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Body Acceptance and Lack Thereof

Part of the reason I wrote the fat post was because I really wanted to write this post, but needed those other thoughts out of the way first. Then my life got in the way and it took me a little bit to get back to this post.

I don’t like my body. I do not have a warm relationship with it, and I am not very motivated to improve my feelings toward it.

I get that YOU may believe that loving my body is a SHOULD so strong it is almost a requirement, but frankly, your shoulds hold more annoyance than interest to me. It is me, and my body. From my perspective our relationship should only concern you for the seconds you choose to expose yourself to my words. If it really hurts you to hear about my body hatred, or you feel that you must give me a pep talk. You might want to quit reading.

The current source of our problem relationship has little to do with appearance. I won’t claim to have always been comfortable looking the way I happen to look. I won’t claim that I will age gracefully, and never even consider a visit to a plastic surgeon for some little bit of something. I certainly won’t claim that I do not have flashes of appearance insecurities, or worse. However, on the majority of days, I am fine with my appearance.

I like the theory of body acceptance. Especially as the mother of a teenage girl, it is a big part of what I want to impart to her. It is made far more difficult by the fact that in all honesty I am so uncomfortable in my own skin.

Literally uncomfortable.

I have been in pain since I was 10 years old. Some days it is less, some days it is more, but I am always in pain. Chronic pain, they call it. Really fucking annoying, I call it.

Yet, most days it isn’t really all that annoying, because I am so used to it. It is just a part of life for me. So, if it is just background noise, why do I hate my body? Most days I tend to ignore my body. I focus on the billion other things going on in my life and I don’t think much about the aches, except the brief instant it flares sharply as I change position. When the concept of body acceptance comes up though, I think about my body. Once I think about it, it all crashes over me in waves. The significance of our bodies is so much more than how they look to us, and it is sure as hell more than how it looks to others.

Yes, I get it. I’ve heard it all. “At least you can walk.” “Look at all the things you can do.” “Look at your beautiful family.” “You should be grateful.”

I can already detail out all the positive aspects of my body, and there are many. Certainly, I appreciate that things are not worse, and I know very well that they could be, but does it go so far as to wipe out the pain and frustration that is still there. No. Not for me. Have whatever opinion you have to have about my attitude, but it is mine, and I am not looking for your help or inspiration to change it.

Then there are the surgical scars. Occasionally I happen to honestly and casually mention that one bothers me. This is invariable followed by somebody telling me how it doesn’t look bad, or is barely noticeable. The thing is, I do not mind the scars because I think they are ugly, or I am worried what other people see. They bother me because they remind ME of the physical, mental and emotional suffering that surrounded their creation. Also, they still physically bother me. My nerve regeneration is poor. I tend to end up with large patches of numb and tingly with occasional sharp pains. I can have those spots even when the scars are completely hidden from view.

Now I am sure that many people reading this feel curious about the causes, background and nature of these pains and surgical scars. If you spend enough time with me over the years, you’ll hear about it here and there. The reason I am not detailing it out here, is that it just doesn’t matter where the subject at hand is concerned. What I am talking about is how I feel about my body, not the journey my body has taken to arrive at this status of under-appreciated anatomical structure.

This week has been a marginal one. I’ve been able to get out of bed every day. I have not had to avoid any of the things I needed to get done. I was able to function physically. It was definitely not a pretty bad, bad, really bad, or seriously fucked up week. It was just one of those weeks where things were a step and a half above the I almost completely block it out I have so much practice level of pain.

This week I was reminded at every move and twitch about the pain, but I wasn’t reminded with a chainsaw.

Also, for anyone who would like to believe that any pain is caused by my being overweight, and would be solved if I dropped 50 lbs. You are wrong. No, I don’t need to detail out why. You just are.

Open Letter: CNN Edition
My Confidence Cup Runneth Over

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