Wednesday, 6 August 2008
ME BATTERED AND BRUISED BUT FIGHTING BACK
I make no apologies to those people who have seen one of these photographs before.
There is a reason why I've put it back up alongside the other two.
Last year under my other name I published the photograph of my mastectomy. This year because of what I've been going through it seems important to be a whole person. Now obviously that could have easily been done by one full length picture. But that somehow isn't right as the elements that make up these photos are important to me.
Prior to getting cancer I didn't like my body, nowadays since getting my tit cut off I do. I'm the same size as I was then, in fact I'm the same measurements now as I was when I was 19, except my waist is a couple of inches bigger. But then I think that is reasonable I'm 54, on Tamoxifen and have had two children.
Since my mastectomy I have come to appreciate my body in a way I never thought possible. I take a lot of photographs of it, with little or no clothing on. It feels that I can now celebrate something that before I used to believe was fat.
I can take pics of myself that are slightly sexual in nature, as in the bottom one. I'm happy with myself to be seen like that.
If anything it is my face I struggle with more now as although I know I don't look my age or have many wrinkles and lines, I see my jaw starting to sag, and other signs of aging, which are a bit tedious.
I,of course as a woman of a certain age have become invisible, which is fine, cause I was never one to turn heads anyway. I have looked the way I do since I was a toddler, with more or less the same hairstyle. The pics of me at 18 months old look much the same as me today. So I was either a very aged baby or I'm wearing well!!!
But that doesn't explain what these pics are doing here.
What these photos represent to me is the start of a new journey. The journey where I learn that I am lovable and not just woman to have sex with. But a woman good enough to have a decent and loving relationship with that doesn't start and end with sex.
All my relationships, almost without exception, have had sex introduced into them too early by me. I did this because I have had this ridiculous belief that I,the me, under the guise of the sex machine wouldn't be able to sustain a relationship. After all, who would want a relationship with me. The me that was vulnerable, and lost. The lonely adolescent that learnt to use sex to get boyfriends never learnt a different lesson till now.
I am constantly awed by people wanting to be my friend, but I can accept it (just!) I know that I am good at making and sustaining friendships. If I give you my friendship it is yours to keep until you hurt me.
Something actually that is going on big style at the moment for me. As the three women I used to call my friends in the town I live in are all doing things to me that are hurtful right now. I don't know whether that's because I have changed and moved on, so they make no effort towards me and don't include me anymore. Or if it's the other way round. Part of me is extremely hurt by what has been happening. But another part of me is relieved that I no longer have to pretend that we have anything in common.
So I know that I can walk away from this town without regrets cause by the time I leave these issues will be resolved inside me. Especially if I'm brave enough to actually tell them! The jury is still out on whether I'll be doing that or not!
But I digress.
There is this odd juxtaposition inside me that on the one hand understands that people like me /love me. But at the same time feels totally unworthy of those feelings. And it is the latter that I am working on right now.
I need right now not to be in a relationship..... this statement is being acknowledged for the first time ever in my head. I spend a lot of time yearning for a relationship. But it isn't another human being I want, it's being in love that I want to feel.
I love being in that place of madness, when all I can do is think, breathe, sleep, eat, drink, work, live being obsessed about A. N.Other. Being in love is not about having decent loving relationships. In fact the 9 blokes I've been out with in the last 13 years are testament to that! That's not to say that a couple of them weren't decent men, they were just married. Which is of course such a safe place to get emotionally beaten up. No time together at holidays, no sleeping a whole night together and all the other things that make up an affair.
I can see that now. I can see that I was using their marital status as a way to maintain my unworthiness. The men who weren't married, well they didn't have to have a decent relationship with me did they. They were getting hot sex, why would they want to get involved in my emotional needs. Why did that happen.... cause I set it up. I put myself in that place, then when they weren't there for me emotionally, whadda yer know self fulfilling prophecy came true. I wasn't worthy.
Well Fuck That.
Right now I'd rather not have a relationship till I can sort it out once and for all that the whole me, not just my sexy legs, not my battered chest wall, not just my pixie face but all of me. The physical, the emotional, the spiritual, the needy, the giving, the person that makes up all of me is OK and deserves love just as much as anyone else on this planet. Not less, not more just equal.
And if I can get that, and when the next man comes along when I'm ready to be genuine in front of him and not just someone who can give a great blow job then I will be able to have my third chance for the sort of relationship that I envy others for having. That is being friends as well as lovers with a partner.
Wish me luck! It's a tough journey to self belief and worthiness!