No, no, this is not a post about ‘self-love’ in regards to touching myself–you naughty people–but rather a post about how I learned to accept and love myself exactly as I am. Even with stretch marks and scars, gigantic ears and wide hips, my insecure moments, and my triggered moments. I love all the parts of me, though for most of my life, this was not the case.
The idea of this post did start with D/s related talks, because I am a kinky girl after all, but where I landed after my talks was that I loved myself. Then I realized, that’s why so much has changed for me lately. It’s why I can be so open on this blog, and not care if people read my innermost workings or dark fantasies. I am who I am, and I love me.
It wasn’t that I was ever a bad person, or someone who expected myself to look like a supermodel. In fact, that’s not even the kind of people I’m drawn to. I lean towards those growing, learning to love themselves too, and people who are unique. So why I was holding myself to such standards, was odd to me. Yet there I was, so down on myself, criticizing everything I did. Always belittling myself and dumbing myself down, and it showed to the people who love me.
Trying to figure out why I was doing this hasn’t been an easy journey. I’ve had to take a lot of long, hard looks at myself. Think about choices I’ve made or not made. And while I’m not thin or winning any prizes for writing the next big seller, when I really began comparing the traits I find attractive, things that denote quality in others, I began seeing those things in me too. So I had to go back farther.
This is when I started seeing what the problems were. And there were two mainly.
When I was about five or six, one of the memories I’ve struggled with is having to stand in an attic, in a line of other small and naked girls, and wait to be picked. Whoever was being paid, stood behind us. The more perfect I was–the more sexual–the more I received praise because I’d get chosen. I learned young that I needed to exude sexuality, and be perfect, both in my appearance and my actions.
While that notion went against the things I believe in my adult life, it’s certainly fed into the belief that I’m not good enough. Not pretty enough, sexy enough… And when people who I used to spend time with would tell me I was being hypersexual, and I was dressed in jeans and a tank top, not trying to be at all, it would throw me into this uncomfortable place. I’d battle thoughts of, “I shouldn’t be sexual, because then those that abused me and blamed me for it, are right. It is my fault I was abused,” and “But wait, being sexual means I’m being good, and doing my job.” It’s fucked up, yet this is where I’ve been sitting for most of my life.
Then there’s the belittling side of me. The part of me that dumbed myself down to others. This one has taken me longer to understand, as I know I’m intelligent. I’m wise. Experienced on many things…
What I came to was that I was shut down a lot. I’m not speaking emotionally (though that happened too), but when I’d say something smart, or show excellence in some way involving my thoughts and ideas, people would shut me down hard. Tell me I was stupid, though they’d never dress it up so plainly abusive. They’d say things like, “Well that’s a dumb thought, I’m glad you’re smarter than that.” So the backhanded comments would come off like I was being complimented, when really it was an attack.
This baffled me for a long time, but now I get it. If I was allowed to be smart, and intelligent, then I *might* have figured out that they were abusive assholes. I might have told. Keeping me feeling stupid, like I had nothing of value to say, kept me bound to abuse.
So the two areas where I always struggled–with my sexuality and body image, and my intelligence–had a great deal to do with bad people not wanting me to see my worth.
I didn’t see my worth for most of my life.
The sad thing is that this wasn’t everyone. There were many people in my life that saw the beauty in me. They tried to get me to see it. They also saw my intelligence, and were confused as to how I wasn’t aware of how much I brought to the table. Yet all I believed was the bad.
This is no longer the case.
I realized the other night as I was emailing D, letting him know that something I’d wanted, then withdrawn, has now become a want again. But for totally different reasons. Because I finally realized, I love myself. Completely and wholly for who I am. And D’s helped with that, but a lot has been my hard work too. My many therapy sessions and opening up to people, having to be brutally honest about tragic and painful stuff.
So I’m able to ask for things I couldn’t before. I’m able to accept things I couldn’t before. Because now that I love myself, I see my worth. Fully.
This makes my chest tingle in the strangest way. In a pleasant way. Because I’ve not been so conscious of it before.
I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I shifted from hating myself, to loving myself, but that’s where I am now. It’s about time.