Not loving the skin I'm in

Tuesday 22 April 2008

I dreamt last night I was getting around for hours and hours with a young mentally retarded man. I loved this young boy, lived in the relationship for its inherent organic shape. He felt safe with me. We had fun together. But then I woke up, and I couldn't bring the love of the whole, the acceptance of all of my parts into the day.

Some days, beginning with morning pages and meditating on God, the beauty of everything runs through me like rivulets, ties me up with gossamer, flows through me so deeply that I can love even the lepers living just under my skin and I never, ever want to die.

Today I sat in the toilet cubicle at work, my fingers cupped under my eyes to catch the tears so they didn't run down my face, rivers through my makeup that would inform the entire office that I had been, horrors of unprofessional horrors, crying at work.

My wrinkles, my blotchy body with its rednesses and unsmoothness, hairiness and sags, taunted me in the bathroom mirror. The light dragged itself through the dark circles under my eyes - anything less than eight hours of sleep plays itself out on my face for the rest of the week these days. The past year and a half smeared itself down my face today. My eyes threatened to disappear behind lines that now snake themselves across the once translucent skin.

Women of the Empire of any age and appearance always have their imperfections to punish themselves with on bad days. We are only allowed to sag and feel like we've done something wrong by ageing. The drag of overweening unobtainable physical perfection goes beyond shallow vanity, subliminally insinuates itself into your psyche without your knowing and desiring.

I remember when I was staying with Jane after I first left Mark and she said to me, "Wow. I can see how low you sink. You go down to a very dark place, but you keep bobbing up again, time after time. It's quite inspiring."

Well, that may be so, but the changes in emotional latitude gives me a goddamn headache (but I guess it's all grist for the artistic mill, right?)

This culture is about 3 centimetres thick and tonight, so is my buffer zone. And so I stay here, on the couch, with the blanket, and the dog, embarrassment draping off my soul like seaweed, with an early night on the cards so maybe tomorrow I can see further, with long-range vision that sees God, not sightless eyes that couldn't today see past my own self-loathing.


  1. Well I've been sitting here for five minutes trying to think what to write!
    So firstly, yes I know that place of self-loathing. Secondly, it will pass. Thirdly, God doesn't want us to go in for self-loathing, God wants us to be happy. (I have it on good authority;-))

  2. Och, sorry to waste five minutes of your life because of my bloggerly self indulgence :) This is another one of those posts that really should be annihilated under the delete key but which I may leave as an exercise in trying to accept my own lepers :)

    Yes, Im glad God doesn't want us self-loathing. I don't want to either. I'm having a season of airing my self-loathing so hopefully that means it's on its way out.

    Thans, Tess :)

  3. Hey Sue,

    I pop over here every once in awhile just to get a different perspective.

    I find your relationship with Sue facinating. Sue has all the earmarks of the creative genius that lives on the edge of insanity. Sue, on the other hand, has so many remarkable pracitcal characteristics and keeps Sue from crossing that fine line.

    Sue makes people feel.

  4. Ken - awww, thank you so much. That's a pretty good summation, actually :)

  5. (Not that I am calling myself a creative genius or anything, but the opposing poles of the same person is a good summation I meant :)

  6. I love Ken's comment too. And Sue (both of you) I want to know what is preventing you from calling yourself a creative genius.

  7. What's preventing me? I dunno, Tess - maybe one foot in reality, and a non out-of-control ego ;)


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