Thursday, March 10, 2011

Didn't you hear? I'm not pretty...

Yesterday I read a {new to me} blog post that really evoked some emotions.  I was directed to this blog, Finding the Now, by my friend at CRASH:candy whose photograph was used in the blog.  It truly is a small world and a testament to the fact that there is a ripple effect, that the things we do can impact people and things halfway around the world. 

So, this post, which was so beautifully written and so raw with emotions, sparked memories that I have carried with me for 20 years or more.  These things have defined who I am today and have become 'baggage' that not only do I have to deal with, but other people in my life (like my boyfriend) deal with as well.  You see, I tend to not take compliments well, to not believe the positive things people tell me, to not even trust the image I see looking back at me in the mirror, because I have been told (maybe not straight out) that I am not good enough.

I clearly remember an incident my sophomore year of high school.  For some reason I was late getting to class so I was only one of 2 girls walking through campus (our school was very large and laid out like a college campus).  There was a boy on the porch outside of one of the classrooms who started whistling at the other girl, who was about 20 feet in front of me.  She was a tall brunette dressed like Madonna (it was 1985), with a cute mini skirt, big hair, and 4" heels.  I was the short girl wearing jeans, sneakers, and a t-shirt.  But that wasn't the worst, he then started shouting "to the one in front" EVERY time after he whistled.  Really?  As if I didn't already know he was whistling at her??  It was like having my nose rubbed in 'it'.  Thanks buddy.

Then there was the time, several years later, that my boyfriend and I were sitting in my car in front of is dorm.  He was telling me how lucky one of his buddy's was because HIS girlfriend was so pretty.  Then he said that actually I was the perfect girlfriend (oh boy, this sounds promising...wait for it...) because I wasn't so pretty that other guys would be after me and ask me out.  He felt that he didn't have to worry about me cheating on him because I wasn't pretty enough from anyone else to want me!  Yea, how romantic was that?!?

Rationally, I can see that what my boyfriend said was more a reflection on HIM then me...but that really hurt...and it has stuck with me for 21 years.  I STILL feel exactly as he described me that night.  I am not pretty (maybe not butt-ugly either) but certainly nothing to write home about.  Let me tell you, carrying around this thought can destroy your self-esteem and your relationships. 

So, after reading Karen's post about her own past hurt and being able to move through it, I've decided that it is time for me to release this past pain as well.  Those 2 fleeting moments do not define me, yet I've carried them around for so long, giving them undeserved importance in my life.  My boyfriend, who loves me unconditionally, tells me I'm beautiful yet I believe something someone who didn't love me told me over 20 years ago??  How fair is that for him and for me?  
Photo credit the late Harry Weber, my dad.
It may not be as easy as deciding right now to never think of those incidents again.  But I can decide to quit giving them my energy and to quit buying into those feelings.  I can decide to believe the person who might give me a compliment, with no strings attached, without saying to myself "sure you say that but don't you know that when I was 19 my boyfriend said I was ugly so you are wrong?".  And, like Karen, I can breath, let go, and just dance...


  1. oh, wow...this is me, too! you really got my emotions flowing!!!

    Let go, dance...

  2. Wow, good post, Lynn. I know you're not of the most beautiful people I know is controlled by the opinions of everyone else around her and still doesn't feel pretty enough to be confident in her own skin. It's amazing how the wrong words can stick for a lifetime... I think you're beautiful!!! :)

  3. Its sad that we allow a child stipulate our adult emotions isn't it? I always had self-esteem issues because of my weight and my height. Kids use to make fun of me because I was so tall 6'0" at 12 years old. Back then that was tall!

    Glad your letting go of that non-persons opinion toward you. I think you know deep down your a gorgeous woman and your proud of yourself. :)

  4. A post like this coming from a woman like you who is strong, intelligent and caring just goes to show that these issues do come from deep within. I have been like this all of my life. Rolling my eyes when the slightest compliment comes my way. I might as well just tell that person to sell their crazy elsewhere.
    Working on the inside is the hardest thing to do. Losing weight was the easy part. It was 'out there' for everyone to see, but when we have emotional issues like the ones you are describing - those are the dangerous ones, because they are way too easy to hide from other people; and just as easy to push from our own minds.
    I'll always be a work in progress when it comes to things like this. You have tremendous courage to write about it and decide that you've had enough. You are an amazing person, Lynn.

  5. Left you some blog love today!


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