On Friday 22nd July 2016, it was the 25th anniversary of my father’s death at the age of 38. I don’t often talk about this, mainly because it happened so long ago, but also because it’s only recently that I’ve been able to emotionally connect with the reality of the situation. Thanks to the support of an excellent therapist, over the last few years I have managed to peel back the layers of emotional scar tissue and allow myself to feel the extent of grief buried within me, and, more importantly, allow myself to mourn his death.
For the longest time, I was unfaithful. To boyfriends/friends/partners/lovers – but mainly, to myself. I used and abused my own body. And not even for pleasure, but for power. I measured my worth in my appearance, and valued myself through other people’s eyes.
I would feel the seductive power of the male gaze, and immediately feel the need to harness it in some way – to take control and know that I held the power in this dynamic. Pleasure didn’t really play a part – and neither did I have any real sense of self-worth – I was simply addicted to being in control, and I would do anything to have it. Continue reading “Breaking Free”
For many formative years of my adolescence and early adulthood, I was obsessed with my weight. Not in a fashion-conscious, aspiring to be a model way, but in a weight-controlled competitive martial art kind of way, which seemed to validate my obsession and legitimise my disordered approach to eating. Continue reading “Why weight?”
I can feel it now – it’s like a coldness around my heart. A dull sensation in the pit of my stomach. Intermittently interrupted by nervous flutters. There’s a sense of dread. Of heaviness. A resistance to moving, or doing, or being.
I have never been formally diagnosed with anxiety or depression, so I never thought I was allowed to speak about the topic with any authority. But I know I have felt what people have described, and I know what I have felt is not normal and not healthy. Continue reading “Fear Of The Familiar”
What do you do when you finally step out of the darkness of self-loathing and depression, and the light of love of admiration is too bright? How do you look directly at the beauty of people’s words and gestures when you’ve spent years conditioning yourself to try to fix your broken self? How do you graciously accept a compliment when you are still coming to terms with the fact that you are capable of bringing joy? Continue reading “Learning To Accept Kindness From Others”
I remember being a teenager and having this breakthrough realisation that if I was just really nice to everyone then they would have to like me and be my friend! Genius!
I was obviously a lonely teenager, with very few friends. I didn’t know who I was, or who I wanted to be. Continue reading “Learning how to make (authentic) friends”