Camera/Photo Shy

I’ve always been camera/photo shy. I know the reasons why, I’ve always known. Being insulted and made fun of for my looks by my mother has made us with very low body self-esteem. We have worked long and hard on this issue, and I don’t think that I have gotten very far when it comes to assessing my face right now with any sense of accuracy or love or acceptance.

Unfortunately others have continued the verbal abuse over the years. I really don’t understand why someone would feel that it is their right to insult another person for any reason based on societal beauty standards or some males ideas about how a woman’s body should be. I tend to try to discount believing anyone who would be cruel to me.

Someone who I thought was one of my best online friends, not a blog friend, more than five years ago, could not find it within herself to say one nice or kind thing after I shared a photo of myself with her and she actually insulted me. I can’t begin to tell you how devastating that was for me. So I have even been more sensitive since then and would really try to avoid being on camera for any reason.I will have to say that she is the only friend that I have ever known, online and in real life, who ever chose to insult me like that.

I can’t imagine my best online friend Fish ever saying or doing something like that. But my friend Fish is so pure and so sweet I can never imagine her hurting me.

After all, if someone who says they love you and are your friend feels free to insult your looks, well that hurts and it hurts even more than if it was a stranger in public who is an ass. I think she realized that she had hurt me and her next email was to say that I actually, was not so bad. I can’t imagine how much I would have to hate someone to insult them directly about their facial features or body. I can’t imagine ever doing that. We stopped being friends not that long after that, for a huge number of reasons.

It’s bizarre because now I can look at my childhood photos and see that I was indeed pretty, beautiful even. And I can see that in photos from twenty years ago. I can see that I am pretty.

I still have trouble really seeing myself accurately now, but I hope that changes for the better as I continue to heal. My great niece always wants to take a photo of me at family gatherings and a lot of the time I say no. I let her do it a few times a year. She messages me copies. It disgusts me. I hate each and every one of them. I’m not sure if I still am laboring under body dysmorphic issues or if I have really gotten ugly. I think it is that I still have body dysmorphic disorder and cannot see myself accurately.

I don’t think that I am pretty. I don’t think that I am tolerable. But fuck pretty. I won’t live the rest of my life pursuing pretty or those who think that is what I need to be and who are hateful when they think I don’t measure up to their invented standards.

I insist that my value and my treatment not be based on my looks or my body and I reject anyone who feels the need to do so. And I know that those who love and value my personality, my good qualities, my soul, my goodness and kindness would never judge me by my face, would never hurt or wound me on purpose. I find that comforting.

Still Extra Stepping

I am happy to report that I am still doing the extra stepping exercise program through my manual treadmill and walking extra steps whenever I can get out and about. I also started using a stationary bike about three months ago, so that I could stay more active over the winter when I couldn’t get out to bike in the snow and cold, when it was too cold.

As always I would like to be a lot further along in my efforts of being more physically active. But some days it is just too much for me, so I don’t exercise a few days a week, usually. I am happy that the exercise helps moderate my moods, helps my muscles relax, decreases my level of pain in my legs and hips, and usually contributes to better sleep.

I haven’t lost any weight for months, but I also haven’t gained any. I’m not dieting or doing anything restrictive. I’d really rather be farther along on the weight issue, as weighing more always causes me more pain.

I’ve reached a point in my life where I really love myself and don’t care what others think of my body. It’s not just body acceptance but a real love and acceptance of who I am and what I do. It’s really kind of nice to be on this side of love. I think that doing Soul Retrieval work and self-esteem work has brought me to this place and I want to blog soon about both of those things in the near future.

Make Lists

Last year one of my resolutions was to start making lists, starting with lists of healing things. I did work on two lists in detail and several other lists in less detail, and am planning on sharing a lot of that stuff on my lists here. The less detailed lists are on the topics of female role models/kick ass women warriors, mother symbols, and my fathers, the fictional men that I have attached to as father figures.

One of the lists was on coping methods I use in my life and the other list was on ways that I have been working on self-esteem. I have to get my coping list out of my pile of papers in order to make up a post on it. The other list I made on pinterest and I look at it very often. I want to share about both of them here extensively.

I have to say that I’ve gotten a lot of healing through working on self-esteem and I’ve done a lot of that work in the last couple of years. I think that I have always known that self-esteem work would bring me a lot of healing. I’ll write a lot more about my process this year.

Give A Gift to Your Least Favorite Body Part

I read this suggestion in a book on ideas for Christmas activities.

I didn’t have any trouble at all in picking out the part of my body that I liked the least. It is my bottom. It has been least favorite for some time.

It is a part of my body that is easily triggered if touched in some way by others. And bizarrely people, especially women, back up into me, my bottom, that is. I suppose that is because I tend to avoid being near men, so when it happens it is usually a woman. But I also think it is that so many women do not have proper body boundaries and are often trained that it is alright to invade the space of children and other women.

I cannot imagine brushing up against another woman’s bottom, with my body, my purse, my store cart or anything else. I cannot imagine not looking where I am going or not caring about that. I cannot imagine conducting myself like this in public, in stores.

I have to say that it happens more often now since I have moved into my own apartment, the last 18 months. It happens a few times a month. I hate that! And that is very upsetting and disgusting and triggering to me. Despite the fact that I am more diligent and do more body boundary work, it is still happening.

The fact that I have a low back disability only exacerbates this issue, as a collision into my body while I am standing absolutely still is absolutely none of my fault and hurts my body and often that pain lasts for some time, often more pain over days.

As well there is decades of being judged by others for my body and the negative beliefs I have come to accept about my body and my bottom. Well I do believe that my bottom is my business and my business alone, so I don’t accept those negative, body-hating beliefs any longer, but still I have to admit I’m not as loving and kind to that part of my body as I know it deserves. So I am going to try to work on that.

So I decided to give the gift of body lotion for my least favorite body part and to use it. I usually have lotion. I often use it. But just on a few body parts. I guess the ones that I feel the least amount of triggering and upset feelings about. I will be using it on my body and trying to think loving thoughts to my body parts when I do it. But especially I am going to buy some wonderful lotion that is creamy soft and smells wonderful.

What gift would you give to what part of your body? How hard would it be to actually use your gift?

Good and healing thoughts to all our least favorite body parts.

Healing Quotes 605-611

“I can’t be shaken anymore, by anyone. I’ve got to that point in my life that if you’re not a good person, and you can’t make me feel good with love and life, then fuck off, basically.”

~ FKA twigs 
.
“At that moment I was sure. That I belonged in my skin. That my organs were mine and my eyes were mine and my ears, which could only hear the silence of this night and my faint breathing, were mine, and I loved them and what they could do.”
 .
~ Dave Eggers
.
“When you’re different, sometimes you don’t see the millions of people who accept you for what you are. All you notice is the person who doesn’t.”
 .
~ Jodi Picoult, Change of Heart
 .
“No matter my size, no matter my health. I am allowed to exist and I should be able to do so without persecution.”
.
~ fatfunkbabe

.

“You are not your bra-size, nor are you the width of your waist, nor are you the slenderness of your calves. You are not your hair color, your skin color, nor are you a shade of lipstick. Your shoe-size is of no consequence. You are not defined by the amount of attention you get from males, females, or any combination thereof. You are not the number of sit-ups you can do, nor are you the number of calories in a day. You are not your mustache. You are not the hair on your legs. You are not a little red dress.You are no amalgam of these things.
.
You are the content of your character. You are the ambitions that drive you. You are the goals that you set. You are the things that you laugh at and the words that you say. You are the thoughts you think and the things you wonder. You are beautiful and desirable not for the clique you attend, but for the spark of life within you that compels you to make your life a full and meaningful one. You are beautiful not for the shape of the vessel, but for the volume of the soul it carries.”

.
~ Michael Wriston
.
“Start ignoring people who threaten your joy. Literally, ignore them. Say nothing. Don’t invite any parts of them into your space.”
.
~ Alex Elle.
.
“However, some things must be said, and there are times when silence becomes an accomplice to injustice.”
.
~ Ayaan Hirsi Ali

More Comments on Public Verbal Abusers

So two females felt free to verbally abuse me about their perceptions and beliefs about my body and my bicycling. Apparently, and I have read about this on other blogs, some people feel free to verbally abuse others when they are in public doing physical activities, if they are perceived in a negative way, by abusers.

Now I’ve been a bike rider most of my life, and my physical size in no way has ever hindered me physically or psychologically from biking. I refuse to let someone else hinder me! I love bike riding. I’ve written about it often on this blog. It brings me independence and a sense of freedom.

I don’t normally get that kind of stuff from women, usually I just get the silent treatment, the judgmental looks, the shunning, something that my mother and sister started and that continues, at times, to this day.

It seems bizarre to me that at a time in my life where I really and truly have internalized a deep love of myself, an accurate valuation of myself, and a deep love and respect for my beautiful body that two females would choose that time to verbally abuse me on the basis of something as bizarre and inappropriate as their beliefs and personal opinions of my body size.

I love myself and their lives will have no effect whatsoever on my life, except to give me something to write about and more of a personal interest in being an advocate for equal rights. I have decided from now on to think of myself and to describe myself as an advocate.

This is the exactly the kind of incident that I start thinking about writing about almost immediately after they happen. Being a writer means life is fodder and that is about all they deserve to be, fodder: food for livestock, only this is food for writing. As human beings they are found lacking, but as writing material they are just adequate. What I do with the incident rises it up to the level of worthy of being written about and read. Every little incident can be turned into a space for healing. I hope that really really bothers them. That instead of their intended wounding of my spirit, my self-esteem, my body image, I used them back to turn their interactions with me into statements of the equal rights of all and equal treatment.

We each deserve societal acceptance; no matter what our stories are, what our life histories are, who we are, how we look, our mental health levels, our race, our religion, our affiliations and non-affiliations, etc etc etc. None of us deserve to be mistreated, bullied and abused over trivial matters, and being perceived as different is a trivial matter.

We all deserve better. No life is not fair, yes abusers and bullies are in the world, looking for kicks and victims. But I won’t be one of theirs. I can speak up for myself and even if they don’t respond, I spoke up in some way; through my words, my intentions, my beliefs, my thoughts, my compassion for myself and others, my resistance to the dominant oppressive paradigm. I have been a quiet advocate for a long long time, but things have changed a lot in the last couple of years. I have truly found my voice and nothing will ever be the same.

Will these incidents stop these two from verbally abusing someone else? Probably not. Maybe not. Will my advocacy for myself and others stop others from being abusive? Will people stop judging, being hateful, and showing a vast array of prejuidices against people who do not conform to their standards of size and beauty and other hateful speech and actions against others? Again those are probably not going to get better for some time.

I care about me. I care about us. I love other people more than I love anything else on this lovely earth, this wonderful universe. Here’s the thing, no one, no abuser, can take that away from me, will ever be able to take that away from me. In that way I win every time, every incident, every day, every week, every month, every year. I love, I care, and there is nothing they can ever do to change me, to make me hard, to make me uncaring, to make me spiteful, vengeful, or jealous.

I believe with all my heart, we will make this world a better place for all who get perceived as being different and therefore targets of abuse by those looking to feel better about their own lives and selves by mistreating others.

That’s not why I engage in advocacy for myself. I refused to be silent; looks can speak loudly, hand gestures speak loudly, shunning and ignoring them speaks loudly, my voice in relating these incidents speak loudly, my words on my blog speak loudly.

It took the suffragettes fifty years to get the right to vote. It took India decades of protest of many kinds in order to get independence for their country. It took years and years of activism and advocacy for the end of slavery in the USA and then again years of the same before the Civil Rights Act by President Lyndon Johnson. It took many years for gay couples to have the right to marry. There is no national laws guaranteeing those who are gay from firing, discrimination, and persecution in many venues of life, and  no legal right to marriage. It took years to get the legal right for gay couples to marry in specific states. The tide turns, usually only after many people, those being discriminated against and their allies, use their voices, their words, their actions, their advocacy for positive social change.

One thing I know for sure, my soul, my mind, my body will never be occupied by the enemy, ever again.

I Got it Right the Second Time Around or I Found Your Noses, They Were In My Business, Again, Butt Out

A few days ago I had an incident by the downtown library. I was on my bike, but stopped at a red light. Two females were on the sidewalk, after coming out of the library, walking towards me. One of them was yelling about me, an insulting comment. I didn’t want them to come near me so I looked back at them to let them know I heard them and didn’t like the way they were acting and that I didn’t want them coming nearer to me. I will point out that they could have gone in any other direction, but chose to wait more than twenty feet away from the curb for the light to change and for me to bike away. I think I communicated what I wanted in that one look.

One stopped and grabbed the other female and said don’t go any further. And then she repeated her insult to me, blankety blank biker. The blankety blank was a slur about a body part, apparently they both thought they had a right to judge and insult and bully me. They believed that someone has to be tiny in order to be a bicycle rider! What incredible misogynists and body haters they were.

I love biking and I love the freedom and independence that it provides. Nothing else matters when it comes to biking but my own inclination and joy. I won’t be doing less biking because of any haters, I love my body, no one else gets to tell me what to do and how to think, act, and feel, and how much to love my body. Like what they think, believe, and say has any effect on me, how I live my life, my self-esteem, my self love, and my body love. It doesn’t. At this point in my life I can confidently say, it won’t ever.

As a consequence of their behavior and beliefs they mean nothing to me. They will never mean anything to me. I will never love them. I will never be their friends. Their losses. They might not ever know how big a loss it is to lose me, but I know. I am wonderful. I am a great person. I have tons of great qualities and I love people and care about them. But I will never care about them. They will never have me in their lives.

As the saying goes haters gotta hate. And squeaky wheels gotta squeak. That doesn’t mean I am going to listen to haters spewing hate at me or squeaky wheels squeaking at me. Those two hate-filled haters sure were entertaining themselves and they sure were toxic.

The light changed to green and I biked away. I didn’t give them any words and I was proud of that. But as I biked away I gave them the middle finger and I know they saw it and knew it was meant for them by the hooting and yelling they did right after they saw it. They appeared shocked and amazed that someone would not stand there, be silent and endure their abuse.

I biked down the road and then decided to take myself out to supper, because I love me and because I deserve it. I had a great time and had a great meal.

In reflecting on this incident I have to say I wished that I had not engaged with them, by looks or in any way. But I was not going to bike blocks out of my way, I told myself, and they can stay away from me. I think my look gave them that message loud and clear. And I think that I intimidated them and that is why they continued being loud, even though they knew that they should respect my space and not come near me. Like how dare I not care about them, their opinions, or how they were acting. And I don’t.

I would have preferred to not give others a hard stare or not to lose my temper and give the finger to someone. I don’t like behaving badly, even in minor ways. I like being good and kind all the time, even though I know that I can’t always be good and kind when interacting with others. When being yelled at and bullied, and called names I can make the best choice for myself, while trying to behave as good as possible. Having good boundaries sometimes precludes having a tender heart, being good and kind to all others. Practicing good boundaries is a good thing.

I would have preferred to ignore them and ignore what they were saying and to ignore their existences. It’s a bizarre thing but I was thinking how I would like to have another incident in order to do it right the second time. Let this be a cautionary tale to all of you, be careful what you wish for. Here is the bizarrest thing! I saw the same two awful young females a few days after the first incident! I am not kidding, the same two!

I was on a bus going down the same street, right by the library. They must have got on the bus at the library stop and sat down, but I wasn’t paying attention. 🙂 Freaking hilarious. When all of a sudden I hear, very softly, the same voice saying, I can’t believe it, it’s the same blankety blank biker. It was said in a way that sounded like she couldn’t believe that they hadn’t driven me off the streets, hiding in my apartment, ashamed of myself, my body, and in fear of being abused in the future. Didn’t happen. Not going to happen.

This is the bizarrest thing, I don’t normally have other women saying hateful things to me, when I am on the bus, in the library or stores, on my bike, walking into a building. I am flabbergasted, mostly because I am at a place in my life where the opinions and words of others that are hateful don’t mean one single thing to me. I have a good self esteem and I accept and love my body. I’ve done a lot of good and hard work on healing and they don’t even register a tiny blip on any of these areas in my life. They are pathetic and cruel.

My resolution had been to give nothing back to someone who bullied and verbally abused me. Cesare Millan, The Dog Whisperer, who I love so so much, teaches something fabulous, that I love very much, and had been trying to do myself for several years before learning about his technique; when around people who’s energy is hyper, mean, inappropriate, scary, etc, is to step outside of their energy field, physically and metaphysically, and not interact with them, to resolve not to take part in their energy.

So I gave them nothing. I didn’t look at them, I didn’t give them any hand signals, I didn’t acknowledge their existence. Neither of them said anything else about me.

I stayed on the bus and a few stops later, where I wanted to go, I got off the bus. I got off the bus and I went to Target and had a good time shopping, bought something extra special just for me, and then went home.