relax, “skinny-bitch.”

Posted by on Sep 24, 2015 in Blog | No Comments

a few weeks ago i took a fantastic workshop at esalen, called “hurtling toward wholeness.” i learned a few things. some of them i’m using, most i’ve forgotten. here’s one i’m trying especially hard to remember:

we learned that “parts of the self” can eclipse the “true self.” the true self is your authentic core—the one that you can sink into, and feel at home with. this is the real you. the parts of self–there are three main ones: controller, relief-giver, and exhile—are parts of you that develop while you are trying to protect yourself in this tough world. most of us have a part that is particularly dominant. for me, it’s the relief-giver. i love to check out and indulge (food is the big one) and say, “fuck you,” to the world. i like to be poetic and whimsical, and escape reality.

that first day, i really processed my relief-giver part– what she needed, what she had to say. i shared about it in group. i cried. i talked to my relief-giver, from my authentic self. this helped, but the work felt unfinished.

the next day, i woke up thinking about my controller. i wondered who she was—it seemed she was hardly there, because so often i feel OUT OF CONTROL with my appetite and food. then it came to me–controller is “skinny bitch!”  i wrote this:

this morning, at esalen, waking up in my sleeping bag, thinking about who is the imposter that is the controller in my life, and what is she trying to control? realizing she is intimately related to why relief-giver runs my life…. controller wants to make sure i am skinny. she wants to make sure i am skinny so i can get married to stevie whitaker (the boy i had a crush on, when i was twelve—he was in our evangelical cult), and all the other crushes that followed. skinny was the only way to be pretty in that cult. we couldn’t wear make-up, or dress attractively, or have any sensuality.

so, skinny seemed the only (well, the best) way to be pretty.

and at age 11, i realized i wasn’t.  lily young (the tall ballerina in my sixth grade class) told me my stomach was sticking out. she laughed, and pointed to my pokey tummy, on the last day of school. it came up innocuously. first, we were laughing and looking at ourselves in the mirror in the school bathroom. it was the last day of school, and we were checking ourselves out, with our white T-shirts, covered in names of friends, written in black marker. on the front, it said “end of 6th grade. 1989.” we were celebrating! my T-shirt was big and baggy. her’s was smaller—tight-fitted. out of nowhere, she pointed at my tummy and said, “hey, look, your belly is sticking out!” she laughed. i looked at mine. i looked at hers. i knew this could be no more.

i started restricting with a vengeance. problem was, food was my only source of comfort. not true—there were books, too. sweet valley high twins. nancy drew. the best combination was food and books.

this grew—eating and checking out. my restricting of food also grew. there was a pendulum of hate and shame, swinging to indulgence, followed by checking my stomach by standing side-ways in front of the mirror—pooching my stomach out, to the most dramatic result. and then drawing pictures of the “pregnant me,” in my diary.

guess what, that “pregnant me” became more and more known to myself. and hidden from others. no one knew of my obsession with food. no one knew i could never get enough. no one knew how much i coveted other girls who wore Guess jeans and had flat, washboard-tummies tucked in. how was it they could eat fruit roll-ups, M&M’s, and not put on weight? and then eat a hamburger later, and not blow up? i watched them eat, these skinny, popular girls, riding the bus to volley ball matches. they always had more. beauty and food.

looking back now, i knew i had a distorted image of them. and of me.

but then, and now, i still see me as fat, and most others thin. it’s not my butt, it’s not my thighs, or my upper arms. it’s my goddam, mother-fucking tummy.

“skinny bitch” also likes to be perfect in many other areas. we won’t go into that now. but just to say, it builds up!

guess what.

i’m learning how to let it go.

by being less hard on myself, the relief-giver can have more repose. she’s been busy for so long. i am tired of shoving food in her face.

and she’s tired of eating that shit.

she’d rather rest, read, sleep, and do yoga. watch movies. laugh with friends. cook dinner with my boyfriend. walk in the woods.

food food food.

enough enough enough. of it ruling my world.

“skinny bitch,” take your nap.

wake up, nicer.


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