Sometime last week, I was walking with my boyfriend around town on a warm, sunny day. A large truck passed by us, and I glanced at it for a second, and turned back. I did a double-take, because I noticed that this truck happened to have my rapist's last name on it.
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Like many women, I have had a love/hate relationship with my body for years. I've written before about having an eating disorder, as well as partaking in disordered eating (the two are somewhat different, in my opinion), and lately I've been noticing some disordered eating habits from my past return, as well as the general violence I inflict upon myself through my negative self-talk. It's all very troubling to me, because I (and others) see myself as this super strong feminist woman. And that's the thing... my feminism is about not giving a shit; not caring what others think; not bowing down to societal mainstream culture that tells me I must be a size 2 to be worthy of love. Thus, I feel like a feminist fraud when I have these feelings of self-doubt and low self-esteem. I had the sanskrit word for non-violence, "Ahimsa", tattooed on my forearm to remind me to be kind to others as well as myself. It hurts knowing that I'm generally unkind to myself. I catch myself thinking things like, "If only I could chop off this part of my thighs, or slice off part of my belly, or make my nose smaller..." There is so much violence in these thoughts. The use of words like, "chop" or "slice" when thinking about my own body is abhorrent. It needs to stop. I need to stop.
I've been unemployed since early January. I'm receiving Unemployment benefits and have recently applied for Food Stamps. I practice yoga every day. It all doesn't sound so bad, but life is becoming pretty isolating. I'm a very social person. I'm lucky I have roommates, or else I probably wouldn't have human contact at all. You see, I have friends, but not many here in Chicago. Also, the people I know here have jobs, so it is usually me and my thoughts from 9-5. I'm craving friendships and relationships like never before. I need to be "outside" of myself.
My most profound girlship began in 8th grade. It was really more of a girl gang--there were four of us: Jessica, Jenny, and Claire. We were inseparable. Three of us even started a band together later that year called, The Aviators--Claire acted as our "manager."
I used to think there was one type of female beauty: the ballet aesthetic.
I was a ballet and jazz dancer from the age of 7 until 20. Once I started developing, I became super aware of my body, and it didn't help that I spent 4-5 days a week studying this body of mine in front of miles upon miles of mirrors.