Photos

I hate them. I hate having to look at my body, I hate that they record me at this weight, I hate that other people will see and (I think) judge them. I hate the noise it creates in my head every time I see a picture of myself. I hate how every occasion is ruined by looking back at photos, zeroing in on my body and instantly wishing I was dead. I hate being torn by wanting to celebrate things, wanting to be with friends, wanting to document another day in the world verses knowing how utterly shit it makes me feel to look at them.

So often I offer to be the one taking the photo, as a way of being out of the picture. That works well, mostly. It has left gaping holes in my history, though. The last picture of myself that I can look at and appreciate is when I was about 8, just before I was diagnosed with epilepsy, playing in the surf at Byron Bay. Then- nothing. I have about 30 photos from the ages of 12-21. I hate them, although I also have the double shame of looking at them and knowing how much more I weigh now, and thinking, ‘If I was fat then….’.

All I see is fat, awkwardness, sadness, eyes that never look straight, too many chins, bulging breasts…it goes on. On and on and ON and I just want to rip them all to tiny pieces and retreat from the world and never leave the hosue ever again. Being in the world and knowing, even more acutely, that people are looking at me and seeing my weight, nothing else. It makes my skin crawl with…what? Shame, embarrassment, loathing? I don’t quite know what to call it but it makes me feel like killing myself. Photos reduce me to only my external body, to the thing I hate most about myself.

I am trying harder now to suck it up and be in pictures, even though it makes me feel so fucking horrible right now. I want to be able to show my children pictures of myself when I was young. Fuck, I want them to be free of this awful self loathing, no matter what their size or shape.  But it is so. fucking. hard. to be visible in this way.

I am crying now as I write this. I have just had a wonderful weekend away with friends. We went camping in a beautiful secluded spot on the coast. Swimming, walking, talking, card games, fires. I didn’t feel out of place, or like people resented me, or like I was taking up too much space- I was free of all that day-to-day, normal life shit. But then- the photos. The photos that other people took to make memories of a great weekend, I am now crying over, grabbing at my excess flesh, desperate to purge, wanting to cut. I HATE MYSELF. I hate the way I look, I hate the way my disgustingness is captured. I hate it.

What is the solution to this? I hate the photos of myself at 12, 50 kilos lighter than now. I hate the group photos that I have been coerced into, hiding at the back, desperate to disguise as much as possible of my body. I hate how every year I blow on candles and wish to magically become ‘thin’, whatever the fuck that is, and as if it were as simple as that, as I say ‘No, no, let me take the photo’. I hate the knowledge that I will keep being in photos- my upcoming graduation comes to mind- and keep having to be reminded of what I look like.

I know that this most recent photo will send me into a spiral of starving and binging, purging, binging again. I know that I will come up with meticulous diet and exercise plans, promise myself that I will stick to them, this time. All the while also knowing that it will never change, if I keep doing it this way. ‘Mad is he who repeats the same process while expecting a different outcome’.

There’s no neat ending to this post. What can I say to male myself feel better, with this most recent image burnt onto my brain, with the voice in my head loud and on repeat, you disgusting pice of shit. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

 

 

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Photos

  1. Reynard Fox

    I know how you feel . I find photos so hard to look at. New ones sometimes make me feel ashamed. Older ones from when I was younger/ lighter make me feel like I have failed.
    I have been trying to tell myself to say to the ED voice, fuck that and fuck off!
    people love me, even if i am fat. I have just started to let go of the idea that fat is bad always and forever.
    Also you might find this redundant, but lately what has helped me is looking at & following Fatshion and fat acceptance/positivity blogs on tumblr.
    everyday i do a little bit more positive brain washing.
    I have decided Im not waiting to lose the weight I have gained in the past 6 years before I will let myself feel attractive again. I will wear make up on my round , round face, I will wear skirts above my knees , and I may even wear a wedding dress without sleeves , with my large untoned upper arms out for all to see. Because it wont matter, Im not inviting assholes to my wedding all the people there will love me, flabby arms or not.

    I have spent so long hating myself and it is exhausting.
    I still have ED moments where my eating is totally disordered, i see food as the enemy ,I binge, I examine myself in the mirror, I pinch , I wish for a body I used to have and never appreciated anyway.I see my belly and I equate it with being unlovable and repulsion.
    Sometimes the ED voice is all I can hear. but now it is only for hours at a time now instead of days.
    I am not super confident everyday, but looking at other fat women who are beautiful and comfortable in their own skin, not only helps my re-shape my own notions of beauty, but also
    gives me the motivation to take baby steps of confidence.
    Until one day I WILL be able to say fuck you haters, I HONESTLY DON’T CARE what you think of me or my body. my body is mine and you don’t have a right to a goddamn opinion on it.
    and if people want to judge me on what is essentially my shell in this life , then that really is their flaw . Being a heinous bitch who judges people on their looks really is a flaw. I really think those types of people will ultimately be left feeling empty and unfulfilled and will have shitty people for friends who are just as shallow as they are . those types of people don’t truly progress in life and are emotionally stunted. I would consider feeling sorry for them, but I’m just not that compassionate yet.
    Maybe one day in the future I will be , for they are as surely trapped by societal norms of beauty as I am ( & even if they do enjoy the privileges of being closing to the “norm”, in the scheme of things it will be fleeting, for we will all get old and grey)
    I hope that was at least sort of coherent.
    Probably wasn’t but there you go anyway!

    All my love ,
    Reynard Fox

    • clearingsomespace

      Thanks, you.
      Lots of wisdom in your words. I found myself nodding along 🙂
      How lucky I am to have you in my life reminding me of all these things when my head gets clouded over by the Negative Voice. Let’s keep on being awesome together xox

  2. Reynard Fox

    What I really wanted to say but left out was

    Please be kind to yourself. You deserve it.
    You do nothing wrong, by being you.
    In fact, you are wonderful! every single atom of you! ❤

  3. Reynard Fox

    Also, yes I agree let’s always keep being awesome together ! 😀

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