Thursday, April 19, 2012

Butt and ankles

When I was in seventh grade, I stood in the hall next to the orchestra room waiting for my teacher to return from lunch and open the doors.  There were a lot of us students there along with the band kids too.  I have never forgotten that day.  In front of several other students, Beau, a kid my age, just randomly told me that I had a big butt.  I was embarrassed.  I was shocked actually not knowing that butts came in different sizes.  I cringe to think of it now, seeing how I was a stick then.  But stick or no stick, when I was taller than all the other boys and girls my age, I felt "fat".  I bought into that whole big butt thing looking into the mirror and hating it for years, actually, I still do.

A few years later, my friend Alan told me that I didn't have any ankles.  At that point, I became very self conscious about my ankles along with my big butt.  

Obviously these things are tucked away in my little brain.  Whatever!  I can hardly say that they are tucked away.  They are plastered on the forefront of my brain where I am constantly trying to see myself differently.  Trying to see myself through the eyes of a mother.  Trying to tell myself that it doesn't matter.  I was an athlete.  A good one at that.  I am artistic and creative.  I have talents.  I dare wear heels being almost six feet tall.  I've done okay with it all these years. 

But last night I had a friend tell me something that made me feel as though I was in the halls of the school all over again.  I giggled it off but was really hurt.  It got me thinking about my own children and the things they face at school everyday.  Are they too having other classmates tell them things they don't like about them?  Or rather, pointing out things that they could be self conscious about their entire lives?  As a mother, you do so much to try to build your kids up and to give them the self esteem they need.  I kept talking myself through it as I would to one of my own children.  Pointing out all the good things about me.  Teaching them that we don't say things like that to others.  It's so easy to say all of those things to your kids because you believe what you're saying, but it's so hard to hear those "playground" comments about yourself from others all these years later.  I mean, the whole stupid thing of "Sticks and Stones" is the biggest bunch of crock I've ever heard!  You may not break me, but you've made me self conscious my entire life.  It's an uphill battle.  In fact, I'm so self conscious about it that I never mention it to anyone!!  Not even D.  So, this is waaaay out of my comfort zone almost like "coming out".  

It's really made me think about all these posts that I've previously written on feeling beautiful.  Easy to say when you've been out of school over twenty years and peers aren't pointing out all your flaws to your face.  I guess that's when I realized that I really have bought into what I teach.  That my physical characteristics don't  make me me.  Knowing that I am not my body.  I guess that's why it's so important to teach our children all the good things about themselves.  Encouraging them to work hard, chase their dreams, explore and then develop their talents, be kind, know that they have a Father in Heaven and to truly love themselves despite their physical beauty.  

Almost two months ago I had more anxiety.  Ya, shocker.  Anyway....I lost twenty pounds in two weeks because I physically can't eat when I'm like that.  I won't lie.  It was kind of nice fitting in some jeans that I'd fit in if I worked a little harder.  But when weight comes off like that, it doesn't stay off.  Just takes six weeks.  My body is so messed up.  I was supposed to go somewhere but between my anxiety and the weight lost, I didn't want some people to see me and tell me that I was looking good and ask if I had been working out or what I had been doing.  I got upset about it thinking that my looking good had to come at the cost of freaking out, thinking that I was dying, having my funeral planned, almost going to the E.R. and not being able to eat.  Couldn't I look good the way I was before?  Which I always feel like that whenever I lose weight.  

We'll be talking about this for FHE.  Oh no, I won't point out what I'm self conscious about to my kids.  That just gives them the idea to notice or to say things.  My kids never even know when I'm trying to lose weight because that says too much already.  As far as my kids are concerned, I'm an in shape mom.  Period.  I have all kinds of friends that tell their kids that their butt jiggles when they run on the treadmill.  (the mom's butt)  Well, next thing they know, the kids are in fact telling my friends that yes, their butts do jiggle when they're running on the treadmill.  We have a rule, my mom taught it to me, we NEVER say anything negative to each other in the family.  NEVER!!!  If someone does, and someone kind of did once about one of my children, I will tear you to shreds!  

So, just the next day after being told something that hurt to the core by one friend  (I still love you.  :)), another friend Janie told me just the opposite of what I had been told the night before.  My eyes doubled in size and I giggled as I told her what had just been said to me.  We laughed and laughed.  My friend Janie will be moving soon.  We've been friends for ten and a half years.  At times we've been closer with each other than others.  She is the friend that calls and says that she felt like she should call when I'm on the toilet crying for someone to just call me.  She called me asking how I was doing in the midst of my anxiety to which I replied I was fine until I confessed last week that I hadn't been.  It seems as though she's always in tune to the Spirit and then responds when I need her.  Just like today when she told me the opposite of my other friend out of nowhere.

Oh Jane, I love you so.  I'm sobbing right now at the thought of you not being here anymore.  I'm so grateful that you "adopted" me as a friend those couple of days before Christmas in 2001 at Albertsons.  You are one of the most beautiful women I know.  You are a wonderful mother and have opened your home to so many.  You sing beautifully and I will miss singing with you.  Those were such good times...especially when I giggled the entire song at R.S. once and you had to sing alone.  Sorry.  :)  I love that you're simple.  You're supportive.  You're fun.  You're great at hunting coyotes.  lol  And my follow the promptings of the Spirit.  I've been blessed because I've had you in my life.  Here I mean.  I still will.  :)  Best of luck with your new job and all the changes to your new start.  I love you.

As for my butt and ankles, ya, I know you're there, you were pointed out to me lots of years ago.  But you  don't define me.  Especially if I have a long dress on with my back against the wall.  I doubt it's going to say that I had a big butt and no ankles in my obituary.  So, with that, I don't know.  It's just good to have it off my chest.  The end.  :)


Charlotte said...

Great post. So much to think about here. Thanks!

Erika said...

We all have those! With me it's my buck teeth and big ears! :) Ugh. My aunt always told me President Kimball had big ears too and he was amazing, so he's always been my favorite! Sorry you had some anxiety issues. Those are really no fun at all.