Monday, July 6, 2009

Interesting Side-effect, or Whoda Thunk?

Now, I'd like to take a moment to say that all my life I have struggled with self-image trouble.
I know, right? Who hasn't? Very few.

All my life I hated when people complimented my appearance or my looks. Don't get me wrong, I loved it, but I also hated it. I didn't know how to handle it. What do you say when someone says you're pretty or beautiful and you don't agree?

I used to just laugh it off and say, 'oh, yeah...whatever.' or something akin to it. Incidentally I'm not good at taking most any kind of compliments. Just not comfortable with it.

But it really bothered me when boys would compliment me. Especially those I was on a date with or whatever. I remember one time dancing with a boy and saying to him (after he told me I was the b word--not THAT b word! The good one...beautiful) "You don't have to say things like that. I'm already in your arms."

Oh, I know. I am mortified at the lack of self-worth and esteem I had at that time.

I remember when Beloved and I were dating it made me anxious and uncomfortable for him to call me that. Partly because that was who I was and partly because--well, I had seen pics of the girls he had dated and he thought they were beautiful and so, clearly he could not be trusted. ;)

But for most of the last 12 years that he and I have been together, I based a lot of my self-worth and self-image on him and his reactions to my appearance, etc. I didn't always do it. I mean, when he would tell me I was beautiful while I was wearing a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and no makeup and my hair just in a ponytail or not even brushed (oh, c'mon, what moms haven't had that kind of day?!) I had a hard time believing it. And when I dressed up for a date or just no occasion at all and he didn't notice or say that he noticed, I took it badly.

But slowly I have noticed in the last month that this infidelity of Beloved's has caused me to think of myself as separate from him (and let's face it, he barely looks at me now, anyhow).

I get myself ready in the morning and look at myself in the mirror and put on my makeup--or don't put it on--for me.

I look in the mirror and I like what I see, makeup or no. Clothes or no.
I've decided that I like me for me.
I'm a good person. Or try to be.
I'm a good friend. Or try to be.
I'm a good mom. Or try to be.
I'm a good wife. Or try to be.

But you know what? I'm a good me.

I may have still 30 lbs to lose, but I've lost 35 in the last few months.
And I'm ok with giving myself several more months to lose it.

I look at my body and I think "OK, It's not perfect", but I see the scars of each of my four pregnancies and how could I not love the part of me that housed those perfect babies of mine?

And my breasts aren't the pert little perky things they were 12 years ago, but they have given sustenance (and still are giving sustenance to baby boy) to all four of my children in their first year or so of life.

My face has changed. My eyes have little lines around them when I smile or laugh, but aren't I blessed that I've had that many opportunities to laugh and smile?

It's me.
It's good.
I like it.

To me, I'm beautiful.

Whether Beloved notices or not.


MiMi said...

Oh, geez, this is a beautiful post! I think you are gorgeous! Ok, haven't seen you, but you are beautiful on the inside and you're darn right about your scars from housing beautiful babies being beautiful!!
This is a good thing that has come out of this, no?
: )

The Johnson Family said...

You are beautiful! I have struggled with the same issues my whole life and still do, so I totally understand.
That is great that you have found and realized the beauty that you hold within and on the outside as well.
WE ALLLL LOVE YOU because you are YOU!!!

Housewife Savant said...

Hooray! What a great attitude. We could all stand more o' that.

jmn2001 said...

You're gorgeous! I'm so proud of you for not turning to food during this tough time and numbing the pain with calories.

Anonymous said...

You're so awesome and amazing and maybe through this experience YOU will come to love YOU even more! It sounds like you already have. Love your posts...keep 'em coming.

Funnyrunner said...

thanks for visiting my blog. You have quite a story to tell here. I was reading some of your older posts. I just wanted to say that I hope you stay strong and true. I love reading the "Desiderata" poem when I'm going through a difficult time. It sounds as if your faith is keeping you strong.

Good luck with everything!

Jessica said...

MiMi sent me here a few days ago...Your story breaks my heart. I will start from the beginning and go through this journey with you.

Jennifer P. said...

wow-Gigi--this is a very powerful blog you've got going on here. I don't if, honestly, I'll be able to come here too often. So many of these emotions are still too close to the surface for me. I, too, am LDS and suffered through infedility being married to my best friend. I would have given anything to be married to him still and help him work his way out of the tangle of sin....but he thought it was just easier to leave. it's just me and my boys trying to trust God to get us through all this.

I wish you all the best in this journey to the other side. I KNOW it can come to pass. And you're a smart girl to find a safe place to vent.

Love to you,
~Jennifer P.

Cat said...

Mi Amor,
You are so beautiful, both inside and out. I love your post. You have always been blessed with words. I am always here for matter the hour of day or night.


wonder woman said...

I'm kind of on the flip side of this -- I've always had an over-developed self-esteem. I think it's still largely in tact, but I'm much more realistic about since having children.

What I'm trying to say is, I look at those same scars and wish they were gone. I (of course) don't wish my children were gone, but I don't have the healthy attitude you do about them.

So thanks for a little slap in the face. Ü

p.s. You ARE beautiful. And SO good.

Karen said...

This is one of the most beautiful blog posts on self image that I have read in a long time.