Crutches burned in funeral pyres

Struggling with how I feel about myself lately. It’s easier for me to be upbeat and put on my crown when I don’t fucking care what anyone thinks of me. But that’s just not the case right now.

I have a long history of being told I’m unattractive and annoying. I could cite examples for you but you don’t care about that. I’m not unique in my feelings or experiences. I’d say most people have been made to feel like the meat they’re wearing isn’t wagyu. And we each deal with our own feelings of inadequacy in varying ways. This is one of the ways I deal. Whining about it on the internet.

But for the sake of the mean voices in my head, I will share a few things. Maybe writing it down and letting strangers read my private pain will shut the voices up for a while. (Spoiler alert: it won’t.)

I don’t know if I’ve written about this before but I think I probably have. Nonetheless, I’m gonna write about it again.

I’d say one of my core memories is the weekend I went to visit my mom when I was maybe 10 and her husband at the time told me I looked like a fat, pregnant girl. He and my mom did a little mini intervention with me that weekend. They put me on a scale. I weighed around 90 lbs. My mother was appalled. She only weighed 95 lbs when she graduated from high school, she told me. My stepdad’s family had all been talking about me. They were shocked when, at Thanksgiving, I’d gotten seconds of green beans. Everyone was talking about how much I ate. If I didn’t lose weight and didn’t work to stay thin, no one would ever want me and I’d never have a career, they said. I spent that weekend crying. When I went back to my dad’s that week, I coped by letting myself eat as many oatmeal cream pies as I wanted. (I’m down with OCPs. Yeah, you know me.)

Ten year old me, when I looked like a “fat, pregnant girl”.

When I was 18, my stepmom had a talk with me. She was worried I’d never get a boyfriend if I didn’t lose weight. I weighed around 140 lbs, maybe. I didn’t often weigh myself back then because I usually felt ok about my body so I really don’t know exactly what I weighed. But, clearly, I was heavy enough to warrant another talking to from a caregiver. I needed to be reminded that my worth only comes from my physical form and I’d only find love if that form was thin.

When I got married, I weighed around 125 lbs. If I go back and look at my wedding pictures, all I see is how fat my upper arms were. I think about what someone, who I thought was a friend, said to my ex-husband right after we got married. “Don’t let her just sit around. She’ll get fat.” There really isn’t a good reason for my ex-husband to have told me that. But he did. And it stuck in my head. Clearly, the worst thing that I could be was fat. This was the message the universe wanted me to understand. Yes, I’d managed to find love, beyond all reason since I’d been warned so many times that I was not thin enough to attract a mate. But if I wasn’t careful, I’d lose that mate.

And then all their predictions came true. I developed hypothyroidism. I noticed something was wrong with my body. I went to doctors who told me I just needed to eat right and exercise. Doctors are so smart. It took about 15 years to get a diagnosis of hypothyroidism and to get on medication. My weight fluctuated and ballooned. At my heaviest I weighed around 250 lbs. No diet or exercise regime did anything to affect my weight or alleviate the other symptoms that plagued me. The only thing that I could tell myself to bring me any comfort when I hated my body and my appearance was, “At least Nick loves me. At least he wants me and thinks I’m beautiful.”

Now, Nick is gone. Our parting was traumatic for me to say the least. And amongst one of the many things I lost when we split up, was the ability to say “at least he wants me”. Twenty-one years of propping up my self-esteem with that stupid, idiotic statement like a crutch, only to have that crutch ripped from me and burned in the funeral pyre of my marriage.

The last year and a half has been a collection of journeys that I’m traveling all at once. Clearly, one of those journeys has been to try to figure out how I feel about this body that’s been deemed too fat to be loved so many times. Sometimes I look in the mirror and see a beautiful woman. But that’s not the case most days.

Full, vulnerable honesty: I cannot imagine a world where anyone is sexually attracted to me, even if I’ve had sex with that person. For some reason, I still find it hard to believe they could actually be attracted to me. I can already hear your arguments on this so just know that I have all sorts of convoluted logic to make that make sense in my head.

A lot of my female friends hype me up when I post selfies. I always take it as females boosting females. That’s what we do for each other. But not one of them sees me as a sexual being. “Sexy”, “gorgeous”, “hot”, etc. are all just ladies trying to boost my self-esteem. I won’t say it’s not appreciated. Of course, I love to read those comments. I want to believe I’m those things. And when I don’t really care if anyone finds me attractive, I can actually almost believe I am those things.

Lately, I just can’t see it. It really sucks to want someone to find you attractive. “I want you to want me,” lyrics that were written just for me, I’m sure.

I have a lifetime of internalized bullshit to unlearn. Caregivers whose idea of care was metaphorically kicking me in the self-esteem bone in order to “help” me be the best version of myself. (Apparently, the best version of myself is thin and hot and has a man who wants a hot, thin woman.) Instead of spending those 21 years of marriage learning to love my body and myself, I leaned on the idea that I’d found love already and that his love was all I needed to sustain myself. What a poetic load of manure.

At the beginning of this post I said that sharing my private pain with strangers wouldn’t really help me feel better. Surprise! I was wrong. I do feel better. Marginally. (And this is why I write this shit. It actually does help sometimes.) I’m getting to the end here and it’s just kinda hitting me that this IS a journey and I have to keep going. I think I can learn to love my body. It may be possible to think I’m attractive. I might even get to the place where I believe people are sexually attracted to me. (Don’t start. I know my thoughts on this are absurd and illogical. I’m working on it, okay?)

I guess where I am landing on this subject is that it’s not hopeless. I have a lot of healing to do. I have to learn to love myself. It’s not something I’ve ever made much of a priority. I’ve always put my efforts into showing others my love for them and I kinda just forgot about myself. I’ve never seen myself as particularly important. In fact, I usually see myself as invisible. (Topic for another emo post, on another emo day.) But maybe, just maybe, it’s time to change all that. I don’t know how to change the way I see myself but I’m gonna work on it. Because I hate feeling like this.

Maybe instead of “I want you to want me”, I should start singing, “I want me to want me”. Idk. I’ll get there.

Post Script: After posting this, I got to thinking. My love languages are quality time and words of affirmation. Maybe the way to learn to love myself is to just spend meaningful time by myself, hyping my own self up. Idk. It’s a start.

It’s too late at night to scream.

Do you ever listen to “This American Life” on NPR? I do. And sometimes they’ll start an episode by saying that the episode contains “unbeeped” curse words and if the listener wants a “beeped” version they can find it at their website. Well, my friends, this blog post contains several “unbeeped” curse words and if you want a “beeped” version you’re shit out of luck. Sorry.

I don’t want a response or sympathy. I don’t even want anyone to read this, really. But I have to write it. Because some fucked up place inside me doesn’t like holding shit in. Never have. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have been told I wear my heart on my sleeve. And it’s so goddamn true.

Why, oh, why, is there this thing inside me that needs to scream and shout and rage? I need to see a therapist but good luck with that. Maybe, if I was in therapy, all the screaming voices inside me that tell me to word vomit all that I’m feeling would shut up.

The thing is, I’m so angry and hurt and just fucked up. Being alone for long periods of time is not good for me right now. My overthinking brain starts examining and re-examining the past, present, and potential future. The past makes me angry, and so hurt. The present leaves me confused and exhausted. The future is just a blank. I used to be anxious about the future and, then, as a plan formed for me, I was excited about it. Now? I don’t know. Because I no longer have any idea what my future holds. And, to be honest, that may be the most comforting thought I have these days.

I like to make collage art with shit on it that I’m feeling to put up on my bedroom walls and help me process my feelings. A few weeks ago I made a sign that simply says “What Do YOU Want?” It’s not pretty like the collage art. It’s just a small piece of white poster board with black sharpie letters and the word “you” outlined in red with a red box drawn around it. I put it on the wall directly across from my bed so I look at it A LOT. It’s striking in its contrast to the rest of the art around it.

I’ve been asking myself that question for about a year and a half. Ever since Nick left me, I’ve been trying to figure out what I want. Bits and pieces of myself, the girl I lost because I changed myself to suit my marriage, keep coming back to me. And when those bits reemerge, it hits like a fucking iceberg and sinks me into the icy depths all over again. But in a good way. Because I mean to drown the bitch I became for the sake of my marriage. Fuck her.

I’ve seen this meme a bunch of times that says something along the lines of “finding yourself isn’t a thing, you’re not a $10 bill”. Fuck that meme. Finding myself is exactly how I would describe what I’ve been going through. When I was a kid, apparently I would strip off all my clothes and run into the backyard completely naked. My mom would follow the trail of clothes until she found me gleefully naked running in the grass. She even took a picture of me around 4 years old naked as a bird outside with nothing but a straw hat on. I have always felt very weird about that picture. But I digress. I brought that fun tidbit up to say that following a trail of clothes to find a naked version of me is exactly what it feels like I’ve been doing this last year and a half. I was this “person” not even fully formed, being only 19, and I went and got married and slowly started packing her away and silencing her voice. And, now, I’m finding all those things I packed away again. But it’s taking time. Because I forgot who I was.

And there’s this other THING. And I’m so fucking pissed off about it. And my tongue is tied and I can’t talk about it. BUT I WANT TO AND I NEED TO AND I DON’T KNOW HOW TO OR WHO I CAN TRUST or even who would fucking care… Because that has been the main lesson of my life. No one cares. No one wants to hear about it. Intellectually, I know people “care” but knowing and feeling are two different genres, baby. And if I’m going off experience, I “know” that most people don’t give 2 goddamns about me or what I’ve been through. So I have to keep the THING to myself. And it makes me want to fucking break things. It makes me want to never speak to another living soul again. It makes me…. Egh! And then I write blog posts like these because I don’t know what to do with this thing sitting on my chest.

So fuck. I don’t know anymore. It’s nearly 3 a.m. and I’m doing homework and f e e l i n g. I really fucking hate feelings sometimes. I would love to be one of those people who just goes and deals with their bad feelings quietly. But I don’t know how to do that. I deal with my feelings by writing poetry and personal essays, writing music, creating art, and screaming until I’m hoarse. And it’s too late at night to scream.

If you read this, don’t worry about me, my loves. I am fine. I’m just a dramatic whore who needs to scream on the internet sometimes. I’m an attention seeking bimbo who needs everyone to read my dramatic, swear-filled, terribly written prose in order to exorcize her demons. Demons, be gone, in the name of Jesus! Poof. I’m healed.

Be well. Put this all out of your pretty minds. Get yourself a treat today. You deserve it. I’m gonna go do some emo girl shit. Kiss kiss.

I am everything

Here’s a quick song I threw together just now. There is a lot to hate about it. I didn’t write an ending so the end kinda falls apart. I’m playing a damn Casio instead of my acoustic upright piano which is back in Missouri collecting dust. (I miss her.) My piano playing toward the end leaves much to be desired. I’m not confident in all my word choices.


There is also A LOT TO LOVE. I love the concept of the song. I love a lot of the lyrics. I love that I wrote most of a song before 10am on a Thursday. Some of my singing kicks serious ass. And I just love me so there’s that too.

So love it or hate it, I don’t care. Here you go. Bon appetit! Consume at your own risk.