Lately, I’ve been put in the position where it’s been necessary to explain my understanding of where my perfectionism comes from. It’s old and has it’s roots deep in my past of being an adopted child. I’m hesitant to every write about being an adopted child. Yes, I’m 36 years old and should probably “be over it by now.” When I write about it and my perspective, it is NOT a slam against my first mom or my (adoptive) parents. However, the institution of adoption damaged me. Logically, I know that I had the life I was meant to have. No, I wouldn’t have been better off being raised my a first mom without support and resources. I firmly believe that we have a societal responsibility to pregnant moms that support and resources are the only things keeping them from being able to parent. That’s another soap box post for another day. I am hesitant to alienate folks who may interpret that I am anti-adoption. Really, I wouldn’t describe myself that way. I believe that foster children should find a forever family through adoption. The shading baby brokering, trolling for infants and other BS that goes on, is not ok with me. Alas, I digress. There are other factors that play into my propensity for insecurity. None of them has as much weight as being told “your mother gave you away.” My parents didn’t tell me those words exactly. I’m sure they shared a beautiful story of love and sacrifice, rife with adult explanations about why my mother couldn’t raise me. Except I was very small when they told me and all my poor, little, immature brain could understand was “Your mother didn’t keep you. She gave you away.” Please don’t misunderstand, my parents did the right thing by telling me that I was adopted. Keeping it a secret would have been so much worse. I remember years of feeling like the odd one out. Looking back, I believe that I looked for differences between us, rather than look for similarities. I have had for many years, 20+, issues with my physical body and being dissatisfied with it. I go to therapy regularly to learn to live with the past hurt that follows me around. I am a work in constant progress. The more I hide my feelings, though, and try to pretend that all my adoption trauma is gone, the worse I feel. Still eager to please and wanting to be loved unconditionally and kept, I do not share my true self and express the hurt, so that I can protect my loved ones. I could go on and on… I’ll be back to say more later. Thanks for listening. With love and hugs, Rebecca
Tag Archives: self-loathing
***TRIGGER WARNING: DISORDERED EATING, BODY DYSMORPHIA AND FOOD ABUSE.***
Today’s post is the opposite of my blogger’s block that I had a while back. I couldn’t get out of the shower fast enough. In fact, I’m sitting on the step in my bathroom, wrapped in a towel, in front of the space heater, frantically typing so I’m not to late to work on this icy morning.
Body image issues, I have them. When I look at other people, I don’t see their size, I see them. I struggle to do that for myself, though. As far back as a remember it was a theme in my house growing up. (The person who spent time discussing shape, size and pounds has apologized for any part they played in my learned behaviors, I do not hold any grudges or resentment towards them. Please be respectful in any comments you make at the end of this post because I adore them and any negative is FAR outweighed by the positive. ) It’s always been there. There are various times in my life when my obsession with my own size and shape has been more harmful than others. Lately, instead of restricting my intake as is my worst habit, I’ve been overindulging. I make excuses for my poor quality food choices of crap (candy, sweets, chips, pizza & other fast food). I’ve gone so far to as to say “Better to be fat and happy than skinny and miserable.” I was skinny and miserable at this time last year due to a family member being in poor health. However, I LOVED feeling skinny. Not thin, skinny. I had very little muscle left and weighed 118 pounds. My hip and collar bones were protruding and I looked gaunt. My belly pooch was MUCH smaller than what it looks like at 136 pounds today. When I dream at night, I am that size and shape and it is wonderful. It is easy to forget that my muscles wasted and I had to take the elevator instead of the stairs. My clothes were too big and never too tight. For those people who remember what I looked like at 188 pounds, I got a lot of comments about how great I looked so much lighter. For someone who has spent their entire life wanting approval from other people, just wanting to be good enough, it is a little thrill every time there is that external approval about my appearance. I have worked in medicine for 14.5 years. I am fully aware of just how dangerous binging, fasting, and diet supplements can be. And yet…
Last night, in trying to share with my husband how I feel about my ever increasing size, he told me that he doesn’t understand. That he didn’t grow up with an example of someone who was concerned with their size. It’s a hard thing to understand.
In my quest to be healthy, which is NOT skinny or 118 pounds, I am focusing on making maintainable changes. Yesterday, I didn’t eat a bit of candy and focused on protein, lots of water and no binging. I had a salad even thought the pizza that my husband baked, and the cheese bread, smelled wonderful. Small habit changes make all the difference. My next big step is returning to exercise. The endorphins from that are AWESOME and my body needs them. One day, maybe I will love the skin I am in…