Saturday, August 23, 2008

My Hero.

The last two sessions with my therapist, I've begun doubting my recovery. It feels too easy. Even she has never seen anyone make such fast inroads to their issues. I'm also a little confused. I feel like my brain has done a bait and switch on me. I went in convinced I still had a lot of work to do on one particular issue and we've done much more extensive work on other things entirely! In fact several things I thought were an issue aren't even a concern anymore!

Dammit! How do you let go of something without being aware that it's slipped from your brain? I expected a big momentous fanfare or something instead of a quiet realisation weeks later that it's no longer an issue; that I'd not only forgiven but was on the verge of putting it completely in the past where it belongs.

Also, this week I had nothing on the breakthroughs outside of therapy. (Well at least I thought I had, towards the end of the session subtler small victories popped up to say, “Oi! What about us?”) So I asked lots of questions and let my doubts out. Also, my fears that I was in some form of denial or something re: forgiving. We also talked a lot about my fears of how to eventually raise a well-adjusted child in today's weight-obsessed misogynistic society.

The Olympics has been helping to reassure some of my past body issues (oooh look gymnasts AND swimmers with all different kinds of body shapes) and infuriating me on several other levels (Why do they STILL report about men and women athletes so differently? GRR!) It's also helped Alaskaboy, and me, realise why I have difficulty with overtraining my current body. Merely by pointing out how to correct his form, or watching him fail, as he's tried to perform what, to me, are simple gymnastics or strength training moves we've both admitted how strong/flexible my body used to be. My brain thinks my body is STILL that way. So of course I get frustrated when I can't do even an eighth of what I believe I should be able to do.

One REALLY gratifying moment was when he realised just how much valuable training advice I've given him over the years...even if he'd previously blown off some of that advice. He now understands why I've been suggesting certain ways of training or doing things. This week I've really enjoyed coaching him. It's also been awesome sitting there watching the diving/gymnastics/swimming/athletics etc and commenting on things during the event, that the commentators then say the same thing during the slo mo replays. (He's loved it because he's getting even more out of it than what the commentators say some times...and I've loved it because it's rekindled my love of watching sports. Just watching for the sake of watching.) It's been REALLY awesome enjoying the sports and athletes as what they are, instead of judging their bodies and my own while beating myself up because I can no longer do that.

And judging bodies is an issue I still have. I read an excellent post over at Shapely Prose yesterday about how women's bodies are scrutinised from the moment they step outside the front door...and sometimes even behind that closed front door. (Warning could be triggering for some.) After reading about half the comments, I was a bit peckish. My plan was to nibble a bit of leftover chicken dish, take back the sample book to the upholsterers and order our couch reupholstering. (woohoo!) Instead, what happened was I ended up mindlessly eating my way through the whole bowl of ajvar chicken. Yep. The comments did trigger me.

I'll be bringing this up in therapy next week. Because I've finally figured out what I've been having trouble articulating in therapy. How deeply angry and insulting I find it that that shit still happens. That people, me included, feel it's perfectly all right to voice judgments about other people and their bodies. I'm especially pissed, and fearful, that women are still treated like pieces of meat, and that with some people even a lack of response can be seen as a reason to escalate the harassment or take it to a physical level. Perhaps part of my recent sangfroid is the fact that I'm back in a “safe” body. A body I perceive will help me avoid leering and inappropriate comments from men. (Because it's all about our own perception.) I still get diet comments from women, but I know how to deal with those. I don't know how to deal with my own discomfort at comments from men. No doubt stemming from leftover feelings that I was unable to express as a child/teenager.

Looks like I could have some temper tantrums and teddy bear cuddling in my near future. And it's the extent of those sessions that I'd completely forgotten about. This hasn't been easy for me. I imagine this is what women, (and men) get like after childbirth. They forget just what they went through (or saw their partner go through) else they'd never go through it again. In a way I've let go or dulled the intensity of how I dealt with some of my previous stuff. All I could really remember was what I'd been doing recently. How easy, comparatively, it's been to express my emotions. I guess like childbirth it's getting through the blood, sweat, tears and swearing to get to the reward.

I've worked bloody hard over the past several years to get to this point. I must remember that. Like my therapist said, I've had the luxury of the time and a safe place to do all of this work. BUT! I've also had the motivation and the courage to do it. All of us should remember that. We could have continued blaming the fat for all our problems. Instead we're digging deep to uproot all the ugly stuff, fighting those scary monsters and rescuing both our past and present selves. Birthing our own heroic selves.

1 Nibbles:

cmae said...

No doubt you were ready to unearth these issues, or else you would not have come to them so quickly. Perhaps that is confirmation that you are on the right path. I am firmly convinced that what you are going through is a holy process, so be very kind and gentle to yourself while you are going through these difficult sessions. Do something really nice for yourself after each one.