My Dirty Secret

No, not dirty in a good way.  Just not something I discuss a lot…or at all.  And not something I really want people to think of when they think of me.  Why?  Not because it’s disgusting, or people won’t want to be near me or talk to me or even admit they know me.  I don’t smell funny or have some weird fetish (well, i do, but I’m not telling you!)  But because it’s sad.  Kinda pathetic really.  But I’m not sure what I can do about it.  But I am willing to bet I am not the only person who feels this way and isn’t sure why.  “What is it, already???” you may be asking.  Just this:

Sometimes I don’t like myself.  I suppose everyone has their days where they’re not necessarily happy with who they are or what they are doing at the present time, but it’s not really that, I don’t think.  I think even though intellectually I may ‘know’ my worth, I don’t feel it.  See? I told you.  Sad.

Some days it’s something superficial, like my face or my new ‘mommy’ body.  I hate taking self portraits even to show a new hairdo, because I usually look terrible in them.  My nose is too big and I’m starting to look old.  I’m 5’2 and about 128 pounds.  I’m not a heifer, but I can’t stand my profile in the mirror.

Some days, when I’m feeling kinda bitchy (or even when I’m not), it’s my personality.  I wonder how my husband can put up with me.

And other days, when I do something particularly dumb, which happens from time to time, I don’t even like who I am.  Like once, I accidentally choked my poor kid trying to give her some medicine.  I think she aspirated some of it.  I was frantic that I was going to give her chemical pneumonia.  Some of that may be attributed to first time mommy guilt.  But I felt like crap.  I mean, a complete asshole.  Like my child would be lucky to make it to adulthood with me as her mother.  I imagine that part of it has more to do with my OCD than anything (one of the prime manifestations of which has always been irrational feelings of guilt.)

And God forbid I am in the wrong mood when someone does something nice for me, especially if it’s something heavy in the sentimentality department, because I won’t deserve it.

Why am I 30 (going on 31) and I still feel like a teenager sometimes?  Like I have to prove myself to others.  If I am purposely being different (like the blue hair I’m sporting now,) I could give fuck-all about what someone thinks.  Don’t like my tattoos?  Piss off.  But if it’s about my life, my accomplishments, my personality…

I am now coming to realize also that there are certain people in my life who are toxic to me.  Even though I love them.  They beat me down emotionally, manipulate me.  Probably because they are so unhappy themselves.  But as I sit here writing this, I wonder how much growing up in that type of (steadily worsening) environment impacts how I feel today.

I also wonder if any of it has to do with how I felt in high school.  Why should that matter now anyhow?  I don’t know, except to guess that self-esteem issues ingrained during that formative time maybe die harder.

So, where does this leave me?  I don’t know.  I suppose I’ll do what I always do.  When I feel bad about my face, I have only to look at the man who had a full face-transplant because he suffered a gunshot wound to his face.  Who am I to complain?  I’m pretty damn lucky really.

When it comes to my body, I remember that my husband thinks I’m sexy as hell, and is proud of me for taking charge of my health and body image (I’ve lost all my baby weight and some.)  I think about how my baby loves me no matter what I look like.

When it comes to anything else, as yet unrealized aspirations, bad decisions, mistakes… I try to remember I have the most important job I can right now, and that is raising my daughter in a loving and safe home, so that she feels like she is the most wonderful person in the world, and never has to question her own worth or my love for her.

7 responses to “My Dirty Secret

  1. Aaarrrghh. I get it. Blue hair and all. I remember when I finally “allowed” myself to go out and chop my hair off, get it dyed blue, purple and black…I lost my fun jon and had to re-enter the corporate world. CNN. They hired me but a week later told me I have to change the hair. Only got to experience the blue for about 3 months.

    I guess we should be happy we HAVE a face.

    I’ll bet nearly everyone shares this dirty secret….I know I do.

  2. I’m 29 (30 in June) and yeah, I feel like I’ve lived and acted like a teenager most of my twenties. Now that the big 30 is around the corner (or on the doorstep) I’m feeling like I really should be more mature and grown-up, but there are a LOT of days when I feel like a kid still.

    Hang in there. I think it’s good to have a youthful sense (I mean, consider imagination, creativity and wonder. How many of those are “mature” attributes?) even though we’re stuck on the one-way path of growing older. Doesn’t mean we have to fully grow up.

    • Well, yeah I act “young”, I guess, if someone wants to view it that way, but for me the whole “feeling like a teenager thing has more to do with me having the insecurities like a teenager, or getting that feeling like I’m still in high school, trying to impress certain people or act a certain way. What I want really is to be easier on myself and care what others think even less. Like, if it’s something I do purposely to stand out, or I know by it’s very nature that it’s something people can’t help but notice (blue hair or a lot of tattoos), then I couldn’t care less what people think. But if it has to do with me on a personal level, I am more sensitive about it. And I am starting to wonder if the certain people in my life who have broken me down sort of subversively are a major contributing factor to this.

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