Body Image Struggles and Seeing Myself Through My Mother’s Eyes
Guest Blog By: Rachael Delmar
Body Image Struggles and Mom
Body Image Struggles and Mom – Getting people to open up and share their experiences, struggles, hopes and aspirations, is just one of the things that we do at Young Naturists America. But in my opinion, these personal stories are extremely important. When we share our most intimate fears and experiences we not only begin to heal ourselves but we help others as well. In this instance, I reached out to Rachael in the hopes that she would be willing to talk and share with us her own personal struggles with body image. As we were reading her post, Felicity asked me why she was willing to reveal some of her most intimate thoughts and experiences. So we decided to ask her, and here is what she said:
“I do it because I want to feel brave, like a survivor. I want others to know that no matter what, they are never alone and they have nothing to be ashamed of. It took me years to be able to do this. I know how hard it can be because I had to get to this point alone.”
YNA is not about the “me”, it is about the “us” and “we.” Together we can help each other move past those issues that hold us back. The only way we can make an impact is if we all work together to teach people how to be more accepting and compassionate. Together we hope to teach people how to be more tolerant and essentially, how to be more human.
Again, sharing personal body image struggles is difficult so let’s all show her some support… and some love!
mirror un-friendly you speak conversationally.
mirror mirror they surround
burning in head
flaming through eyes
the visions unclear
If someone were watching….
That someone never fails to be me, viewing myself through my mother’s eyes. I dream of the day when I can look at my body through the eyes of others who say I am beautiful. I remember the first time I confronted my soul out loud. If anything, my mother did create a warrior.
She tortured herself until she reached 98 pounds. A weight that made her lose her hair, and created the psychosis she suffers from today. I can still hear her vomiting a barely touched meal. She is a ghost in my head whispering into my ear every single day. “Don’t cure me. Sickness is my me. My terror was you’d set me free.” -Frederick Seidel
I was too young to understand the meaning behind her compulsions. My innocence was lost. She looked at me and saw her child as fat.
This was the start of a life that I never wanted.
I have always vowed never to be like her. It became my blood oath. I do finally understand that some things can never release their grasp on your insides…….
By the age of 12, I weighed 120 pounds. I didn’t know the meaning of calories. Exercise was a thing we did in school. As a ‘chubby’ kid, this was a moment I dreaded every single day. I was surrounded by girls I envied in ways that knew no bounds. I never longed for their expensive clothes or the ability to capture the boys. I only yearned for their bodies.
As the years went by, I grew into a more ‘womanly’ body. Yet, I could never erase her voice in my head.
By graduation, I was on a mission to become my own woman. I wanted, needed, to emancipate myself from her grasp on my soul. I was so concerned about such a meaningless ideal, that I didn’t find myself on the road to graduating college. After all, this was the one goal she did not instill in me.
So I ran… from her and from myself. I trained myself to exude confidence that most times I did not feel.
I continued this marathon until the age of 21. I thought that if I could metaphorically run, I could kill the pavement as well as my mother’s issues.
I still recall the day I ran 3 miles without stopping; the time I raced to 9 when my grandfather died.
Endorphins became my drug of choice. My weapon. Yoga became my meditation, the flow was like sex. The gym was my safe haven.
I began modeling both clothed and nude. A visual to really try and see what I looked like, through other’s eyes, not my own or hers. I began taking courses on nutrition and psychology. I still possess the textbooks. I refer to them as if they are my bibles when I feel I am on a downward spiral.
Here is where I found my power and control.
I made everything a burn of muscles.
I became obsessed.
…..still looking in the mirror, scales my enemy.
Not listening to anyone, in the past year, I have gotten down to 107 at 5’6”. I don’t know the meaning of too skinny. I only know the things that haunt me.
My battle is a daily curse every single day. Instead of starving myself, I try and try to be healthy. My only lesson is to try and embrace her and what she made of me. Like the warrior she made of me, I am starting to own my body in the right way.
I know I will never be free. Yet it is like a perpetual fire under my ass. It ignites me to fight and never stop. Most of all to never give up.
I now own my muscles at the proud weight of 120. Back to where I started at age 12. The irony is not lost on me. ;)