I came home from the hospital and as the months went on I found myself saying…
“This isn’t fair.”
You came into my life powerful and you left marks. Marks so deep I was no longer the same and would forever be changed. Instead of it only being physical I allowed you to change all of me. The marks unseen were deeper than the marks everyone could see. I tried really hard to hide them, I tried to make them go away but the harder I tried the more I was reminded. Everytime I would run my hand across my stomach or legs I felt those indents that had left scars all over my body and left a pain I could not heal.
I found myself spending obscene amounts of money on crems, wraps, gels, and tools to get my marks to fade. My marks were reminders I wasn’t good enough. I constantly put myself down and told myself, “If I would have tried harder during pregnancy, bought a better lotion, I gained so much weight, oh no it’s because I lost the weight too rapidly… no, no ,no It’s because I didn’t workout enough during my pregnancy. I should have been better I should be ashamed.
I wasn’t safe anywhere I was reminded of my imperfections at the grocery store on magazines.
“6 weeks postpardum and how I got my body back.”
Six weeks? Really six weeks? But what if I’m six months postpartum? What does that mean for me? Social media also reminded me that it wasn’t ok to look this way and something (ME) needed to change. It wasn’t normal to have these marks and it was a sign of unhealthy habits.
I was afraid to show my husband. I know he’s been patient with me but I should have “bounced back” by now. I need to be better because who I am right now is not enough. I guess I can hide myself for now. I will leave a T-shirt on… designate a no touching zone around my stomach and hips… I will hide when I have to change and I wont allow him to see me until I’m no longer stuck with this unacceptable body. The lights need to be off… I don’t want to look at me.
I criticize myself in front of my daughters. I look in the mirror and cry. I don’t swim… “Go play I will be watching from here.” I miss out on memories and I say terrible things to myself that my children hear. “I am fat.” No, mommy can’t eat that, that’s bad. No, I can’t run and play… Why? Oh because I’ve learned to hide and not be seen I’ve been doing it for so long now it’s become easy. I am someone who should be invisible.
A year has passed, and again more, years that I will never get back.
I found myself going through old pictures and stumbled on one that shattered me. I remember the day so vividly when I took the photo. You can’t tell from my smile but I was so broken. I was
hurting from every inch of my body. I tried to cover my pain with clothes, and makeup, anything to be a little less of me. I saw my eyes and could see the lies I told myself BECAUSE what I couldn’t see was what was wrong with me? This was taken after my first baby. This was taken after everything changed and I became someone unworthy of love. But why when I stare at this photo I only see ME. My body was unchanged and if parts were… I couldn’t tell. I looked like I should be happy because heaven knows if I could have that body then NOW I would.
These are the mind games we drive ourselves insane with. This is proof that it’s in your head. This is proof that you are still worthy.
I wish I could go back and tell that young girl…
Your body is beautiful and you’ve created miracles. You worked hard and still do.. You are enough. You experienced unconditional love, you kissed toes, and watched for hours as your babies slept. You’ve been obsessed with a small piece of who you are but that’s not all of you.. You are not appreciating yourself. No one admires you because you have less or more marks. You have other attributes and much more important strengths. Don’t waste anymore years on what you’ve chosen to see. Do not focus anymore time on what you are not… Focus on how much you ARE.
You want a trick to living a life without marks… YOU CAN’T… Be proud of them. They are your story… there is joy in every mark, every crease, and every line. There is pain and growth that comes from each of them. The marks on your body are reminders of what and where you have been. Be proud of the story you hold and don’t waste anymore moments hating you. Because, every moment wasted hating yourself is a moment lost for someone else to experience your love.
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