My reflection

From the time I was 5 years old I felt fat. I remember in kindergarten, not wanting to sit in circle time on my knees because I thought my legs were too big.

Not normal.

I wasn’t even a big child either. But somehow the thought of being perfect was embedded into my brain. From birth? From the verbal abuse I was enduring? I’ve done enough counseling to understand it has to do with coping and control.

I’ve been obsessed with my body my entire life. I’ve cried, I’ve screamed, and nothing ive ever tried to do has ever helped me. To the outside world, if someone like me expresses these feelings, than I am vain and seeking attention. Judge me, I dont care because I’ve thought worse about myself than you. It’s a real disorder and a real sickness. It’s not about attention. It’s something so deep that’s so incredibly hard to understand or explain.

People think just because someone is thin, that they’re happy. If someone is large, they’re lazy. Both are untrue. No one can win, so why try?

I stare at other women who are all sizes and admire their confidence. Women are beautiful. And at times I do feel beautiful! Its been a 30 year journey to begin to love what i see in the mirror. It’s taken years of practice telling myself that what I think of my body is not really real. I see a big woman. But I know that’s not really true. I’ve been afraid of going public about this out of fear of judgement. I’m public about being an alcoholic so why not about this? Maybe it will hold me accountable to keep trying to heal.

The only thing I can say is that I’ve started praying about it. It’s the only thing I hadn’t done all these years to try and overcome it. I thought, prayer has helped my sobriety so why haven’t I prayed about this? So simple its stupid lol.

Perhaps its working? because nearly 4 months after having my 3rd son, I can look in the mirror and actually say that I’m happy with how I look for just having a baby. For someone like me, that’s huge! Sure, there are days where I count the dimples in my thighs, and I’m 2 inches bigger all around than I was a year ago. But, if I shut the negative talk down long enough, I start to see the real me staring back.

Why do we self hate? Is it easier and safer than having others hate us? Is it learned behaviour from abuse? These all might be true. But all I can do is talk myself down, out of the negative thoughts. If I can slowly change how I think, maybe the reflection will be clearer.

 

A short poem I wrote:

“I dont see what other see

When I look in the mirror,

I don’t see me.

I see a woman who’s larger in size

But my clothes say different,

So my brain is telling lies.

I was 5 years old when I felt this way

Not a moment went by,

That I felt okay.

I’m 35 now, so 30 yrs too long

But I realize it now,

That my minds been wrong.

I can pick myself apart

From my nose to my thighs,

And no one hears my silent cries.

I’ve been my own worst enemy

But I’m learning to love,

The person inside and the reflection that’s me.”

– Amanda Loewen

 

 

I’ll Remember, You won’t

I’ll remember these days we spend together. You so small, so vulnerable, so perfect. Completely dependent upon me.

I’ll remember the days I held you in my arms, watching you drift off to sleep as I wonder how I got so lucky.

I’ll remember the nights we both didn’t sleep, the countless yawns but all the cuddles.

I’ll remember the moment I held you for the first time as if it were yesterday.

I’ll remember every sickness, every hospital visit, every worry I’ve ever had.

I’ll remember your smell, your favourite way to be held and your favorite toy.

I’ll remember the way you looked at me as if I was the only one in the world.

The days turn into months that turn into years and you won’t remember.

You’ll be more independent and wont need me as much. I’ll nag you to clean your room and do your homework. You’ll get grounded and have your favorite possessions taken away. You’ll argue and test boundaries. You’ll say things you dont mean.

One day you’ll be all grown and I’ll be old. It will be your turn to take care of me. The days of play, bad dreams and monsters will be gone. You’ll watch me drift off to sleep as you hold my hand. In moments like these you wont remember the fights, the groundings, the yelling. You won’t remember the chaos of teenage life. You wont remember the days you stressed me out or the times I cried.

You’ll remember all the times I hugged you when you were sad. The bandaids and kisses. The nights I stayed up late to help you with your homework. All the times I sat in the hot gymnasium and watched your concerts. The trips to the lake, parks and zoo. The 3 hour family talks that ended in laughter and hugs.

Those are the moments you’ll remember. The moments of love.

And one day you’ll realize that no one will ever love you as much as your mom.