Look at yourself naked more often

A lot of my entries are lighthearted with subtle undertones of seriousness. Perhaps they aren’t as subtle as I’d like to believe; however, I throw in several “jokes” to mask my infinite amount of insecurities. But this is going to be a bit different. So, if you’re keen on exploring the depths of my mind, look no further, I am freely offering it up to you…be gentle.

I recently began reading, Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. It’s incredible. She’s incredible. As a mother, a wife, a blogger, a woman, a writer, etc. etc. etc. Great read. The book is a total therapy session. So prepare yourself for some deep soul searching.

She discusses her first encounter and relationship with a man. She describes in great detail the pain she endured and the facade she was forced to craft if she wanted to earn his mere presence. She lost herself. And I’ve been there before. Some days I think there might be pieces of me who are still here. Hollis says, “As I write these words, I’m crying…I am so sad for that little girl who didn’t know better. I am devastated that nobody prepared her for life or taught her to love herself so she wasn’t so desperate to get any form of it from someone else. I’m sad that she had to figure it out on her own. I’m disappointed that it took her so long.”

I felt that same disappointment. I wrote something about it during this hard and lonely time that I wanted to share. (This is probably the most vulnerable I have ever made myself):

“I’ve been here before. It’s all too familiar. The bitter cold leaves you incapable of feeling any warmth. It’s dark. So dark. Do you know the feeling of getting out of bed at night to use the bathroom? You’re delusional. Stuck in a weird limbo. Fumbling your way around until your eyes begin to adjust. The only difference with this particular darkness, is the inability to adjust.

I’ve been here before. One would think that with practice, it becomes easier. That couldn’t be further from the truth. There are fleeting moments of happiness. Of light. But they burn quickly like candles. The scent lingers for some time. But it doesn’t last. All that is left is a falsified memory of what you think once permeated the air. A fabricated truth. We don’t remember the exact aroma. We remember what we wanted it to smell like. Your Fresh Cut Lilacs candle no longer smells like freshly cut lilacs. It never will again.

I’ve been here before. I remember the first time. Your words cut deep but I justified them. “He’s right. You’re crazy. He’s right.” I convinced myself of this. I was small and my voice had been quieted by yours. I held on though. No one will ever put up with you. You are lucky to have me.

Your words echoed. They haunted me. I believed them. And so I stayed. I followed you. I sacrificed everything for you. And in the end, I lost it all. But it was worth it, right? I am incapable of being loved anyway. I should be grateful I was loved at all.

It wasn’t just you though. It was him. And the one that followed him. And all of them to come.

A girl who once possessed such an incredible imagination, was granted the ability to escape to a magical place. She could smile here. She felt loved here. Beautiful.  Thoughts of white picket fences and sundresses under blue skies didn’t seem so far out of reach. Now, I can’t even remember that place. I close my eyes and I see nothing but darkness.

You are crazy. I don’t know what you’re capable of anymore. I thought I knew you.

You DO know me. This is me. You promised you’d love me. Imperfections and all. But it’s okay, you’re right. I must be crazy.

Don’t talk to me. Don’t touch me.

How could I not? How could you ask that of me? I love you. But it’s okay, you’re right. I am deserving of this cruelty. Is it even cruel though if it is justified?

You are two different people. And I never know which one I’m going to get. That’s psychotic.

I thought I knew who I was. I don’t. Should I thank you for reminding me of how damaged I am? It hurts so badly. But it’s okay, you’re right.

I don’t think you want to change. I think deep down you like the pain and it’s easier to just say fuck it rather than face the challenges.

Am I weak? I have changed. I’ve sacrificed so much. I so badly want you to be wrong. But it’s okay, you’re right.

You told me I wouldn’t be okay without you. You told me it would be hard to leave me because you would worry too much. I know it’s not out of kindness, or of you caring about my wellbeing. You would worry because you know you’re not capable of bearing the weight of such a guilty conscious.

I told you I would be fine. I told you I’m strong. I lied. I didn’t know I was lying at the time. My fantastical imagination convinced me otherwise. But it’s okay, you’re right.

I know you wanted to love me. Perhaps you just wanted to save me. You always boasted about how wonderful it is to be the person in the relationship that has their shit together. I made myself entirely vulnerable. I made an incision in my chest and I let it bleed. No bandaids. No masking my emotions. I thought this time it would be different. I thought that together we could grow. You’re just another person to remind me of the worthless girl I am. Incapable of being loved. But it’s okay, you are right.

Maybe that is why I am still holding on. The words you say cut like daggers. The pain I feel is nearly unbearable. But I can’t leave. It will happen again. I am a vacant room with visitors that come and go. My welcoming, neon OPEN sign might be alluring initially, but the visitors leave. They don’t come back. And here I wait, for the next one to stay. They won’t for long.

But it’s okay, you are right.

I guess you don’t know me as well as you thought you did.”

WOAH-GASP-THAT WAS A LOT. Maybe too heavy? Nah. I wrote this lovely little piece about series of boys who broke my heart (and we will leave it at that). These are things that I heard. And these were things that I internalized. For so long. Too long. Clearly, I was in a very dark place at the time I had written this. I had never felt smaller.

I am so fucking happy to be able to say that I am no longer stuck. At one point, I had accepted that this was my identity forever. A girl incapable of love. A girl undeserving of love. I can’t imagine having a little girl who feels as if she doesn’t deserve to be loved. If I one day have a daughter, I will remind her every day of her worth. I will make SURE that she loves herself. Every part of herself.

This process of growth isn’t linear. I have days where I feel like I’m losing myself all over again. These little emotional relapses. But because I have the ability to now identify them as cruel and false, I can control my emotional reaction to them. I am learning to say no. I am learning to look at myself in the mirror when I get out of the shower instead of running to the next room to quickly dress myself. I’m learning to love my love handles. I’m learning to praise myself. I’m learning to prioritize myself. I am learning to stop being so fucking apologetic. I’m learning to stop trying to control every detail of life.

I am learning to love myself.

For whoever this entry resonates with:

I hope you find courage when reading this. I hope you feel less alone. I hope you apologize to yourself for being so hard on yourself when you slept with someone after the first date. I hope you tell yourself you are beautiful. I hope the people around you remind you that you are beautiful. I hope you feel beautiful. I hope you find someone who gives you all of the love you deserve. I hope you stop blaming yourself for letting him touch you when you weren’t even conscious. I hope you eat that cake without feeling guilty. I hope you drink wine and smile at the messages on the wrappers of dove chocolate. I hope you have days without makeup. I hope you wear heels even if you look like a drunken bird when you walk. I hope you can laugh at yourself. I hope you find someone that shares the same sense of humor with you. I hope you fall in love with someone. But above all else…I hope you fall in love with yourself.

It’s the first day of April…which means it’s April Fool’s Day…and can you fucking believe I wrote such a heavy piece?! Where is the dark and satirical sense of humor?

But It’s the first day of April…which means it’s the perfect day to begin your journey of self-love. Do it. Starting…..


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