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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Self Loathing

I don't know how I missed it.
Around me people were stressing out about their appearance, their weight, their skin, their hair, their general look. But I didn't stress. 

Growing up, I noticed that people were hating themselves for the appearance of their face, legs, ass, weight...and I didn't hate myself. I don't hate myself.

Don't get me wrong, I've added weight; I've added chins. I'm not delighted with the lesser health associated with the weight and I am working out now, down a few pounds. But that's not what I want to talk about, the pounds.

It's the self loathing.

How many people do you know, perhaps you yourself, who seriously and tragically loathe their own bodies. Are disgusted. Hate the skin that they live in. Can't look in the mirror.

I'm interestingly aware of my own thoughts and words right now as I write this blog post because parts of me want to assure you that I am quite cognizant of my weight and girth. It's no secret. I would like to lose some pounds and I'm working on it. Similarly I'm aware of the loss of my true attractiveness. I used to be quite cute. Losing that was shockingly and embarrassingly difficult to accept. It took me about a decade to come to terms with no longer being cute. I had to seriously consider the value of beauty and youth in American culture and how fleeting, even how false, that genuinely is. Still I mourned my loss of it. 

But during that entire decade I never hated myself.

Self-loathing doesn't happen organically. It grows within a family, a community, a culture. It comes from celebrations of bodies that are absolutely perfect, or Photo-shopped to look that way. Both men and women are exposed to thousands of images day after day of human bodies that are so digitally-edited and manipulated that there is no reality left in the image. Yet we see those images and feel inadequate beside them.

Additionally the culture reveres, weirdly worships, youth and slimness. 

This is not news to you. We all know this and have known this for decades. The first time I ever knew of it was sometime in the 1980s when TV Guide took Oprah Winfrey's head and put in onto Ann Margaret's body. Ann Freaking Margaret. I'm certain such deception wasn't new even then. Now the ability to bend and change and misrepresent images is so pervasive I doubt we ever see a pic that isn't somehow, butchered.

Yet even knowing this so many of us, mature men and women, and the next generations of our children are wandering around feeling inadequate, unworthy, and full of self-loathing.

How this passed me by is completely beyond me. Not only was the female image actually taped to the wall (pictures of naked women...yes, you read that right; pictures of naked women were a part of my childhood), not only did our father jokingly call his adolescent daughters Thunder Thighs and Truck Butt, not only was there no strong female lead in our home, not only was my appearance one of the major roles that I played in the family identity, and not only were we a strong TV- and movie-viewing family, but the culture of the time was strongly slanted toward extremely thin, sickly looking young men and women in all of the teen magazines and popular womens' mags. How did I miss the body image distortions, because important people around me caught it?

One person very close to me can't believe I can be happy with myself when I have lost that beauty that I was once noted for. Yet I am. I am happy with myself and I think I've figured out some of the reasons why the self-loathing skipped me.

  • I am aware that my value does not lie in my appearance. I am deeply loved for the person that I am and I deeply love myself for how strenuously I fight to be honest and authentic.
    Because the quality of character means everything to the world around us, THAT is what we owe the world.
  • Self-loathing and a distortion of the reality of body creates an inability to see one's self clearly. Once you are into the hatred of your own body, no reality of self actually gets through. Many, many men and women who struggle with this are entirely unaware of their own beauty, inside and outside.
    In fact, I know that you are saying to yourself that there are things that I don't know about you and that is why this one does not apply to you.
  • And, weird as this may sound, having been pretty, I know that having it does not make me a better person. I know that having that thing that so many people long for is a total fools trap because having beauty doesn't bring happiness, joy, or fulfillment at all.
    Being happy, joyful, and doing fulfilling things does.

I can't offer solutions or secrets on how to turn Self-Hatred into Self-Worth, though it is possible. But I can contribute this small thought exercise to the discussion. If you struggle with the distortions of body image, please reread the three points I made above. 

Our society as a whole, not the American culture, the Global Popular Culture worships thin. 
Beyond healthy thin.

Be the change you need to see in the world. Recognize the bullshit TRAP you have bought into and are being controlled by. And do everything you can do to change the way you talk to yourself...because the world needs people who are kind and who know how to love themselves.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Lost in the Night

It's that deep night where their words circle in my head...and I lie in the dark repeating, refining, getting it perfect. Those words that I will never actually say to them. The exact, most perfect way of explaining their misconceptions, their inaccuracies, their complete fabrications.

My night is consumed with what I could have, should have, didn't say. In my fantasy diatribe I bust every falsehood and bit of slander and I dash each and every story told against me. In the dark I am successful.

Today in the light I realize that I, again, lost the sleep as they laid sleeping in a peaceful haze of bullshit and lies, a haze of their own construction. Another night lost...but do they win the night? 

NO for I am solid and healthy and not as fragile as I once was.

Today in the light I rinse off the residue of the night and I look myself in the mind and heart and remember that my self worth and beautiful life is not dependent on their understanding of truth. While they powerlessly flounder in a false world of their own construction, my ascent into the light is by my own power, with my own truth, and by my own hand. I do not need, require, or even want their filthy, beleaguered mind in my life. They are as oblivious as ever and I am empowered through the complex and genuine alchemy of self care, personal nurturing, and truth.

Tonight I will sleep soundly.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

End the Bah Humbug

A gift I give to you.

You have the power to make the holidays what they are. Have they been traumatic, contentious, divisive, drama? Do you carry holiday baggage? Past harms? Unshed tears? Unvoiced crimes and times?

You can end it right here and right now. You can change everything.
You can take the Decembers into the next generation as a family/lovely time.

Do it.
Your descendants won't know who to thank.
But it will be you.

A gift you give yourself.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Good Words

“We can spend our lives letting the world tell us who we are. Sane or insane. Saints or sex addicts. Heroes or victims. Letting history tell us how good or bad we are. Letting our past decide our future. Or we can decide for ourselves. And maybe it's our job to invent something better.”
Chuck Palahniuk,

Thursday, October 20, 2016

I Hated the 80s

I hated the 80s.
I really did, still do. It wasn't just the supremely bad make up, jewelry, and fashion. No, things were so bad for me. I was in such a confused place in those days. It was so bad, actually, that I barely remember long stretches of time.

I did no drugs, so that wasn't it. I did drink alot, mostly to escape. But even that wasn't why I was in such a mess. I was recovering from an extremely destructive set of life choices...all at the tail end of very damaging teen years that left me utterly destroyed and alone.

I barely remember the music, the popular tv shows, movies from that time, general popular culture... 

Somehow I emerged through that dark time with the help of excellent therapy, excellent friendships, and truly tons of introspective journaling. A few people have asked me the steps I took but I truly don't know. I was flying by the seat of my pants for years. I only realized that I had made it to the other side of it when one day I was reading a certain type of recovery book. On one of the pages was a simplified diagram of recovery. I remember sitting and looking at that diagram of internal core beliefs in the various states of recovery and realizing that I had come so far, I was at the far right on the diagram! I began to see the light.

I began to recognize my own personal power. I began to recognized how I had changed my own life. I finally saw that I had taken charge of my life; I had stopped letting life happen to me. I finally understood the meaning of the words integrity, authenticity, and honesty. Once I made these words my strictest guides...well that changed everything.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Numb, Inadequate

Do you feel like you are a shell of a human being? Like there's nothing inside left inside anymore? Like you've been sucked dry of everything that made you YOU? Do you feel like you don't know who you are, even that you don't care anymore? Do you feel like a shadow? 

What if I told you that depression is normal when a person has been held down for so long? Our emotions can only feel the pain for so long before they just begin to shut down, go numb. The numbness is a self-preservation mode. It's what happens when we've felt so much for so long.

YOU are still there. YOU can be resuscitated. YOU are worth it and YOU deserve it. YOU can make this happen.

If you are looking for a good place to start, begin by knowing that you are.  Know that you have the power to return to yourself.

I don't generally offer books or other websites, though there are many, many good ones. But here I'm going to offer you several books and several websites that can help. For the most part I have read the books and all links to books are at But I have probably not done much vetting of the websites, so use those as your discretion.


I'm still working on this post...More to follow...

 If you know of other resources,
PLEASE link them in the comment section.

This many years later, I've had excellent therapy, I've read books, I've discussed my experiences and my needs, I've gone No Contact (NC), and I've spent time working on myself rather than wasting time trying to figure them out or trying to get their apologies or expecting any change or improvement in or from them whatsoever.

As long as you focus your hope, attention, heart on the toxic one you can't focus on healing and caring for yourself.

One day, one fine day, you will feel again.
You will feel connected to yourself. You will feel hopeful.

You are not a shell, you have been abused.
Do everything you can to focus your efforts on positive self care.
Soon you will be feeling the warmth of the sun again.

Bask in it and feel alive!