If I ever needed proof that blogging is good for me I got it today.
A few days ago I called myself "aesthetically indifferent." This term could be applied to how I appear, but having called myself that I was shook by how it felt, it was like I just wrote a lie, but yet it is how I behave. I knew I had to look deeper.
For the next day or so I reflected on this. I have been girly since the day I was born. I had power struggles with my mom when I was little, she wanted me to wear pants now and then, I felt wearing pants would be an insult to my feminine identity (I can REALLY relate to the trannys who say they knew they were a girl since they were little- my mom didn't socialize me to want to wear skirts, I just felt right in them)
When I was an adolecent I would bring large quantities of makeup on vacation, in case I wanted to "experiment." I went to modeling school. To this day I have boxes and boxes of clothes and cosmetics, filling up my room. I was always a girly girl, and inside, I remain one to this day, so why do I fight it so hard? Why, if I love makeup and clothes and being pretty, am I so unwilling to explore that, even as much as the average person?
My initial assumptions had to do with the power of sexiness, of being afraid of the attention, and afraid of that power in my hands (I have done my share of hurting boys, needlessly.) I also assumed that since the depression makes self-care a challenge, I cover it up by claiming to not care about "such petty things"
Today I brought it up with Dr. T. I thought the conversation would be about the fact that I am confident enough now to claim my identity, and as the social phobia is lessened and my boundaries stronger I will be able to handle the attention, but it went somewhere else.
When I started discussing it I got real tense and embarrassed, and then as she started talking the emotion came right up beneath the surface, we were on to something. She suggested it had to do with being put in a parental role (caretaker of my father) when I didn't want it. By not taking care of myself it was a way to say "look, I am not fit to be a parent- don't give me this responsibility." And I had "mal-adaptively" twisted my thinking to "my needs are not important" so I could more easily cope with the fact that I was treated that way.
I didn't cry loud and hard, I wept, deeply and reluctantly. I felt my body shrink down, I felt EMBARRASSED to be crying- in a therapist's office! She said that as I am discussing this, I am coming from the perspective of a nine year old. It was really unpleasant. It didn't feel like that cathartic type of crying, where you let it out and feel a little better each moment, it felt horrible, I was going back there, acknowledging it happened, it was no longer a detached abstract story, it was an actual memory.
When I was going through adolecence I had no mother, and no parent. My dad MOST CERTIANLY implied that I was vain, even though fixation on one's appearance is quite normal at that age. And right away, with my first boyfriend, I was jumping into sex, and shamed quite harshly by our "loving Christian" America for it. So, when I talk about grooming, I am talking about grief. Grief of losing my mother, grief of losing my father, grief of losing 10 years worth of childhood, and the grief of never having experienced age-appropriate, sweet, hand-holding puppy love. When all of this is attached to the fun of decorating one's self in the mirror, then one might tell themself that they don't really care how they look.
I am closing up a bit even writing this post. But this is a GREAT thing. If I am finding these tender spots I know I am looking where I need to (and I know that I am getting through that cold, icy armor that I thought was permanent)
Dr. T. told me to watch movies with mothers who are there in that part of their daughter's life and to mourn it. To mourn the fact that no one (mom or dad) was there telling me to wash my makeup off before bed. To mourn that I didn't have anyone to tell me about boys, I had PLENTY of people telling me how BAD I was for dressing in a way that showed my beautiful new body, and how shameful I should feel for having sex young, but no-one to explain this new terrain (adolecence) that I was entering.
I feel cheated, every moment of my life I feel cheated. If I can have the courage to really FEEL and mourn what I have missed out on, than maybe I can one day let go of this huge chip on my shoulder.
And it all started...with a blog post.
mood: lump in my throat and chest. Not anxiety, a lump. But I feel really genuine