Sunday, June 20, 2010

Good Enough

I’m in a bit of a slump right now. I haven’t written much lately because I haven’t been in a good place. I’ve been feeling down about myself. I’ve been feeling insufficient.

This spring, Husband and I purchased season passes from Water Park and thought a splash of the water, a ray of the sun, the chimes of laughter would do well to get rid of the winter blues and help us relax a bit. But for me, relaxation hasn’t been the story. At Water Park, I’m dangerously playing the comparison game, and I always end up the loser. I compare myself with every girl there. Every girl who is thinner than I am, every girl who is darker than I am, or every girl who is just different than I am, becomes better than me. And I end up hating myself. I never measure up. It doesn’t matter what the other girls look like: fat/skinny, pale/tan, tall/short, old/young. I will always feel second best in every respect. I am never good enough for myself.

Yesterday was a particularly bad day for comparisons and self-hatred. I was at Water Park and because I didn’t measure up to the comparisons between myself and the other girls, I felt the commanding need to injure myself, to punish myself for not being better. Not having the “normal” tools I might need to self-injure at Water Park, I decided to burn myself in the sun. I stretched myself out on the lounge chair, opened myself up to the sun, and collected all of his powerful beams of light in my skin.

In this instance, sun burning myself was like agreeing with the world, “Yes, I know I’m inferior.” It’s as if I want the world to know that I know that I’m not good enough, I know I’m ugly. I have to put myself down before other people can do it.

The redness of a sun burn goes away, but the feeling of being secondary stays behind. I am embarrassed to be me. I know I’m hideous; I just want to say it before others can.


Ethereal Highway said...

I am reluctant to wear shorts even when it's horribly hot outside because my skin is an almost blinding shade of white and I cannot tan, I simply combust instead. I wore shorts in public today and I admit there was a little bit of what you describe going on for me, too. You know what I did? I saw a woman with lovely tan skin and I immediately thought of my own pallor, and then... a little voice in my head said, "So what if you're really white. You have very pretty hair." So I went with it. Every time I compared myself to someone else and found something of theirs that was better than mine, I also found something of mine that was either better than theirs, or that there just wasn't anything much wrong about anyway. And also... in my minds eye, I imagined myself picking on my abusers the way they picked on me to make me feel so shitty in the first place. I think I'm going to go with this whenever I can. Maybe you can give the shit back to its rightful owners, too. Who told you that you are fat, ugly, bad or whatever? Talk back to those A-holes in your mind and see what happens. Worth a try. And while you're chatting with them, tell them I said to F off.

Paul from Mind Parts said...

I understand being in a funk and not being able to write. I don't have good words of wisdom for you. I know this has been a long haul with the body image and eating. I hope you find some relief. I think the way you've played it with the healthy foods has been admirable. You are not giving in on this and you are dealing with it. Good for you. I will continue to send you good wishes, because I know how hard this is.

castorgirl said...

Thinking of you and sending positive thoughts.

sarah said...

hugs to you....Sarah

norma fuchs said...

You’re not alone. Every family has its issues, whether it’s mental illness, addiction, problems with body image, eating disorders, or anything of the sort. I think it’s important to be supportive and encourage your loved one to get help. I’ve found that Silver Hill Hospital has a number of treatment programs that encourage family involvement in the recovery process.