12. Insecurities. They’re a thing. Share at least one of yours and way you’ve managed to deal with it.
You guys don’t know me. Hell, I don’t even know me most of the time. But I have a very… particular personality. I hide my insecurities behind humor, self-deprication, and a false ego to an obnoxious degree. I’m kind of a bitch, to be honest.
And I’m not going to use this post to defend myself for having those moments, nor am I going to use it to justify my personality flaws. But I will use this post to explain who I am and how I cope with things.
This is one of the most recent photos of me. It’s from Christmas morning, I was snapchatting friends, and my stepmother caught it on camera.
This is not an attractive photo of me.
I’ve always been big and I’m sure you all know that kids are cruel. I spent most of my formative years being picked on and basically hating myself..
They don’t tell you everything in all of those anti-bullying commercials and seminars and everything else they make kids sit through that never actually work. Trust me, I’ve sat through an hour long ‘bullying is wrong’ lecture with my 4th grade class only to be called ‘beached whale’ and ‘fatso’ as soon as we go out for recess.
What they leave out though is what you’re supposed to do when it’s not your classmates who are treating you like crap for your body at the ripe old age of 7. They don’t tell you how to deal when it’s the people who are supposed to love you, unconditionally. They don’t tell you how to deal with how much your own parent can’t stand to look at you.
My parent’s separated when I was really young, four or maybe five years old. Their divorce was finalized when I was six. For anyone who doesn’t come from a divorced home, typical practice is that when the parties separate, unless one of the parents are considered unfit, certain visitation plans are established. When my parents divorced, my younger sister and I spent most of our time with our mom (the norm in divorces) but we spent every other weekend at our dad’s house together as well as one night a week, individually, at his house.
For as long as I remember, every weekend at my dad’s, I had to be weighed as soon as I woke up and my weight was recorded and usually commented upon. I was only allowed to eat a certain amount whereas my sister (always skinny) could eat whatever she wanted. I also remember we spent a lot of time being required to stay outside but I don’t remember that part as well.
This went on for years, at least until 7th or 8th grade. I don’t remember when I told my mom about it, probably around the time it stopped. But it had been long enough that I was in a really dark place. I was cutting myself because it was a pain I could control. I was binge eating because I figured he already hated me, why not give him more of a reason? I cried myself to sleep most nights. I was suffering from depression so bad that I never wanted to go to school, I never wanted to get out of bed, I spent most of my time wishing I didn’t exist.
I finally asked my mom to let me go to therapy when I was a freshman in high school and that’s the first place I finally realized how much it had fucked me up, where my mom finally realized how much it had fucked me up. When you first start psychological therapy, they give you this kind of test to gauge, to some extent, where you are on a spectrum of disorders. They go over the results with you and, if you’re under 18, your parents.
My test showed what I’ve already talked about: depression, harmful thoughts about myself, etc. But another part of the test talks about metaperception, how you see yourself. Most teenagers have a skewed metaperception already, due to hormones and society and peers. But mine was apparently so out of proportion that the test analyst scheduled immediate meetings with a therapist (the one you talk to) and a psychiatrist (the one who gives you the drugs) to deal with all of my issues.
I was in therapy until I was 21, so 7 years for those of you who aren’t big on the math thing. I stopped going because I’d figured out how to deal with emotions in a more healthy manner. I stopped cutting, no more binge eating, and I was managing my depression without drugs.
Here’s the thing about metaperception though. You can never really stop it. Almost 10 years after my dad has stopped actively judging me for my weight and my body, I’m still not happy with my body. I’ve learned to be comfortable in my skin. I’ve learned to hate myself less. But I can’t stand to be naked, even alone. I don’t look at my body in full length mirrors unless absolutely necessary.
If you read my post on Day 6, you’ll know my complete lack of sexual experience. This perception of myself is another reason behind it. It’s also a reason why I let myself go through so many years of crap with someone who clearly didn’t love or respect me. I just didn’t love or respect myself enough to get out of it. I honestly thought those fucked up slices of affection were the best I was ever going to get, that drunken phone calls or blacked-out make out sessions was the only way for anyone to ever consider me worthy of attention.
But I don’t hate myself anymore. Dislike? Maybe. But not hate.
This is the first time I’ve talked about this outside of therapy. We don’t talk about uncomfortable things in my family most of the time. It’s never been discussed with my dad at all. They prefer the ‘ignorance is bliss’ method. But I avoid deep topics when in his presence. I spend very little time with him in general, to be honest.
But it’s hard, you know. Learning to not hate yourself, let alone like or love yourself. But I’ve made a new years resolution of sorts to love myself better, respect myself more. It’s time to be more positive about my life.
Christmas with, from left to right, my brother-in-law, sister, and brother.
Christmas with my dad and my sister.
Graduation with, from left to right, my stepdad, mom, stepmom, and dad.