to accept and love and like myself.
And I suspect that there are going to be a lot more tears before I can do that.

092713-anon-1

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15 Responses to “My Tears (Anonymous)”

  1. M. Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    Sweetie, you’re gorgeous. You are proportional and smooth and have great legs. You are smaller and much less flabby than me, and look very much the way I did when I met my beloved 2nd husband, the father of two of my three children. I am fatter and flabbier and stripier than you and that’s ok. It’s ok with me personally, though I do want to move more and eat better. It’s ok with my husband because he’s not a superficial tool, and if there’s one man out there who is not a superficial tool then there are plenty more. There’s nothing to be ashamed of as an older mom, as there are plenty of them out there, and probably plenty of them reading this! XOXOXO

  2. Jess Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 9:28 am

    You are beautiful. Your body is amazing to birth four children and you are so brave to raise them. You write about your struggle so well, but it is not yours alone. It’s mine as well as countless others. Every time one of us has this epiphany we reclaim our ability to be happy and that’s our super power. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Lisa Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 9:57 am

    You are a wonderful writer. Your story is sad, but also one that many women, including myself, have experienced. If there is any solace that I can offer you, it is this; You are not alone. You are brave, and you are beautiful. Most of all, you are worth it. You are worth the love that you can give yourself, and you are worth the love that your children unconditionally give you. Don’t tell yourself otherwise. Let you be happy. Don’t settle for anyone that thinks otherwise.

  4. Erin Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 11:54 am

    you can do it!What a strong, beautiful mother you are! Leaving a relationship is really tough and I am proud of you for doing it! You are gorgeous, I am sorry you had some bad luck but you will meet someone more worthy of your self. Continue being a great mom and don’t worry about what other women think. Most of us have things we are insecure about, especially us mothers! Keep your head up :)

  5. Rashidat Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 11:59 am

    OMG! What on earth are you talking about? Your body is fine. As I read your post, I didn’t know what to expect and then I see your photo. Huh, my dear your body is beautiful. One thing I AM glad about is that you, not anyone else, you have realized that anyone who cannot and will not come to terms with your body does not deserve your time to begin with. That is probably the most important truth that you need.
    I can absolutely relate to your journey with body image, add a side of terrible acne to mine. But, once I realized that MOST of the time I’m my own worst critic, it made a world of difference. As women the best thing we can do for ourselves is Get Out of Our Way. Again, dahling you are beautiful, even if the whole world doesn’t see it (which I sincerely doubt) no matter; what matters is that one person sees AND believes it. You.

  6. Anonymous Says:
    September 27th, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    You wrote beautifully. I’m sorry you’ve experienced so much pain & sadness. I was expecting something completely different when reading how you described yourself-you are curvy, womanly & beautiful!

  7. Anon Says:
    September 28th, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Love, nobody’s reassurances that you have a wonderful, strong, healthy body is going to make you realize – really ‘grok’ – it yourself. But it sounds like you’re on the way and I applaud you for even looking, reading, seeing other women being normal moms too.

  8. Shawn Says:
    September 30th, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Hello Beautiful,
    Thanks for such a heartfelt share. I too had our son 26 months ago I’m about 70 pounds more than I have been most my life so at 5’10′ and 250 pounds I was depressed with my wardrobe and what to wear. Never tried to hide anything didn’t feel to bad about the way I looked just wanted to be fashionable. Found a store called Torrid at the mall about a year ago felt so great to look fashionable at this size. I take our son to my gym and music together classes and I feel as if some of the moms judge me for my size but it’s their loss I rock I’m a fun and amazing person. Our journeys are so one in this life all just wanting to be accepted by ourselves and others. I just think you’re lovely. All my weight is in a saggy belly. I get when is the baby due almost daily. I laugh and say I’m not pregnant they all look shocked or bummed they asked but I just say with confidence look it’s no problem I think someone knows when they look pregnant I’m very aware. It has never horrified me. I use to be so vain in my 20′s and when I gained weight it’s as if I disappeared to the world but I haven’t minded my spiritual journey has given me so much more than the approving looks of strangers and in laws could ever provide :) Many Blessings on your journey dear one :)

  9. liona225 Says:
    October 1st, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    My words might not do you any good, but judging by your body pic I would have thought you were in your early or mid 20s. Obviously the crap you went through with your ex did a lot of damage, which is sad that the opinion of one idiot could hurt you so badly. There are millions of good men who would be happy to have you and treat you well but I think learning to accept yourself is a must before being truly ready for a relationship… I’m sure you know people whose self worth is completely dependent on pleasing their significant other and it is an ugly trap to fall into. But if or when the time comes, I don’t think you’ll have any trouble. Just be careful not to settle for less than you deserve.

  10. Anon Says:
    October 5th, 2013 at 1:45 am

    My mum was depressed when I was a teenager and my dad gave her shit about the way she looked. Even so, I think you have to get over it to be a good mum. Yes it’s a journey and all that, but in the longer run looking back at your life, what do you think will count more – how large your stomach was or the fun you had with all your kids? They deserve it and so do you. :)

  11. Herb Says:
    October 6th, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Dear Anon,
    There are so many mlns of women who don’t fit the Mainstream Media (MSM) definition of “attractive” …and all too often they self-destruct.
    PLEASE try not to do that to yourself.

    There are lots of guys out there of good heart and character who are less than MSM-perfect too!

    Hopefully you’ll find one who will love every gram and millimeter of you :)

    TO THE LADIES:
    PLEASE teach your sons (if you have them) about how many women’s bodies change from bearing children…that is if your young man expresses disgust about “fat” women, please let him know if/when he marries and they have children she is likely to become that way…if he can’t adjust his attitude he’ll be much better off finding a woman who doesn’t want child(ren) or remaining a bachelor.

    Herb in Alton Bay, New Hampshire USA

  12. Lena Says:
    October 10th, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    You sound like a lovely and very intelligent woman, beautiful outside and out. It’s really important for your baby that you love, accept and enjoy yourself completely – this way she will get the best of you! This is the greatest gift you could give o your child. I’m within normal bmi and only 15 pounds away from my ideal skinny weight, but share all of your feelings nd struggles about my body. Things don’t change with the if fervent scale number, your life I’ll change when your heart does. Good luck nd lots of love

  13. Ellen Says:
    November 20th, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Dear Herb,

    What a good point – how many men are less than “perfect”? 98.6%, right? I love you! Thanks for everything.

    Ellen

  14. Bex Says:
    February 13th, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    Hello,

    So sad we all do this to ourselves. I am in pretty good shape now (1 1/2 years after birth of my son, it takes time . . .) and realise that now, but a few months ago spent a lot of time basically squinting in the mirror thinking how fat I was . . . so ditto Lena, things do NOT change however ‘thin’ or ‘toned’ you get. I look back on old pictures of me looking really fit (maybe too thin) and remember thinking at the time that I needed to get even fitter. So basically just think instead ‘f£$k it’, who cares? And less stress = less stress hormones that make you fatter and means less binge eating. But don’t think about that, just think about looking at your family and making silly elephant noises with your children and running around the park :-) Fun stuff!

    xxx

  15. Jake Says:
    May 16th, 2014 at 4:19 pm

    Your husband as a fool. You are beautiful. I am glad that you realize that you must love yourself first. I know it is hard. Hang in there. There are plenty of good men out there who will love you for who you are and not judge you based on what society or the media thinks is beauty.

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