Caring about people is complicated. Being cared about is complicated. Interacting with people is complicated. Raising kids to be well adjusted and healthy adults is complicated. Health issues are complicated.
Since this month got all jacked up early on I’m going to save that refocusing to work in with the things I planned on doing for next month and instead spend the remainder of this month focusing on something that has recently become a little more important to me: Self Esteem. Mine is generally healthy and robust. I know I’m awesome and I like me and if other people don’t like me it’s because they’re intimidated and don’t like being inferior and who cares because I don’t need them anyway. This is a defense mechanism I learned from years upon years of being the undiagnosed autistic girl that was just doing my thing and mostly keeping to myself which other kids took as their cue to call me weird, crazy, psychotic, and ugly (and a slut, while I was a virgin, just for fun). I heard it daily, multiple times every day, in every school, in every state, and I eventually had to look in the mirror and say “I’m not beautiful, but I’m kind, I’m intelligent, I’m caring, I’m loving, I’m ethical, I have integrity, I’m sexy, I’m fit, I’m imaginative, I’m honest, I put others first, I’m funny, I’m very in tune with my body, mind, and spirit, I’m all the things that society and 80s cartoons have told me I am supposed to be in this world to be a good person. I have done everything as “right” as I can do it, I’m continuing to do it, I don’t care what people say about me, I am exactly who I am supposed to be and I have full control over who I am and I like me. Other people need to step up their game to achieve my level, and until they do, their opinions do not matter.” Every time I encountered awareness of a real flaw within myself I tackled it hard and felt like I defeated them with flying colours.
Some flaws we’re not aware of because they’re deeply rooted in our subconscious, and at times there are some flaws that we don’t have control over, or don’t know how to control. And then again some flaws just take longer to tackle than others. This week, one of those flaws in particular did a number on me.
A person that loves me and cares about me, and whom this has already been addressed with and doesn’t need to continue feeling bad about it because I’m talking about it right now, decided that because I have been open in this setting about my weight and my desire and need to fix it, that that meant it was okay to talk about in whatever way they deemed appropriate, which consisted a lot of making me feel like a punching bag. There was hammering on the potential ramifications of obesity, repeated discussion of how well their recent weight loss has been going and how easily I could do it if I did what they did, lots of jabs about it, and then trying to give me food every time I turned around after telling me how fat I am XD (no, those direct words were never literally used, but we both knew what was being said.)
Everything they said was true, with the exception of the fact that I’ve done their weight loss method and it was not impactful to me and that they have trouble respecting the things my doctors have told me and want or don’t want me to be doing (which is an ongoing pattern), but I was already aware of it, have already made it clear that my weight is something I’m aware of and am striving to improve, and I didn’t ask for any opinions or advice. There are people in your life that you will spend your entire life seeking the approval of, and when you don’t get it, and actively get disapproval, it stings. My openly acknowledging my flaws does not mean I want other people to bring them up or try to fix them when they aren’t affected by them in any regard.
If my flaw was that I smoke when and where I want and it’s making your house smell, sure, bring it up. If my flaw is that I come into your house and put my feet up on your table and unzip my pants to make myself comfortable while simultaneously making you uncomfortable, by all means, tell me that’s inappropriate and bothers you. If my flaw is that I take up more space than you want me to, it’s really not your concern or place to say anything. My fat does not hurt you or affect you. One of my former therapists informed me it was really vital to healing that I be willing to say the words “I was raped” and acknowledge it, so I acknowledge that in a matter of fact way when it’s relevant. That doesn’t mean that I want other people to bring up something that is my personal business that was traumatic and painful. The same goes for my obesity. My acknowledging it does not give anyone a free pass to beat me up with it.
My being autistic and never having been able to outgrow the childhood mentality of having to do what I’m told makes it extremely vital that people in my life do not contradict my doctors or other professional care providers. It’s a really good way to make the problem worse and my depression deeper, because I get stuck and unable to do anything because I feel like whatever I do will displease someone, so I do nothing.
So, today’s entry is about me and my struggles, but I think it’s probably something we’ve all experienced about one topic or another even if it isn’t our weight. Everyone has flaws, and the world is full of people who like to tell us what they are. So there are a few things I’m going to ask everyone to do today. Write down a list of your flaws. Whatever they are, don’t agonize over them, just write them down. Then write down a list of your strengths, positive attributes, talents, and things you just plain like about yourself. If you get stuck on getting the ball rolling then go through the alphabet thinking of adjectives that describe you. Adventurous, brilliant, charismatic, so on. Really write these lists down, don’t type them, physically write them on separate sheets of paper. Look at them side by side and you’re not done until that positive list is bigger than the negative list. When it is, tear up the negatives. We don’t need them today, and it can feel really damn good to just absolutely shred through them. We’ll look at them and how to fix them another day, today we’re just loving ourselves and who we are and all the good things we bring into the world. Put that positive list someplace where you can look at it when you need a reminder of how absolutely amazing you are. If you want to, put sticky notes around the house in places where you might need the reminder. On the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator door, on your night stand, on your computer monitor, wherever you might tend to feel negative emotions or go to when you’re feeling negative emotions, put that reminder note there that there are positive things about you that balance out or outweigh the negatives.
Then, working around your schedule, every couple to few hours today I want you to listen to some positive self-esteem affirmations. If you keep a tight busy schedule, and can’t listen while you multi-task, then just be sure to pick one and listen to it before going to bed tonight. Because sometimes we do need to affirm that we are good enough, we are smart enough, and doggone it, people like us. I daresay people even love us.
This one is LONG! Only choose this one if you have 3 hours to listen or want one to listen to as you’re falling asleep:
And that’s it for today. Remember that you are loved, flaws and all, and you are important and worthy.
A word about music: We include songs for a reason. Music helps us deal with the world, helps to soothe the soul, and gives us something else we can focus on when everything is too much. Listen to the songs we post. Even if you already know them. Listen to them like you don’t. Pay attention to the lyrics. Pay attention to what the instruments are telling you. They all have a message, they all have a purpose, they’re all chosen for a reason. If you like the song, please support the artist by purchasing the MP3 or Album that features it.
Today’s music can be found on Amazon.com: