Thursday, April 05, 2007

Opening up ...

Because it's my blog, and because I can, and because I feel like sharing a bit more than superficial ramblings tonight, I will talk about one of my "issues."

So here's the truth ... when I look into the mirror, I see a fat, ugly, plain looking person. I think I need to lose weight, do something about that mark on my face, I focus in on the circles under my eyes, how I never have that glow other mothers have (I have even seen it with my own eyes. I know it exists, I have never found it. It hides from me). I feel short, I feel like my body is ill-proportioned, I dislike the color of my hair, I dislike the style of my hair, I dislike the length of my hair. I hate how my skin looks, I hate how most clothes fit me. I generally don't really enjoy looking at myself in the mirror because it turns into a lets-find-every-flaw-possible-and-probably-invent-a-few-that-don't-really-exist session.

[Note: for those who think I'm posting this as a way to fish for compliments, I am not. First of all, only about 4 people read this blog. Secondly I *believe only one of them has ever seen me in person. And thirdly, despite me feeling like I look like crap most days I have a dh that showers with me compliments, and even though he really means them, hearing compliments makes me feel worse and not better, so I certainly am not in any way looking for them. Instead I am being completely honest and not holding back - which I might add, I really do hold back a lot on this blog because sometimes I just don't want people to know what goes on in my head. Okay, I'm going to breathe again and return to point.]

I can usually avoid thinking about this issue as long as a)I am the one holding the camera. I don't like others being able to take pictures of me. And I really hate the people who insist on taking your picture even when you request they do not. b)I avoid mirrors as much as possible during the day and only take a fleeting glance when I pass them and c)I don't go clothes shopping unless necessary.

And today, I went clothes shopping. And it never fails. When I go, I pass up too many choices, thinking surely someone with my gross shape would never look good in that style. And then when I find something I like and I think might work, I grab the size I think I need and try it on. And every time I start with a size too big. Now, one might think having to go back for a smaller size would be a good thing. It's not. It sucks. It's a reminder to me of how far off my internal dialog is from apparently what is reality. Sometimes I actually have to go back a few times to get the correct size. I makes me insanely crazy truth be told. And then I feel stupid for being so stupid. And feeling stupid some how translates into me being more ugly and more fat and I get stuck in this cycle of hating myself and how I look.

And I hate it. And it makes me not like myself even more. And you know what worries me the most about it all ... will my girls pick up and this and think it is how they are supposed to feel as well? Aren't they going to get their cues from me? Now, I really do not say anything out loud when they are around. Well, okay, I'm sure I do, but I truly make a conscious effort to not say anything when they around. But I think my kids are pretty smart. And I think they pick up on the unspoken pretty gosh darn well. And then I feel like I must be failing them as a parent, which as you can imagine, leads me to think that I am a terrible mother which means I'm a terrible wife, which means I'm a terrible person, and I also happen to be ugly and fat and I'll ruin my childrens' lives because of it. See, almost every thought I have somehow comes back to this concept of I'm not smart enough, I'm not nice enough, I'm not thin enough, I'm not pretty enough. I'm just not. good. enough. period.

::sigh:: These thoughts in my head. They are not pretty. I don't know how to overcome them. I don't know how to contain them or tame them or just make them get a little bit better ... because even just getting them a little bit better would be nice on some days.

I suppose talking about it will help ... I hope so. This will not be an easy thing to post. I will probably think about it for several hours before falling asleep truth be told. I will fret over who will read this and what they will think of me now. I will debate about whether to come back and delete it. Even now my chest has a very tight feeling in it ... I mean, this is really a hard thing to write about. But I hope if I say it now and see that tomorrow the sun still rises, it will take away some of the sting and someday I can sit down and talk about how I really think I'm okay all around. Won't that be a lovely feeling?


Mike Wilkerson said...

You're not stupid at all, but I would recommend that you stop internalizing all of the bad around you and focus on what you DO have. Kids, health, life, the potential to teach three kids how to think better of both themselves and you - there's a lot to do there and I think a bit of the glass half full rather than half empty would be a good way to start.

As far as not wanting to "be in pictures" that's something I'd recommend getting over too: Life is WAY too short to not want to see yourself, and if you don't ever have a picture of yourself, you won't have a bar drawn to improve on it. Doesn't that make sense?

Thanks for the link to my blog and keep on visiting - there are many lessons that I learn that I try to put online so that others can benefit he same way I have and I hope that some of my stories help you understand that there is no fate but what we make for ourselves. Cheers!

MissKris said...

Oh, honey...I hear you on this one! When I was around your age I was going thru so much of the same thing. When I had my second baby, a 12 pound boy, and I put on almost 70 pounds while pregnant with him...well, when I gave birth and I had soooooooo much weight to lose, I gave up and ate my way to 221 1/2 pounds. I guess, in looking back, it might've been post-partum depression but I really don't know. I LOATHED myself...avoided mirrors, windows, cameras. Then I joined Weight Watchers and lost the weight...but then I went in to the vicious cycle of eating disorders to try to stay 'skinny', yo-yoing up and down more times than I can remember, ha! You mentioned a little further down the page that your littlest one no longer wants to nurse, so maybe a lot of your 'blue' feeling has to do with hormonal things, too. Birth and nursing and life moving many things can hit us at once. And I think maybe, in the crazy/chaotic years of being home with little ones, you're kind of losing "sight" of yourself...somehow, you really need to find some space and time in your day to just be YOU. We women get so caught up in being the wife/mother/nurturer that we forget to take care of ourselves in the process. I know that's easier said than done, finding time for yourself without feeling 'guilty' about it...but we are people too, you know! And if WE aren't happy, how is it affecting those around us? I wish I lived close by...I'd take the kids for an hour or two a week just to let you go to the library or something, lol! My Dear Hubby was always pretty tuned in to me, and every now and then he'd push me out the door and tell me to go get lost in a book store for a few hours! And oh, how I appreciated that in him! I'll be praying for you...I know these years of young motherhood are some of the hardest in a woman's life. Oh, and thank you for bringing that Grandma link to my attention...I would've never come across that blog or link otherwise. I left a comment there...hopefully Clarys will find her way to me! I LOVE interacting with other blogging Grannies! Happy Easter to you!!! (((HUG)))

DrakeNStarrsmom said...

(((hugs))) That's all I can say because quite frankly I have BTDT and still there off an on. I always figure it's lack of self identity, we do all we do for our kids and our husbands, and not for us. Someday it will be better,,,I think lol You're not alone!! ;) ((hugs))

Tricia said...

You are definitely not alone. I feel many of the same things you posted here - thank you for being brave and sharing your true feelings. I know it is hard.

Smoov said...

Brandie, I think Kristie might be on to something there. The lack of self-identity could be a factor in how you are seeing yourself. You had joined a gym at one point didn't you? Was that before you moved? ((((Brandie)))

You are a sweet, generous and intelligent woman. Start there. Love that about yourself. Love that about yourself every single day. Love that you mother your children with all your heart. Then add something the new pair of funky shoes you buy yourself and wear them anywhere. Admire how cool your shoes look and when you grocery shop in your new shoes, think about how other women are probably glancing at your cool shoes when you walk by. Smile to yourself when you think about that. Then add something else....and so on.

Instead of working so hard to show your love to your family all the time, set aside some time to show love to yourself. And try some yoga, it really does help to release bad things and it makes you feel taller! I can recommend some DVDs if you want, they work as well as going to an expensive class I think.

Laura said...

I struggle with all this too. Not that it makes you feel any better. :) I love watching stuff where they show you how they airbrush videos, pictures, etc. and finding out that celebrities wear hair extensions and wigs :)

You might want to check out a series I just read. It starts here:

Thank you for your comments at my blog today. It was a nice measure of hope. I'd love to talk to you about it more if you have time!

mama2dibs said...

First of all, thank you for jumping off a cliff and posting your TRUE feelings and letting us inside your head.

Second of all, please know that you are NOT alone in this awful journey. I am constantly apologizing to my husband for being so ugly, so fat, so stupid, not a good enough mother, not a good enough wife, not a good enough Christian. He always comes back with the fact that I'm the sexiest woman in the world and yada yada and I never believe him. I love decorative mirrors, but I HATE looking in them. I especially hate seeing my naked body. I just want to throw up.

Thank you for your honesty. Know you are not alone. I don't have any "answers" for you other than to trust God. Psalm 139:13-14 says "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well."

I know, it's easy to read that and think not me...I do it all the time, but he wrote that to us! Our God is awesome!