(Photo credit :Cecelia Paredes)
Personal security blanket.
We’ve all used some type of camouflage or security blanket at some point in our lives. The pasted on smile to hide our sadness. The laughter that escapes us in hope no one will know we’re nervous. Been there, done that. Though these days I’m much more relaxed about who I am. I don’t use camouflage so much.
But I’ve recently come to the realization that I do have a security blanket: my weight. Let me explain a little further. After spending my early twenties in a bad relationship, after surviving rape, abuse, and mistreatment, I have developed some trust issues. Which is pretty normal, when you’ve been betrayed, hurt, abused, and lied to. I get that; I’m also committed to my personal healing, and to restoring trust with other people. But, I haven’t wanted a man to touch me.
Though I’ve longed for hugs, hand holding, and other benign attention, I have really been freaked out at the thought of a man kissing me, or intimately touching my body. Why? Simply put, I’d had enough. Enough of being used, abused, and treated as an object. So, how to keep men away? I gained weight. I let myself go. Not intentionally though; this was one of those subconscious desires that manifests itself through thinly veiled arguments in order to justify your behavior.
Little did I realize (at first) that I was shooting myself in the foot.
After I had filed for divorce and moved into my parents home, I was finally able to eat again. Due to abuse, stress, poverty, and other reasons, I had been starving myself for a long time; I was so malnourished, my hair was falling out. So, for a long while, I didn’t feel it was important (whether it’s flawed thinking or not, you’re entitled to your own opinion) to restrict myself anymore. I felt no guilt in making myself a sandwich for lunch, with meat AND cheese. I had no hesitation in eating a full serving of dinner. These were big deals to me.
And the weight settled on me. Rapidly. Like 40lbs. I went through this weird time where at first I was concerned how I looked, then I didn’t care, then I cared again. For a few weeks, I remember not wanting anyone (relatives, acquaintances, etc) to see me because I was embarrassed how I looked. Then I didn’t give a rat’s ass, because I was just living my own life and not trying to draw attention to myself. And now, two years later, I can see that my weight has become my security blanket.
How to keep men at bay? Easy, just put on some weight, dress like you don’t care (exercise/yoga pants, t-shirt or tank, tennis shoes), don’t wear makeup, and fail to notice anyone giving you attention. I should know, I’ve been successful at it. (insert rueful smile here) Sure, there have been a few men who came into my life, but I didn’t allow them in completely, and neither did they let me in all the way, so nothing ever came of it.
Honestly, I’m ashamed that I allowed my weight to become this big an issue. I’m ashamed I haven’t cared enough about myself to get healthy/fit. Shouldn’t I be beautiful for me? Whether I’m in a relationship or not. I’m not sorry that I’m not ready for a relationship. But that doesn’t mean I have to be a frump queen in the meantime. I deserve to be beautiful. I deserve to love myself. And that means, getting rid of my security blanket. I’m no longer in danger. I’m no longer emotionally fragile. I no longer need the buffer between me and life.
Are there any security blankets in your life? Is it an attitude? A relationship? Something physical? Do you think we all have security blankets at certain points in our lives?