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03/23/2011 09:04 AM

The arrival of good weather....thrown into panic!

nikki156
nikki156  
Posts: 142
Member

The last few days here in England we've had some glorious sunshine and although it's not quite bikini weather (not that I wear one lol) it's enough to make the girls wear virtually next to nothing, where I am from.

Given what's happened to me I cannot seem to take my eyes off all of these girls (in much the same way as my abuser. Only I am not ogling them, I am instead filled with panic)

I'm having awful anxiety attacks and don't want to go anywhere for fear of seeing these girls. I am thrown back to all the times my abuser would lay into me about my appearance, my lack of a tan (I'm fair skinned Irish descent), my freckles were "shit", how I need to lose weight, how I need to put on weight (you're too thin), the comments he would make about girls passing by and his general ogling....In plain English I was never good enough!

I feel so awful about this I just want the sunshine to go away so that everybody covers up and I can hibernate. I really am having terrible problems coping with this and whilst driving I am on the verge of tears when I see the type of (glamour) girl that he stared at.

I really am finding it very hard to cope with and just don't know what to do. Even though it's been 7 weeks that I haven't been with him for I am actually visualising him being "in his element" and staring at these girls. I really feel that I've got big mental issues with this.

How do I overcome this? Does anybody have any ideas?

My counselling seems to be going well (had my 3rd session last night) however she has advised that she senses a great deal of hurt and extreme pain hence the referral to the freedom programme that I posted about yesterday. I cried for most of the session and woke up through the night with everything he used to do or say running around in my head. He is dominating my life.

I feel like I'm getting worse as opposed to better. Is this normal? Is this just the counselling beginning to work it's magic and everything is coming to the surface? or do I have real big problems?

I put on a big strong brave front to everybody but inside I just feel so sad and miserable. I tell myself I'll be ok and deep down I know I will be in the end but what if I never ever recover from this dreadful thing that makes me feel like a worthless nutcase.....

Sorry for the long winded post (my fingers got the better of me!)

Thanks to everyone for your continued ongoing support

NikkiSad Sad Sad

Post edited by: nikki156, at: 03/23/2011 09:05 AM

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03/23/2011 09:16 AM
HuskyLover1
HuskyLover1  
Posts: 174
Member

Nikki-

I'm having pretty much the same problem as you are weather-wise. All this past weekend, the weather in Pennsylvania was great. It was about 80 F on Friday. On the day before, I was talking to a friend at work and she mentioned what she was planning on wearing the next day. Hearing this really had it sink in. I panicked. I thought about short-sleeved shirts, tank tops, skirts, shorts, etc. and almost started to cry. I woke up Friday morning in the beautiful sunshine and went for my run wearing my sweatpants and a hoodie. I stood in front of my closet for so long trying to find something I would even consider being seen in. I got to work and of course everyone went all out with their Springtime outfits. I felt like such a loser.

I am unsure what to say to make it better for you, but I just want you to know that I am going through the same thing and know what you are going through and understand it. I'm sorry that I went on so long just to say that, lol Smile


03/23/2011 09:40 AM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 14598
Group Leader

You need to start changing the tapes in your head. A good trick I learned for doing that is something I call mirror talk. As I am getting ready for my day, I look at myself in the mirror and tell myself how wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, etc. I am. At first, you feel like a fool doing it, but pretty soon, you'll notice that you feel better about yourself. You need to hear those things. I know it sounds like a silly little game, but it is quite powerful I think!

03/23/2011 09:45 AM
HuskyLover1
HuskyLover1  
Posts: 174
Member

Meg that sounds like a good idea, but it makes me nervous. I hate looking in mirrors and avoid them at all costs. My mom, dad, and friends all tell me how I am beautiful but when I look at myself I am just disgusted.

I'm going to try this when I get home from work tonight though and see what happens.


03/23/2011 10:29 AM
Schefflera
Schefflera  
Posts: 4960
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I'm of Scot-Irish decent so I definitely feel ya on the pale skin! Actually I can't even really go outside in the sun for more than 10min without getting burned. I always feel self conscious about wearing sunblock all the time and having to cover up when I go out (Oh yeah and by the way... www.coolibar.com has been a godsent for me! UPF Clothes rock!)

Anyhow, I think it is pretty typical for us women to feel insecure when the skimpy outfits come out. Keep your head up: you're not alone, that's for sure. Besides, sometimes that obvious attempt to look outwardly attractive is really a reflection of a hollowness inside. You don't have to look like them... you have something inside that doesn't fade with time and in fact, only gets better!


03/23/2011 12:00 PM
Izzy87
Izzy87  
Posts: 2731
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I can totally relate, my abuser attacked my body and my looks all the time. He was constantly commenting on how he liked women with curves and "meat on their bones" and then tell me how I looked like a bony-hipped boy and made fun of my white skin (also Irish-Scots!)

I kind of hardened to it differently though, after my abuser broke up with me I seemed almost to compete with him in my head, it was like, "I can appreciate their bodies better than you can!" I actually started to flirt a lot with other girls, I made an extra effort to really look at other women's/girls' bodies and tell myself how gorgeous they were. I became very critical of actresses that had similar body structures to myself, I put them down for being too thin like I did myself. I think I was trying to convince myself that maybe I wasn't gorgeous and the perfect woman, but at least I didn't THINK I was hot stuff so that made it ok for me not to be? I don't know how to explain it...really I was basically taking his side the whole time...I wanted to take everything that he stood for and make it mine instead, even the flawed parts.

One evening some friends and I went out to a reservoir outside of town, two of them decided to go skinny-dipping when we found a fire someone left burning in the sand. My other friend and I wanted to as well (I was trying to break out of my shell and leave all my hurt behind that night) but it was a little chilly. Instead we decided to just stand on the beach nude by the fire. Our friends joined us and we just chatted about stuff, all of us naked under the stars. At first I wanted to compare myself to them physically, as they were all gorgeous and healthy and curvy. The impulse went away pretty quickly...they didn't look at me with judgement and criticism, but with love and sisterhood. I felt like I was really being SEEN, not just "looked at." The fact that we were naked wasn't even an issue. We just existed together. I felt so at peace that night!

It wasn't long after that I confirmed I was pregnant, and my body image continued to change...I completely threw myself into the idea of being a mother. I identified with every other mother who had come before me, I identified with the earth and the moon. I hope I am not sounding nuts lol...I can get a little New-Agey, I've been told...I've always wanted to be a hippie lol...

Anyway, the idea that my body was ugly was just not compatible with the idea of cultivating a human life in my womb. So I threw that idea out and embraced what my body was doing, and although I sometimes have that little nasty impulse, it's more like a whimper now that I can more easily tune out. I also realized that all those other women and girls, well, their bodies are just as much a part of them too. I was judged for my body, I won't judge anybody else for their's.

There is such a thing as a perfect body. Yours!


03/23/2011 01:07 PM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 14598
Group Leader

I learned a great life lesson in high school. We moved to a new city and I started high school (over 3000 students!) without a friend in sight. I did a lot of people watching at lunch though and I was really amazed to discover that the most popular girl in the whole school was actually very plain looks-wise. She was dating the captain of the football team (who was GORGEOUS) too. She even wore big glasses, which everyone said was the nail in the coffin for any woman. I really was mystified by her popularity, I constantly saw her walking with her gorgeous football captain boyfriend, running for student council, being elected homecoming queen, in the thick of a crowd of boys and girls in the cafeteria. I absolutely could not figure it out.

When I was a sophomore, I had the chance to finally meet her when our moms became good friends. That was when I found out what a great person she was. She was very warm, funny, generous and a lot of fun to be around. Then I knew why she was so popular.

So maybe that little life lesson is the reason that I never really gave much importance to another woman's looks. No matter how gorgeous I am, someone is always going to be better looking than me, so I figured I wouldn't lose any sleep over something that arbitrary.

I once read a quote about beauty that I have never forgotten - "No matter how great looking a person is, someone somewhere along the line got tired of them." I am often reminded of that line when I hear about some famous celebrity getting divorced.


03/23/2011 01:11 PM
serenityandpain
serenityandpain  
Posts: 316
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Seriously ladies? Are you all in my head!?

Nikki I know that dread. I have had that panic. Mostly it was while I was with him and he would get fed up with me and not want to go anywhere with me. At first I did what you did Izzy, I "admired" women we would talk about the body, watch porn, go to hooters and say who looked best. But this felt wrong after a while. It didn't make me feel sexier, it made me feel insecure. He blamed my confidence of course. He STARED at women everywhere. I asked him to not turn his head when he was with me. He called me controlling and sensitive. I told him I hated hooters and I don't want to go there on a date or with my infant son. He told me I changed, I lied to him about how confident I was. He said when I am fat I am jealous. He used to joke that my brown eyes are brown bec I am so full of sh*t. He grabbed my backfat after I had my son and pretended it was reigns and laughed. He always asked me to grow my hair longer and mine was really long. He commented on how flat my butt was. He talked about how good his ex looked but don't worry he likes me too.

I would watch beauty pageants just to compare myself. I worked out obsessively to change my body and did. One day on a trip to my moms a hooters pageant was on and I broke down crying. My family didn't know what to do. My brother and sister made fun of how much I compare myself and didnnt understand. I sent my husband an email since I think he was deployed at that time, yeah. About what I was feeling and how maybe I have a disorder about my body because I see myself as really ugly. He sent me an email about a woman being treated for extreme vanity who was so worried about her makeup she left her son in a department store.

I do what you say meg now. I say I like you serenity, I think you are beautiful and someone some day is going to think your body is perfect for them. We all like different things after all! And I get dressed and I go out no matter how uncomfortable in my skin I am. Slowly these behaviors do change my thinking. And btw I am irish german puerto rican descent and I'm a very light olive tone. I do tan but I don't like to and my husband always had a comment on the paleness. I happen to like any skin tone, I don't find one more attractive than the other but I do find myself frozen and very angry when I see the type he loves. its very intrusive in my life and I also want to work on letting that go.

I think you are really pretty btw.


03/23/2011 02:37 PM
nikki156
nikki156  
Posts: 142
Member

Hi guys, thanks for your comments. It seems I am not alone but how awful that one single man can make you feel so absolutely terrible about yourself. It makes me laugh that all abusers go away from the relationship unscathed yet we bear the scars both mentally and physically and will do for a long time afterwards also....

It really makes me realise how cruel these abusers are.

Meg I'm going to try your positive affirmation suggestions, thanks for such a great suggestion.

Serenity - Thank you for the compliment. I think you are also very beautiful.

Nikki


03/23/2011 06:59 PM
Izzy87
Izzy87  
Posts: 2731
VIP Member

It really doesn't matter what we look like, what we believe, how we talk or carry ourselves...everything becomes their battleground.

I never noticed it so blatantly before, but I wonder if I was still trying to get myself into his "good graces" by being as, uh, womanizing as he was. It's like when children of abusers align themselves with the abuser parent to be on the "safe" side. I didn't think I still cared about his opinion, I was very bitter and angry towards him, but that may have been because I still wanted his affection and was being ignored, not because I realized what he was doing.

Nikki, about the scars, it's like if someone hits you in the head with a baseball bat, who is going to be hurting? It sucks. It must be nice to have all those barriers they set up to protect themselves from the consequences of their actions to other people.

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