Monday, July 26, 2010

Learning to put myself first

We are so grateful to have received the anonymous post below about a woman's struggle with her physicality and sexuality. Our body image truly comes in all shapes and sizes, influenced by events in our lives that we often have no control over. But the things we do have control over include acknowledging and being truthful about how we see ourselves as well as learning to use that truth and turn it into something positive. Thank you so much for sharing this story. You are beautiful.

By: Anonymous

I am a woman and I am an expert at faking. I go to great efforts to conceal my insecurities and my flaws. But it’s about time I reveal it all. At 8 years old I was involved in a sport focused on weight, at 11 years old I was molested, at 14 I went through puberty and at 15 I developed an eating disorder. While I don’t let these events define me, they have shaped and influenced my body image and the way I value myself. I’m not stick thin, I have a lot of curves and some muscle. My weight is constantly fluctuating and there are days that I appreciate my body and am proud of the things that it can do, but a lot of the time I hate my body.
I’m an athlete and exercise makes me feel good about my shape, yet I feel hideous in workout clothes. I feel ugly with my hair in a pony tail. I feel ugly in a t-shirt and I feel ugly without makeup on. The parts of my body that I like the most are my breasts. I’m even self-conscious about these. Unfortunately they are sisters, not twins. The left one is significantly bigger than the right. I’m afraid that when I’m naked or even in a bathing suit that my mismatched bosoms are the only thing people look at. Most of all, I hate when strange men stare at them.
I hate catcalls, they make me feel filthy. Until around 18, the thought of being intimate with guys made me feel dirty and wrong. Now, sometimes I worry that someday I'll become a sex addict because I crave intimacy and without it I don't feel loved. My view of intimacy didn't quite develop normally. I'm still learning that my sexuality is not dirty and can actually be beautiful and freeing. Even though I’m self-conscious, I worry that when I’m dating, the guy is only interested in my looks and all things physical. He doesn’t know that I’m also smart and caring, and selfless. I still have a lot of body issues but I am so proud of myself for overcoming an eating disorder. I’m proud of myself for realizing I don’t need a lover to feel good about myself or to validate that I am worthy. I’m proud about learning to put myself first before men and for having aspirations other than being the ideal woman for a man. Even though it seems like I have a lot of negativity on my mind, I love my friends for valuing me in ways that make me feel extraordinary and for inspiring me to be a good friend. I love my family and my friends, and I'm working towards loving my body and myself.

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