Saturday, August 16, 2008

Relaxing Rigid Ways

One week from today oldest son will be married.
I had a dress hanging up in the closet.
One with a deep blue/purple hue.
It made my eyes look that colour, too.
But it stuck to my belly.
The belly that, with a 60 pound weight loss,
is on it's way to China.
Too bad there isn't an Olympic sport for that.

So with just over a week to go
I found a new dress.
One which floats over my skin,
relieving me of the feat of trying to
suck in my belly for 12 hours straight,
(underneath a girdle and all).
The new dress is navy with a beautiful beaded front.
I'll be able to put it on and
forget about what I'm wearing.
That's been my guiding mantra in clothes shopping this past year.
"Do I feel comfortable and confident in this?"
It's good when I ask myself that before I shell out the money.

This period of my life is my first experience
of wearing clothes that flatter my figure
without it triggering feelings of being slutty.
It's a foreign, but getting more comfortable feeling,
to celebrate this body of mine, however saggy it's becoming,
by wearing clothes that don't make my body
look like it's a tall, rectangular box.
I no longer hide my curves
as if I'm ashamed of them.
I walk differently now.
There's a confidence to my step
that is brand new.

There's something hopeful about breaking rigid ways of being
half way through life. Because of the childhood sexual abuse
my perception of sexuality and absorbing responsibility
for anything remotely connected to sexuality were warped.
How do we even begin to challenge warped thinking
when we believe it's normal?

A few months into counseling
to help me heal from the sexual abuse,
I related an incident to my counselor
where I was walking through a parking lot,
on the way into a store, when
a strange man said hello to me.
Instantly I took all responsibility for his hello.
Believed I must be sending out a vibe, a bad one.

I was in grade three when one day a boy I was helping
with his spelling, looked at me in such a way that I knew
he had a crush on me.
My instant sense within was of how much power that gave me.
I never challenged that conclusion in over 35 years,
until my counselor pointed out to me that
"no" I didn't have power over all men.
I'm almost embarrassed to type that,
her words were a brand new thought to me.
She gave me several reasons why a man could say hi to me.
Ones I never even thought of,
was not capable of figuring out on my own.

Hmmmm, I wasn't aware this post
was headed into this territory when
I started typing.
Sometimes when that happens I push
the delete button and start over.

It's only in this past year
that I've started to inhabit
this body of mine.
Started to be in it comfortably
instead of being detached from it
as if it was something to reject.
It's been a relief to learn
and believe that I'm more than a sexual being without
having to reject my sexuality in the process.

I also know when I start typing posts
in this poetry like pattern
I haven't the emotional energy to try and make
sense out of formal paragraphs and coherent sentences.
That I could be detaching somewhat from that deeper place
that I'm learning to live from.
That most likely has more to do with my friend's death
than anything else.
I didn't sleep well last night.
Morning came way too early.
I can feel the tears lining up in my body
waiting their turn to be released.

For today I can do this.
Thank God I don't have to navigate
this journey all by myself.
Thank you for being a part of it.

3 comments:

daisymarie said...

I so wish I could just reach through this screen and give you a hug. I celebrate your dress and your dear friend. God is good to give us both.

annie said...

I agree with daisymarie. Sending prayers your way. . .

Owen said...

You are one who perseveres. I think of the verse that ends...and hope does not disappoint.