Tuesday, September 1, 2015

She likely meant well

After the post with my picture, someone told me I was cute when I was younger. My reply? "I thought I was fat and ugly."

I have occasionally gone back and looked at photos of myself when I was younger, and I don't see the fat part. I don't have to go far to wonder why I felt as I did.

My grandmother would make comments about taking me to the "chubby girl's department." That, coupled with being made fun of at school for having a big butt (ironically by a girl who had a similarly sized one) was likely enough to get onto my psyche. The fact was, it certainly did seem like I was bulit differently than others I knew.

And maybe "different" was perceived to be, or at least labelled, "fat." 

If I look at my pictures, the weight came as I got older/went to college. I wonder if the deep, "I'm fat" programming helped to make me fat. For years I believed it - even when I apparently was not.

Not sure when "ugly" showed up. I know I thought I looked really ugly in my 7th grade picture. Not even sure I even have a copy of it. I hated it that much. It was a lousy, unflattering angle, among other things.

It was around that time, too, I found out who my father was (it had been a big secret). But prior to finding out, I was told I looked like him in that picture.

It doesn't help that the man who turned out to be my father was someone I did not think physically attractive (in his younger days, though...) and someone else I knew thought he looked like a troll.

Is it possible it started then?

Is it possible it was reinforced by the fact that I was not a popular girl? While everyone else was rotating boy and girl friends, I was always left off the ride.

And that was my experience both through high school and college.

Imagine my surprise when people start telling me how attractive and beautiful they thought I was?

It did not compute.

These days I can't feel uglier. Chemo has made me so pale, given me circles under my eyes, left me with "Heat Miser" hair, had me gain weight, given me rashes, and dry peeling skin, lost eyelashes and eyebrows. I am sure there is more to the list. But that is more than enough to convey stuff I am dealing with...

I know there is more to beauty than physical looks. But liking what you see when you look in the mirror certainly helps. I find I don't look that much these days, and when I do, I am not sure I even see me.

I look back in some of my pictures from the last few years. It is amazing how much a wig and make up can cover up. Many times when I took those pics I felt and looked like crap. It is why I took the time to do what I did. It made me feel better.

I think about doing that sometimes now. But I just don't have the energy. And it is coupled with, "why bother?"

So, while my grandmother might have meant well, between her comments, the bullying I received, and the fact that I always felt different (and likely was), it seems I may have some unconscious conditioning that left me in a less than empowered place when it came to how I viewed myself. And, that, it would seem, might even be just a slice of what all might be rattling inside of me. 

Uncomfortable stuff.

But I am guessing there is a reason it is showing up yet again. Maybe I can find a way to change it, or let it go, or do something with it that helps me. 

That would be nice.

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