It’s taken me longer to post this time. I’ve passed the pleasantries stage. I realize that may sound ridiculous considering what I’ve shared to this point. But I can’t help but feel like the emotion has come from a guarded place, a narrator’s voice. Words from the thoughts of someone who understands the pain but doesn’t feel it.
I’ve found that to translate raw emotion to thoughts, to words is daunting and difficult. I don’t fully grasp the process. Is there a process? What I do know is that sharing publicly requires ridiculous amounts of vulnerability. I believe this vulnerability is helping others. I believe it is helping me to accept my true self and that is uncharted territory.
The following poem comes from that place of total vulnerability. I wrote it after I struggled to get out of my house one night because of my appearance. Listen, no one ever said anxiety was rational. In fact the definition of anxiety is an elevated emotional response that does not correlate to reality. But let me tell you, these thoughts are as real as can be when anxiety takes a firm hold. Who is in charge of what reality is or isn’t anyway?
With that said, here is my reality from that night and from many other days.
A Hate/Love Letter to You, Body
I see you today.
I blame you for everything.
Today you are the reason I can’t move.
The reason I won’t leave my house.
I look in the mirror and see all of you.
I poke at you and lift up saggy parts,
Letting them drop.
I try clothes on you and see
I hate how you look and how I can feel that
you are soft under my crossed arms.
I hate you.
Today there is nothing more ugly than you.
If you could be different I could move.
I could get up.
But I’m frozen in this chair because I hate you.
If I move I’ll expose you.
You’ll be seen. I’ll be seen.
My failures will be seen.
I want to love you, to be kind and forgiving to you.
But all I can do is blame you.
If only you were better, life would be better.
Here is what I know, body:
I know you’re my scapegoat, my escape hatch,
when all else is crumbling.
To blame you is to block out the hurt, the
Hating you has been my protection.
I don’t want to hurt you anymore.
I don’t want to see you as ugly, bumpy, old, saggy, scarred, discolored.
I want to see you for who you are,
what you’ve done for me.
You grew three humans.
You move through my pain.
You carry my brain and heart when they’re broken or fragile.
I do not want to uphold you to the standards
that no one, without sacrifice, can maintain.
I should see you differently but my thoughts
and eyes are deceitful.
They serve up trickery and distrust.
They have me look in mirrors to hate you more.
They force me to turn down lights and see you only in darkness.
They protect me by hurting you.
Do they not see your power?
Can I block them? Can I push them the out?
I just want to know you – the real you.
I want to feel you differently.
I want to see you for you.
I want to be at peace with you.
I want to be your constant friend.
I’ve given you too much attention,
too much responsibility.
I don’t want to
you anymore for being frozen in that chair.
I don’t want to rely on you to shield me from my pain.
Please forgive me body.
Please be patient with me.
It’s all harder than I thought it’d be.
Stevie always sums it up for me:
“I believe when I fall in love with you it will be forever.
I believe when I fall in love this time it will be forever.”