In this post, I will take a look at how I view myself through the Borderline’s eyes, and how my relationship with my body has developed since I started my healing journey.
DISCLAIMER: This post talks about topics related to eating disorders and self-harm.
For those who are just coming to this blog, I will now explain a little bit about how I was growing up.
Ever since I can remember, way back in my toddler days even, I was always swimming. And not just any sort of swimming, I was competing! It was not by my own choice, as my father was the coach to me and several of my cousins from his side. I enjoyed it though since it gave me time with my father and my relatives. Sometimes we even had days when we were just messing about, doing clown jumps in the deep end, and swimming backward!
So I grew up being a sort of decent child athlete. I competed regularly and even placed on several occasions. I was fit, maybe even too fit since in every check-up I was tagged as thin. I ate nice food made by my parents, very nice since my mother is a cook by trade. Nutrition was never a problem in my life before I moved out.
I stopped swimming, went through somewhat of a safety crisis due to bullies, took a few years of TaeKwonDo under the belt, and then stopped with that too. And then… Then I moved out.
It was all downhill from there, as my borderline took over more space in my life and I had to start surviving on my own despite living with my boyfriend at the time. The apartment was a mess, filled with coke and snacks and not a single vegetable to be seen anywhere. Cheese, sausages, bread, and sweet drinks. Life had gone from being an athlete into being a potato. Not even one of the couch potatoes, just one that drops from the bag and ends up in the corner of the floor somewhere, in the shadows with the dust bunnies.
And so I started gaining weight. And boy did I go all-in on that trip to slow self-destruction. I ate myself sick, to a hefty weight of 130 kilos by the time my husband came to slap some sense into me. I had gone from a thin competitive swimmer into a land-whale that could not move without pain. Plantar fasciitis is not a pleasant friend to make, just take my word on that.
Scars and Shame
With the rapid weight gain came scars. My body is riddled with stretch marks from my shoulders to my knees. I’m not kidding, even my knees have those marks due to the extreme weight gain. As if that wasn’t enough to set me off, I also have a pretty slashed-up shoulder on my left side from those dark moments when I just wanted the pain to end. I can not begin to tell you how ashamed I was for the longest time about these scars and the weight I had put on.
One of my greatest fears was to be abandoned. Especially by my family. And while I was gaining weight and slicing up my body I realized more than ever before what a disappointment I was.
It comes down to my father, as he was the most important person in my life for a while. The one I looked up to and adored. His approval was what I was continuously seeking. So of course, I could not let him know what I was up to, besides the obvious weight gain. And then the ex ratted me out to him. And we also had a drama-filled time with my mother having to discover I was a habitual self-harmer. After that, I have not been able to face either one of them properly.
The shape of me makes me feel ashamed like I am a disappointment. To myself and to my parents, and since I married, to my husband. The road to finding ways to love this one and only body that was kindly gifted to me by life has been hard. But I’m getting there.
I don’t hide my arm anymore on purpose. I don’t try to find clothes that hide me and my shame. I am working towards the understanding that Yes, I am actually worth nice clothes and can treat myself occasionally to something pretty. My body shape and condition do not need to dictate whether I put on a dress that suits me or a shirt that reminds me of a bag more than clothing. And all the work I’m putting into becoming healthier in body and mind (with my husband’s assistance and support) will not be going to waste. Maybe one day I can even face up to my father, showing him I did start moving as he suggested in the end. I just needed the proper support to go through with it.