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By | April 30, 2010 395 Comments

Loving ourselves–one piece at a time

By Ox Drover

One of the things we hear frequently on LoveFraud and in self help books we might read is to “love yourself.” This sounds like great advice, but the thing is no one ever tells me exactly how to do this.

Some suggestions for increasing my “self love” and “self esteem” given in various books and articles are to use “positive affirmations” such as “I am wonderful,” or some other positive self talk that I should repeat over and over inside my head until I eventually start to believe it.

Even though I might say these phrases over and over, no matter how positive and “self affirming” they may sounds, somehow I never seem to truly believe them. After saying them over and over inside my head somehow there’s a little voice that repeats “Yeah, RIGHT!” in a scoffing tone.

If anyone knows my faults, it is surely me, and somehow I just have problems saying and truly believing the large statement, “I am wonderful!”

One of the things that really bothered me of late is “getting old.” I look in the mirror and see my grandmother’s face looking back. I really hate to have my photograph taken because I look at them and see this fat caricature of my youthful self looking out of the photograph. I started on a calorie control diet to lose some weight, and looked at my skin which has more than a few dark sunspots and a liberal supply of “laugh lines” (read: wrinkles). I pound on myself internally for not listening to my grandmother and staying out of the boiling sun until I became bronzed when I was young. The sunscreen I slather on now does little good now that my skin is starting to resemble the Marlboro man. How can I like myself when I look the way I do and there’s not much I can do at this late stage in the game to improve myself?

Even if I lose the excess weight, all I will accomplish is to let the “air” out of the wrinkles that the excess fat smoothes out somewhat.

So because I was feeling pretty bad about how I looked , and really, there wasn’t much at 63 years old I could do, outside of extensive plastic surgery I couldn’t afford, I decided to work on loving myself the way I look today, rather than bemoaning the fact I no longer look like I did “back then.” If I could tackle that and succeed, I could tackle anything.

One of the things I used to do was stand in front of the mirror and pull the skin on my cheeks back, like a doctor would in a face lift, smoothing out the wrinkles and the line from my nose to the corner of my mouth, imagining how I would look after a face lift. One evening doing some rare television watching I saw a former “sex goddess” movie star, now probably nearing 70, doing a guest shot on a series. She had obviously had copious plastic surgery and she looked like a caricature of her former self, almost like a melted Barbie doll. Looking at her face, and at her attempts to continue to “look young” through the marvels of modern surgery —surgery that seemed laughable, I threw back my head and I laughed.

Sure, I looked like my grandmother at my age, and I had loved that face—on her, but I was going to learn to love that face on myself. I was going to learn to love myself, starting with my body. Not the body I would have when I lost twenty pounds, or the face that I would have after I had extensive plastic surgery, but the face I have today!

How could I go about learning to love my body the way it is, the face the way it is? Well, first of all, it wasn’t going to be accomplished by standing in front of the mirror and asking, “mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of us all?” I am no longer a beautiful young girl with creamy smooth skin, but that doesn’t mean my body or my face isn’t okay.

My body is a marvelous machine, wrinkled or smooth, my skin, the body’s largest organ, does an excellent job of keeping me free from bacteria and viral attackers, of cooling and heating my inner body, and evaporating sweat! It is well designed for its purpose. It does a great job!

People have always said my eyes are so expressive, and they really are! I can shoot a look out of them that my kids used to say would turn you to a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife if I were angry! They are still expressive but much more inclined now to smile and crinkle at the corners with laughter. They still see far away very well, but I have to have reading glasses up close, but that’s okay. My eyes really work very well and I like them.

My hair is still thick and heavy, and has always been a good feature even now that some of the strands are turning silver. The silver in my hair, which I’ve never dyed, almost looks like an expensive frost job! I wear it in a style that’s becoming, not trying to look like the sex goddess gone to pot with flowing tresses down to my waist, or cropped close and permed into a “poodle do” with a bluish cast, but natural. I really do like my hair!

My legs are still shapely, well muscled and firm from decades of walking and riding horses, I really do like my legs. They work very well and generally don’t hurt, all the joints freely function, and I can still kneel or stretch. I’ve really got great legs with slim ankles.

My back is a pretty good back, sometimes it has let me down a bit and ached after a hard day’s work, but I haven’t always been very good to it. I think I will try to be more accommodating to my back. I’ve worked it awfully hard all these years so I’m going to be better to it. I’ll do some stretching exercises before going out to work, and I’ll use my legs more to do the heavy lifting than misusing my back muscles. I really am fortunate to have such a great back, considering how inconsiderate I have been to it all these years. Yes, I can be proud of my back.

I remember how flat my abdomen used to be, back before I had children, and it’s not that flat now, but it really is a pretty good belly after all. It works well, it’s never let me down or made me seriously ill. Sometimes I don’t give it enough fiber and it complains to me when I mistreat it, but I think it has a right to tell me if I am not being good to it. Actually, there’s still a smattering of a waist there in spite of the fact it’s a bit over weight, but overall, I can’t complain about my abdomen. Actually, I think I like it pretty well and I don’t know anyone I would trade bellies with. Yep, my belly is A-ok.

The thing I have always been the proudest of in my entire self is my mind and my memory. Testing high on the “Bell Curve” of the intelligence test has given me a verification that “I’m smart.” Not just an opinion about my intellectual ability, but an actual objective piece of data. That always felt good. I generally made good grades in school and was at the top of my class if I even gave a modest effort to succeed in school, or in my job. That gave me a bit of pride, though I did realize that this was nothing I had done for myself or achieved for myself, but was a God-given attribute like my health and stature, it was more the result of my genetic make up than anything I did or didn’t do.

After my husband’s death in a tragic accident, to which I was a witness, I lost my mind. I lost my ability to remember things in minute detail. I panicked at realizing this, and even when my psychiatric physician and my therapist assured me that “it will get better, it won’t always be this bad,” I had great difficulty believing them. I was “not as good” as I previously was, forgetting many things, having holes in my memory for things I previously would have remembered without any effort. Finally, I complained about this so much that my therapist administered an IQ test, in which I still scored even a bit higher than I had ever scored previously. My mind is still good, and there is objective evidence of this. However, I know it doesn’t work the same as it did before the aircraft crash, before the ultimate stressor. I do have short term memory lapses, but that’s okay. I’m still me. I’m still smart, and what the heck does it really mean that my spelling has gone to hell, or that I can’t remember if I took the meat out to thaw for supper? Will the world end because of this? Does this mean I don’t have the intellect to make a rational or logical decision? Does this mean that I am “defective” and “no good” or “worthless” because I reach for a word, a simple word and can’t find it even though I can see the picture of a tree in my mind but can’t find that word? No, it doesn’t mean anything. I am still me. I still have a good mind, just different than before. I like my mind, my intellect, my ability to problem solve and even though it makes new learning more of a challenge, I still grasp large concepts, though I may no longer easily remember the name of the author. I have a good mind. I have a good intellect. I still like my brain even though it isn’t the same as before.

My “heart” both figuratively and physically, I like both of them. My physical heart has beaten well and steadily for 63 years now, and my physician has tested it and declared it a healthy heart. I depend on it to keep on beating well for more years into the future. I’ve tried to be good to it, by getting exercise and though I have mistreated it by smoking, I have decided to stop doing things that will injure my good heart, so I have stopped smoking cigarettes. I eat a “heart healthy” diet low in bad fat and other things that might damage it. I am happy with my heart.

My emotional “heart” is also something that I like. It is a compassionate heart and empathetic to others in pain. It is a generous heart, and one that will share the blessings of life that it has with others. In the past, my emotional heart has sometimes given too much to others and not enough to itself or to me, so I have talked to this heart and discussed a way that it can still be a generous and compassionate heart, but to also care for itself first. If my emotional heart gives all the blessings to someone else, it will not survive, so my emotional heart has learned to care for my body and itself first, so that I may continue to share with others. I like that about my emotional heart. My emotional heart is a good heart.

Looking over my body, mind and emotional heart piece by piece, I find that I like each individual unit just as it is. It isn’t perfect, it isn’t young any more, but it has matured with some grace and in many ways is far superior over all to the body, mind and emotional heart I had as a youngster. The packaging may be a bit wrinkled, but I wouldn’t change my body for anyone else’s, and I wouldn’t give up the maturity that I have gained with life and living.

So, I have found a way to learn to love myself, one part at a time, to enjoy living within the skin that protects me from the elements, and to savor the good parts of myself. I’m learning to love myself in a positive way rather than just chanting “affirmations” that are so vague and positive but have no real substance to my inner spirit who dwells in this mortal temple. I like my temple, I like my body, I like myself. I’m unique to me. I’m special. I’m one-of-a-kind, and I’m okay!


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Refreshing take on self-love, Oxy…I like how you move away from cliche, and approach this from a more personal, grounded perspective.

Sweeping affirmations may work for some, but not all…and your article encourages those for whom affirmations may be less effective. Great job.

kim frederick

Hi Oxy, Thanks for this. You capture the spirit of self-love. I agree that empty self affirmations are kind of like putting the cart before the horse, and you explain what it means to love yourself. Thanks.

By the way, I went to a ‘friends of the Library” sale a couple of weeks ago, and bought 7 or 8 books, one of which was, “The Crone.” Haven’t read it yet, but I will very soon.

Also, root word in maturaty is mat for mother….so, how very apropriate that you look like your Grandmother.

At this point in my life, I think the best I can do, is to have a face my Grandchildren can love, and remember loving forever.

Ox Drover

Thanks Steve and Kim,

Yea, the “sweeping affirmations” didn’t do a thing for me at all! But looking at things one piece at a time did!

The book “Crones Don’t Whine” is one of the best little books of philosophy on aging I’ve ever read! The author is such a great lady and makes one proud of our “cronehood” of our growth in wisdom and emotions and mat-urity~!

Our society today, as potrayed by the media at least, seems to value “cool” and “youthful” and “slim” and “hot” more than character and wisdom and maturity.

I think when I saw that aging actress in that series show, it hit me just how FUTILE it is to try to “remain young” and how AWFUL she looked, still recognizeable (barely) as who she was, but not at all attractive the way she was when she was 25-30, yet dressing like she was 30, wearing her hair like she would have at 30, preening behavior like she was 30, and NONE of the dignity of a mature woman. Just a woman trying to fake being something she wasn’t, no youth, and no dignified aging either.

So since I can’t turn back the clock for real, I’ll just be happy with what I have! It’s really, all things considered, pretty okay!

Hopeforjoy

I especially want to comment on this article. We are flawed people, no doubt about it, but who defines beauty? The wrinkles and sags tell a story about our lives. I had a hard time, still do, accepting my flaws.

Relating this to my life is really easy. I had plastic surgury, liposuction and rhinoplasty (i had a bump on my nose). I wasn’t overweight but carried some around my abdomen. Why I made this decision? Because I had low self-esteem and my husband was constantly staring at other women. He actually said I didn’t need it but he idealized the perfect woman.

It was a HUGE mistake! I ended up in the ER five days later needing a blood transfusion. It was a terrible botched job, found out later that I couldn’t sue because I signed a release form. I ended up having a later surgury on my nose because my sinuses were totally messed up.

Beauty is not found by some artificial means, we need to take care of our bodies and find peace with it. I really can’t stand how women are objectified and how we try so hard to fit that ‘perfect’ person. No way would I have done what I did knowing the outcome. I’m sure many woman are happy with the results of their surgury, and I’m not slamming them. But who are we trying to please? My daughter is now battling the beginnings of anorexia. I wish she could see how beautiful she is through my eyes.

I really liked the was Oxy discribed how her body works and the miracle it is.

Ox Drover

Dear Hopeforjoy,

I am so sorry for what you went through and for the low self esteem. None of us are “perfect” physical specimines, and “real beauty” is internal not external. But our media and culture portrays that “foxy” and “hot” is what counts and our young people and even some of us older folks buy it,, and it is nothing but an advertising ploy! Buy this and you will be hot! Buy that and you will be sexy!

There was a time I could walk through the casinos in Las Vegas and turn heads, and I love remembering those LONG GONE DAYS! But l can also look back and remember how insecure I was in those days, how really low my self esteem was, how injured I had been from my relationship prior to that with the P-sperm donor. I sure like who I am TODAY a lot more than who I WAS then.

There are still some internal parts of me that need working on and I am working on them, but they are attitudes I can change for the better! So that’s what I am Willing to work on.

peggywhoever

Oxy:

We’ve never met, but I KNOW you are beautiful, physically, emotionally, spirtually and soulfully!

Thank you for another great article.

Peggy

bulletproof

Oxy:

You really do sound absolutely beautiful. The natural hair, with the silver frosting, the shapely muscly legs with the thin ankles, the lived in older face of your grandmother that you loved….why can’t this be totally gorgeous? it can when it is viewed with an empathetic heart, which you also seem to have in abundance.

I’m a very young looking 50, (no one believes it…) I light up when someone says but you look only 30!!! I radiate back at them well I feel only 30…there are days I feel like an old woman no matter what I look like…I can see it, the toll, the expanding waistline…undeniable but it’s exciting because I know I’m on the home run, and there is a part of me that can’t wait to see what’s on the other side.

What shines through from OxDrover is her inner beauty that is a kind of intelligence mixed with compassion, real experience, wisdom and humour. Empathy radiates from within, beauty is that inner light that increases with age.

Oxy you are entering the age of creativity, where the body seems to dissolve and the spirit begins to strengthen…keep shining! and believe it…yep you are beautiful autumnal leaf rich in color and dazzling to the eye!

Buttons

This is a wonderful article, OxD. I think that exposure to an spath can really ruin our self-esteem, and you’ve provided a glimpse into methods of reassigning our views.

Indeed, your beauty is far, far deeper than the physical!

Ox Drover

Dear Buttons,

Thank you so much! Your poetry in prose is so sweet and kind!

Thank you too dear Peggy! I also KNOW that you are a very wise woman!

Ox Drover

Pardon, Bulletproof, I meant to address the”poetry in prose” comment to you, thank you so much. Excuse an old lady who is still on her first cup of coffee! We had storms last night very late (several people killed just north of me) but the storms went round my farm, some to both sides, but we only got rain!

Rosa

I think the best plastic surgeons are the ones who show some discretion/ethics, and say NO once in a while.
They are the professionals….so they should know when enough is enough, or whether to perform a procedure at all.

I would think that any plastic surgeon worth his salt would be able to envision what the end result will look like BEFORE he performs the procedure.

I respect the ones who are honest enough to say “NO” to someone who has had enough, or does not need anything in the first place.

Board Certified plastic surgeons are definitely the “rock stars” of surgery…the best of the best…and their talents are needed in the field of medicine.
There are burn victims, and those who have dis-figuring scars from car accidents, etc.
Plastic surgeons do wonders for these people. I’ve seen it.

That being said….someone should be arrested for this….

http://www.topsocialite.com/jocelyn-wildenstein-has-gotten-even-scarier/

Ox Drover

Oh, ROSA!!!! That was awful! And yes, I have seen a lot worse looking “stars” plastic surgery than the 15 they listed, but the top one is really pathetic and you are right, any doctor who woud do such things should be arrested and his/her license revoked. I know there are risks to any surgery, but to repeatedly do that is totally CRIMINAL!

A person who would undergo such mutilation is in great need of mental health services, but a physician who would continue to DO such mutilation is CRIMINAL. I realize though that if you have enough money you can buy just about whatever you want and that includes physicians who are unethical. Look at MJ and the doctor he bought, which ultimately killed him. I am glad that they are prosecuting that FAKER though. He should be tried for murder and I believe he is a psychopath. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for MJ either, as I believe he was a child molester as well as a very “sick puppy,” but that doesn’t excuse the physician for providing him with lethal drugs, or the surgeons/physicians who mutilated his face, or provided him with “offspring.” Proving that fame and money can get you a lot of things that you may desire but aren’t really healthy or good for you, or anyone else involved. Also proves that some people will DO anything for someone with fame and/or money.

The young man who was in the plane with my son D and my late husband who was so badly burned has had hundreds of plastic operations for scar tissue. Fortunately the center portion of his face, nose and eyes, and mouth were spared but he continues to need surgery on the sides of his face, arms, hands and fingers. The people who have worked on him have done wonders for his appearance and he looks pretty normal now in the face.

BTW he graduates next weekend with a BS in Aviation and son D and I will be attending the graduation (though I hate graduations of any kind!) As bad as I hate them, can’t miss this one! He is also a certified law enforcement officer and has worked part time for the local police department there during his last couple of years in college. He will be continuing school for a masters in Business Admin as well as his degree in aviation. He is also a commercial pilot as well.

He was a “great kid” of 16 when the plane crashed, and he is now, going on 6 years later, a great man and has over come so much! My husband would be very proud of what this “kid’ has accomplished against great odds and challenges! And so am I!

erin1972

Oxy, I like your article. Everyone keeps telling me to do all those positive affirmations that you talked about. I do try it but it doesn’t seem to work. I’m too snarky and sarcastic for it. I say these things to myself and then the words “yea right” keeping popping into my head! I don’t know what to do with myself.Trying to figure it out.

Today is the one year anniversary of my heinous discard by the ex socio ratbastard. I still want him to rot in hell and suffer excrutiating amounts of pain that are slow and deathlike with blood and humiliation. I don’t get to do anything to him though. I guess if karma is on my side, he’ll eventually come tumbling down.

Haven’t yet figured out the HOW TO RAISE MY SELF ESTEEM THING but I’m trying. I can say I have great hair and great skin but somehow the positive attributes end there. Oh, except I’m a hell of a singer. The rest of me? WTF? What has happened to my body? Since the breakup and me quitting smoking a year prior to the breakup, I have since become Fatty McFatterson and I no longer recognize myself in the mirror. I have since joined the I HATE EVERYONE ELSE BUT ME CLUB and the snarky and sarcastic has taken over. I have now decided to treat myself as if I am a princess and everything as all about me. Since I am sick to death of working with arrogant socio narcissists I have decided to bust my ass trying to get my real career back instead of this stupid fake one.

I’m going to be happy very very soon!

Ox Drover

Dear Erin1972,

Well, the only suggestion I have is to lookk at yourself one piece at a time. You say you like your skin, and your hair, and you are a great singer! Right there are 3 things you have named that are all wonderful things. As far as the Fattie McFatterson, that is totally within your control! SENSIBLE Diet and exercise, you’re a nurse you know the drill on that! But you are NOT those adipose cells, you are the summation of all those pieces of “you.”

I would suggest that instead of being “happy” or “unhappy” because of who you work with or what you do that you be happy ANYWAY, NOW TODAY! I’ve worked with tnose arrogant socio narcissists too, probably the same ones you work with, and I didn’t like them either but if I let them be the source of my unhappiness then I am allowing them to control me. NO one can control your happiness except that YOU allow them too.

I suggest that you read “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Dr. Viktor Frankl, he wrote the emotional memories and insights he had while he was in the Nazi concentration camps. It was very inisghtful for me, made me realize that I am the ONLY one in control of my feelings and my moods, and if I let my circumstances control ME then I am allowing it. Sure, I sometimes allow that even now, but I am striving to keep from doing that.

Sure, I’d like to look like I did when I was 20 and know what I know now, but that’s not the way it IS. We play the cards we have NOW and we either take control of ourselves or we give it over to others, to circumstances. I figure if all he went through in the Nazi camps didn’t undo Dr. Frankl, who the heck am I to alllow someone else, some circumstance, some job I hate or a psychopath to undo my happiness. I realize that nothing matieral can make me happy, no circumstance can make me happy, and no one else can make me love myself. I have to take over control of that. Sometimes I fail in doing that, but when that happens, I try to get back up and do better!

Treating yourself well is a good thing. You should treat yourself well, but I think by focusing on “your real job” or “when my ship comes in” or anything outside yourself to “be happy,” you are focusing on the external and I think focusing on the internal is where we find our happiness.

Hang in there and just keep trucking on. Remember, baby steps, and you’ve already identified 3 things, so start looking at the other positive things about yourself! You are more than skin, hair, voice and adipose tissue! (((hugs))))

alohatraveler

Oxy, I totally do that.. stretch my face back and I hate my profile. I am convinced that ALL celebrities have their profile photo shopped.. unless having a chiseled jaw with nothing under it is a prerequisite for celebrity-dom.

I am always promising to love myself… later… once someone else loves me and I lose 20 lbs and get my face lasered.

What is wrong with me?

Buttons

alohatraveler, it’s not what’s “wrong” with you, it’s what’s wrong with our culture, honey. We are a world of “youth,” anymore. Look at how we are bombarded (almost second-by-second) by marketing!

I have no intention of ever having “work” done, especially on my face. I have earned every line and wrinkle and they are a part of me.

One of my favorite portrait subjects are the elderly. Our wizened elders have stories to tell and we can read their tribulations and triumphs in the quiet beauty of their faces.

bulletproof

Yay buttons !

Elderly women can “give up” after a certain age because we don’t fit the criteria for outer beauty anymore. I see this in the expressions on faces, it’s not just lines, its etched in “attitude”. someone said you deserve the face you end up with.

I think it’s worth realising God does not make “mistakes” we are meant to change and transition over back to the total mystery from which we came

So to look in the mirror and grieve the loss of the girl we once were is natural but we need to still ‘get over it’

Even in celebrity land older women are worshipped for retaining youthful features. But there are some who are beautiful without doing that…..like Jane Fonda, Judy Dench, Helen Mirren…

who can forget the beauty of Katherine Hepburn in “On Golden Pond” she was just radiant without trying..I think they retain an integrity that sadly the botched plastic surgery victims (sly Stallones mother…eeew!) and poor Joan Rivers…she has made a joke of herself in the end.

I look up to the older women who go there graciously, its not so much giving up but surrendering to spirit and death eventually (isn’t that what we are all galloping away from?) what becomes incredibly attractive is the courage to shine even if it is a glowing ember, still as beautiful or an old crimson curled up crispy leaf in autumn.

Plastic surgery is saying to the total mystery from which we came….old age is defective, wrong, embarrassing, cringe worthy….hey that sounds like a psychopathic view of humanity.

bulletproof

another thought..”beauty is in the eye of the beholder” the “beholders” in our cases were sociopaths/Psychopathic LIARS….so we feel they only PRETENDED we were beautiful to get what they wanted….ouch!

Ox Drover

Katherine Hepburn is my favorite actress! And, yes, even in age she was beautiful!!!!! Henry Fonda was also very gracefully aged!

In many cultures the aged were admired fror their wisdom and experiences, but not in ours. The “reality” shows and the instant “fame” by being on TV–like those kids in California who were robbing the rich and famous and now they are FAMOUS and sought after! DUH?? HUH? WTF?

Aloha, my darling, I know you are beautiful and I have never seen your face! YOUR SOUL is beautiful!

It is odd to me that some of my best friends have been less than physically beautiful, one of my closest friends weighed over 300 pounds, and to me she was BEAUTIFUL, yet, if I weighed that much I would be so DOWN ON MYSELF. Her husband (a very nice looking man) ADORED HER!!!!

I think it is back to the we put more PRESSURE ON OURSELVES for “perfection” than we expect out of others.

We treat others better than we treat ourselves, we expect more out of ourselves than we do of others, we must be PERFECT to be OK, but others don’t have to be.

I read a book once called the Imposter Syndrome about people’s self worth. I can recall feeling like an IMPOSTOR as young as Jr. High school. I made 100% on a spelling test and the teacher complimented me on it as I was the only one who made above 90% and I sat there DEVALUING HER COMPLIMENT and thinking “Boy, do I have her FOOLED!” I didn’t even accept a compliment for an objective test of my knowledge. I felt like an imposter!!!

It is still difficult for me to accept compliments and I have to make myself stop and say, “Yes, I DESERVED that compliment” or that accolade. It isn’t about “false humility” it isn’t even about “humility” it is DEVALUATION OF SELF!

No one likes a bragart, but at the same time, why do we DEVALUE ourselves because we aren’t like some “super model?”

Why do we go about feeling INFERIOR to others and not looking at our own good points? Why are we so HARD on ourselves? I think for the very same reason we are HERE, we are HERE at LF because we devalued ourselves AND alloowed someone else to VALIDATE that opinion of ourselves.

Did we get hooked in by the P because they use the LOVE BOMB to attract us (and believe me it IS ATTRACTIVE when you hold a low opinion of yourself) and then, BOOM, they change tactics and begin to devalue us, and WE knew they were right we don’t deserve better treatment, but if we try to placte them, they’ll give us the love bomb again! Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out.

Raising our own self esteem though, and putting those negative messages of “imposter” asside is not an easy task, and the only way I know to do it is to STOP myself when I realize I am doing that! Then look at the positive sides of what I am and what I have! To value the THINGS OF REAL VALUE that are ME! My heart, my compassion, my empathy, my ability to love and care! My “mortal house” is like every other “mortal house” it is going to need repairs from time to time, and the facia is going to change, but as long as it protects me, and works, that’s okay and when it wears out, I will move on to a spiritual house, taking with me the things of REAL VALUE that I AM. Leaving behind the things that are of only temporary “beauty.”

kim frederick

I thought this poem, by WB Yeats might be appropriate here.
I’ve always loved it, because I’ve always dreamed of being loved like this:

When you are old and gray and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
You eyes had once, and of their shadows deep.

How many loved the moments of glad grace,
And loved your beauty with love false or true;
But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
And loved the sorrows of your changing face.

And bending down beside the glowing bars
Murmur, a little sadly, how love fled
And paced upon the mountains overhead
And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

hens

Thats a lovely poem Kim.. Speaking of plastic surgery, Raquel Welch looks incredible and she is 70, so many other celebs look unnatural after surgery. I think when the exploiting spaths that we were involved with are much younger it is a double whammy to our self esteem when they discard us for someone younger. Mine always said age is just a number – yeah right – account number – anywho I am enjoying being an ole white haired man, at least I have hair and my waist isnt bigger than my age!

Ox Drover

Dear Kim, GREAT POEM! Thanks! I keep forgetting you are into great literature!

Buttons

Indeed, a beautiful poem, Kim.

I knew of a couple that was so sick that I couldn’t even bear to hear about their activities.

He talked HER into getting breast implants and body-piercings (ostensibly to enhance their encounters) while she was trying to deal with scleraderma (SP?). She actually got tatoos, piercings, implants, and would go to strip joints with him as part of their “activities.”

When they married, they spent their honeymoon at some place called, “Hedonism!”

Yeah……..it’s image and its warped, and I won’t take any part of it! 😀

learning

Yesterday, I read all of these wonderful touching comments about aging gracefully — and really knowing the meaning of true beauty at any age is truly within. I was sickened by some the the photos (need to place a warning message before opening some of them — :)… and I really do tend to admire women who age with grace and dignity and carry themselves a certain way that just oozes confidence and inner beauty…

That being said I also feel compelled to say as crazy as my mother was (literally as many of you know her diagnosis – one thing she never stopped doing was taking care of herself – she just really never let up on the moisturizing routine and the exercising and putting herself together and always looking like a lady whether in a dress or denim slacks, she really thought best of herself. My Aunts, her two sisters who have outlived her, have not chosen to do the same. I totally respect and love and cherish them and would never want them any other way than who they are – but what I see are women who have gone to the extreme in “giving up” on themselves…so I just want to encourage, remind, gently put out there – for none of us to ever let that happen. Its not about recapturing our youth – its about maintaining the things about ourselves as we did in our youth – to a certain degree – as long as we are healthy and active enough to do so. Its not about wanting to attract another – its about remaining in a place of feeling good about ourselves and working with whatever we are given. But some level of effort has to be made on our part as it did when we were in our 20, 30, etc… Its up to us to make ourselves feel good and look good by taking GOOD care of ourselves. Be it getting an updated hairstyle, or treating ourselves to something special again ( a bottle of nailpolish at store, or bubble bath/bath salts/scrubs, a new perfume, or if you liked to wear a lipstick, choose a new Spring one, etc…) i dont believe in fads and trends with clothing styles, but I do believe in choosing to look your best as many days as possible -even when in the dumps – Ive been known to toss on a dress just to avoid the sweatpant/teeshirt rut I can get in. And everyone says why are you so dressed up and my honest answer is Ive run out of dirty clothes or gym clothes 🙂 so, this is just my two cents to always mix it up, and dont give up on making the effort with the little things you were making the effort for years ago… back then it may have been you were doing it for anothers attention affection… now you will be doing it for the right reasons — for yourself!!!!!!!! xoxo Learning

Ox Drover

Dear Learning, GREAT POINTS ALL!!!

Hopeforjoy

Erin1972,
Just a note about your weight gain, it might be beneficial to have your thyroid checked. It could be hypo, which is underactive and will affect your metabolism. If you are under stress it can wreak havok on your immune system, hypothyroidism is an autoimmune disease. Being involved with a spath will make everything go to hell in a hand basket!!!

Just a side note, this conversation reminds me of Al Franken when he was on SNL, he would look in the mirror and say daily affirmations. It was a hoot!

We should be having daily affirmations in our head, even if is a little thing. “I like my hair today, I was able to read a book and not focus on the spath, I have such beautiful, caring friends (inside and out) and they like me, I can write poetry, I am OK, I don’t fit in a mold and I’m glad about that, I care about people, and so forth.

I was stuck in a fog and enmeshed for a long time and it really made my self-esteem suffer. Now that I know there was nothing I could do to change the situation, I feel so much better. Unfortunately, I still have a battle up and coming because spath is still living with me. He must compliment me 15 times a day!!! It lost its meaning coming from him though. My daughter sees right through him and I have to be strong for her. She needs a positive role model.

Ox Drover

Dear Hope,

Isn’t it wonderful how their compliments lose their intensity and their cuts do as well! We get to the point that we don’t give a rat’s behind what they think!~

I look back at some of the things my egg donor said to me that she thought would just melt my heart—like “I haven’t changed my will!” I thought “Okay, sooooo that’s supposed to make me feel loved?”

You get to the point that the “carrot” they hang in front of you doesn’t mean a flip, and you are no longer afraid of their “stick” either because you are indiffernt to their feelings!

Hang in there Hope!!!!

erin1972

hopeforjoy-thanks. I have actually had it checked several times in the past and the labs were normal. I haven’t had it done since I quit smoking a couple years ago. THat’s when the weight gain started. It pretty stable during the relationship but after the discard it skyrocketed. I am a nurse so I know what I’m supposed to do to fix things so I’m going to have them checked again soon. I also need to get checked for HIV and all since I’m really not sure about how much cheating he actually did. Surprise, I couldn’t get a straight answer. I am wondering if the smoking was affecting the thyroid labs because it does artificially elevate the hemoglobin and hematocrit. I have joined a gym and trying to cut out all sugar and do brown carbs only with more generous amounts of “good fats” and protein. I am trying to get back into my police job so I have GOT to be fit and my goal is to run a 10k in October for the police fundraiser. Yesterday was the year anniversary of my discard and fortunately one of the girlfriends from the police dept called and wanted to go out. We had a really good time and gives me hope about getting my job back. It feels good to be able to talk to someone about my real career instead of the fake temporary one that I’m currently in. Because of the ex spath I had to leave that job and it will be the ultimate revenge for me to go back fit and tough as nails so I can catch bad guys!

Hopeforjoy

Dear Erin,

10k, you go girl!!!! Doesn’t it feel great to do these things for yourself and not for spath! If you were a cop in my neighborhood, I would feel really safe. You wouldn’t trust a charming con, you could be our very own spath profiler! Priceless!

erin1972

hopeforjoy-thanks. I can’t wait to get out there and get it done. It’s been my dream my whole life and at age 37 I am making it true. No thanks to my spath ratbastard who made me have to put everything on hold. I should have graduated from the academy in October 2009 if I would have been able to stay with my class. I feel even more motivated now that yesterday was the one year mark. I still feel angry and want revenge, but getting myself into that uniform when it happens will be the BEST revenge possible. It’s just really hard to wait!

Hopeforjoy

Oxy,

Okay, now about the carrot and the stick. Lately it is just coming down by the bucketful. He got me a real pearl necklace for our anniversary, but no card. He said he had something great picked out for mother’s day. Got daughter a new i-pod, son an expensive bike, wants to know if we would like to go on a trip. Asking if he can help me with my school work, or dinner or cleaning the bathrooms, laundry, dishes, what ever else comes to mind. I’m sure he would paint my toenails if I asked! (maybe wipe my butt) sorry, just had to add that. ITS ALL FAKE!!!! All of his gestures are fake. He is so good at acting that to anyone else it would seem like he is the most generous man in the world!!! What a load-o-crap. Like I would forget the hell he has put me through, put my daughter through? No way, FAKER!

Ox Drover

Yea, it is disgusting what they will “do” to FAKE “love” and caring, but it just gets to where it means nothing! When you have begged them for years to act like they even like you, then when they see they are going to lose their “free ride” they get “nice” for a while. LOL ROTFLMAO

“Oh, yes, thank you darling, would you mind cleaning the bathroom and making dinner, mow the lawn and oh, BTW, give me a massage, but don’t expect sex I’ll be too tired from making all the lists of things for you to do.” LOL

Buttons

Hopeforjoy, bless your heart. All of a sudden, they’re just showering us with gifts and “gestures” of “support!” ROTFLMAOTMNR!!!!!!!!!!!! I found out that the ugly-as-sin Waterford clock that the ex spath gave me for Christmas had been charged on a frigging account that he opened in MY name! LMAOLMAOLMAO Oh, lordy………

OxD………LMAO!!!!!!!!! you are a hoot….

Ox Drover

Buttons!!!!

ROTFLMAO Charged on YOUR account! ROTFLMAO I guess there went your gratitude and appreciation! LOL

Hopeforjoy

What is the scariest part to me is that they seem to be so sincere. I totally know how you can get sucked back in so easily. I try and spot cracks in his act and I can’t. Seriously f***ed up crazy. How can they be so good at acting, it’s like they really believe their messed up, distorted thinking! Buttons- That’s a good one!!!! I have the receipt for the necklace, think I should return it?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hopeforjoy – i can’t tell you how sincere the ppath was…in all 6 or her characters….hahaha.

Hopeforjoy

One step,
you could almost believe them, when they weren’t trying to put you in the bin. I asked my therapist if I should worry about him slipping me a mickey (he was looking up psychiatric medications), she thought it was unlikely but I could make sure I know what my medications look like. Sounds like your spath had a little Sybil in her. (Remember the movie with Sally Field?) Freaks!

Buttons

Hopeforjoy, it’s a lot easier to supress the recognition of the cracks in their facade than it is to call them out and get the heck out, ourselves. 3 steps forward – 2 steps back = 1 step forward

😉

Buttons

OxD, it wasn’t even MY account! He had taken my SSN and all and opened the account without my knowledge! When I was doing the bankruptcy paperwork, I found 3 other “secret” debts that I didn’t even know about. Oy-vey…..Eyes Wide Shut, indeed.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

hopeforjoy – ‘you could almost believe them, when they weren’t trying to put you in the bin.’

well said.

i read someones description here in the last days, maybe jazzy’s? aobut them love bombing us, then basically dropping us off the roof. and THAT is the best description i have heard.

no wonder we are shell shocked.

re sybil – her main character had 5 or 6 personalities, and then there were ALSO another 5 WHOLE OTHER people i had email and even phone contact with one of them. she is a master con artist biatch who has been doing this for 30 some years.

she posed as a marriage counselor (in real life) to one couple. the guy was famous. she counseled them…and after the couple broke up (snort!) she stole his identity online, and THEN she used pics of their house in one of her next, and most famous cons.

oh yah, she’s a freak.

and not in the nice way.

silvermoon

SO how is it possible to recover? After this it is not possible to be the same.

Not to say that you have to be stuck where you landed when you fell off the roof, but you just can’t be what you were.

You heal, mend and get up and go on.

I wish I knew where the twists in all this bizzare story were going. My stomach has been in my throat all weekend. I struggle because I don’t know what is absolutely true.

I come back over and over to the idea that only what I can see and touch is real and that once the words I love you are removed, the rest is pretty obvious.

Even if it is dreadful for the other person. I can not help but wonder why the secrets were kept as they were- I introduces a confoundment I can’t resolve. I just don’t get it.

Marcus Aurelius spoke that the best is to accept what is because what is, is perfect destiny. I am thinking long on this.

What we see as evil only becomes good through the redemption of forgiveness that allows what is to be according to Eckhardt Tolle.

Wow.

I still feel like crying. The idea that he knew he was that sck and said nothing is really bothering me. I guess he knew it was one way to get taken care of and where he is, they will. Perhaps not well but better than could be done without means.

I can say or do nothing right now.It is the way it is by the requirements of the legal process and it is the way I have the best chance to live without being dramatic.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

silver – he is sick?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

it is possible to recover – we have big spirits and will.

and there IS grace in the world.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

…and i AM banking on being even better at the end of this….it may take me a few years to get there silver…but i will keep going.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

silver, let me know if you are still here – if not i am going to go to bed.

silvermoon

I went to make tea. Yummy.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

silver, i am going to bed… wish we could have talked. my best wishes to you.

hugs
one step

one/joy_step_at_a_time

oh, you are back! okay then i am still here.

one/joy_step_at_a_time

is he sick?

one/joy_step_at_a_time

please explain.

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