Saturday, July 7, 2012

Body Then, Body Now, Dysmorphia WOW!

So, if you have read any of my blogs about my body image and the work I have done over the last 15 months (as I did in my blog from Thursday), you would have thought I spent most of my adult life as a behemoth....an escapee from the Mesozoic era. In my head, although I know my body has fluctuated in size and fitness, it has not, in reality, except for about a year from 2002-2003 been really out of whack, but also, in my head, I have always had love handles, I had never before had abs in any significant way, and even as a twink I was never quite fit enough and still saw a partially fat kid in the mirror.

I want to be really clear. I really believed the previous statement. I remember having pictures taken by my beloved friend Nicole Harris Zajkowski (aka Noodle) one summer, the first summer that I started working out intentionally, and I remember those pictures were beautiful, but I also remember looking in the mirror and thinking...damn...I still have back fat. I had a waist size of 28 and was nearly 6' tall (I am 5"11 and some change), but in my mind and in the mirror, I was slightly overweight (at 155 pounds....lord have mercy). I was so convinced of this fact, that, in fact, I gave away all of the pictures that Noodle took of me because, while I thought they were great, I didn't want to see my slightly grotesque body.

Oh yeah, there is some crazy shit that goes on in my brain.

Yesterday, my ex-boyfriend from 14 years back (and still loved friend) Lonnie Emmanuel Tapia (check out his design work, he's amazing), was going through boxes in his parents house in the beautiful Tesuque, NM (where I had the joy of visiting twice)...and he came across some things from when we were dating including a drawing he did of the two of us and a picture montage that he created of me....which I am sharing here now. When I looked at those pictures, I could remember how I once viewed them and viewing them now, I fervently wish that I could have seen myself as the beautiful kid I was. If I had, maybe I wouldn't have had to walk some of the roads I walked. I could have avoided rehab and maybe even not have contracted HIV.

PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE don't get me wrong. I am who I am and with the gifts I have because I DID walk that road, and I love who I am today.  But I would be a lying fool to say that it would have been an easier, gentler road if I could have found an easier path to loving that young man that I have now seen again after so many years. 

But the beautiful thing about getting a gift such as the one that Lonnie gave me yesterday is that I get this chance and moment to look at my younger self and apologize.

To my younger self: I am so sorry I didn't love you the way you deserved to be loved. I am so sorry that I couldn't see that you were a beautiful and gifted young man with so much love for so many people but not enough love for yourself. I am sorry that I couldn't give you what you needed at that time to learn to love yourself. I am sorry that I couldn't be brave enough for you to ask for help and to let folks that loved you know that you were hurting and wounded and needed a little bit of strength to get the help and support you needed. I failed you then, but I won't fail you ever again. I love you now, and I love me now, and I forgive us both.

Life will always give you a chance to see the truth....it's up to us to figure out how to really see it.

PS Thank you, Lonnie. You have always been such a gift to me in my life, and yesterday you gave me a blessing that I value so very much.


PPS Dear Younger Self....why couldn't you get your shit together....looking back at my pictures...you were real pretty....we could be living large off of a model's back account. Forget what I said. I'm mad at you again. (Just kidding).

6 comments:

  1. OMG B you were sooo super cute , I want to sincerely thank you for these blog posts you continually inspire me with your honesty, your candor and your "I will cut a Bitch" attitude !!!!!! Thanks Bro!!!

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    1. You make me smile Mr. Babbitt! Thanks for that!

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  2. Reading you blog, has become an overwhelming calming, and informative, experience for me. I needed to read some of you material 17 years ago, but it's never too late! Your note to your younger self, really hit home, for me! I continue to admire your work! Keep it up!

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  3. aww. this is the version of you that I DO know and remember.

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts, feelings, and insights. And thank you for reading!