What I Really Need To Change: Accept Myself

The past couple of days have had me hyper-focused on my physical self-image and I really don’t like it.  Anyone that comes on and reads my blog, becomes readily aware that I have a horrible self-image.  I struggle with my sexuality, my marriage, my purpose in life, my health, my role as a man (and sometimes what I see as a more feminine side of myself), my finances, my relationship with a God (or Goddess, or some Higher Power, depression, and so on and so forth.  My blog has been one sloppy, feel-sorry for me mess of my outlook on life.  It has been horribly negative.
Another example of all of this thinking is evident by what I see here:
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My stats, today, show someone (or several) people reading my posts where my gender has been a point of contention with myself.  The first thing that came to my mind is that I somehow must hate being a male. But does that go along with the horrible self-image I have? I mean, can I really be anything but what I am?  What is it about myself that I can’t just accept me the way I am.  What is it about myself that I am afraid of the things that I must face in life?
Obviously, the self-questioning can be detrimental when it leads to this idea that I must change something about myself, because it creates this idea that I MUST be imperfect. There seems to be this theme in my mind that I need to find some sort of peace with myself, but I have connected it with this idea that I can’t be at peace as long as there is some perceived expectation that I need to be different than what I am. But I think there is something else I’m missing, and I’ve heard two different therapists allude to it before:
I don’t believe I am lovable.
I remember going to see a therapist once that kept telling me “…you are lovable.” And the most recent therapist I had, had me repeat to myself, “I am perfect, just the way I am.” And I never could accept that. It is such a difficult place to be, because I try and live up to so many other people’s expectations. I am so self-critical, and admonish myself when I disappoint another person. I don’t know how to live outside of other people’s expectations and I find myself accepting their opinions of me.
But, I have a dream, that someday I’ll be able to accept:
I’m loveable.
I’m a spazz.
I can question God, Religion and Spiritulaity.
Whatever relationship I choose to have with a Higher Power is okay.
I’m funny.
I’m beautiful.
I deserve good health.
Getting a pedicure is a perfect way to pamper myself.
Being stoic is noble.
Wearing panties is okay, if they make me feel pretty.
I can love a woman.
I can enjoy knowing that I’ve loved men.
I can lift weights because it makes me feel manly.
Having a bff is a perfect way to have a friendship.
Hanging out with the guys is great.
I don’t have to be smarter than everyone (Trust me, you people have NO IDEA how difficult it is for me to not try and be smarter than others…it’s such an obsession, it’s pathetically stupid).
My opinions matter.
I’m bisexual.
I don’t have to disclose my sexuality, if I don’t want to.
I can achieve the goals I set out for myself.
I don’t have to be perfect at everything I do.
Some people won’t like me or approve of me, and I don’t have to care.
I am perfect, just as I am.
(As a side note, getting back to my Beautiful You Journal would be a good idea.)

Scatter-brained.

Today, I began a post where I wanted to discuss the concept of accepting that I deserve love. This has something to do with a therapy session I had a while back, and I can’t help but think that it is so untrue. Today, my mind is in a 1000 different places. I have things to do, tasks and deadlines to meet, my relationship status is still unsure and my anxiety is reaching unprecedented levels in my mind. I used to perform so well under pressure. I used to be able to direct myself in the most productive way possible. But I can’t even focus on simple things. I used to enjoy focusing my mind on complex things, because the process of problem solving is appealing to me. I try so many different things to curb the anxiety, but today it’s unbearable.

I feel myself cracking.

There are things I want to do.

There are things I don’t want to do, but it is important I do them.

I can’t even tell myself what I should eat for breakfast, because I want to be healthy, but I want to feel good.

I want to deny myself the things that are not good for me.

But the things that are not good for me, give me pleasure…

…short lived, but gives me relief from things.

I want a pedicure, it’s been a while.

Should I shave my legs again?

I want to exercise. It’s been far too long.

I want to fight. Exert some energy.

I want to hike, but I have been taking little care for my health.

I want to punch something.

I want to fuck.

I want to get fucked.

I want to drink.

I don’t want to drink.

I hate Hilda…dumb bitch!

I need to read and journal in my BYJ.

I have to get shit done today.

What if I fail? What if I don’t meet expectations.

What if I am truly fucked up?

I want to dance!

I want to climb.

I need to get out.

Where do I go?

The thoughts run through in a frenzied mosh of jumbled chaos. NEver allowing me to find what works.

Snap my fingers! That works!

Fuck it, bang my head on a wall. That’ll work.

I’m so behind. I’ve sacrificed my principles for someone that doesn’t care about my efforts. I’ve fucked up my life by not being true to myself.

What the fuck have I done!

The thoughts twirl in my head.

Fuck! I got a meeting in 10 minutes; I’m unfucking prepared for this shit. What the fuck happened to me?! I used to always be prepared.

Fuck, why do you bother trying to make anyone happy, you can’t fucking make yourself happy?!?!  Fuck this.

My mind races, how can I do this? I want to drink, but I know it’s now or never to stop. I want someone to fuck me! Bend me over and fuck me!

My mind races; how do I find the peace!

I need to punch something. I need to run away, down the road. Find a place to hide from it all. I need someone to slap me in the face, knock some sense into me. Smack my ass, whatever it takes.

The itching pain.

It slithers through my mind. Poisoning my thoughts, giving way to dark imagery. Relief.

I need relief.

I need focus.

I need to prioritize.

Make a list, what needs to get done?

What’s the most important thing to take care of?

Myself.

I have to take care of myself. Nothing else will matter, if I’m not healthy – physically or mentally.

Fight the negativity.

Fight it. Get mean, if you have to.

Don’t let it win.

Not this time!

Hilda? Fuck off! Get the fuck out of my mind! Fucking get out! Leave me alone.

 

BYJ: Day 17 – Replace What You Heard

I made a decision today to force myself to read the next section of Beautiful You and make an entry in my BYJ. The reason why, is that today, I had a serious attack by Hilda. It’s somewhat ironic that today’s topic for the BYJ is focused on replacing what you heard that gives you the negative image you have about yourself.

So, the idea is to understand if what you are hearing in your mind is your own voice or if it is someone else’s. The author goes on to suggests replacing the negativity with things you would rather have heard.

For me, most of my negativity doesn’t come from my parents growing up.  At least the negativity I have generated isn’t from anything direct. They never made me feel like I was a horrible person, but when I did bad things I felt horrible. They were always encouraging and always empowering. Granted, my parents imposed a different “gift”. They had pushed me and my siblings to always be better than what we felt we could be. Through many therapy sessions, I have learned that this could be the source of some of my anxieties – I have a difficult time accepting myself, unless I am performing at 100% of my ability.

Another source of negativity was, growing up, I was somewhat of an outcast among my peers. I was not the popular kid, I was not the kid that all the girls liked and even in questioning my sexuality, I even wondered if guys liked me.  Of course, there is the cliché that kids are cruel, but my case in point, here are some of the negative things I had heard at times: “Fag”, “You’re such a girl (I’ve come to embrace this on some level), “He’s got a nice ass, but he’s ugly”, “You make a better friend, than boyfriend”, “You’re slow”, etc. Of course, some of the comments I remember are vulgar and much worse.

Some of the worst things I heard that’s had the worst impact on me, I’m embarrassed to admit, have come from the person I have been with the past 20 years: my wife. I’ve hard so many things attacking my character, my beliefs, the things I love. On some level, I have always accepted this as part of the relationship process; on another level, it defies decency, in my mind. Some things I felt were true and needed to be changed. And some were just outright mean.

But in the interest of understanding where the negative comments come from and offering something I would have rather heard, I will post them. I will give what I tell myself (Really, it’s Hilda saying it), where I think the source is from, and what I would have rather heard. Here is a small list:

1.) Kids running by me in gym class or during track practice with their asses pushed out to mock me.  Obviously, this was kids being mean, but it hurt at the time.  I would have rather they just kept their stupid thoughts to themselves.

2.) “He’s got a nice ass, but he’s ugly” The source was from a friend when he asked a girl I liked what she thought of me. It’s not my friend’s fault, but a nice, “She’s not really interested” would have been so much better. Also, the girl could have said, “I’m not interested, thank you.”

3.) “Was this your best effort?” This was a common thing my parents would say. It wasn’t directly negative, because their interest was in making me the best I can be. This is tough, because I’m not sure what a positive way to tell someone that you are aware of their ability to do more. I suppose on some level, this is something utterly internal and something I am still working on. But this has created a crap-ton of anxiety in me.

4.) “Fag“. I’ve talked about this before, but it is something that bothered me as a kid. I’ve been called this by different people at different times. Some of them were aware of my sexuality or behaviors and some were not. Even my wife has called me this during arguments, along with a few other colorful things. What I would have preferred? If you don’t like me or my choices, if it doesn’t affect you, leave it alone.

5.) “You’re not a man”. There is so much dichotomy in this for me. I mean, on the one hand, I have grown to accept and appreciate some of my feminine traits. On the other hand, as a man, I also have enjoyed expressing my masculinity. But this negative opinion always seems to happen at times when I am feeling horrible about myself and my abilities as a husband and father (A true dichotomy for me). Granted, there are times, when I think my wife, for example, wanted me to lead or wanted me to be the shoulder she needed at the time, and I might have failed her in those circumstances. But from her, I would have preferred her to simply tell me how she felt, instead of making it a personal attack. for everyone else? I suppose I’d just want them to fuck off…but that’s not exactly positive…so, maybe, they could not have said anything, huh?

6.) “You’re such a girl“. At various times in my life, this has bothered me. But at other times, I have embraced it as a bit of a compliment. I have come to realize that I am a complex individual, and there are times when I want to hear it as a compliment, but I have never enjoyed it as an insult. Teasing, I can take, but to bring my own self-doubts into question is a direct insult. I would refer to #5’s preference in what I would like to happen.

7.) “You have no business in a relationship”. This has only come from my wife and myself. It feels like an attack on my ability to be loved. I feel unlovable as it is, and to have it confirmed is a knife in the heart that I can’t comprehend. This is something that has been combined with “You make a good friend” in the early years of my life that have led me to believe that I am incapable of having a relationship. One of the many reasons, I did so well in school is that I had few friendships and even fewer girlfriends (I had not accepted being bisexual, so I never thought about having a boyfriend). I developed a sense of being “logical” and scientists became my heroes. I even thought Mr. Spock from TV’s Star Trek was the perfect person to emulate – I could be cold, hard, calculated. That was going to be the ticket to success for me. It wasn’t until I got into serious relationships that this became a problem for me. It became apparent that I didn’t relate to some things very well. But at the same time, it was confusing, because my most common compliment growing up was that I was so conscientious of other people’s needs. Looking at this situation – logically, of course – the only person who ever felt I was not good in a relationship was my wife.  I think what I would prefer her to say, is “I don’t want to be in this relationship with you, Tar” or even “Look, I want to discuss ways we can communicate with each other, better, so that each of our needs are being met”.

I’m getting wordy on this post, and trust me, I can keep going. Unfortunately, I have gotten to a point in my life where I have accepted the negativity much more than I should. And I know the greatest source of that negativity and I hate admitting it to myself. Truthfully, it’s why I am blogging – this is my escape from negativity, so I can feel some positivity. But I know, I need to actively begin replacing the negative things I’ve heard with things that are positive.

 

 

Pouting for years straight: Adult Temper Tantrums

I just had a random thought: I think I’ve been throwing an epic temper tantrum for years.

Today, when I made an entry in my Beautiful You Journal, I discussed the definition of Beautiful and what it means to me. I have been struggling with more than my body image for quite some time. And many of you have truly witnessed some of my lowest points, and have offered advice after advice – and probably have felt some disappointment in me for not seizing on some of it.  Well, this morning as I ate my rather unhealthy breakfast, it hit me that I have been punishing myself for things I have no control over. I’ve been having an epic pity party, a major temper tantrum and much like a child that throws him or herself upon the floor and flailing during an episode of holding their breath, I am doing more damage to myself than anything else.

I am an emotional eater, for example, which makes me feel like crap in the long run.  You see, I am a type 1 diabetic – which is an insulin dependent diabetic. I have this thing about eating that makes me feel inherently guilty anyways, so when I eat things that are not healthy for me, I have this instant attachment to guilt and self-hatred. It’s not a good combination. But the thing is, I have found comfort in food, beer, sex, sitting and feeling sorry for myself, etc., etc.  And today, it just hit me, “Why are you doing this, Tar {I said my real name; obviously, Tar is not it}?” And I went on to say to myself, “Tar, you know what you need to do, just do it.” But of course, I had some Hilda mixed in as well, and the conversation went something like this:

Hilda: You forgot everything you knew about weight lifting, eating right, and living a healthy lifestyle, so don’t even bother.

Tar: Don’t listen to that. You need to make changes, you only have so much time on this earth.

Hilda: That’s right,your time is limited, so don’t bother.

Tar: What are you doing? This isn’t you, it’s never been you, don’t accept it.

Hilda: You’ve become a fat-ass, you’re going to always be a fat ass. Even if you went through with the divorce, no women are going to find you attractive. And bisexual?  Please, you’re just desperate for attention, you know any guys are going to want you fit too and you can’t do it. It’s too late! Go have another beer and eat a shitty dinner tonight, you know you will.

Tar: You can do this. You can stop being unhealthy right now; get a bottled water right now. Start there! The other stuff will come in time.

Hilda: You don’t have time, remember?

Tar: don’t talk yourself out of hiking this weekend. You know you’re nervous and you know that you are self-conscious, but don’t listen to it. Everyone has to start somewhere, you need to start right here and now.

Hilda: You’ve failed so many times before, you’ll fail again.

Tar: Failure is a choice, don’t make that choice. Persist. Persevere. You can do this, you’ve done everything you’ve set your mind to.

This exchange with myself, continued for a bit, but I came to the conclusion that I keep throwing myself into a tizzy, because I am terrified of taking ownership over my changes. Today, I read an inspiring blog. I know she is dealing with her own issues, but I am in awe of her own courage and her own desire to be a better her – whomever that might be. I want to be healthy again, I want to be fit again, and I am tired of throwing this epic temper tantrum and refusing to take care of myself.

If now is not the time, then when is it?